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3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,576 Ratings  ·  102 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 1989)
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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,
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
Aug 21, 2011 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed, horror
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
Quentin Wallace
This was the first Richard Laymon novel I'd read after hearing about him for years. I was a little disappointed to be honest, but I also plan to read a few more of his novels to get a better sampling of his work.

Funland had an interesting premise, but the plot just seemed to meander. I think this book could have been edited down and been a better novel. The characters were interesting, but honestly didn't seem all that real to me. And the ending seemed to come out of nowhere. I don't like to put
Daniel Pyle
Jul 12, 2011 Daniel Pyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laymon went with the "tell the story with the odd sexy part and violent scene then ramp up the blood and guts to 100% near the end" approach again with this book. The main story was good but I felt it was a bit longer than it needed to be, felt like a ponderous read at times. The end sequence certainly makes up for it, especially with a surprising 'thing' to battle in the finale!!
Sep 28, 2015 Nate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
While this wasn't the page-turner I've come to expect from Laymon, it still had some decent scares. I felt like I was reading a Jack Ketchum book at times with the human vs human horror. I also thought the relationship building between characters was a bit too drawn out and bogged the story down. I was bothered at times as well by the portrayal of homeless people as there seemed to be some prejudice there that I couldn't get around. I'm kind of glad this wasn't my first Laymon book as it may hav ...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.
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.
Feb 06, 2013 Mylene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: richard-laymon
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!
May 09, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jan 29, 2014 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
J.J. Zep
Jan 18, 2014 J.J. Zep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 21, 2015 Robjr73 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Welton Barker
Oct 02, 2011 Welton Barker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
Apr 10, 2012 Bandit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 04, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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.
Mar 04, 2014 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
C.J. Lines
Feb 09, 2014 C.J. Lines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Als ein Fan von Richard Laymon fiel mir die Wahl bei meinem letzten Stöbern nach ebooks nicht schwer.

Die Story klang vielversprechend - ein typischer Richard Laymon.

Der Roman hingegen begann eher enttäuschend.
Die Einführung der einzelnen Charaktere erinnerte mehr an einen Strandspaziergang mit wenig Schrecken und Gräuel. Verwunderlich war für mich, dass die Laymon-eigene Art und Weise Gräuel und Schrecken plastisch zu beschreiben, hier weitenteils auf der Strecke blieb. Eingefleischte Laymon-Fan
Ashley James
Jul 10, 2015 Ashley James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: richard-laymon
A bit different to a lot of Richard Laymons other books it's a borderline coming of age tale which I love a group of teenagers ending up in a spooky funhouse sounds fairly familiar in the horror genre however itwas a bit diffrent to a lot of laymons other books but there is still enough to show its still a laymon novel has a good ending and a massive twist towards the end that I never saw coming would love to read again in the future
Jason Christopher
Sep 19, 2015 Jason Christopher rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I know Laymon had a BA and an MA in English literature, but, boy, he can't write. Lean and to the point is a great style, if you utilize it properly. Laymon's writing is real Fun With Dick and Jane stuff, reading like the work of a middle school kid who just discovered gore and women. It somehow manages to be both overwritten and underwritten, skimping on good, detailed characterization, but devoting a whole paragraph to how a corn dog tastes. The man seemingly never spent a moment around an act ...more
Todd Western-Normanton
Well... Now I am finished this book. Richard Laymon writes great horror novels such as 'Dark Mountain', sadly 'Funland' was not his best. Although the element of horror and thrills were strong. The novel required more description to the environment the story is set in- to prevent plot confusion. This book is about a group of mentally ill beings- known as 'trolls' who live on and under the boardwalks outside Funland- a theme park. The whole troll and boardwalk thing is a clear allusion to the old ...more
Jun 22, 2013 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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.
Oct 04, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit to being initially wrong about Laymon. my first romp into his work I found dull, unsatisfying and actually a waste of my time. This one however, has changed my mind.

Laymon sets out for us a diverse set of characters, tying three storyline together around the strange and exciting place called Funland, a local carnival like attraction with a dark side at night.

It isn't the deepest novel, nor is it a life changer, but I felt compelled to turn the pages on my Kindle as fast as I could
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paced reading hor...: Funland Richard laymon 46 22 Jun 24, 2013 08:00AM  
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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,
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