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Joyland

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  53,689 ratings  ·  7,546 reviews
College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.

A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old—an
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Paperback, 283 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Hard Case Crime (first published January 1st 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions

Michelle yes, it was the wife that was talking on the phone. She wasn't paying attention to the daughter…moreyes, it was the wife that was talking on the phone. She wasn't paying attention to the daughter(less)
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Angel Eyes
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Allegiant by Veronica RothClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareRequiem by Lauren OliverLover at Last by J.R. WardThe Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Can't Wait Books of 2013
87th out of 2,463 books — 12,470 voters
The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
60th out of 118 books — 2,335 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya

You gotta agree - Stephen King can tell a story like few others can.

Maybe it's because he can see the world in the way most of us do not, and then grants us the privilege to experience it through his eyes for a few hundred pages - the world that can be unsettling and scary and fascinating and different in subtle little ways that change the way you view it - at least for a little while.

Add to it that Stephen King also can do nostalgia like no other (well, perhaps excluding Bradbury - and there
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Kemper
There’s a ghost that appears in the haunted house ride of an amusement park in the 1970s? Jinkies! Is this a Hard Case Crime book or an episode of Scooby-Doo?

Actually, it’s a Stephen King novel. And as we found out the last time Uncle Steve wrote a book for the HCC line, he doesn’t have a problem with blurring the line between crime and supernatural. Since HCC needs all the help it can get, I’m pretty sure nobody bitched too much when he turned this one in.

Devin Jones is a struggling college ki
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Aug 06, 2014 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Hooked by the title and cover
4 stars All you King fans out there are going to read this anyway. Go for it, be a *Rube, its worth the price of admission. For anyone else who's curious about all the kerfuffle over King, maybe test the waters with this. No, it’s not his best but it’s pretty great. It’s short, leans towards paranormal rather than horror in case horror isn’t your thing, and you gotta love that hardcore pulp-fiction cover!
Tons of suspense, the mystery of beautiful women being murdered to unravel, a plot that mo
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Trudi

Written for the Hard Case Crime line of paperback novels, Stephen King's Joyland may look like a duck -- with its tantalizing pulp cover making promises of sex and violence -- but it definitely doesn't quack. In fact, it's another kind of animal altogether, a coming of age tale tinged with the bittersweet tang of nostalgia and the wistful remembrances of what was and what might have been.

This isn't new territory for King. Anyone who's read him at all knows that this is his stomping ground and w
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Delee
I am not sure what bubble I was living in that I hadn't heard about Stephen King's new book JOYLAND, so it was just luck that the day it was released, I just happened to in the book store browsing. The cover shouted out "look at meeeee!!!" I quickly grabbed a copy off the shelf, and thought to myself, "Mine, mine, mine!" When I finally got around to reading it, I was not disappointed...

 photo 80654a5e-a035-4246-8501-cbce94c39823_zpsc27f9561.jpg

This was one of those Stephen King books that made me feel like I was sitting on the front porch on a warm Summ
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Alex Duncan
I've been reading Stephen King since I was a child and this book reminds me of his old stuff. It's really good.
Dan 1.0
On the heels of a breakup, college student Devin Jones takes a summer job at an amusement park, an amusement park haunted by the ghost of a woman murdered on one of the rides. But what does that have to do with a woman and her dying child that Devin meets walking on a beach?

Stephen King throws the Hard Case line another bone with Joyland. Much like The Colorado Kid, it will undoubtedly draw much needed attention to the line despite not being like the other books.

Joyland is the story of Devin Jon
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Cheryl
WORK CLOSE TO HEAVEN! Who would not be attracted to the idea of a summer job at JOYLAND? Maybe the carny rides and cotton candy will salve the broken heart of a twenty-one year old English major and tame the persistent negative thoughts that threaten his very existence.

College student and summer carny Devin Jones hears the story of the ghost-in-the-fun-house, the young girl slaughtered in the dark by her boyfriend, and the apparition that appears only to a few with her arms outstretched and want
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Stephanie
Now I know how Neil DeGrasse Tyson felt while he watched the movie Gravity.

