Joyland

( 146 )

Overview

A STUNNING  NEW NOVEL FROM ONE OF THE BEST-SELLING AUTHORS OF ALL TIME - NOW OUT IN MASS MARKET PAPERBACK!

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 ...

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Joyland

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Overview

A STUNNING  NEW NOVEL FROM ONE OF THE BEST-SELLING AUTHORS OF ALL TIME - NOW OUT IN MASS MARKET PAPERBACK!

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

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Any new novel by Stephen King generates excitement. What makes this trade paperback original doubly exciting is that this full-length fiction set in 1973 has the feel of one of his horror classics. At the center of Joyland is Devin Jones, a 21-year-old college student whose summer job at a North Carolina amusement turns out to be an unanticipated extreme learning experience. While others his age are riding the Ferris wheel or reveling in the carny life, Devin becomes entangled in a four-year-old cold case homicide. A haunted, haunting coming-of-age novel that you won't forget. Pile it high; watch it fly.

The Washington Post - Bill Sheehan
…a moving, immensely appealing coming-of-age tale that encompasses restless ghosts, serial murder, psychic phenomena and sexual initiation…The melodramatic aspects of the story are great fun, but the real strength of Joyland stems from King's ability to connect with his characters directly and viscerally. It's that emotional bond that marks the difference between books that merely entertain and books that matter in a fundamental way. With deceptive ease and astonishing regularity, King has been writing stories that matter for nearly 40 years. In Joyland, he has done it once again.
Publishers Weekly
A haunted carnival funhouse gives a supernatural spin to events in Thriller Award–winner King’s period murder mystery with a heart. In the summer of 1973, 21-year-old college student Devin Jones takes a job at Joyland, a North Carolina amusement park. Almost immediately, a boardwalk fortune-teller warns that Devin has “a shadow” over him, and that his destiny is intertwined with that of terminally ill Mike Ross, a 10-year-old boy who has “the sight.” Shortly after Devin meets Mike, Mike makes a cryptic comment: “It’s not white.” This proves a vital clue when Devin begins investigating an unsolved murder committed four years before at the carnival’s Horror House, and quickly stumbles into more than he bargained for. King (The Colorado Kid) brings his usual finesse to this tale’s mystery elements, and makes Dev’s handling of them crucial to the novel’s bigger coming-of-age story, in which Dev adapts to the carny life and finds true romance. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill. (June)
Library Journal
Along with hair-raising plots and believable characters (whether innocent or demonic or somewhere in between), a strong sense of place is an essential quality of King's writing. In his second book for Hard Case Crime (after The Colorado Kid) the setting—an old-time amusement park on the North Carolina shore—easily earns its title billing. On a whim, Devon Jones, soon to be a University of New Hampshire senior, takes a summer job at the park and is quickly seduced by the carny atmosphere and the "we sell fun" motto. Soon he's speaking the lingo, operating the rides, and entertaining crowds of kids, troubled only by the waning interest of his college sweetheart, who's stayed behind in Boston. But as the weeks pass, Devon is pulled toward Joyland's darker side, finding more evidence that an unsolved murder victim's ghost still haunts the shadowy tunnels of the Horror House. VERDICT This one's a must for King fans and may also attract YA readers.—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-10-17
Great. First we have to be afraid of clowns. Now it's the guy who runs the Ferris wheel. Yes, clowns are scary, and so are carnies--and if you didn't have this red light in your mind already, it's never a good idea to climb (or ride) to great heights during a lightning storm. King (Doctor Sleep, 2013, etc.) turns in a sturdy noir, with just a little of The Shining flickering at the edges, that's set not in the familiar confines of Maine (though his protagonist is from there) but down along the gloomy coastline of North Carolina, with places bearing such fitting names as Cape Fear and the Graveyard of the Atlantic. His heart newly broken, Devin (Dev, to pals) Jones has taken a summer job at a carnival called Joyland, run by an impossibly old man and haunted by more than a few ghosts. Dev takes a room with crusty Emmalina Shoplaw, "tall, fiftyish, flat-chested, and as pale as a frosted windowpane," who knows a few secrets. Hell, everyone except Dev knows a few secrets, though no one's quite put a finger on why so many young women have gone missing around Joyland. Leave it to Dev, an accidental detective, urged along by an eager Lois Lane--well, Erin Cook, anyway. As ever, King writes a lean sentence and a textured story, joining mystery to horror, always with an indignant sense of just how depraved people can be. The story is all the scarier, toward the end, not by the revelation of the bad guy but by his perfectly ordinary desires, even though Joyland is anything but an ordinary place. Even to the last page, though, the body count mounts. A satisfyingly warped yarn, kissing cousins of Blue Velvet. Readers may be inclined to stay off the Tilt-a-Whirl for a while after diving into these pages.
From the Publisher
"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 RR Martin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781781162644
  • Publisher: Titan
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Series: Hard Case Crime
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 30,859
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet 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.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 146 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 146 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Wow..one of the best writers of our time, and you two are whinin

