- Published: 2013
- Number of pages: 288 pages
- Format: MOBI
- File Size: 0.00 MB
- Authors: Stephen King
A STUNNING NEW NOVEL FROM ONE OF THE BEST-SELLING AUTHORS OF ALL TIME!The #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!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.”I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.” – Stephen King
Editorial Reviews: Amazon.com Review An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2013: What a smart, sweet, spooky, sexy gem of a story. In this one-off for the Hard Case Crime publishing imprint, King has found yet another outlet and format (print only, a zippy 280 pages) to suit his considerable talents. All are on full display here in the story of Devon Jones–“a twenty-one-year-old virgin with literary aspirations … and a broken heart”–who spends the summer of 1973 at Joyland amusement park in North Carolina. Devon makes new pals, proves himself to the hard-core carny workers, saves a girl’s life, befriends a dying boy (who has a secret gift), and falls for the boy’s protective, beautiful mother. The first half of the story is sweet and nostalgic, with modest hints of menace to come. (Think: “The Body,” King’s novella that became the film Stand By Me.) Devon learns to “sell fun” and “wear the fur” (carny-speak for dressing as Howie the Happy Hound, the park mascot), but he also learns about the woman who had been killed in the Funhouse, whose ghost still haunts Joyland. King has fun with the carny lingo–most of it researched and real, some of it invented. (The Ferris wheel, for example, is the chump-hoister.) The second half gets spookier, spinning into a full-on murder mystery–but also a love story, and a coming-of-age-story, with some supernatural fun woven in. More than a trifecta, this is King at his narrative and nostalgic best. A single-session tale to savor some summer afternoon. And then try not to keep thinking back on it. –Neal Thompson From Booklist As with King’s first release with Hard Case Crime (The Colorado Kid, 2005), this is an uncharacteristically svelte offering that feels born of a weekend whim but is nevertheless possessed with an undeniable offhand charm. In the summer of 1973, 21-year-old Devin stumbles into a job at a North Carolina amusement park called Joyland, where he operates rides, mops up vomit, and “wears the fur” (dressing up as park mascot Howie the Happy Hound to amuse the kiddies). Bittersweet interjections from an older Devin lend the story an aching nostalgia, and between the chummy carny-chatter (terms like gazoonies, fump, and donniker fly fast and furious) and meaningful first times (losing his virginity, a crushing breakup, etc.), a fantastical mystery gradually emerges. Devin befriends a dying 10-year-old whose psychic hunches help hunt down the murderer of the ghost girl who haunts the park’s Horror House. Until the ghoulish climax, this reads like a heartfelt memoir and might be King’s gentlest book, a canny channeling of the inner peace one can find within outer tumult. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Small-press, paperback-only, yes, but King is still King. –Daniel Kraus Review “Joyland is one of Stephen King’s best novels.” – Horror Movie Reviews”This book is one of those thrills we come across every so often when least expected!” – Hellnotes”Joyland is one of Stephen King’s best novels” – Horror Movie Reviews”King saved the big scares for Dr. Sleep, but Joyland is ultimately superior.” – Complex’s Best Books of 2013″Set in a dying amusement park in the south, Joyland features a ghost and a serial killer, but the real heart of the novel is a coming of age story, one that took me vividly back to my own youth, working the rides at Uncle Milty’s in Bayonne.” – George R.R Martin”Joyland is full of nostalgia and some really sweet moments that had me tearing up. It’s easy to forget that anything else is going on, you’re so wrapped up in the lives of these characters.4.5 out of 5 Stars (read it, read it now)” – Only The Best SciFi”This one’s a must for King fans and may also attract YA readers.” – Library Journal”…period murder mystery with a heart…King brings his usual finesse to this tale’s mystery elements” – Publishers Weekly”…the book…features some of King’s most graceful writing…ruminative, amused, digressive, marvelously unaffected, and finally, devastatingly sad.” – Entertainment Weekly “An amusement park and murder figure into a coming-of-age tale in this miniature thriller with a hint of the supernatural.” – Los Angeles Times“Undeniable…charm [and] aching nostalgia…[JOYLAND] reads like a heartfelt memoir and might be King’s gentlest book, a canny channeling of the inner peace one can find within outer tumult.” – Booklist”Wrapped in a gloriously pulpy cover, Joyland is a coming-of-age story set in 1973 at a North Carolina amusement park — creepy! — that’s haunted by a murderer.” – Time Magazine”Stephen King’s carny-saturated Joyland evokes the ghosts of summers past — literally.” – New York Magazine“Joyland, by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, June). An old-school, pulpy paperback ghost story set in a North Carolina amusement park.” – Departures Magazine“King’s latest thriller, a PG-13 pulp paperback crime novel takes place at a remote carny park where college kid Devin is desperate to see the ghost of a girl whose murderer might still be lurking around the hot dog stands.” – Cosmopolitan Magazine“Joyland is a joy. A gem whatever its genre.” – Tor.com “This is a wonderful return to old school King.” – We Love This Book “Joyland is a fantastic story. This is a compelling and yet oddly gentle