Anyone who’s read him at all knows that this is his stomping ground and when he’s firing on all cylinders, nobody does it better. There is unfortunately no tunnel of love, just in case anyone reading wants to hope on a flight out to Joyland. View all 20 comments. A thoroughly enjoyable read, Joyland is one I can easily recommend. Or if you insist on setting all of your stories in mainland America — not a problem — how about picking someone from a completely different socio-economic background? Jun 06, Debra rated it really liked it.

Much like The Colorado Kid, it will undoubtedly draw much needed attention to the line despite not being like the other books. You can not get enough of him, he is the personified Joyland of Storytelling. But King does not describe anything, but lets the impressions in this insignificant scene affect us. View the Study Pack. Kids younger than that usually aren’t interested in souvenir photos; they’d rather spend their money on food and arcade games. The main character works at Joyland, an amusement not theme – King is careful about the difference park one summer in the s. Plus, I really had a hard time believing that the owner is so forward thinking as to ban smoking in his amusement park. However, since it will let Hard Case keep the lights on for quite a while with the money it brings in, I’ll let Uncle Steve off with a warning this time.

Stephen King is a fantastic storyteller and he has done a great job telling this story.

Devin cannot eat or sleep. The first edition was released only in paperback, with the cover art created by Robert McGinnis and Glen Orbik. This book was a generous gift some time ago, from a friend who’d read it and wanted to pass it along to another reader; so I had it handy when it was picked for a common read this month in one of my Goodreads groups. I was expecting a crime novel though from a few things I noticed before even reading it – the dedication is to Donald Westlake who wrote under the pseudonym Richard Stark.

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park inJoyland 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. Mike may experience the happiest hours of his life. He took a summer job at a small struggling and dingy amusement park called “Joyland” in North Carolina, hoping to get over his first love.


I looked forward to sensationalist violence, cheap thrills and snappy, stylistic dialogue and no, sorry Uncle Stevie, but you don’t win any points for injecting the patter of carny speak on every other page. Vision is quite limited in those giant heads. There is a mystery, sure. 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.

Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Also, getting hit in the nether regions is a common occurrence; they need someone to watch out for possible injuries. Read more from the Study Guide.

Open Preview See a Problem? 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.

Plus, I really had a hard time believing that kingg owner is so forward thinking as to ban smoking in his amusement park. I dare any human being not to be moved! Still no sign of that hard boiled noir this series is supposed to espouse.

I loved Devin as the narrator. When his friend, Tom, does see her ghost, he feels very resentful that he has not. Oh – I did shift in my seat a bit near the very end of the novel; however, I did sleep okay that night. Part coming of age in a sexual context but more about the perilous leap from young man to the rocky shores of adulthood, love, danger and of course sadness. I’m glad Dev took a little time off college to stay at the carnival and get closer to the people he needed to get closer to.

The cover Art implies pulp fiction, and although the novel is not exactly that, there are no surprises. You can not get enough of him, he is the personified Joyland of Storytelling. For the first quarter of the book, this reads like a routine coming-of-age story. And when Dev stayed on at the park after the summer ended, then met Annie and Mike, he found he was enjoying the life.

Click here to see the rest of this review Best part of story, including ending: Structurally, a valid criticism would be that, given the important roles Mike and Annie play in the plot, it would have made more sense to introduce them much earlier in the book. More a coming-of-age mystery than a horror-filled thriller, it’s closer to the tone of King’s short story ‘The Body’ Overall, the story was good – great characters, a fleshed-out setting, and a solid chain of events – but the ending seemed a little convenient even for a Stephen King story.


Thanks for telling us about the problem. 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. A mother living alone with her disabled and dying son in a sprawling mansion on the beach — this really added to the emotional appeal of the novel.

I’m soooooo glad Dev got over that jerk Wendy. It’s only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect you’ve been looking at the map upside down, and not until you’re forty are you entirely sure. I enjoyed the scene where Dev first dressed up as Joyland’s canine mascot, Howie the Happy Hound, because I have never done anything like that – but through Stephen King’s description, it seems like I have.

Joyland Book Summary and Study Guide

View all 13 comments. Fairly soon, Devin is given some information by a fortune teller, which he half believes.

America is the great melting pot, after all. We learn more about Devin’s emerging friendship with his fellow summer workers, Tom and Erin, with whom he shares lodgings in a boarding house.

Joyland – Stephen King | Dog-Eared & Dog-Tagged

This is a different world, one that has its own customs and its own language, which we simply call the Talk. In the end it is corny rather than carny. I’m not giving away that spoiler!! I know Stephen went on the same assumption that most people do, and that is when a person is hired into an amusement park that person jumps around to all the jobs in the park from day to day.

And we learn too that in the four years since then, numerous park employees believe they’ve seen her ghost haunting the place where she was killed. So the deal is, the girls snap first, then approach. Well worth the read. This was a great little book. Ihre Lippen zitterten, obwohl sie fest auseinandergepresst waren. I loved the atmosphere of the carnival.

There was even a nice little heart-breaker at the end there, again in true SK fashion.