Joyland was good fun, and hits many of my important Stephen King traits: set decades ago, coming of age, likable main character (I was a bit in love with Dev by the end), creepy ass setting (summer job at an old amusement park), good group of friends, fun lingo (carny-from-carny!) and a slightly otherworldy kid (I was so hoping this would rope in Dark Tower somehow, but no luck) with a tough ass mom.
I love you, Stephen King, and I don’t care who knows it.
“Climb aboard, Jonesy. I’m going to send you up where the air is rare and the view is much more than fair.”
In 1973, Dev has just finished the spring semester of college, and has come away with a broken heart. He gets a summer job at an amusement park called Joyland. Since it is a Stephen King novel, the haunted house ride is actually haunted by a girl who was killed on it years ago by a mysterious older man. Dev finds himself drawn to the case, and so it goes.
The lingo, the descriptions of the rides and the atmosphere are fantastic. The horror story part is nothing spectacular, but it serves. I’ve always enjoyed King’s characters more than anything else: the camaraderie, the relationships. That’s here in full swing; while Dev carries most of the weight on his own, the supporting cast is wonderful.