Sunday, June 02, 2013

Joyland is King at his finest

Recent reading: two novels from the Hard Case Crime series and a third book that belongs in the series.

Book 47: Joyland by Stephen King

As I read Stephen King's Joyland, I forgot that I was reading a book by Stephen King.

A back-handed compliment, perhaps, but a compliment nonetheless.

A little bit of a murder mystery with a touch of a ghost story, Joyland's deepest pleasures derive from its tender coming of age story.

This is King at his finest.

Book 62: Seduction of the Innocent by Max Allan Collins

In the 1950s, Fredric Wertham, a German-born American psychiatrist, nearly destroyed the comic book industry with his charges that funny books led to juvenile delinquency.

Max Allan Collins uses those real-life events as the backdrop for his delicious murder mystery, Seduction of the Innocent.  (Wertham's book was also titled Seduction of the Innocent. A recent New York Times articles reports that a recent study suggests "Wertham misrepresented his research and falsified his results.")

I was unfamiliar with Collins until stumbling upon this Hard Case Crimes entry. Now, like the girl in the TV, commercial "more, I want more."

This is unadulterated fun.

Book 61: Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen almost plays is straight in Bad Monkey, a new thriller that isn't as over the top as many of his previous books.

While fishing near Key West, a tourist reels in an arm that appears to have been separated from the rest of its body by sharks.  But Andrew Yancy thinks it was murder. And if Yancy can prove it, he's confident he can reclaim his job as a sheriff's deputy.

In typical Hiaasen fashion, there is a bizarre story behind how the arm came to be floating in the waters near Key West.  A story that Yancy uncovers through diligent police work.

But you'll have to read the book if you want to know whether he got his job back.


  1. I cannot WAIT to read Joyland. I love that cover and I'm really digging King's latest novels.

  2. Just what you would expect from Steven King. I found this a real page turner. I would highly suggest this to anyone.