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Joyland

Narrated by: Michael Kelly
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (496 ratings)

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Summary

"I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts," says Stephen King, who has combined these elements into a wonderful new story. Joyland is a whodunit noir crime novel and a haunting ghost story set in the world of an amusement park.

It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a 'carny' in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak. Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?

©2013 Stephen King (P)2013 Schuster Audio

Critic reviews

"A beautiful book, warm and honest, about a boy becoming a man, and his tempered transformation really does pack a punch… In short, Joyland is a joy." (Niall Alexander, Tor)
"An engrossing and ultimately uplifting tale" (Rhian Drinkwater, SFX)
" Joyland describes being young with the necessary vigour, and the slow agony with which a broken heart heals with the necessary tenderness." Laurence Phelan, The Independent)
"What makes King special is that he's an unusually imaginative horror writer who's as interested in characterisation as he is in fright." (Tom Cox, Daily Express)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

King in his best Shawshank or Stand By Me mode

I was sad to finish reading this, as I was enjoying it so much! My only criticism was that it was too short. Oh and the front cover is horribly misleading.

This is a Coming Of Age story, not a ghost story or a thriller or a horror! Be warned!

It's all the more touching and beautiful because of it.

I loved this book! And the narration was some of the best I've heard.

I would recommend this to anyone!

6 people found this helpful

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Decent book, lacklustre narration.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Decent, if a little by-the-numbers King fare, but the narration is awful. Michael Kelly seems disinterested a lot of the time, and his one-note performance had me struggling to keep focused on the story.

2 people found this helpful

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A great tale told well

If you could sum up Joyland in three words, what would they be?

An entrancing tale with suspense and nostalgia

Any additional comments?

Not the best Stephen King story ever, but his ability to take you on a complete and fulfilling trip into another time and place shines through as ever.

3 people found this helpful

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So so

I always expect to get swept away with a Stephen King audiobook, "Bag of Bones" being my all-time favourite. Maybe I was a bit spoiled in that I've only listened to really long versions of his books before, always going for at least over 12 hrs.

There just wasn't a lot to this story and without going into too much of the plot to spoil it, it did seem like, "Ooops, it's nearly the end I'd better make someone the murderer even though I've given no clues to it being this person throughout."

7 people found this helpful

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Superb


Before I review this book it's only fair to say I am a huge SK fan.

Joyland is a crime thriller set in an amusement park in 1973 told (flashback style) by Dev in 2013.

This story really grabs you and is typical SK (in a good way).

Just a few more weeks to wait now for Doctor Sleep, but if you are a King (or crime) fan get this book... you won't regret it.

4 people found this helpful

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Probably his best non- horror book?

Stephen King at his finest conjuring up characters you care about so much you have tears in your eyes when you finish the story.
Hats off the the narrator. I love his soft spoken voice and his accent, the latter adding so much to the story.
One to come back to again and again.
NB-just Googled the narrator and realised why I loved his voice. Michael Kelly is also the actor known for House of Cards.

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great narrator

The story is very entertaining and as a Stephen King fan I was pleased with it and have listened to it three times. The narration is a big big plus and I wish Michael Kelly would do more books! Love his voice!

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Brillaint mix of genres

Again, had already read this. I'd been looking for a book set in a theme park for a long time, and this one answered all my cravings for it. There are seens of people on the rides etc, as well as an element of mystery, and of course King's trademark horror. What would be a King book without that? The end of this book really did make me cry. I'm not going to go in to details obviously, but you'll understand when you read it. Desperately sad at the end. I liked how King mixed genres. Horror, thriller, romance and sadness in one book. How was it King described this one? "I love crime, mystery and ghosts," he said. I also liked the scene on the wheel between Devon and another character. Menacing, threatening, tense. Both Psychological and haunted house horror. Really enjoyed this one.

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A Masterpiece

Truly wonderful story. I understand that this is being made in to TV series - can't wait to watch it.

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Stephen king you master of hollowing thy emotions

Broke me in the best of ways that only the King himself can do to a person.

Leaves a stain on you for a while. Beautifully written as always

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  • Janie
  • 20-07-13

King's the best story teller in the world.

You can't get away from it; King can tell a story like no other. Although I like some other writers almost equally, as many can come up with excellent stories, but Stephen King's irreverently & natural dialogue and colourful descriptions captivate the essence of his characters and enthral the reader from the very beginning to the very end. I was a bit unsure about this before I started reading/listening to this book as I thought it might be a bit 'young' for me. It was not, as all the commentary is being made by the main character, Dev, as a mature older man re-living and reflecting on the events that surrounded his transition from teenage-hood to manhood. All in all this was an excellent read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cik Bedah
  • 17-07-14

Doug Stamper of House of Cards reading this book!

If you could sum up Joyland in three words, what would they be?

Michael Kelly's narration is amazing. The story is meh, but Micheal Kelly (aka Doug Stamper of House of Cards) made the book.

If you’ve listened to books by Stephen King before, how does this one compare?

Story is meh. Go listen to 11.22.63 -that's a better book.

Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favorite?

All of them. Especially when he is Devin Jones.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The fur moment.

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  • Jo
  • 16-03-14

Great Book well read

A great Stephen King story with believable characters and an intriguing narrative. So well read. Loved it!

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  • W
  • 05-02-14

BORED TO TEARS

What would have made Joyland better?

This must rate as one of SK's worst books - a naive and gullible goodie-goodie main character of the 'o shucks' variety coupled with a storyline that reads like the diary of someone that stayed in bed to avoid anything happening to him and a narrator that sounds as if he is selling sweets to three-year olds - made me gave up half-way.

stay with the earlier SK books.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

yes, the old stuff

How did the narrator detract from the book?

see above

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

none

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  • Amanda
  • 09-01-14

Loved it couldn't put it down

What did you love best about Joyland?

The writing style. The story was also pretty good

What other book might you compare Joyland to and why?

None that I can think of

Which character – as performed by Michael Kelly – was your favorite?

Loved Devon the main character and the Carnies

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

ABSOLUTELY!!!!! Could not put it down