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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  126,118 ratings  ·  12,344 reviews
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.
Paperback, 283 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Hard Case Crime
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Tom What? No, he did not say that. The little girl was not killed BY a woman talking on the phone. She wandered into the street and was hit by a car while…moreWhat? No, he did not say that. The little girl was not killed BY a woman talking on the phone. She wandered into the street and was hit by a car while the woman (her mother) who was supposed to be watching her was in the house talking on the phone.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Malini Agarwala
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  126,118 ratings  ·  12,344 reviews

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Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Angela M
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cgca-2013-14
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

OMG! I love this King book! I had a feeling I might just from reading the synopsis of the book. It just blew me away! I loved the atmosphere of the carnival. I fell in love with Devin, Tom, Erin, Mike, Milo, Annie and a few other side characters.

I felt like I was in the book with each one of them and I could see all of the old carny rides and amusements. I could feel the old mystery of the girl that was killed. I wish they would make this into a movie, but do it right! It as to be to a T from t
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 Stevie 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 kid
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
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
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
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Joyland by Stephen King

Joyland is not a typical Stephen King book. If you are looking for horror, supernatural gore, scary clowns, vampires, fire setters or children who come back from the dead, or any other really scary parts - you will not find them in this book. This book is not like the typical books Stephen King wrote in the 80''s.

I had not read a Stephen King book in many years prior to picking this book up. Don't let the cover turn you off, this book is a jem! It is a mystery, and a uniqu
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-said
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

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
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Hooked by the title and cover
4 ½ 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 m
Johann (jobis89)
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I'm not sure anybody ever gets completely over their first love, and that still rankles. Part of me still wants to know what was wrong with me. What I was lacking. I'm in my sixties now, my hair is gray and I'm a prostate cancer survivor, but I still want to know why I wasn't good enough for Wendy Keegan."

In the summer of 1973, a student named Devin Jones takes a job at Joyland, a North Carolina amusement park. Shortly after his arrival, his girlfriend finishes their relationship and breaks his
Bionic Jean
The American author Stephen King is one of today's most popular writers of horror and supernatural novels and stories, occasionally branching out into other genres such as science fiction, fantasy, or factual books. With Joyland, published in 2013, he has once again tried his hand at a crime novel. As with his first novel of this type, it was published by "Hard Case Crime" who specialise in crime fiction by both established and new authors who write hardboiled crime novels. Some of their books b ...more
Alex Duncan
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading Stephen King since I was a child and this book reminds me of his old stuff. It's really good. ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a Young Adult Horror Suspense Mystery. I do not think this is super scary. I use to collection and read books written by Stephen King when I was in high school, and I cannot remember when I stopped reading Stephen King books. This year I made a small goal of picking up Stephen King books again. This is the first Stephen King book I picked up in years, and I really loved this book. I did not see the twist. This book was all about finding who killed the girl in the fun house at joyland. I ...more
Dan Schwent
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, hardcase
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
Joe Valdez
Mar 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I'm abandoning this effort by Stephen King. Published in 2013 by Hard Case Crime, the pulp-styled crime label owned by Titan Books, I picked it up at the library wanting a King book to read and fell in love with the cover art by the legendary Robert McGinnis Glen Orbik. I should've known that redheads are nothing but trouble. The story is set in the 1970s in the aforementioned North Carolina amusement park and is 115 pages of schmaltz and self-indulgence leading up to a whodunit that I never mad ...more
Kevin Kuhn
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on vacation and flew through it in a day. King weaves together teen angst, a violent murder mystery, and the horror of an incurable childhood illness all against the grainy backdrop of an amusement park. The main character Devin is a nice guy, a guy you'd like to hang out with, but a guy that fell a little too hard for his first love, hard enough to have the rare suicide thought drift through his troubled mind. How King, in less than 300 pages, builds out 10 characters, a midway ...more
Jay Schutt
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, stephen-king
Alfred Hitchcock once said, "There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it." The bang in this book took a long time coming, but the reading of the anticipation along the way was very enjoyable. A great summer read, or for any time of year for that matter. It didn't read like the usual Stephen King story. It had great flow, was easy to read and was very well-written. Not that his other books aren't. This one just had a different feel. Well done. ...more
Cathrine ☯️
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: group-challenge
Stephen King wrote this for the Hard Case Crime series which seeks to recreate the flavor of paperback hardboiled crime fiction novels of the 1940s and 50s. Each cover features original cover art in the grand pulp style.