    Wow..one of the best writers of our time, and you two are whining about NOT wanting the paperback to read? If you read the synopses, he explains WHY he isn't releasing in e-form, So...you lose out on what is surely to be a great read, one you can then donate to a shelter, a homeless person, a hospital...well, just about anywhere? I for one, will buy it, read it, enjoy it...as I still enjoy the feel of a real book in my hands, and also enjoy  my Nook...it's called being flexible...Have a nice day =)

    36 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    The fact that this book is not offered in "e-form" is

    The fact that this book is not offered in "e-form" is irrelevant! Review the content of the book not the format! You guys sound like new-age posers of literature, and frankly it's disgusting to see individuals rate books so poorly due to the fact that it can't be read on an e-reader. This book sounds like a delightful summer read and I look forward to owning a hard copy of it :) 

    24 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2013

    Love it! And if you are really a true Stephen King fan, you woul

    Love it! And if you are really a true Stephen King fan, you would read it on toilet paper if that's the only way it was released. I don't rate books on format, I rate them on content. If you want to read it, read it. If you don't, don't. But don't give a review based on format. That is not what reviews are for.

    23 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a huge Stephen King fan. This new book has similarities to

    I am a huge Stephen King fan. This new book has similarities to some of King's earliest horror writing. You can't go wrong with stories about carnies and King weaves a great story out of the carnie background. I won't give up any spoilers but there are plenty of twists and turns. If you like Stephen King novels, you'll like this one.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Excellent book...you should use this rating chart for what it wa

    Excellent book...you should use this rating chart for what it was meant for and that's to review how a book is and not to complain about things that don't have anything to do with the story in the book.

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    I know I'm violating the objective of this site, but these comme

    I know I'm violating the objective of this site, but these commentators missed the point, which was to offer a review of the book not grouse about the format. That's sour grapes from a couple of e-books snobs.

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Thank you Mr. King for forcing this Nook reader to buy a paper b

    Thank you Mr. King for forcing this Nook reader to buy a paper back. I forgot how much I still love the feel of an "old fashion" paper book in my hands. This is a great story and I feel sorry for those of you who refuse to buy anything other than an e-book

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Some people are really stupid giving the book 1star because it's

    Some people are really stupid giving the book 1star because it's not available on ebook. It's a great book whether they made it as ebook or not so why bring down the review ratings of the book if you didn't even read it? Only problem I have with the book is that it was too short!! I've only read a few of his older stuff but I've enjoyed all of Stephen King's latest novels. Under the Dome, 11/22/63, and now Joyland. 

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    *Actual rating is 3.5 stars. I have been a Stephen King fan for

    *Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

    I have been a Stephen King fan for as long as I can remember and have read so many of his books and loved them. This book, though not as much of a thriller as I expected it to be, was fantastic! As the synopsis says, it was beautiful and heartbreaking. I loved learning Devin's story and listening to it all unfold. There are many side characters that play very important roles in his life. For once, I didn't figure out who the killer was until almost right before it's revealed and that's saying a lot for me. This isn't one of my favorites of his, but I did still really enjoy it.

    Normally this would be the part of the review where I talk about the main character, but since Devin is telling his story to us, I don't really know how to explain him. We basically are going along with him as he grows up, deals with love, loss, and heartbreak. Along with that we have a murder mystery, but though it really brings the story to where it's going, it's more in the background then you would think. I guess that Devin is the type of person I would be friends with. He cares about people in such a beautiful way, and even though he has suffered hurt and heartbreak, he is still a great person, and willing to extend his heart out to people again and again.

