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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Stephen King: Hardboiled scribe

Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid may have not been the best thing he’d ever written, but I enjoyed it greatly and I was pleased to receive a press release from  pulp revivalists,  Hard Case Crime which announced that King had penned a second novel for the imprint. The novel is titled, Joyland and is set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, and tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever

“I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. 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.” Stephen King

Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book,” said Charles Ardai, Edgar- and Shamus Award-winning editor of Hard Case Crime.  “It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time.  Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.’ ”

Robert McGinnis, the man responsible for the early Sean Connery James Bond posters, will provide the cover art which is another reason to get excited about this book.

Since its debut in 2004, Hard Case Crime has been the subject of enthusiastic coverage by a wide range of publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Time, Playboy, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Houston Chronicle, New York magazine,the New York Post and Daily News, Salon, Reader’s Digest, Parade and USA Weekend,as well as numerous other magazines, newspapers, and online media outlets.  The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “Hard Case Crime is doing a wonderful job publishing both classic and contemporary ‘pulp’ novels in a crisp new format with beautiful, period-style covers.  These modern ‘penny dreadfuls’ are worth every dime.”  Playboy praised Hard Case Crime’s “lost masterpieces,” writing “They put to shame the work of modern mystery writers whose plots rely on cell phones and terrorists.”  And the Philadelphia City Paper wrote, “Tired of overblown, doorstop-sized thrillers…?  You’ve come to the right place.  Hard Case novels are as spare and as honest as a sock in the jaw.”

Other upcoming Hard Case Crime titles include The Cocktail Waitress, a never-before-published novel by James M. Cain, author of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity, and an epic first novel called The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S. Winter that has won advance raves from authors such as Peter Straub, James Frey, Alice Sebold, John Banville, David Morrell and Stephen King.
For information about these and other forthcoming titles, visit

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