There is an unsolved crime, a previous murder in the horror house, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. The entire time I was reading it I was back at Pacific Ocean Park in Venice Beach California during the 1950/60s. Big mistake eating right before I went on the roller-co
Elyse  Walters
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Update: 99 cent special today!!!!!


On the back of the bright yellow @ red paperback book by Stephen King, *JOYLAND*, [smack center in RED INK], are the words:

"Life is Not always a Butcher's Game
Sometimes the Prizes Are Real
Sometimes They're Precious" .....

If you've NOT read this WONDERFUL-TREAT-yet --those words above will 'not' have the same 'feeling' to you until you get to page 220 --and read them 'again'. (I dare any human being not to be moved)!

To NOT read this book (heck, tak
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great story!!!
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-shelf, horror
I'm kinda embarrassed.

I neglected reading Joyland because it was A: short and B: I didn't think it would be a trademark King.

For the first, I have no excuse. The second is all Shame On Me.

That cover is pure hogwash. The book diverges a bit from the normal SK in that he goes out on a REALLY STRANGE LIMB and writes an MC who doesn't have much in the way of faults. In fact, he's almost godlike the way young Danny Torrence was in the Shining. :) He's a damn good kid. A little depressed and unhappy,
Megan Baxter
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is only the second Stephen King book I've ever read, other than The Stand. I just don't do horror, as a general rule. But then this came out, and it was a mystery, or at least marketed as such, and so I figured I'd give it a try.

It isn't really about the mystery, though, and others have noted it. There is a mystery, sure. The main character works at Joyland, an amusement (not theme - King is careful about the difference) park one summer in the 1970s. Several years earlier, a girl had been m
Sam Quixote
Jun 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Jonathan Janz
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Not my favorite King novel but it was still a good time! V atmospheric and spooky
Devin Jones had been with his girlfriend Wendy while at college for the past two years, but the vibes he was getting from her made him uneasy. So when the opportunity for the summer job at the carnival park Joyland where they only sold fun came up, Dev tried for it and was successful. He then took a room in a boarding house nearby for the duration of the summer, along with other carny hands, Tom and Erin.

Dev’s job was huge and varied, but he was good at “wearing the fur”, when he dressed up as H
Paul Nelson
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Wendy F
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
myo (myonna reads)
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller-mystery
I loved the idea of this story and i kind of enjoyed reading it, i think if this was just about a boy working in a amusement park and it had a romance or something i would’ve enjoyed it. But the issue was is that this is a mystery but i kept forgetting it. King tried to throw subtle hints about the thriller in the beginning and then like last 70% have it actually about the mystery and that’s what i think the problem is.

If this book had been a thriller from the start it would’ve been much more e
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Play Book Tag: Joyland - 4 stars 4 11 Jun 22, 2020 06:14PM  
Huge amateur mistake by Stephen King 27 442 Aug 15, 2019 10:42AM  
looking for mystery novels set in the 70s/80s? 2 10 May 28, 2019 12:03PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Joyland by Stephen King - Restarting September 18th 2018 22 64 Sep 22, 2018 09:52AM  
Stephen King Book...: Joyland: Pages 95 - 188 *Spoilers* 10 18 Jun 10, 2018 08:42AM  
Stephen King Book...: Joyland: Pages 1 - 94 *Spoilers* 9 14 Jun 05, 2018 10:19AM  

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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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