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Funland
 
by
Richard Laymon
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Funland

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,092 ratings  ·  87 reviews
The Funland Amusement Park provides more fear than fun these days. A vicious pack known as the Trolls are preying on anyone foolish enough to be alone at night. Folks in the area blame them for the recent mysterious disappearances, and a gang of local teenagers has decided to fight back. But nothing is ever what it seems in an amusement park. Behind the garish paint and br ...more
Published (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trudi

No, no, no, no...bad Laymon. Baaaaaad. Okay, this isn't the worst book I've ever read, but for a Laymon book, it's distinctly horrible, in extremely bad taste, and too dull in too many sections to give it that zap! and zing! I've come to expect from him.

The late Richard Laymon is always my go-to guy for a pulpy, sometimes sleazy, never politically correct but always satisfying horror romp. There's just something so delightfully wicked and deranged about his straightforward, shoot from the hip,
...more
Steve
Wheeeee! Fun Land! More Laymon mayhem that gives ominous meaning to Under the Boardwalk. Not the best Laymon I've read, but perhaps more interesting than most, since there actually seems to be a few things going on beneath the surface. Peer pressure and teens, homeless people, revenge, all come into play, but with Laymon's spin that includes a giant spider, punk rockers, murderous freaks & geeks, a banjo playing heroine, and a FunHouse battle that reminded me of the end of Them. Some reviewe ...more
Marvin
There's a bit of a story here. Browsing through Goodreads, I ran across the page on Richard Laymon and was surprised to see he passed away in 2001.I met him in a science fiction book store autograph party in the 90s. There were only a handful of people there so we had a good hour or two just talking amongst ourselves. Needless to say, Laymon was a very nice enthusiastic man who was in love with books and writing. He autographed a copy of Resurrection Dreams which I remembered reading and liking ...more
Daniel Pyle
I give this one a 4.25. Although it's slower paced than most of the author's other novels, I never lost interest and tore through the book in a couple of sittings. The final showdown in the funhouse is classic, action-packed Laymon.

I probably would have upped my rating on this one to a 5 if not for the laggier sections and an odd loose thread in the story that Laymon could have tied up with a single scene or even just a short paragraph. It wasn't anything major, and it didn't keep me from enjoyi
...more
Adam Light
I wanted to rate this one higher but, once again, Laymon seemed to get lost after a fairly strong opening, and after the 300 pages of meandering plots that added up to a pastiche of characters trying to hook up with each other, the adrenaline pumping finale was a bit underwhelming. Could have been so much better without all the needless padding.
Erin
Funland.... Yes!!! What a place to be as a kid, as a grown-up, as a wino! Funland was GREAT! Wish they would make a movie after this one, might be too "gruesome" but wicked! Friends, love, fears, attacks... what's worse... being stuck in a ferris wheel with winos or in the gravity (from Zombieland) with zombies! I just don't know.
chucklesthescot
The amusement park in Boleta Bay has a huge population of homeless beggars(trolls) who menace and intimidate locals and tourists alike. A group of vigilante teenagers calling themselves trollers decide to start scaring the trolls into leaving so they can have their town back. But when their pranks develop into murder, sinister things are going to happen especially in the old funhouse.

You really can understand the attitude of the trollers as these 'trolls' are vicious, offensive and violent, caus
...more
J.J. Zep
Richard Laymon's prose is as plain as white bread, some of his characters feel like they've been recruited directly from Casting Central, he seems to have an obsession with describing women's breasts...but man, does his spin a good yarn.