I give Joyland three stars as far as story goes, and a one star when I take into consideration that Stephen got everything wrong about how amusement parks are run. He obviously did zero research. The most believable thing in this book is the ghost part, but I know the vast majority of you out there did not spend twenty odd years hopping around the United States working in amusement parks like I did, and therefore would no
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Angela M
If I ever were to meet Stephen King, I imagine that the conversation would go something like this:

A: Mr. King, what a pleasure it is to meet you. I’m glad to have this opportunity because I owe you an apology.

SK: An apology? We don’t even know each other. Why would you need to apologize to me?

A: I’m sorry for avoiding your books all of these years and for thinking that you were a one dimensional author who only wrote horror stories. I’m sorry that it took me so long to discover your wonderful wr
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Jonathan Janz
In early 2014 the wonderful podcast Pod of Horror (run by mastermind Mark Justice) announced its list of the top three novels of 2013. One of my books (I won't say which one now, because this bit is just preamble, and the review I'm writing isn't about my own novel) clocked in at #3.

Number two on the list was Bentley Little's THE INFLUENCE, and though I hadn't (and still haven't, if I'm being honest) read Little's book, I'm familiar with Little's writing and was delighted to be included on the
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Arah-Lynda
JoyLand is a slow burn of a book and that was alright by me. I love getting to know King’s characters and Devin Jones is no exception. He’s our young, intelligent narrator, burning with the passion and enthusiasm of youth; he is also healing a broken heart, his first, when he signs up to work at the carnival.


This is a Hard Case Crime file so one would expect a murder or two and there is, except it happened years ago and remains unsolved. While never really taking center stage through most of th
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Stacia (the 2010 club)
You can't save everyone.

I was tempted to add some new category shelves for this review because the ones I am using don't quite fit the type of retro-reflective, not-really-coming-of-age-but-more-of-a-late-blooming type of read which I experienced. Maybe I should add crime or murder or something, but if I said this was a crime novel, or even a murder mystery, I'd sort of only be giving you part of the picture here.

Devin (Dev) is on the path to discovering himself in the summer of 1970-whateve
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seak
I decided this review didn't need to be more than a quick one. I've said enough, why say more. I couldn't put Joyland down. It was a fascinating look at carny life, touching at times, and proves King can still write a wonderful story less than 1000 pages long. The noir, crime-solving aspect was almost an afterthought to this interesting tale of life working at an amusement park.

If you have fond memories of a summer job where you almost spoke a different language with your co-workers and really b
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Lou
Watch Stephen King Talking about This book on Today show now @ http://more2read.com/review/joyland-by-stephen-king/

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'Work close to heaven!'
That was the advertisement that Mr Devin Jones one Summer reacted to, and this stand up guy at the age of twenty one was soon to become Howie the Happy Hound suited up in Hound attire doing the Hokey Pokey dance with kids at Joyland, a fun amusement park, a place where fun was lived out in its highs of rides and pitch darkness of the Horror House.
There is un
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Paul Nelson
It's Joyland.

"This is a badly broken world, full of wars and cruelty and senseless tragedy. Every human being who inhabits it is served his or her portion of unhappiness and wakeful nights. Those of you who don’t already know that will come to know it. Given such sad but undeniable facts of the human condition, you have been given a priceless gift this summer: you are here to sell fun. In exchange for the hard-earned dollars of your customers, you will parcel out happiness".

Joyland sees the King
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Rachel Whitley
I . CANNOT . WAIT!
Finding out there's a new Stephen King book on the horizon is like being seven years old, walking into the living room on Christmas morning, and seeing a pile of presents with your name on them as tall as the Christmas tree!

(edited after reading the novel)

What can you say about a Stephen King book that hasn't already been said?
Even so, "Joyland" moved me in a different way than most King novels. It is a coming-of-age story, much like "Stand by Me,", but it differs in that there
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Bill
I don't know if it's my middle-age sensitivities ramping up or if King is just resonating with me more and more, but I'm becoming very emotionally involved in most of the things he's written.

Joyland is no exception, and he came very close yesterday to making me bawl my eyes out. Heck, I'll admit it: I'm an absolute wreck when it comes to
(view spoiler)
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Cristina Vega
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mr. Matt
Sometimes you are lucky enough to read the right book at the right time. Joyland was that book for me. Joyland is the story of a young man, Devin Jones, with a broken heart. He leaves his northeastern college town and, almost on a whim, takes a summer job working at a second rate amusement park, Joyland. During that summer he does some growing up, learns what it means to be a his own person, and unravels a mystery.

