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Joyland | [Stephen King]

Joyland

Joyland is a whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park. It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a 'carny' in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak.
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Publisher's Summary

"I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts," says Stephen King, who has combined these elements into a wonderful new story. Joyland is a whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park.

It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a 'carny' in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak. Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?

©2013 Stephen King (P)2013 Schuster Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (41 )
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4.1 (39 )
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Story
4.2 (38 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janie CAIRNS, Australia 07-20-13
    Janie CAIRNS, Australia 07-20-13 Member Since 2009

    I am an artist, living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I listen to audiobooks everyday while making art and on into the night. I really like mysteries with a good serving of suspense on the side that keep you wondering right to the end. However, I won't say no to any entertaining and well written book which has been read by an excellent narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "King's the best story teller in the world."

    You can't get away from it; King can tell a story like no other. Although I like some other writers almost equally, as many can come up with excellent stories, but Stephen King's irreverently & natural dialogue and colourful descriptions captivate the essence of his characters and enthral the reader from the very beginning to the very end. I was a bit unsure about this before I started reading/listening to this book as I thought it might be a bit 'young' for me. It was not, as all the commentary is being made by the main character, Dev, as a mature older man re-living and reflecting on the events that surrounded his transition from teenage-hood to manhood. All in all this was an excellent read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cik Bedah 07-17-14
    Cik Bedah 07-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Doug Stamper of House of Cards reading this book!"
    If you could sum up Joyland in three words, what would they be?

    Michael Kelly's narration is amazing. The story is meh, but Micheal Kelly (aka Doug Stamper of House of Cards) made the book.


    If you’ve listened to books by Stephen King before, how does this one compare?

    Story is meh. Go listen to 11.22.63 -that's a better book.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favorite?

    All of them. Especially when he is Devin Jones.


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

    The fur moment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Sydney, Australia 03-16-14
    Jo Sydney, Australia 03-16-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Book well read"

    A great Stephen King story with believable characters and an intriguing narrative. So well read. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W CAPE TOWN, South Africa 02-05-14
    W CAPE TOWN, South Africa 02-05-14 Member Since 2005
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    "BORED TO TEARS"
    What would have made Joyland better?

    This must rate as one of SK's worst books - a naive and gullible goodie-goodie main character of the 'o shucks' variety coupled with a storyline that reads like the diary of someone that stayed in bed to avoid anything happening to him and a narrator that sounds as if he is selling sweets to three-year olds - made me gave up half-way.

    stay with the earlier SK books.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

    yes, the old stuff


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    see above


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    none


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda West Lakes, Australia 01-09-14
    Amanda West Lakes, Australia 01-09-14
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    "Loved it couldn't put it down"
    What did you love best about Joyland?

    The writing style. The story was also pretty good


    What other book might you compare Joyland to and why?

    None that I can think of


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favorite?

    Loved Devon the main character and the Carnies


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

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!! Could not put it down


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • Alessandro
    Torpoint, Cornwall, United Kingdom
    10/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great tale told well"
    If you could sum up Joyland in three words, what would they be?

    An entrancing tale with suspense and nostalgia


    Any additional comments?

    Not the best Stephen King story ever, but his ability to take you on a complete and fulfilling trip into another time and place shines through as ever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    6/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So so"

    I always expect to get swept away with a Stephen King audiobook, "Bag of Bones" being my all-time favourite. Maybe I was a bit spoiled in that I've only listened to really long versions of his books before, always going for at least over 12 hrs.

    There just wasn't a lot to this story and without going into too much of the plot to spoil it, it did seem like, "Ooops, it's nearly the end I'd better make someone the murderer even though I've given no clues to it being this person throughout."

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Rose
    London, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
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    Performance
    Story
    "King in his best Shawshank or Stand By Me mode"

    I was sad to finish reading this, as I was enjoying it so much! My only criticism was that it was too short. Oh and the front cover is horribly misleading.

    This is a Coming Of Age story, not a ghost story or a thriller or a horror! Be warned!