tale of a young man experiencing the ache of heartbreak and the curve-balls life can throw at you.” –Geek Native “From horror authority Stephen King comes some hard-boiled action, with all the elements of a good crime novel—including the early ’70s, southern secrets, carnivals, and a meddling college kid.” – The Daily Muse”If you’re a King fan you may want to set this on your wishlist ” – Bookmuch “This Joyland is not innocent, of course. Its retro thrills include an enticingly steamy cover, Hard Case Crime’s sensually tactile paperback format, and a cover line that asks, “Who Dares Enter the Funhouse of Fear?”” – New York Times“It’s good to have a book like this now – simple, sweet, and not a little scary – to remind us that among the prequels and sequels, the epics and the TV miniseries, Stephen King can still spin one hell of a little yarn.” “As usual, King slips in and out of genre effortlessly, but it’s gratifying that at the core of Joyland exists a story worthy of being called a Hard Case Crime.” “Misdirection and red herrings abound, delightfully, and the weather-ravaged denouement could play out as the conclusion to a Donald Westlake or Lawrence Block novel.” – FEARnet “Red meat for any Stephen King fan.” – TalkStephenKing.com “This is a Stephen King novel that you can start on your vacation and actually finish before the flight home.” – Men’s Health, Selected By Amazon“A remarkable tour-de-force.” – Comic Book Resources”This is Stephen King at his emotional best.” – Florida Times-Union“It is easy to connect with Devin as well as many of the secondary characters as King develops this descriptive, entertaining tale of personal growth and murder.” – Luxury Reading “Joyland is pretty much perfect in its pursuit of diversion.” “This story of a broken heart, a summer job and a beach amusement park — infused with ghosts, killers and a boy with “the sight” — is lovingly streamlined. It starts strong, ends stronger. Sturdy finales are never a given with King, but this one, Constant Readers, will have you gasping and, ultimately, blinking back big fat tears.” “The ultimate “beach” book from one of literature’s slyest entertainers.” – Tampa Bay Times “As you read the dialogue, the book becomes less a story about a summer’s mystery than a tale of entry into another, coexisting world, one with its own rules, codes, and language.” “The splashy and aggressively sexy packaging is the tip of the iceberg.” – LA Review of Books “[a] fun book with a touch of winter’s chill around the edges” Tor.com About the Author Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers.Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities. Read more
Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:
⭐Although I am a big Stephen King fan, I had never paid much attention to Joyland. Maybe it was the cover which seemed unnecessarily garish. I had never even read the book’s blurb or any of reviews. Whatever the reason I resisted reading this novel, I succumbed to my love of King’s writing and added it to my Kindle. It’s a good thing I gave in to that impulse because Joyland is one of the best crime ghost stories I’ve read in a while. I was captivated by the story, the characters, and, of course, King’s sharp writing. This is one of those stories that leads you gently in; introducing the main character, flawed and vulnerable, and making you wonder what could possibly be so interesting it takes a book to tell the tale. Devin Jones is a likable and relatable character. Nursing a broken heart, the college student gets a job as a “carny” at an amusement park called Joyland. It’s summer in a small North Carolina town and Devin signs on at the amusement park in Heaven’s Bay. King sprinkles the story liberally with the language of carnies, “the talk.” Every character steps forward with a unique identity as mysteries unfold. And the mysteries are both scary and heartwarming. King has an uncanny ability to blend the tender with the violent, the sweet with the bitter, and the every day with the nightmare. Devin Jones may be the narrator of the story, but there is a hell of a lot more to this than the adventures of a “twenty-one-year-old virgin” and a summer job at a small, local amusement park. Joyland may be the place families gather for fun, but there is far more to the place than Howie the Happy Hound, Happy Helpers, a fortune teller named Madame Fortuna (Rozzie Gold), Hollywood Girls with cameras, and the Wiggle Waggle Village. There’s Horror House. Every amusement park and carnival has one, a scary ride. This scary ride is extra special. Horror House was the scene of a murder; an unsolved murder. And that unsolved murder left a little something behind; the ghost of Linda Gray. Here lies the first mystery. Stephen King can’t leave that mystery to stand alone, although it is a good one. There’s also the little boy in the wheelchair, the woman, and the Jack Russell Terrier that live in the big house on the beach. King artfully weaves these stories together, delicately connecting the dots. But even when I thought I knew the answer (and that happened more than once), I was taken by surprise. When the climax finally came in a hair-raising ride in the middle of a storm I was sitting up in bed practically hearing the thunder and watching the lightning flash. Alongside the King horror is the poignant story of a young man inexplicably cast in the role of hero and detective, a mother and a boy with a special gift, and the pain of love and loss. As I said, King has an uncanny ability. Whether you are a Stephen King fan or not, if you enjoy a solid mystery with vibrant characters, read Joyland.
