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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 (3712 )
5 star
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4.3 (3420 )
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Story
4.5 (3421 )
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2 star
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1 star
 (24)
Performance
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  •  
    Alex Minneapolis, MN, United States 06-20-13
    Alex Minneapolis, MN, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have enjoyed so many of King's book. The best features have not usually been the horror or the plot, but the rich characters, dialogue, setting, inside knowledge, and introspection. I have found many of his works to self-destruct in the final act. This one transcends. Joyland is probably his best work I have read. The murder mystery is largely titular to the reflections of coming of age one has later in life, of confronting mortality and cruelty in the world and carrying on. The performance is extraordinary. Highly recommend.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dumb question.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kelly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    It was extremely touching.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 06-18-13
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 06-18-13 Member Since 2014

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Short novel by King big on thrills!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I love Stephen King's works and I would definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good coming of age story with chills attached.


    What other book might you compare Joyland to and why?

    This book is somewhat like Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked this Way Comes. Both are about a carnival type atmosphere. Bradbury's was a traveling carnival while Joyland is a permanently based one. They are both excellent stories and will stay with you for many years.


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

    He does a fine job of the young college kid who joins the staff of Joyland to earn some money for school while getting over a girl.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have loved to listen to this in one sitting but I just don't have the 7 plus hours of attempting something like that. It didn't take me long to listen, a couple of days I think.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story of a ghost, a murder, a sick boy, and a young man coming of age. It's wonderful! Can't wait for King's sequel to the Shining coming this fall.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 06-18-13
    Anna 06-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "King is still king, not like his other books."
    Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One thing that drives me crazy about Stephen King is that he used to ramble on so much about crazy things and then the end would leave you lacking for a storyline. This book from the beginning is the most rapturing one so far. The protagonist is a likeable character and time after time you just begin to feel attached to him. So attached that at the end I even got chills! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book. I could compare this to The Green Mile or Shawshank Redemption. Its just that good kinda feeling story!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I cant say which moment but towards the end, definitely there was a huge moment of awesomeness.


    Any additional comments?

    Get it, you won't be disappointed. I sure wasn't!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David T. Woodhead Reston, VA USA 06-18-13
    David T. Woodhead Reston, VA USA 06-18-13 Member Since 2009

    ukviewer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Short, deeply enjoyable and not what I expected"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! It is a short read but the combination of the narrator, the style of the writing and the story wash over you. It is perhaps the only audio book I have read where I think the audio book may be better than the printed version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Joyland?

    No spoilers here


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Thousand Oaks, CA, United States 06-14-13
    Jennifer Thousand Oaks, CA, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2010

    moeba

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "lovely summer story"
    Any additional comments?

    Performance was great. This is one of his most basic stories, but it is sweet and enjoyable if you are a fan of King.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gypsy Wife Back on Boogie Street 06-14-13
    Gypsy Wife Back on Boogie Street 06-14-13 Member Since 2008

    Gypsy Wife

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A sweet, slightly spooky summer story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Joyland to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version.


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

    Yes, Mr. King has woven a simple but effective plot that leaves little clues but leaves you guessing throughout.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't say! Don't want to spoil it, but every scene was well written.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The last good time.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes Stephen King gets too long winded and could use a good editor, but in this story he has created a near perfect novel and shown that he's still THE king. It's spooky enough, sweet enough, dangerous enough, and every so poignant. In the hands of another writer, this could be a string of cliches, but Mr. King knows how to paint a traditional coming of age tale with a fresh pen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry LAKEWOOD, CO, United States 06-14-13
    Barry LAKEWOOD, CO, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not his best"

    There is no Jack Torrance or Randolf Flag in this book. Not much of a story and very predictable. She is a champion with a rifle we learn early. Wonder if that will come up in the end. I know S. King is a lefty buy I don't understand the cheep shot begruging Dick Chaney a new hart at the end of the book. Had nothing to do with the weak story. It felt like King wrote this over the weekend to meet a deadline.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Brewster, NY, United States 06-14-13
    Mark Brewster, NY, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trust me."

    Best book I have heard in a long time. I was scared to buy this book because it sounded a murder mystery. Let me tell you this book has everything. Love story, mystery, the hardship a young man goes through trying to figure out what his future will hold, and of course murder and ghosts to a small degree. Trust me, this is one of his better audio books by far.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cage 06-12-13
    Cage 06-12-13

    I like my horror, techno-thrillers, and science fiction. Which is why Jurassic Park and The Lost World are 2 of my favorite books ever!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enter if you dare..."

    Ok, so maybe it's not actually scary, but this is a typical Stephen King non-horror story. With a touch of the supernatural, a murder mystery, and a young boy with strange powers, it has the Master's signature all over it.
    The story is fairly short (by King standards), but what it lacks in volume, it exceeds in heart. The life of a carny is an interesting one, thanks to Mr. King, and I enjoyed the education immensely!
    My first impression of Michael Kelly's narration was, "this guy is drunk", but before long his voice grew on me. He excelled quite nicely at all the character's dialects and accents. Bravo!
    Fans of Stephen King, I say go for the ride!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 06-12-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 06-12-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "4 ½ stars."


    This doesn’t have the wow or really out-there with the unexpected, but it was enjoyable and entertaining.

    Dev is a 21-year-old college student taking a summer job at an amusement park. I liked reading about the people he met and the things he did. There’s a little mystery, a little paranormal, a scary part with a killer, some unexpected things, and a happy end. My thoughts were Stephen King sure is a good story teller - even after all these years.

    The cover with a frightened sexy redhead does not fit the feel of the book.

    The narrator Michael Kelly was very good. His voice sounded like a 21-year-old which fit the story well. I wondered what his accent was. He said contractions in a way I wasn’t used to, for example the word didn’t: I say dident, he says didnet.

    Genre: mystery and general fiction with paranormal

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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