Funland is no exception. The story clips along quite briskly for the first 400 pages, keeping you intrigued and getting you involving you in the (somewhat messed up) lives of the characters. Then from around page 420, it explodes into the most bizarre, nasty, bl
...more
Welton Barker
I always feel like Richard Laymon is a guilty pleasure. And, as usual, this book was a complete pleasure to read. The best description I've heard of Laymon is "Stephen King without a conscience." In this book, he deals with attitudes toward the homeless (or "trolls" as the book calls them), using horror as an excuse to show pretty much every attitude a person can have—interspersed, of course, with plenty of blood, horror, and sex. This is the kind of book I read when no one is looking...
Mylene
If you love Laymon books, as I do... You have to adore this one. What a great plot! This novel was so much fun. Underneath all the horror and adventure, it really made you think about your preconceptions and who really is more evil and twisted: 'the regular folks', 'the freaks', or 'the hobos'. Another reviewer said it before me but this book would make an awesome movie... Brian Da Palma or Lynch could probably do it best!
Bandit
Classic Laymon fun. Horny teenagers, evil hobos, sideshow freaks, sex, blood and gore. What's not to like...although one must be in a mood for it. I own the Onyx edition, but this cover art seems more appropriate. This one did somehow feel a bit different from Laymon's other books, maybe a bit more serious, though that doesn't seem like the right word for it. Great ending. 3.5 stars. Recommended.
Benjamin Ethridge
The climax makes the rest of the book seem like it belonged in another book, and vice versa. Laymon knows how to keep you reading, and on that level, this book is enjoyable. However, he sticks fantasy into realism too late, like a Bloody Mary with a candy cane instead of a celery stalk.
Mark
One of my favourite reads (I'm a sucker for stories set at the seaside), this moves at a good pace and has some good characters and set-pieces.
Jake
To tell you the truth, I really wasn't expecting much from this novel. I am not sure why. I bought it on Amazon because it was cheap and ever since watching Carnival Of Souls, have found fairs and amusement parks (at night) creepy. Still, the first chapter did not grab me, the characters seemed unreal and I prepared myself to give it a few more chapters before giving up.
I am glad I did keep with it. The book started to come alive after its slow start. I started to get a real feel for the locatio
...more
Jeff
Let's get my biases out of the way first: I've read enough Richard Laymon to know I don't like him very much. I was a fan of horror back in the '80s but I think it's pretty safe to say my preferences for fiction lay more on the lyrical/literary side of the scale than the splatterpunk/grindhouse side. (Of course, horror fiction being horror fiction, only at the farthest edges will you find something that doesn't have at least a touch of both but I hope you can grant me the efficacy of my hasty, h ...more
DJMikeG
This was a fun horror novel that has a great reputation with hardcore fans of Richard Laymon. I thought it was good, but it definitely isn't up there with his greatest stuff (The Stake, Endless Night, In The Dark). The book takes way too long getting to know the characters, There are stretches of over a hundred pages where very little horrific happens, which is unusual for Laymon. The book could have been pared down a little and been a much more enjoyable read. That said, the concept and the fin ...more
Mark R.
Richard Laymon was an American writer who died over ten years ago, and whose work was unfamiliar to me until I picked up a UK one-volume set of both "Funland" and "The Stake".

After reading "Funland", I'll certainly get around to "The Stake" sometime soon, but maybe not right this minute.

"Funland" isn't particularly creepy, but the story is solid, about a group of kids who hang out on the boardwalk at night, in a California beach town, and attack "trolls," the homeless denizens of the boardwalk
...more
Brian
I think I've read three or four books by Richard Laymon. Probably because I was once a young lad who thought that Stephen King's recommendation meant something. But they've all sucked, and while this wasn't the worst one -- that would be To Wake the Dead, which is also the worst book in the entire history of modern standard English -- it's pretty fargin' bad. I'd argue it's not even listed in the right genre, as anything that might approach the supernatural, the scary, or even the interesting do ...more
Robjr73
How did Laymon do it? In my opinion, this guy puts King and Koontz to shame as far as horror novelists go. Funland is a great starting point for Laymon newbies. It's scary as hell (especially that ending) and moves at a pace that very few authors can pull off. As much as I love stephen king, i really can't stand when he spends pages upon pages on the background of a single character. Laymon manages to get you hooked on his characters without having to break too long from the storyline. Funland i ...more
C.J. Lines
One of the reviews on here by "Trudi" nails many the flaws of Funland comprehensively so I won't repeat them. Go read that. She's right. Some of the characters are pretty ludicrous, it's hugely tasteless and even kind of embarrassing to read in parts (the horny teens and the depiction of the homeless in particular).

