Stacia (the 2010 club)'s Reviews > Joyland

Joyland by Stephen King
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really liked it
bookshelves: adult, ghosts, mystery, male-pov, suspense-or-thriller, realistic-general-or-lit-fiction, made-me-emotional
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-whatever. After experiencing a normal bout of heartbreak, he takes a job at an amusement park. No, it's not quite as glamorous as the picture on the cover (which is quite something, isn't it? I love retro artwork.). Dev's experience was more along the lines of this :

(view spoiler)

Yes, I used a picture of Underdog behind that spoiler. It was either that or Huckleberry Hound or Deputy Dog. It's no matter though. Dev's job had to do with "wearing the fur," which is pretty much the term used for being a doggie mascot. And he saved lives - YES HE DID. I'm not sure what the name Joyland had to do with dogs but who cares?

So much of this story was about Dev growing up and experiencing life (then later in life reflecting back on it) that I almost wondered why there was even a murder mystery involved, or why people were seeing ghosts.

But as tales often do, everything comes full circle, and solving the mystery brought people close together in a way which got me emotional toward the end.

How was I to know that I'd get a little misty eyed over the relationships Dev formed? How could I have known that a single mother and her ailing son would play such a role in making me smile and feel and long for something more?

For this is not just another murder mystery. It's so much more.

I came across this passage in the book (a few words were removed by me due to spoilers) and I think it sums up what Joyland is about better than my own words could.
Those are the things that happened once upon a time and long ago, in a magical year when oil sold for eleven dollars a barrel. The year I got my damn heart broke. The year I lost my virginity. The year I saved a nice little girl from choking and a fairly nasty old man from dying of a heart attack. The year a madman almost killed me. The year I wanted to see a ghost. That was also the year I learned to talk a secret language, and how to dance the Hokey Pokey in a dog costume. The year I discovered that there are worse things than losing the girl.

The year I was twenty-one and still a greenie.

This is a book about how one moment in the journey of life can change your entire perspective forever. And (for a lack of better words) I like that kind of stuff.

Thanks Leea (and Wendy for discussing) for the buddy read!
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Reading Progress

June 22, 2013 – Shelved
July 12, 2013 –
20.0% "We sell fun. Never forget that.\n \n I have the feeling that the concept of fun is going to be short-lived."
July 14, 2013 – Started Reading
July 14, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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Leea Same here... I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.


Stacia (the 2010 club) Sorry I didn't see your comment. We already spoke on your review though, so it's not a big deal now. :p


Wendy F I'm so glad you liked it. I loved that it wasn't why I expected. It was so much sweeter.


Stacia (the 2010 club) It really was.


message 5: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy Great review Stacia! Can't wait to read this one. I miss reading Stephen King.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies That beats any year I've ever had, that's for sure.


Stacia (the 2010 club) I lead a very reckless life in my teens and early 20's, but I can't say I ever went looking for ghosts. :) I swore I saw bigfoot though! Being drunk had NOTHING to do with it.

Katy wrote: "Great review Stacia! Can't wait to read this one. I miss reading Stephen King."

I'm finally going to be reading The Shining in August. Are you going to be reading book 2 when it comes out?


Leea Stacia, can I join you when you read The Shining? I had no idea he was writing a sequel - i'm intrigued.


message 9: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Jul 14, 2013 11:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stacia (the 2010 club) I'll ask Rachel when she's wanting to do it and get back to you. We haven't set a date yet.


message 10: by Leea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leea Great! Thanks.


message 11: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy I definitely will be reading the sequel! The Shining is one of my favorite books. Can't wait for you to read it :)


message 12: by Kristen (new)

Kristen You are making me want to break out my Stephen King books and read them again. I'm a HUGE King and horror fan. Nicely said, Stacia.


message 13: by Sonny (new) - added it

Sonny Garcia Nice review! I put that book on my list...haven't picked up a King book in years.


Stacia (the 2010 club) Thanks Kristen and Sonny. :) This is definitely different from the last couple of King books that I read but I guess he does have quite a few books which don't fit the mold of what he's known for.

Katy, I'm looking forward to it!


message 15: by Tara (new) - added it

Tara Great review, Stacia! I adore Mr. King but this is one I haven't had a chance to read, yet. I can't wait to pick it up!


Stacia (the 2010 club) Thanks Tara. I hope you enjoy it!


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