    There are a lot of secondary characters that I really grew to like. Annie and Mike being the ones that I liked most and had such an important part in this story. I also really loved Erin and Tom, Madam Fortuna, and in a weird way, Wendy. Wendy being Mike's first love who broke his heart. Mike was definitely my favorite though, and he worked his way into my heart the same way that he did to Devin. He really made the story for me and even managed to pull some emotion out of me.

    I listened to the audio version of this and I have to say that it was a great choice. The narrator was great at the different voices in a large cast of characters. I always knew who was supposed to be talking when. I thought he was also the perfect voice for Devin. I really felt as if he was telling me his story, not like someone was narrating it for him. I don't know if that makes sense, but I know what I mean. I could imagine sitting there having coffee and chatting with Devin as if he were a real person telling his story. It was easy to get wrapped up in the story and not want to stop.

    I loved that a lot of this story took part in an amusement park. It was fun to imagine the scenery and the things going on. Even though the story is centered around Joyland, I really more see it as a branch of the story. Mostly, I think it was about the beauty in love, life, and even death. I loved the friendships Devin formed. I loved the broken person he started as, and who he became. He was a strong person even if he didn't realize it himself. This wasn't really creepy or even that much of a thriller. It was just a beautifully told story with some tragic events. I really enjoyed it.

    * A copy of this audiobook was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2013

    Awesome book. The story telling ability of King has never waver

    Awesome book. The story telling ability of King has never wavered. He has always written his best when young people are characters. The simplistic writing approach he uses allows the reader to totally immerse themselves in the narrative. And as for the "controversy" of having to buy the actual book: I buy all my Stephen King in physical format to fill my bookshelf. Everything else I read goes on my Nook. Books are meant to be read, enjoyed and passed on not matter if they are in digital or "real" form.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a good book, but far from his best. The characters are v

    This is a good book, but far from his best. The characters are very solid. The twist at the end is very good. The problem I had with it was that there might have been too much character development and not enough drama at the end. Still it's another King must read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    Stephen King is still at the top of his game, he is a gifted mas

    Stephen King is still at the top of his game, he is a gifted master storyteller. Joyland is captivating, thrilling and keeps you rivited at every turn. Joyland is very reminiscent of STAND BY ME, as it too has a brilliant narrative that flows like a symphony. King always delivers the most chilling ride possible. He is a true literary genius.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Audio formats of books are a wonderful resource for people who a

    Audio formats of books are a wonderful resource for people who are legally blind or visually impaired and would otherwise not be able to read and enjoy this wonderful book. So please do not drag that resource into this debate.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    He offers it in AUDIO... So, I call bullsh*t on his excuse for n

    He offers it in AUDIO... So, I call bullsh*t on his excuse for not releasing it in e-book form.

    5 out of 62 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    Well, I have no space for bound books in my collection of over 2

    Well, I have no space for bound books in my collection of over 2000 books. So until it comes out as a ebook I am not interested. Bad move, Stephen King. Just because I prefer ebooks doesn't mean I don't go to bookstores. I spend at least six hours in my local Barnes & Noble each week.

    5 out of 117 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Another great book by King. I couldn't put it down. A unique twi

    Another great book by King. I couldn't put it down. A unique twist at the end. Definitly a must have for King fans.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    This gorgeous book is a pure gift. Just like the kite that stitc

    This gorgeous book is a pure gift. Just like the kite that stitches it together, it soars. I don't know how to thank Stephen King for his work over the years, and especially for this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    I do not buy books or magazines unless they are in electronic fo

    I do not buy books or magazines unless they are in electronic form. I do not have the space for storing bound books or magazines.

    4 out of 96 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    I love this book! i think Stephen King is a great author. I lov

    I love this book! i think Stephen King is a great author. I love the way this book is worded thats what draws me in its so detailed and just all around well written.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    I wasn't crazy about The Colorado Kid so I wasn't sure I wanted

    I wasn't crazy about The Colorado Kid so I wasn't sure I wanted to read this one (though as a Stephen King fan - it would be impossible not to!). But I really liked it! It wasn't as spooky as I thought it would be but I think that King is one of the best in the business in developing his characters. He just pulls you in. I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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