Valdosta Daily Times


May 19, 2013

Cool Summer Reads


- — JOYLAND, Stephen King, June 4. He said he was finished writing books. He said he was done. After writing dozens of suspense and horror books, many classics, often publishing what seemed like at least a dozen thick novels per year, who could blame Stephen King for retiring? Only he didn’t retire, did he? With only one book every year or so now, it may seem like he’s retired, but he hasn’t as “Under the Dome” and “11/22/63” attest. Now, in a few weeks, King returns with a murder mystery set in a 1973 Southern carnival, all under the cover of what looks like one of the gaudy, lurid, sensationalistic true crime magazines of the mid-20th century. Behind that cover? Well, did we mention the carnival is haunted by a murderer?

NOS4A2, Joe Hill, already available. And if you like Stephen King, see what his kid can do with the frightening and the gothic. Yes, this is Stephen King’s son and the bad apple does not fall far from the gnarled tree. With “Heart-Shaped Box,” Hill created a taut frightener featuring an aging heavy-metal rock star who finds far more horrors at home than he ever did in his stage show. In “Horns,” a young man not only awakens to discover horns growing from his head but a growing malice in his heart — who makes you do bad if you’re the one becoming the devil? Hill’s “20th Century Ghosts” is a rollercoaster ride of funny, scary and always interesting short stories. With “NOS4A2,” which the cover displays as a license plate, Hill tells the story of a girl who can teleport who meets a man who can magically whisk children away to Christmasland; only she is able to escape his nightmarish wonderland. Until many years later, the grown woman runs across him again. Want another hint, maybe, sound out the letters-numbers on the license plate ...

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