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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
  • 5 Stars
    2,909
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    1,822
  • 3 Stars
    572
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    98
  • 1 Stars
    53

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    360
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    52
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    119
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    51
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Enjoy a Mystery by Kind that is Not so Scary

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

Top 25%

What other book might you compare Joyland to and why?

Don't know

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

No

If you could rename Joyland, what would you call it?

I would not rename it

Any additional comments?

Sometimes King books drag with too much detail, but this was a fast paced who done it that was completely enjoyable.

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A Masterpiece.

Would you listen to Joyland again? Why?

Absolutely. I could listen to this story again and again.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Joyland?

Mike's trip to Joyland.

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

The whole cast of characters.

Who was the most memorable character of Joyland and why?

Mike. For a kid dealt such a terrible hand he had such an amazing outlook on life, and a great personality and sense of humor. He's such a good kid.

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Good Story and Characters

Would you consider the audio edition of Joyland to be better than the print version?

No - I would think they would be equal

What was one of the most memorable moments of Joyland?

Finding out about why the ghost was in the funhouse.

If you could rename Joyland, what would you call it?

I think the title is perfect!

Any additional comments?

Good story of the "permanent" type of carnivals and fairs before the huge amusement parks came into existence. Good mix of noble and sinister characters.

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An infectious performance

Shortly after listening to Joyland the week after its release in the summer of 2013, I gave Michael Kelly's performance three stars. It was professional, it was nicely paced, and it was pleasant, but it didn't blow me away the way that Craig Wasson did with Mr King's previous novel, 11/22/63. Listening to it again now, I can't find anything that directly contradicts that first impression, but in the intervening months, my thoughts have often drifted to Mr Kelly's reading. His quiet performance fits in so perfectly to the canon of Summers Past, where Scout Finch is drinking a Co-Cola, where Gordie and his friends walk the tracks in search of a body, where Radio Raheem blasts Public Enemy from dawn to dusk. Joyland is a nice piece of writing and well representative of Mr King's past decade of work, but it's Mr Kelly's performance that is sticking with me months later in the dead of winter.

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Good character development and story

What did you like best about this story?

This book really showcased king's talent for character development while still delivering a scary story. I cared about the characters and the story was sufficiently scary while not being so far-fetched that it was unbelievable.

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

A thoughtful voice to a male character. His voice was able to convey the evolving emotions of the character without being over-the-top in his delivery.

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

There were few, actually. The main character talks about his broken heart I. Some very really terms that everyone can relate to.

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  • Sarena
  • Garrison, NY, United States
  • 02-10-14

I Didn't Want It to End

I know this book got some mixed reviews from hardcore hard case crime fans, but I'm not a hard core hard case crime fan and I loved this book. This was like a graphic novel come to life or like Scooby Doo, but sexier. I loved the characters and the narrator was spot on. I also really enjoyed how King incorporated his clearly well researched carney lingo into the book making you feel like the protagonist had really been there.

I didn't want this book to end and I was sad when it was over. I wanted to stay along for the ride just a little bit longer.

I did question King's choice of making this book take place in an older man's past instead of as a first person present narration. I didn't think that the look back added any value, but I also didn't think that the choice took away from the fun or speed of the book, it was just something I wondered about.

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  • christy
  • Plano, TX, United States
  • 02-07-14

Great book even though Not a Stephen King fan

My friend is a HUGE Stephen King fan. He recommended this book. Typical Stephen King is too long winded for me, but this book was GREAT. Great speed, great story, great characters. A little ghosts and a little magic, but mostly a murder mystery. A twist like Sixth Sense. Shorter than most Stephen King, but s very rich story.

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  • Harriet
  • Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
  • 02-05-14

A real disappointment

Any additional comments?

Not a typical Stephen King book. It was predictable and more like a coming of age story. Where was the ghost so largely portrayed on the cover? Unfortunately, she was a very small part of the plot. How she left was never explained thoroughly. I waited all through the book for this climax. And it never came. A waste of money if you wanted the thrills normally found in King's books!

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  • Patricia
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 02-04-14

Sounds Like a Young Adult Book

This book would probably be fine for someone in middle or high school...it as much too simple and tame for me, not what I expect from Stephen King. It was difficult to hear the narrator sometimes, as his voice stayed very low and almost sounded like he just woke up. Also, he kept saying "dident, shouldent, couldent" for didn't, shouldn't and couldn't which also made it sound sophomoric and was irritating. Obviously not one of my favorites.

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Loved it!

Joyland was my first Stephen King novel, and I was not disappointed. I have heard his other novels are very scary, so I wasn't sure about this one, but it really wasn't scary at all. I personally fell in love with the protagonist, his character is what makes the story.

I am honestly not even sure exactly what quality this book had that made it come together so well, but I loved it and recommend it!