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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Donk
  • murfreesboro tn
  • 07-05-14

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

  • Overall
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  • Story

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

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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

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  • Cayce
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 09-24-13

Really nice listen

Yes, this is sweet and a bit sentimental in parts, but it's also a really nice coming of age story. 21 is an emotional time in life and hindsight gives us the opportunity to cringe at what seemed important at the time. I think King did a great job of showing Devin as a real guy dealing with the ups and downs of becoming an adult while tossing a decent mystery into the mix.

Having spent a summer of my own at a local amusement part (including "wearing the fur,") I appreciated the details of being young among the carnies. It's a magical world you know you'll leave at summer's end, but some part of it will never leave you, as it never did Devin.

If you're looking for old school King horror, this probably won't be your cup of tea, but if you're looking for a really good listen with a few tears and laughs along the way, then by all means download this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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Short King

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rukkia
  • DURANGO, CO, United States
  • 08-27-13

Reminiscent of Stand by Me

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 08-12-13

A good steady read

Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is not up at the top of my list but I did thoroughly enjoy this read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Joyland?

When Mike got to go to Joyland. I felt as exhilarated as he did.

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

I have never listed to Michael Kelly before... his voice was appropriate for the book.

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

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.

Any additional comments?

As Steven King novels go, this was tame. However, the story was engaging and i really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States
  • 08-10-13

Short, Sweet and Riveting.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rena
  • Silver Spring, MD
  • 08-04-13

Exceptionally tender for Stephen King

Where does Joyland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

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

He reads with great animation and emphasis. The performance brings the characters to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful