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Joyland | [Stephen King]

Joyland

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland 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. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.
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Publisher's Summary

"Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book.... Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved."
—Charles Ardai, Edgar- and Shamus Award-winning editor of Hard Case Crime.

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland 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. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

©2013 Stephen King. All rights reserved. (P)2013 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3885 )
5 star
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4.3 (3573 )
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4.5 (3573 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 08-13-13
    Corey Brookyln, NY, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2009

    Hi, I'm an alumi of NYU and I'm also huge into MMA. I love books I read a lot and review the stand outs. I'll give you guys the goods.

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    "Wow"

    This is really was a surprise normally I like to read books filled with action. However, this book was so charming that I couldn't help but really get drawn into it. Everything about this has been extremely well done I loved this book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-04-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 09-04-14 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

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    "THERE'S A LOT TO BE SAID FOR BOREDOM"

    NEVER KID A KIDDER, KIDO
    I love Stephen King and most of his books, and Jim the Impatient, listened to this whole thing, so it is not boring. It is not horror, it's kind of a cheap imitation of Water For Elephants. As much as I love King, I will advise you to read Water for Elephants instead. It is better written, more involved, scarier, and a better look at circus life then this is a look at Carney life.

    WHEN IT COMES TO THE PAST, EVERYONE WRITES FICTION.
    If this had been a true story, it might have been a tear jerker, if we had been more invested in the characters, it would have been less cheesy. Like Howard Stern says on America's Got Talent," Mr. King, I believe you fell a little flat tonight, I loved what you did in previous nights, but tonight something was missing." Bachman's version of this story would be more to my taste.

    MAKE IT JOB ONE
    I also wonder if the mother had not been drop dead gorgeous if our hero would have befriended the cripple. Sorry kid, your mother's too plain looking.

    I'M AS DRY AS TEN YEAR DOG SH@@

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 07-18-13
    Amber 07-18-13 Member Since 2015

    I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.

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    "Bravo Stephen King!"

    I haven't read much Stephen King considering how much he's written and how popular he is and how much I read. I've read the The Shining, Carrie, and I tried and failed with making it through Lisey's Story. None of those books were that memorable for me. So, I have to say that I haven't really been too impressed with King… until now. Joyland was a little gem of a listen. It is a mystery, sure, but it also much more than that. It is a unique coming of age story. Devin Jones, the main protagonist, is a likable enough character and the narrator, Michael Kelly, enhances this. The story is told through the old eyes of Devin Jones as he reminisces back to the 1970's when he was a heartbroken college kid that decided to work at Joyland, an amusement park, for the summer. That summer changes his life forever. I felt that for a short-ish book, it had a lot of depth, meaning that I felt like the characters were well developed. I did plenty of giggling, gasping and a few tears fell as I listened to the story unfold. The cursing and the sex scene gave the book a bit of an edge that was appreciated. Also, there were twists and turns to the story that I didn't see coming and that always makes things a bit more interesting. This was a great summertime read/listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer RIDLEY PARK, PA, United States 06-25-13
    Amazon Customer RIDLEY PARK, PA, United States 06-25-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Joyfully Great Short Story"
    If you could sum up Joyland in three words, what would they be?

    King Short Story


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. Most Stephen King novels are sprawling works that span over a dozen hours or more. At 7 1/2 hours, this is a very concise effort and I didn't find that it ever languished; it just keeps moving you forward to its conclusion.


    What does Michael Kelly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He manages, while narrating as an older verison of the main character, to convey the voice of the youthful Devin Jones.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh several times but anyone who reads Stephen King knows that laughs are part of the deal. Put that on a sampler and hang it in your kitchen. :)


    Any additional comments?

    I really missed the lack of a forward or afterward from the author with this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 06-05-13
    Mel USA 06-05-13 Member Since 2009
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    "How I Spent My Summer Vacation"

    This is the number 3 song on the A-side of one of your favorites bands newest LP. It's not the title track or the one getting the most play, but you like it. As we all know, King can tell a story and create atmosphere like no other, and for 7 1/2 hours it was fun hanging out at the local amusement park...watching the goofy dance numbers performed by the employees, eating corn dogs, riding the hammer, and getting creeped out in the Terr-O-Ride. If you are a fan of horror--you are going to be as disappointed as Clark Griswold was to find out Wally World was closed for the season, but fans of King's style should enjoy the fun light ghost story.

    43 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donk murfreesboro tn 07-05-14
    Donk murfreesboro tn 07-05-14 Member Since 2006

    "I'll be a story in your head, but that's OK. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? The Doctor

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    "Michael Kelly needs to read to me"

    Joyland reminded me more of The Body (aka Stand By Me) than Salem Lot, It, or The Shinning. Most of Stephen Kings books left me still terrified 30 years later. I am still afraid to look directly into sewer drains just in case a creepy clown is staring back at me.

    Joyland, like The Body, is just a good story about growing up, told like only a good story teller can, but with a dash of creepy. If you are expecting to be scared to death this is not the one for you, but if you like The Body, you will love this.

    So lets talk about the narrator...

    Dear Michael Kelly

    Can you read to me every night? Seriously, I like House of Cards, but if Doug is actually dead, audio books narration is your new career.

    Xoxo

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Pleasantly Suprised"

    I have enjoyed all of the Hard Case books by Stephen King, but this is the only one that I have gotten as an audio book. In addition to the compelling nature of the story itself, Michael Kelly's performance is simply one of the best I have heard. It sounds almost dry and matter of fact, yet contains a depth of emotion I have rarely heard from a narrator. A somewhat understated performance that really delivers. I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma SAVANNAH, TN, United States 04-22-14
    Emma SAVANNAH, TN, United States 04-22-14 Member Since 2015

    I am in my late twenties, a commuter, a romantic, & am loving life.

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    "Great Coming-of-Age Story"

    The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that in contrast to King's other novels, this one just didn't 'grip' me. That being said, it was an excellent story. There were many many heartwarming parts that brought tears to my eyes. As with all of King's books - I immediately connected with the characters - related to them, felt sorry for them, loved them. One thing I love about Stephen King novels is the 'creepiness' factor... this book lacked that. What this book DID have, though, was a solid plot: romance, murder-mystery, coming-of-age. I enjoyed it a lot.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 03-05-14
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 03-05-14 Member Since 2010

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

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    "Hit Home for Me"

    Good story, great narrator, sad ending… Stephen King does it again. And for me personally the story really hit home. Took place in the 70s, my favorite era... I can’t think of one other book that mentions my favorite athlete of all time - Larry Csonka and my favorite game – scrabble; while also referencing New Jersey and Carney from Kearny, which just happens to be my home town!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristopher Ames Marysville, WA 09-17-13
    Kristopher Ames Marysville, WA 09-17-13 Member Since 2001
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    "It wasn't the best... It wasn't the worst..."

    ... It was just average. A nice little story to help pass 7+ hours. It kind of reminded me of listening to grandpa tell stories of days gone bye. You don't fully listen you just listen enough to nod at the right times.

    There was no suspense to this book, nothing to make you say "I have to listen to the rest of this now". Though there is a ghost, it isn't much of a ghost story. Although the main character is trying to solve a mystery, it didn't really have the feel of a mystery as some of it was predictable and when you did find out who the murderer was it was more a feeling of "who cares".

    However, if you are a King fan, have a credit to spend and nothing else is catching your eye, I mean nothing else at all, then go ahead an pick it up. Just don't expect a King Masterpiece.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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