"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.
No clue, for a Stephen King book I expected more!
Not quite sure which genre this book represents.
I liked the voice of the narrator and would like to hear more from him.
The narrator was the only good thing about it!
I hadn't read any Stephen King for a long time, he once was a favorite. Now I see why I stopped!
After reading 11/22/63 by King I was a little reluctant on buying another one of his books because it seems like he stopped writing thriller books. Unfortunately this one is exactly the same. Don't get me wrong, he is excellent with the English language and it was an entertaining book to listen to, but it didn't feel like Stephen King. There really isn't much excitement at all until the end. If you're a fan of Stephen King, go ahead and listen to the book, but don't expect a thriller at all!!!!
Ok, so there's a new Stephen King book out called Joyland. Here are some of the key components:
- A serial killer who slashes throats at amusement parks.
- A ghost.
- A little boy with a special ability to just sort of 'know things'.
- A whodunnit mystery.
- A college kid who loses his sweetheart and grows up.
As everyone knows, Stephen King is the master of terror - so you might expect the first three components listed above to be the most important parts of Joyland... but you would be wrong!
Joyland is, at its heart, the coming of age tale of 21 year old Devin Jones. Devin is an everyman, a nice guy. He's going through a rough breakup with his first true love. He gets a job at Joyland, a second rate amusement park filled with cool college kids at summer jobs and weirdo carnies that are kind of there for life. There's a fortune teller, some sexy girls who take photos and pressure you into buying them, and plenty other flavorful characters. It's a flavorful and interesting backdrop for a novel.
As mentioned above, Devin is dealing with a lot of stuff. He's a young kid in an emotional part of life, and the ghost, serial killer, etc. serve as plot devices for some real growing up. The ghost and serial killer might sound scary, but there aren't really very many scary moments in Joyland. There are a few, I guess, but there are many more touching moments. Moments where you want to reach out to Devin and say, "Devin, hang in there dude - we'll get through this together and things will work out great." This isn't a book that will keep you up at night, this is a book that will keep you wondering how Stephen King can put into words so perfectly what it's like to like a girl who likes someone else better than you. If you're looking for a Stephen King tale of terror, then look elsewhere.
Joyland is also nominally a mystery, but I didn't get much out of this aspect of the book. Without giving anything away, there's this murder mystery and then it just kind of gets resolved all at once without the typical back and forth, slow progress, clue gathering, false leads, etc. that most mystery novels are filled with.
If you're a fan of Stephen King, then Joyland is probably most similar in style to Hearts in Atlantis. Hearts in Atlantis is one of my favorite King books, and Joyland is definitely no Hearts in Atlantis. It just doesn't have the unique story hooks, the characters are a bit flatter, and the lynchpin story connecting the coming-of-age theme isn't quite as interesting. Joyland is still good, but I'd recommend Hearts in Atlantis ahead of it any day. If you've already read Hearts in Atlantis and want another great story, then pick up Joyland - it's good. Good enough that I blasted through it in a day without slowing down.
The narrator for Joyland is decent. He did a bunch of different voices well, and breathed some life into the character - but the whole thing did feel slightly BLAH to me. It was good, but nothing I'll remember forever.
Not sure anymore...
