Saturday, August 31, 2013

Joyland: Stephen King pits Pulp against Pixels

Another Canadian Labour Day Weekend has rolled around and as usual I'm in denial about the summer coming to a close.  My summer 2013 reading (now read) list turned out to be as eclectic as always and I've just finished reading Joyland by Stephen King which means that it just squeezed in under the wire for inclusion on that list.

There's a bit of a story concerning Joyland's late addition.  In May I heard early whispers about the book and knew that it was going to be published by Hard Case Crime same as The Colorado Kid (waves hello to fellow Haven fans) so I was eagerly anticipating an e-book download in June.  Then came the news, trumpeted by the Wall Street Journal no less, Stephen King Says No to E-Book, to Scare Up Business.

Seems that Joyland wasn't destined to reside companionably beside The Colorado Kid on my e-reader after all!

Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, first you made me wait twenty years (which seemed like a thousand) for the completion of The Dark Tower Series and now you expect me to make a trek to the bookstore for something I could have downloaded in under a minute.  This Constant Reader says hummmmppphhh.
Well that's what I said in the beginning but as the summer wore on I became increasingly amenable to the idea of pulp versus pixels and finally went out and bought it.
I'm so glad that I did!

Joyland is Stephen King at his best.  It's a classic, well worth a re-read, even if it did make me a bit weepy in selected spots.  I cared about the characters and regretted that I couldn't spend more time with my favourites. Best of all, I was transported back to my youth when a new (to me) paperback made for an excellent summer day.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate my e-reader.  It's light, convenient and saves me a ton of storage space (as I've hardly ever met a book that I could stand to part with).  It is also a tad "soulless".  I miss the physical pages; flipping back and forth (yes I sometimes cheat and read ahead); actually feeling how much is left to read; anticipating the story arc based on the remaining chapters.  Pixels just can't provide that.

I'm guessing that many others who were also raised on second-hand pulp and graduated to brand-new hardcovers may feel the same way.

So thank you, Mr. King.  You gave me an unexpected, late-summer gift that I truly appreciate. I intend to savour it again, same time next year.

Please note that the three book links will take you to

For my fellow Canadians, here are the links to Joyland;  The Colorado Kid; Dark Tower: The Gunslinger.

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1 comment:

  1. Stephen King has done it again. This is a quick read and I enjoyed it as I have nearly all of his books.