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Stephen King's New Thriller Joyland To Hit Shelves June 2013

Going back through time to tell a story is certainly not new territory for Stephen King. The era in which King's stories are set often help define the flavor of the novel. It, for example, takes place in two time periods, with the present being the (at the time) modern-day setting of the mid-80's, and the flashbacks taking us back to the late fifties when the characters were just coming to find one another as children. The relevance of the years in which the flashbacks take place runs deeper than merely setting the characters' ages. King makes good use of the time period, in painting an elaborate picture of what the fictional town of Derry was like during the late '50's, and using the backdrop to help develop the characters. That's just one example of the relevance of the era of King's stories. From the sound of it, his next book will also take us into the past; this time to the '70's.

NY Times is reporting that King's next novel will be called Joyland, and is set in a North Carolina theme park in the summer of 1973.

While employed there the character “confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever,” the publisher said in a news release.

The premise, which is described as a "whodunit" and a "carny novel" about growing up and growing old, sounds a bit Scooby-Doo-ish, but knowing King's work, it'll be heavier on the creepy than it is on the campy. And the thought of the setting of a theme park in the '70's already triggers the sounds and smells associated with a simple small-town carnival, complete with rides, games, fair-food and good times... (And also murder).

On a related note, those of us who've enjoyed the convenience and paper-free method of eBooks will have to wait a while to be able to fire up the Kindle for Joyland. King commented on his "affection for the subject matter of the book" in a statement and added...

“I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. ‘Joyland’ will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”

As a fan of the feel of an actual book in my hands, I get what he's saying, though I do love the accessibility, portability and durability of an eBook by comparison to paperbacks. That said, the story is set in the '70's, so maybe it's fitting that the book be read in paperback form.

Via Hard Case Crime, Joyland is expected to hit shelves June 2013.

Kelly West
Kelly West

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.