My opinion might be skewed here as I just finished re-reading The Stand last week. Giving that Joyland too has high religious overtones, it was strange for me. I love Mr. Kings writing.. his character develpment is amazing. The version of The Stand that I own is the most recently released "uncut" version. In the preface, Mr. King speaks a little about the book, what you should expect, and warns that this is not a "new version" of The Stand, but simply included many of the things left on the cutting room floor from the first version. He also says that The Stand is one of his most asked about books from his fans.. They ask how "so-and-so" is doing, or "whatever happend to whats-his-name".. Although I am perfectly aware that The Stand is a work of fiction, I'm not totally surprised by this reaction. As I said, Mr. Kings character develpment is what sucks me into his writing each and every time. He is the King of the story tellers.. no pun intended.. well, maybe a little... Anyway... Well, with as much as I love his stories, I have to admit that the combination of just finishing The Stand, and then being dropped right into Joyland, left me a tad bit sour. Especially the ending of Joyland... I respect that we all have our opinions regarding Christianity and the belief in God.. But Mr. Kings writings have become quite "anti-Christian"... I understand that my views aren't everyones.. and I respect that. I also understand that Mr. King is obviously not a believer in the sense that he "follows God" or conforms to any organized religion. That's perfectly fine. However, he seems to be making it a point to not only "deny", but to "mock". I don't see a reason for this in "fiction".. It's to the point that it's clouding the story for me. I spend so much of my time "dismissing" this or that, or "ignoring" this or that, that it's hard to concentrate on the story line itself. I'm not one that is easily offended, and I'm certainly not a "bible thumper".. Yes, I am a Christian. I follow Christ. I have my faith. But I still enjoy all kinds of stories.. movies, books, articles, short stories, whatever I can get my hands on. I run across things in stories all the time which conflict with my own belief system. That's okay. It usually lends itself someway necessary to the storyline, and I accept it and am not offended in the least. But as I said.. this has become to a point where it's almost "mocking", and that confuses me, as I don't see it's necessary. *sigh*... Oh well...
The story was somewhat interesting but not up to Stephen King's normal work. I was particularly pissed about King's inappropriate and dumb comment concerning Dick Cheney ... a true patriot ... unlike King. It didn't fit in the story at alI except to show Kings true colors. I normally don't read books by extreme liberals and will now add Stephen King to my NO READ LIST.
it's sort of like Stand by Me had a love child with The Shining. not terrible but a bit trite. read A Boy's Life if you want the Wonder Years theme with horror/mystery twist (sadly only abridged edition available on audible but worth a read and recommended). Mr. King's early work rarely involved awkward sex scenes which is perhaps why I like it best as this yet again was nigh brutal in spots. not bad but rather blah. some story points really hit home other feel very recycled (and almost worse because of his oeuvre). reader is great and makes it doable but not falling over myself to suggest to friends.
I still pick up Mr King's work as they are released and perhaps that makes me part of the problem. if all of us buy marginal work where is the drive to make something great?
TL;DR it's okay
YES! It is a great story, by the master of storytelling (in my opinion), full of mystery, suspense, humor, sadness and a great although poignant ending.
The kite flying day and just one of many.
Probably I should say Devon, but I am equally interested in the villain in the tale, whose name I won't reveal.
Why would I want to spend dinner with the evil protagonist?
Well, bad people who do really bad things are just as intriguing to me as the good guys. I would like to spend dinner discussing the bad guy's motivations and of course his upbringing which is the root of all evil, right?
Great listening and I plan to run out and by the book for my collection.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
As Stephen King age, you can tell the different styles of writing. His recent book, "Joyland" is far different than past classic like "Firestarter." Through his decades of horror, mysteries, and total mind bleeping madness, the constant reader always sees a different side of SK.
Joyland is on another level of his progression of his mind and his imagination of what he can come up with and how his writing is changing as he gets older. I cannot blame him for changing his storytelling style, because as we get into our golden years, we look at the world differently.
This new book is not so much of a horror or a thriller. It is somewhere in the middle from an aging writer.
For the constant reader, Stephen King is like an old friend that you can't wait to hear from.
Indie filmmaker who loves listening to books on audio
The voice talent is incredible
Devin. His inner voice was fun and curious.
Devin. Michael really breathed life into the character, giving him subtlety.
When Mike talks to Devin after his mother leaves the room
It was not at all what I expected out of a King book and more than I thought it would be.
Probably. The reader was very good and believable.
To talk about psychic abilities
Although a most imaginative writer, King is frequently too graphic for me. A few of his books, while still frightening, aren't quite as gory and over the top. This book is very suspenseful, scary, and thoroughly entertaining. I was never disgusted with graphic descriptions.
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