Interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Stephen King explained why he chose a small independent publisher for his next book, Joyland, arriving on Tuesday,
Hard Case Crime is a throwback to the books that I loved as a kid. We lived way out in the country, and my mother would go once a week shopping, and she would go to the Red & White or the A&P to pick up her groceries. And I would immediately beat feet to Robert’s Drugstore, where they had a couple of those turn-around wire racks with the hard-boiled paperbacks that usually featured a girl with scanty clothing on the front. … The teaser line that I always loved the most was for a novel called Liz where it said, “She hit the gutter and bounced lower.” … I loved that, and the one on the front of Joyland says, “Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?”
This is the second book King has published with Hard Case Crime, after 2005’s The Colorado Kid. In addition to original titles, Hard Case is known for bringing back to print crime novels from the ’40’s and ’50’s, with the kind of covers King remembers so fondly.
Reviewing Joyland in the new issue, Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+, marking it down for being “really an overgrown short story,” but adding that it “features some of King’s most graceful writing … a relatively straightforward story of a young man’s adventure … it’s written in the complicated voice of a much older man’s memory: ruminative, amused, digressive, marvelously unaffected, and finally, devastatingly sad.”
Coming this fall is King’s Doctor Sleep, (S&S/Scribner), the sequel to The Shining.