⭐I am not going to describe the plot. It has been done in many other reviews, probably more adequately than I could do it, as the book has been around for several years. I just want to say that this book renewed my faith that the old Stephen King is alive and well, and his story telling skills are still very much intact. I was absolutely enthralled by this book. I felt swallowed up by the story, immersed in the atmosphere of Joyland amusement park and particularly, in our protagonist, Devin Jones’, and his 21st summer. I enjoyed the collateral characters, all of them. They were sufficiently developed and I felt I knew who they were. This is a book I will read again and most probably, I will purchase the audio version for further enjoyment. It was one of those books I didn’t want to stop reading but dreaded finishing. It is a favorite, for sure, and I highly recommend it, especially if you are waxing nostalgic about the good old days when you loved reading Stephen King.
⭐In August of 2017, I read my first King book (The Gunslinger) and nearly two years later, my 23rd book, Joyland. So I’m on a King roll here. This book ranks towards the top of my list because I found it quite unusual for him although I could say the same about Elevation or even Eyes of the Dragon (both highly recommended). I say this because I think some readers of King may think most of his books are more like ‘Salem’s Lot/The Stand/The Shining/It not aware he’s a very versatile writer of differing styles. I will not go into the plot, other’s have. You want to know if you should buy and read Joyland and my answer is, absolutely yes but don’t think it’s like the other’s just mentioned. It’s a very quick read, the characters are all well fleshed out as expected from this master writer. It takes place in an unusual location with an unusual language. It’s sometimes funny, touching, sad, and while the mystery surrounding part of the book isn’t exactly Agatha Christie, I didn’t figure out the ending till King disclosed it although I made a few false guesses along the way. King is simply an amazing talent and I look forward to the 24th book to read (The Green Mile).
⭐This is not your typical Stephen King novel with a dumb ending. I wish he would write more novels like this. There was a supernatural theme woven in, (it is SK after all), but it’s more of a story of a 21 year guy getting over his first heartbreak, finding friends that last forever, events that will change him, and a bit of a mystery. I read this book in 3 days. There were a few things that were out of touch, and since it’s a SK novel I did expect more. For instance, minimum wage in 1973 was lower than $4 an hour (it was actually $1.63 based on a super quick google search). And NO way would an amusement park install a no-smoking policy, in the south, in 1973. There are several areas in the country that begrudge current no-smoking policies. If you can overlook these things and fall into Devon’s journey you will really enjoy this novel.
⭐Before I begin this review, I’m going to start with “Wow! What a read!” Hopefully that pulls you in for the rest of my review!There’s a few things to say about King – Firstly, he’s entirely type-cast as a horror author. This book refutes that. Secondly, he sets scenes and builds character like no-one else in the game. Thirdly, he writes tales of youth and nostalgia so cinematically it’s impossible not to be immersed in the action.On a podcast the other day, I heard it said about King – “He writes places and characters so well, that when he writes something into the narrative like a psychic child, or a ghost, or something paranormal, you can accept it because of the realism of everything else going on. The craziness becomes plausible because of the normality of the world he’s created”.This book is not gorey. It’s not remotely scary. What it is, is a tale of a man looking back on the summer he grew up, how he overcame his first lost love (which unless you married your high school sweetheart, we’ve all been through!), and interwoven was a couple of sub-stories which actually allowed this book to have a decent climax.Not a word was wasted in this book, the prose entirely beautiful and nostalgic, the tales funny, witty and charming. And then, in the rarest of rares, Stephen King finished a story perfectly, and second rarest of rares, I had tears streaming down my face.As I read this book, I had my review in mind, it was headed for a solid 4-star from very early on, but that last 10% had me standing up and applauding.This is King at his best. Struggling off the “slasher” tag and taking us on a beautiful emotional journey. This feels like a shorter, warm-up for 11/22/63, which is a must read if you loved Joyland!