    It's all the more touching and beautiful because of it.

    I loved this book! And the narration was some of the best I've heard.

    I would recommend this to anyone!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Conor Bryce
    Ireland
    6/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Decent book, lacklustre narration."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Decent, if a little by-the-numbers King fare, but the narration is awful. Michael Kelly seems disinterested a lot of the time, and his one-note performance had me struggling to keep focused on the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Planet Earth
    6/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"


    Before I review this book it's only fair to say I am a huge SK fan.

    Joyland is a crime thriller set in an amusement park in 1973 told (flashback style) by Dev in 2013.

    This story really grabs you and is typical SK (in a good way).

    Just a few more weeks to wait now for Doctor Sleep, but if you are a King (or crime) fan get this book... you won't regret it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • J. Freeman
    HULL, United Kingdom
    6/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring and pointless"

    I am a big fan of Stephen King but this is a pointless journey into nothing. I kept thinking... something is going to happen in a minute and then after three hours I started to worry that it was just going to potter along like this forever.

    Very poor - I will never get those 7 hours back.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • David Bolton
    9/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An unexpected twist"
    Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love Stephen King and this foray into a new genre does not disappoint - As good at the noir thriller as he is horror


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • HMPS64
    London, UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thriller delight"
    Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Amongst the top 10


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Joyland?

    The descriptive aspwct of the first dog dance


    What about Michael Kelly’s performance did you like?

    Intonation was apt.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Emancipation


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks again Stephen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SarahLJ
    UK
    10/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "He's done it again"
    Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a great book, which manages to keep you entertained.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A little bit more action would have been nice, it was a little slow for my liking and not quite like his other books.


    What about Michael Kelly’s performance did you like?

    He was perfect for the narrator, his voice fitted in well.


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

    I couldn't listen to it in one setting due to it being a little slower than I'd like. I found although it drew me into the book, it didn't keep me wanting to read it.


    Any additional comments?

    Different than the usual King books I've read, but enjoyable none the less. A must read for Stephen King fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Klair
    Newcastle Under Lyme, United Kingdom
    8/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thoroughly Enjoyable"
    What did you like most about Joyland?

    I loved the slow build up and gradual walk through the mystery. It made a great change form the usual BAM! Dead body BAM! Cops and robbers BAM! Action sequence BAM! Final reveal. It's subtler than that and gradually draws you in. At one point around chapter 4 I did find myself wondering if the story was actually going anywhere, but by the end I didn't want it to end.


    What other book might you compare Joyland to, and why?

    It's a murder-mystery-whodunnit-ghost story. But more than that, it's a true coming of age novel, where you follow the narrator form his naive, high school nerdiness through to his eventual young-adulthood through the events he experiences. Leaving home for the first time, getting his first real job, his first real break up and experiences with women, his first major life choice, right through to his final realisation of himself as a young adult with his own moral codes and values and beliefs. In that respect it's actually very reminiscent of Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road', though not nearly as racy, or others of King's in the same genre such as 'The Body'. It also has moments where you wonder if it might not become something of a Catcher in the Rye or Donny Darko style tale, with a much darker side than initially suspected.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favourite?

    The gypsy fortune teller character is fantastic. She has a naturally split personality between herself, the sweet southern mama, and the foreign accented gypsy facade she uses in the carnival. Then she has a third, more serious, mystical side that is her 'real' psychic abilities coming through when she's just being herself. As always you can picture the characters in your mind's eye; the one who would be played by Jake Gyllenhaal (the narrator, Devin), the one who would be played by Johnny Depp (Lane) and the bit-part crazy costume lady who would be someone like Whoopi Goldberg, just for some comic relief. It's going to make a heck of a good film.


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

    The kite scene was really touching. It was very much a bitter-sweet moment of acceptance based on the old saying 'Childhood's over the moment you know you're going to die,' and handled it with grace and dignity and warmth, yet still managed to make it brutally truthful.


    Any additional comments?

    One of those books that you get to the end and think 'Awww, I was enjoying that!'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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