First Lines: Joyland

Published by Hard Case Crime, Joyland is Stephen King’s second attempt at writing a pulpy crime story. His first one, 2005’s The Colorado Kid was more of a crime mystery novel, since nothing much was resolved.

Joyland‘s main mystery—who killed Linda Gray?—gets resolved. But like it often goes with King, the stuff that happens isn’t the main draw. Again, Stephen King knows how to create characters. First, he makes you care about them, and then dumps a pile of not so nice things om them, just to see what they’d do. A college student takes a summer job in an amusement park to forget all about this girl who broke his heart. Then he learns about this murder in the park, and there’s this 10 year old kid who’s dying from Duchenne’s, and his pretty mother … and well, overall, it’s a sweet tale. Apart from the murder bit. That’s just nasty.

Stephen King — Joyland
First Line
I had a car, but on most days in that fall of 1973 I walked to Joyland from Mrs. Shoplaw’s Beachside Accommodations in the town of Heaven’s Bay.