⭐I’m old enough to have read Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, when it first came out, way back in 1974. Since then I’ve devoured many of his books, and consider him to be one of the greatest contemporary writers out there (and he’s literally quite often ‘out there’). He has a phenomenal imagination, and creates some wonderful, memorable characters, whom he brings magically alive within the pages of his novels. However, even I sometimes get frustrated with some of his over-blown offerings, and believe some of his huge doorstep novels could easily be edited down by a good hundred pages. So, for those who want a ‘less than 300 page’ Stephen King novel (and one that’s not HORROR) then you may well enjoy this book that is written for the Hard Case Crime series.I thoroughly enjoyed Joyland. The protagonist within this story is college student, Dev Jones. To earn some money to fund his studies, he decides to get himself a summer job at a fairground called Joyland. Dev gets the opportunity to learn all aspects of the ‘carny’ life, and even surprises himself when he gets to excel at ‘wearing the fur’ – and to find out what that term means, you’ll need to read the book folks! Dev makes friends with Erin and Tom, fellow students who are also working at Joyland. As time goes by, Dev finds out that in recent times a girl had been murdered whilst on a ride through The Horror House – you know, the kind of place where you’ll see a spiders web-encrusted sign reading: COME IN IF YOU DARE! So, while Dev works hard, and has his coming-of-age experiences, he also has a secret desire to solve a murder. This is storytelling of the highest order, and I relished every moment I spent with Joyland. Highly recommended reading material. Thanks for checking out my review, I hope you found it of use. =
⭐I went into this book not knowing what to really expect, just hearing mixed reviews about it, with people either liking this book, or simply saying that it’s not one of King’s best books. I obviously had to buy it and read it for myself, with it being one of the books of his I have been wanting to read for a while, simply because it has been one of the ones I know the least about and one I see popping up everywhere. How does that work?I will admit that I went into this book with low expectations, that way they can only go up, and I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell that King had written this book for the first third of the book. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because I was still enjoying, but I was expecting something weird to happen throughout that time, apart from the carny fortune teller. I actually really liked the pacing of this book and although you do get some King elements thrown in, with supernatural sprinkled throughout the latter two thirds, I liked the overall mystery crime element of this book.I was drawn in to the mystery and I wanted to discover who the killer was, along with the characters. It is a slow burn and then everything seems to happen and conclude all at once, but I didn’t feel like it was too rushed. It’s not his worse ending of a book! I liked how the characters were developed throughout the book and I soon started forgetting that this book has NO CHAPTERS! My biggest pet peeve, why?? Overall, I actually enjoyed it, and was a great break from The Stand by Stephen King, which I’m also currently reading.
⭐This book is deceptive in its simplicity. The plot is fairly straightforward, and there is plenty in there for the Constant Readers out there. There are nods to Tolkein and King’s own past as an upcoming writer. We meet Devin much in the same way we meet the 18 year old King in the preface to the Dark Tower. Full of hopes and dreams, but painfully naive, just like the rest of us. There are a few heavy handed tropes in the opening paragraphs to pull you in, but nothing cringe-worthy, and you just glide along with it. I have to admit to being a massive King fan, so it’s not hard to drag me in to one of his books, but even for the uninitiated, this books is beautifully written.From there we start to learn more about Joyland, and the people behind it. Although it’s billed as a horror story, there isn’t much blood, and the horror is contained in the ‘dark ride’ and the fragility of human life. The suspense and anticipation comes from the idea that this horror could be released somehow. This tension builds throughout and the ending will not disappoint.I don’t want to write more and risk spoiling the plot, but this book touched me and stayed with me. The last few pages were read through teary eyes. You will find part of yourself in this book, the part of you that you lost years ago and can never get back.
⭐Joyland isn’t ranked with Stephen King’s best work. That accolade often belongs to The Stand, IT or The Shining. Unusually it’s part of the Hard Case Crime series that wants to bring back hard boiled crime fiction of the 30s by reprinting lost classics and commissioning new one from modern authors.With a Stephen King novel there are certain expectations. Horror, supernatural, characters from Maine and they are all present here but don’t really come to the forefront until the final act. An even then almost as an afterthought. Instead most of Joyland is spent with Devin as he works at the titular theme park over a summer trying to get over a heartbreak. All the while being told of a mysterious murder that took place in it’s House of Horrors and the ghost that subsequently haunts the place.It’s obvious that King has done his research into theme parks and the history of carnies, perhaps too much so. He shoves it all in the book; going into minute detail into the running of a theme park, the language that carnies use, how the rides work etc, to the detriment of the plot, the solving of the murder, which is gasping for a foothold in the story and when it finally does later in the book it is almost too late. And it’s no surprise that this is where King comes into his element, with an exciting finale taking place in a storm battered Joyland.More disturbing than the fascination with theme parks was King’s attitude towards women. They are broad archetypes and add little to the narrative past being objects for Devin to be attracted to or repulsed by. It was if he was trying to ape the pulpiness that the Hard Case Crime books are, and refer back to but it doesn’t mesh with modern sensibility. I haven’t read much Stephen King so this might be an exception rather than the rule but it left a sour taste.Like many of Stephen King’s books Joyland attempts to mix the macabre with a coming of age tale, but in Joyland he phones it in and fails on both counts. He veers too far into telling a coming of age tale and showing off his research rather than what we want in a Stephen King novel, mystery.
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