Several years before the story begins, a young woman was murdered on a ghost house
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Hunger For Knowledge
It feels good to be back and united with Mr. Stephen King and his addictive storytelling voice. It has been awhile, too long. Let's hug.

I was not familiar with Hard Case Crime series but wanted to see how and what King would do with the label. Well, he did manage. With the style of the typical King, mixing and matching his trademarks.

And I was loving it, most of the time. Sure, the story was dragging at times and there were few things that made me think if this would be common or even possible
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Algernon

We don't sell furniture. We don't sell cars. We don't sell land or houses or retirement funds. We have no political agenda. We sell fun. Never forget that. [Bradley Easterbrook - owner of the Joyland amusement park]

I would have bought this book based only on the juicy cover and the blurb, regardless of the fame of the author and without checking for positive reviews in advance. The entertainment world has been good a good source of interesting reads for me in the last couple of years (The Circ
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Brandon
"When it comes to the past everyone writes fiction."

In Joyland, King takes us all the way back to the early 1970s by way of a theme park located in a North Carolina small town. Seeking summer employment, college student Devin Jones joins the cast of carneys as a part-time worker. While it was meant to occupy his time between semesters, Devin doesn't realize just how important this job is and how it will change his life forever.

I may list The Stand as my favorite Stephen King novel but I'm not su
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Yay!!! This book was excellent. I enjoyed it so much. King can write an HCC any day and I would eat it up with a spoon. This one was full of great characters that just grab your attention and pulls you in. I hope he writes more like this. :)
Andrew Smith
Well, it's not really a ghost story (though there is a ghost) and it's certainly not a murder mystery, though it does become one in a very small way. It's actually a book about coming of age one summer in the 70's. The setting is one I know little about but immediately identified with. I loved the characterisation and could happily have read and enjoyed the whole story without the ghost or the murder ever touching the pages.

I'm fairly new to King but it's already evident to me that he's a maste
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Sam Quixote
Every Stephen King fan has a wonderful memory of reading one of his books, the experience making you oblivious of all else as you become enveloped in the story, completely consumed with the characters, the plot, the sheer brilliance of the storytelling. For me those memories are clustered around my early teens when I first read King, reading Misery, The Shining, IT, Pet Sematary, Different Seasons, in a massive reading jag – I fell hard for King and there was nothing better than picking up one o ...more
Magdalena
Joyland is not the best Stephen King book I have read, nor is the worst. It’s a good one, a sweet one with a dark ending. It’s a bit paranormal, not over the top paranormal, only just a hint of it. It’s a crime novel, but the crime isn’t a large part of the story, not until the end. It’s a book about one man’s year, a man that looks back to how a year changed his life. I will say that’s the year that made Devin Jones go from a boy to a man.

Sometimes when I read the book I almost forgot that it
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Jon Recluse
Noir is a flavor I savor, so when I saw that King's latest was a Hard Case Crime release, I did him a favor and bought the book.
What I got wasn't noir. It wasn't neo-noir, or noir lite. It's anti-noir.
Don't get me wrong. King is an excellent writer, with an incredible eye for the foibles of the human condition and a deft hand at creating memorable characters.
His eye for human foibles is in full effect here. There are observations scattered throughout this book that are pure gems, that will break
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Steven
Did not expect to love this one as much as I did. Absolutely brilliant. I connected with Dev and the other characters so well, and now I'm sad it's over. The ending was heartbreaking and uplifting and so many other things I don't know how to describe.

They say King doesn't always know hot to nail his endings. He nailed this one. Fantastic.

Franco  Santos
Es un 3.5 más bien.

Es un muy buen libro de King, sin embargo, tengo que admitir que me esperaba mucho más. Las críticas en su contratapa lo hacían parecer como una historia que te rompía el corazón, una historia desbordante de sentimientos.
Cuando lo había empezado a leer me resultó bastante aburrido y un poco pesado. Un relato que no sabía de qué iba realmente. Luego entendí que me tenía que relajar y disfrutar de esta linda historia que King plasmó en papel.

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La gente cree que el primer amor es d
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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“When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.” 191 likes
“When you're twenty-one, life is a roadmap. It's only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect that you've been looking at the map upside down, and not until you're forty are you entirely sure. By the time you're sixty, take it from me, you're fucking lost.” 187 likes
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