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books and reading

Later

Title: Later

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Paranormal Suspense

Stephen King now has three Hard Case Crime books. The first was Joyland, which was excellent. Next was The Colorado Kid, which was excellent. And now Later, which, you guessed it, is excellent. Later is a bit more like Joyland in the supernatural aspect, but it’s set in the modern day, which was a lot of fun for pop culture references.

From Goodreads: The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

Later is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. Later is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.

Jamie is such a fun character. He’s telling the story from the present but about his childhood, so you know his fate is fine, but along the way, some awful things happen. He warns us several times that this is a horror story. His secret is revealed pretty quickly in the book, but I won’t spoil it here. It’s such a bummer that King is penned into just being a “horror” writer, because he’s one of the best storytellers. Sure, his books are pretty terrifying, but his character and plot development is top notch. I can’t recommend him enough.

Categories
books and reading

Joyland

I’ve been working my way through Stephen King’s back catalog. At this point, I’ve read 43 of his 50 novels, counting this one. I’m trying to read at least 4 more this year, as well. I’m way behind on his short story collections, though. Maybe next year that will be my goal. This short book was one that I’ve never heard much buzz about. His long books, ones turned into movies, and his old classics are ones that frequently are read and reviewed. But this one is highly underrated. I absolutely loved it.

Set in the summer of 1973 at a small amusement park named Joyland, Devin is spending his summer break from college trying to earn a few bucks. He’s a hard worker, great with kids, and is enjoying his time near the beach. A fortune teller warns him of some events in his future, but of course, he dismisses her, because, well, fortune telling. There’s also park legend about a woman who haunts the ride where she was murdered. The murder is true, but the haunting, well, chalk that up to the fortune telling. Devin just doesn’t believe. So, given this is Stephen King, you can probably guess that Devin’s skepticism is unfounded. Craziness ensues.

The ending of this book was perfect. Obviously, I won’t say why, but I really loved it. This book definitely needs more love. I can’t believe more people don’t read this one. It’s also a great entry point into his works. It’s short, not too graphic, and you get sucked in quickly. Cannot recommend this one enough.