This particular example is set in a fading amusement park in the summer of '73, and works hard to capture the time and place. The main character, a college student, works a summer job at a small amusement park with one genuine ghost, though for most of the novel the hero is focused more on mundane things, like being dumped piecemeal and long-distance by his girlfriend, meeting a dying kid with what in another novel King called 'the shining', discovering the person behind an old murder, and finding he has a true talent for working with people.
All of this wd go down for me as just an enjoyable enough light read, were it not for a number of Tolkien references King works into the book. A New England guy stuck in small-town North Carolina, with a broken heart and only co-workers to socialize with, our hero occasionally feels the need to get away and spend time on his own. One of the things he does is obsessively listen to albums by The Doors. And the other is to read (or re-read) THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
". . . That was my year to embrace loneliness. I sometimes went to the movies in Lumberton or Myrtle Beach . . . but I spent most evenings in my room, re-reading The Lord of the Rings and writing letters . . . I also wrote a fair amount of poetry, which I am now embarrassed even to think about . . . I added a new and satisfyingly grim record to my / small collection -- The Dark Side of the Moon" (p. 136 / 137)
". . . it was still warm and breezy when I set off down the beach. On many of those walks back to town I liked to watch my long shadow on the waves, but that evening I mostly watched my feet. I was tired out . . . I'd go back to my room, settle into my chair by the window, and read me some Tolkien as I ate. I was deep into The Two Towers.
"What made me look up was the boy's voice . . . " (p. 148)
"I had the weekend free, and you know what happened. I guess the idea that it always rains on the weekends must be an illusion, but it sure doesn't seem like one; ask any working stiff who ever planned to go camping or fishing on his days off.
"Well, there was always Tolkien. I was sitting in my chair by the window on Saturday afternoon, moving ever deeper into / the mountains of Mordor with Frodo and Sam, when Mrs. Shoplaw [his landlady] knocked on the door and asked if I'd like to come down to the parlor and play Scrabble" (p. 163 / 164)
[After the game] "I returned to my room, sat in my chair by the window, and tried to rejoin Frodo and Sam on the road to Mount Doom. I couldn't do it. I closed the book and stared out through the rain-wavery glass at the empty beach and the gray ocean beyond. IT was a lonely prospect . . . " (p. 169)
current reading: Amarna book (Kemp) [slowly pressing forward; now about a third of the way through]
THE FIFTH BEATLE (graphic novel, the life of Brian Epstein) [just finished]
A LITTLE GOLD BOOK OF GHASTLY STUFF by Neil Gaiman  -- my prize from the book exchange at yesterday's year's end gathering for our local fantasy reading group (Mithlond).