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Joyland

King, Stephen

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Joyland
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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.
Publisher: Westminster, Maryland :, Hard Case Crime,, 2013.
Edition: First Hard Case Crime edition.
ISBN: 9781781162644
Characteristics: 283 pages ;,21 cm

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Devin Jonas decides that his life is not going in the direction he had once hoped for, so in order to better himself, he gets a job at the amusement park. At this particular amusement park however, a murder had taken place years before. The victim who was killed was said to haunt one of the rides within the amusement park, and because of this, Devin decides to investigate but in doing so, he, along with a few others he has met through his job, become engulfed in this unsolved mystery.

Joyland is the name of the novel and the amusement park featured in the novel. It acts as a sort of irony for the amusement park because clearly it is not a very “joyful” place once you have read the novel.

Joyland has a cliché tone to it, featuring a haunted amusement park, it is very predictable. Despite this fact, it was an enjoyable read nonetheless. Although it was not as scary or horrific as most have found his other novels, it tells a great story, and has the ability to wrap the reader in the story even so. Written in retrospect to the events that had occurred to younger Devin Jonas allows readers to understand just how great the impact of this event had on his life. While reading the book, the audience is given the feeling that they are listening to an elderly person telling a story from their past, due to the perspective given. It has such a vintage vibe to it that makes it almost impossible to put down. Even through using such a typical story line, Stephen King proves once again that he can really tell a story.

Nov 11, 2014
  • dairyqueen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book really surprised me. I really enjoyed the writing. It felt like an old fashioned crime story. It is one of several "Hard Case Crime"novels published by various authors.

Jul 18, 2014
  • modestgoddess rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Classic King in the vernacular portrayal of average-joe characters. Love the slang and the easy descriptions of carnival life. Still, it's a bit King Lite. I found the premise disappointing and the whole thing felt a bit rushed and not as fully developed as most of his work is. The plus side of that is that it's not as long as many of his more recent novels - a quick, fun, easy read. And not on the horror side, for anyone who (like me) has no interest in reading gore. More on the mystery/supernatural side.

Jul 16, 2014
  • I_sing_the_Body_Electric rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A bit of a slow start but the ending makes up for it. Overall, its a decent book.

Mar 22, 2014
  • Colleens_library rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

King focused on suspense instead of gore. Easy to read in a day or two. The characters were believable and the descriptions brought back many fond memories of local carnivals.

Jan 24, 2014
  • mrhyno rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is my first time commenting on a book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has suspense, great characters and lots of nostalgia. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. As KateHillier stated, it is a coming of age "finding one's self" and reminds you of the Green Mile and The Body (more like the movie "Stand by Me"). So if you want a great read, but don't want to dedicate a lot of time to it, this is a good choice, as it isn't your usual Stephen King novel, which is usually 500+ pages.

King changes direction from horror in this affectionate tribute to pulp crime fiction. It’s a lively mystery mixed with a coming of age story involving a teenage boy who works at a theme park in North Carolina over summer.

Oct 30, 2013
  • shapjul rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I won't say it is great, but it is an enjoyable and quick read. It really does remind me of a novel (a pulp novel) from a different era, as I think it is meant to do. Good for a plane ride (but not a really long one) I think.

Oct 26, 2013
  • smichal rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

At first I was very interested... couldn't put it down... after a while still nothing was happening. slow build. Nothing much happens till the last 20% of the book.

Oct 19, 2013
  • Jac25_1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Absolutely unable to stop reading - great entertaining book

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Jun 12, 2014
  • smaster rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

smaster thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 27, 2013
  • blfritz rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

blfritz thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Quotes

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Jan 31, 2014
  • arrobins70 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"The last good time comes to all of us" - Devin Jones

Jan 30, 2014
  • arrobins70 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Hell must have been full that day" - Devin Jones referring to a despised co-worker whose life he saved.

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Jun 16, 2013
  • absamuels rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

When Stephen King meets "What I did on my summer vacation."

Add some premonitions and a mysterious murder to a hard-boiled story, and you have a good summer read. Just don't go to any amusement parks for a few days afterwards.

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