Funland by Richard Laymon

well unfortunately it looks like Leisure Books has given up on Richard Laymon, all of his books have mysteriously disappeared from bookstores, his website has disappeared and Funland, which was supposed to be published in paperback last year only got an Ebook release

I have no idea what happened, it’s bizarre, maybe some sort of contract expired and his books didn’t sell well enough so they decided not to renew it or something? I can’t find any info about it at all on anywhere on the internet, either way it looks like the only place to find Laymon’s books now is either in used stores or Ebooks, which is a shame, especially since they’re are still quite a few books that never got re-published, I guess it’s lights out people, the party’s over

it’s a shame, but there’s still plenty of books that I haven’t read yet that I can as Ebooks if I want to

anyway I was really intrigued by Funland so I decided to borrow my mom’s Kindle and read it that way, making this the first Ebook I’ve ever read

let me be straight with you guys, Laymon is far from high art, his books are unashamedly pulpy, the best way to describe them is they’re like 80’s horror movies in book form, I read for fun so this doesn’t bother me, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea

so Funland tells the story of the titular boardwalk amusement park in the fictional Boleta Bay California, this park has a serious problem, it’s plagued by creepy homeless people (called “trolls” by the locals) who constantly bother people asking for change, especially at night

fed up with this is a group of teenagers led by a beautiful and blond (of course) lifeguard calling themselves the “great Billy Goat’s Gruff” who stalk the park at night and wait for a “troll” to ask them for change and then proceed to beat up and humiliate the troll in question as a way of hopefully scaring off the others, however what they don’t realize is that the park contains a dark secret related to the supposedly abandoned funhouse and it’s quite scary indeed

the book has a large cast of characters for a Laymon book, probably the largest out of all the ones I’ve read, the best of which is a young woman named Robin who’s a drifter that plays the banjo for money who wanders into the town (bad idea of course)

to be honest, there’s some stuff that I found kind of offensive in this one, it’s glaringly obvious that Laymon hates the homeless, like wants to stuff them all in a rocket ship and blast them to the moon hate, almost all the villains are the seemingly endless group of homeless that live in the town and almost all the horror stems from everyone’s inherit fear of them and their craziness and nastiness, none of the homeless are portrayed as sympathetic, the closest would be the drifter Robin, but it’s pretty quickly established that she’s not like “one of them” and the one character that does sympathize with them is a cartoonish stereotype of the “bleeding heart liberal” (which confirms what I’ve suspected for a while, that Laymon was a conservative, which is strange because I thought conservatives didn’t really approve of horror and gore and the like)

it’s pretty damn effective yeah, this is actually one of the scariest books that I’ve read by him, there’s plenty legitimately scary imagery and moments (like for example the fact that most of the homeless live under the board walk in the shadows and hiding, yeah, that’s creepy), but ya know it just seems a bit harsh to me, most homeless people are either mentally ill or drug addicts or people just plain down on their luck, yeah they might not all be lovable Boxcar Willie types, but still

but whatever, regardless of the books questionable morals it’s still trademark Laymon and one of his scariest, so I had a good time reading it

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