Yet still, Laymon knows how to structure an exciting story (admirable considering nothing really happens for 400 pages) and keep you engaged. The ludicrous characters all somehow come
...more
Deacon D.
Anyone familiar with Laymon's work kinda knows what they are getting into...graphic violence and explicit sex are key elements in his books, and there is plenty of both in FUNLAND.
The problem I had with this one is just that the story itself, while certainly a page-turner, was not very good (although I must admit that the fun-house scenes were pretty creepy). As a fan of Laymon, I must say that this is not an example of his best work, though folks who enjoy his in-your-face style of horror shoul
...more
Dave Pope
I've read this book twice and may well read it again in the future. It is a full on thrill ride for those who like their horror a little more bloodily intense than the mainstream. Richard Laymon, for me, is at the pinnacle of horror - he didn't write eloquently and prose meant little to him - what he did was to write stories that you don't have to run to a dictionary for to look up fancy words that he used in order to fill a page. Laymon horror is straight and to the point and more than a little ...more
Chris
Richard Laymon novels are guilty pleasures. They're like watching softcore porn on Cinemax...you don't want to admit you watch it but it's certainly not the most terrible thing you could do with your evening. You either love Laymon or you don't. And even if you do, you're never going to admit this is fine literature. But it doesn't have to be. It's simply fun.
Justin
another great laymon novel, I knocked it down a star because of a small thing I didn't like in the ending (don't want to give any spoilers though) and also because parts of it seemed a bit drawn out. despite the length it was an easy book to read though with lots of memorable characters and I enjoyed it.
Lee
Typical Laymon, with kids & a strange amusement park.
Brandon Collinsworth
This is my second Laymon book, he is a brilliant storyteller and it is a shame we lost him so soon. The characters in this book are great just like the other book I read by him, that is what I need for a good story is good characters I am actually interested in. The book could best be labeled a tragedy though, so few of the character you get connected too and involved in have anything remotely approaching a happy ending. But they are great characters and you enjoy your time with them, even the h ...more
Adriane
I'm pretty sure this is my first Layman book, but I was sent to him as a great thriller/horror author so I went into this book with a certain expectation. It didn't help that I had a false start with this one last year at some point, gave it a few pages and just couldn't get into it.

This time I stuck it out for the first few chapters, but by chapter 3 I was hooked. I will say this is very era specific to the 80's the pulp raunchiness, the graphic violence seemingly out of nowhere. I was overall
...more
Ian F
From the moment I picked up my first Laymon novel i was hooked, I think I have read them all and FunLand is one of my favourites. there is a lot of snobbery directed towards splatterpunk but I read to be entertained and this certainly did the job although i thought the giant spider was pushing it just a little.
Sam
Funland is classic Richard Laymon. It is well-written and has his sinister style that I love. The characters are well thought out, likeable and believeable. I love Cowboy, he's such a carefree firey young chap getting into scraps and scrapes alike.

I love that the story is based around a gang of kids, it reminded me of my own younger life. Mischief and mayhem.

The trolls of course are not nice, make you're skin crawl. You can see yourself in the position of the characters - at night, walking on t
...more
Jeff French
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Richard Laymon was born in Chicago and grew up in California. He earned a BA in English Literature from Willamette University, Oregon and an MA from Loyola University, Los Angeles. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian, and a report writer for a law firm, and was the author of more than thirty acclaimed novels.

He also published more than sixty short stories in magazines such as Ellery Queen,
...more
More about Richard Laymon...
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