"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.
I am in my late twenties, a commuter, a romantic, & am loving life.
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.
... 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.
A Stephen King book that comes in under 8 hours. Who would have thought. The relative brevity of this book makes it more like classic King than anything he's written in year. Highly recommend.
I really enjoyed this book. I really wasn't sure that I was going to , and it took a little to get into, but I did enjoy it. The story kept you guessing, and was very well put together. The narrators voice didn't fit the voice that my mind wanted to hear for teh charater, but he did a good job narrating, so it wasn't really his fault. Overall, a very enjoyable read.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
It is not up at the top of my list but I did thoroughly enjoy this read.
When Mike got to go to Joyland. I felt as exhilarated as he did.
I have never listed to Michael Kelly before... his voice was appropriate for the book.
I did not have extreme reactions to the book like I did reading 23-11-63. But I enjoyed the book and it kept me listening.
As Steven King novels go, this was tame. However, the story was engaging and i really enjoyed it.
Willy Wonka of it
It's a murder mystery, but it's also a paranormal tale in some respects, and in others it's a tale of a young man coming of age.
This is a shorter King tale (around 7 hours). I knew that going in, but I got so sucked into the story and the world, that it took me by surprise when the mystery began to unravel. That's the beauty of this tale (and most King books). There's stuff going on, but like a Harry Potter tale, you tend to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.
Narration was great, though many of the voices had the same cadence.
Would definitely recommend.
Joyland was a piece of chocolate after dinner. I enjoyed it thoroughly, found it relaxing to listen too, but not boring. Stephen King is a great writer and the narrator was terrific.
He reads with great animation and emphasis. The performance brings the characters to life.
King's JOYLAND is a coming of age, summer carnival, ghost story, mystery. Devon Jones, with his 21 year old thoughts and feelings, fills the pages of this book with his broken heart, and his decision to befriend a very sick 10 year old boy and his beautiful Mom. This story is populated with all those people and things you'd expect to see at any local carnival, plus a ghost of a murdered girl who sometimes shows herself to special people in the Funhouse. The descriptions of feelings evoked at the carnie, the special carnie characters, the spunky little kid, and the love lorn heart of a college kid makes this book as much of a nostalgic trip down memory lane, as a thrilling mystery. Then add in a couple of saved lives, a mysterious fortune teller, the haunting ghost who just wants to 'move on', while throwing in a serial killer, and once again King has provided everyone with a great read!
I have had a love/hate relationship with Stephen Kings writings over the years; I either loved or hated many of his books and TV miniseries. In this case Mr. King takes us back to the 1970s in a mystery/horror tale about a young college student struggling to come to grips with the loss of his first love. Mr. King's 70s are a bit anachronistic as he mentions things that either were not prevalent or hadn't been heard of in 1973. Devon Jones, is a bit too sensitive and effeminate for my tastes as the big hero of the piece, and the carnival talk he learns as he works at the Joyland Amusement Park sounds a bit clichéd'. I really couldn't decide if this was supposed to be a mystery, a horror story, or a coming of age story. We have the usual King potboiler cast of characters, the sensitive youth, psychic handicapped child, a somewhat lack-luster psychic who goes around giving Devon dire warning that he doesn't heed, and the ghost of a murdered woman who lives in the haunted house of the park. The performance of the reader was very good and I certainly don't fault him for my mixed emotions about the story. If you are expecting big chills you're bound to be disappointed, but the mystery part of the tale is entertaining without the help from the paranormal part of it.
Final analysis: Joyland is somewhat of a hodge podge of the types of things you've come to expect in a King novel--if you like his usual stick, you'll like this, if you're kind of over the formula than skip it. It rather fails as a mystery novel or a supernatural one--it's a book that didn't know exactly what it wanted to be when it grew up.
I like Stephen King's writing, particularly his flair for character, but I've always preferred his shorter work. Some of his novels are so massive and ambitious that for me, they suffer a bit. This lean, tightly written tale doesn't have that problem. It's a coming of age story, a mystery and a ghost story all rolled into one and King's ability to write believable, interesting characters is definitely on display. It's less "hard" than many of the other entries in the Hard Case Crime library but it's the most enjoyable thing I've read or listened to by King in quite some time. I recommend it but not for King fans expecting a horror novel.
Michael Kelly's reading of the book was superb.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.