Customer Reviews


243 Reviews
5 star:
 (152)
4 star:
 (55)
3 star:
 (26)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will get in your head
This book is deceptive in its simplicity. The plot is fairly straightforward, and there is plenty in there for the Constant Readers out there. There are nods to Tolkein and King's own past as an upcoming writer. We meet Devin much in the same way we meet the 18 year old King in the preface to the Dark Tower. Full of hopes and dreams, but painfully naive, just like the...
Published 13 months ago by jankensan

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Vintage King
This was a good read, but not a “great” read, if you know what I mean? Almost as if Mr King could not be bothered, or someone else wrote it. I did enjoy the story and some of the characters were lovely, so I would go 3.5 if I could.
Published 11 months ago by RUTH RICHARDS


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will get in your head, 15 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is deceptive in its simplicity. The plot is fairly straightforward, and there is plenty in there for the Constant Readers out there. There are nods to Tolkein and King's own past as an upcoming writer. We meet Devin much in the same way we meet the 18 year old King in the preface to the Dark Tower. Full of hopes and dreams, but painfully naive, just like the rest of us. There are a few heavy handed tropes in the opening paragraphs to pull you in, but nothing cringe-worthy, and you just glide along with it. I have to admit to being a massive King fan, so it's not hard to drag me in to one of his books, but even for the uninitiated, this books is beautifully written.

From there we start to learn more about Joyland, and the people behind it. Although it's billed as a horror story, there isn't much blood, and the horror is contained in the 'dark ride' and the fragility of human life. The suspense and anticipation comes from the idea that this horror could be released somehow. This tension builds throughout and the ending will not disappoint.

I don't want to write more and risk spoiling the plot, but this book touched me and stayed with me. The last few pages were read through teary eyes. You will find part of yourself in this book, the part of you that you lost years ago and can never get back.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr King does it again!, 15 Jun 2013
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In Joyland we meet Dev, a young man facing rejection from the woman he loves, who takes a Summer job at Joyland, where they sell fun don't you know! A few years before his arrival a young woman was brutally murdered and her killer never found...her ghost is said to haunt the park and Dev finds himself interested in her story. Can he mend his broken heart and catch a killer?

Of course this is Stephen King we are talking about so while the above synopsis is what the book is about, its certainly not what the book is ABOUT. An evocative haunting tale, its a character driven coming of age story, where the mystery is secondary to the people involved in it. The characters Dev meets while on his journey to true adulthood will touch your heart - its just as much about friendship and finding yourself as it is about a dead girl and what may have happened to her. You will fall in love with some of them - and yes, at the end I cried. Quite a lot. Which is always a good sign!

I always find books like this hard to review because almost anything I can say about it may spoil the ambience for true readers - I don't want to let you know very much at all. I want YOU to find it all out for yourselves. Suffice to say, if you are one of Mr King's "Constant Readers" this is likely to head towards the top of your favourite King books. If you havent read his novels before, then this would be a great place to start - its not one of his "epics" and the Hard Crime series are always worth a dip into even when its not Stephen King writing them. In this case its so much more than a crime book BECAUSE it also has that magic King touch. So I hope you pick this up. Certainly you will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a joy to read Joyland., 20 July 2013
It's a joy to read Joyland

''A kid on a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach'' this picture has been in Stephen King's head for over 20 years, he let it grown bit by bit and at last we have this story.

Yes, there is a crime in this story, but not much blood or violence; yes, there are supernatural events, but not horror or scary. Instead, this story brings back many of my memories, whether sweet or sorrow, and I fell into the story and hard to put it aside.

Stephen King has a very strong talent in story telling, I didn't need to use much of my imagination, readings' gone live straight in my head: beautiful beach, lively amusement park, stupid funny Howie the dog dancing Hokey Pokey, and so on so on.

I have more summer readings waiting for me, but I decided I am going to let this story keep going around my head for awhile, let the picture of ''a kid on a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach'' burnt into my memory, it's such a nice, beautiful book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional rollercoaster, 21 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Joyland follows Devin Jones, a twenty-one-year-old who works the summer shift at a North Carolina amusement park to raise some funds for his return to school. Whilst working at Joyland he learns the secret language of the carnies who work there, wears the fur, sells fun and even saves a couple of lives. He also has to deal with a few difficult emotional situations such as the break up of his first ever relationship and befriending a dying child.

The main bulk of the story focuses around Devin's obsession with trying to figure out a long unresolved murder that took place at the park. Linda Gray was murdered in the House of Horror and the murderer has never been found. With the help of his friend, Erin, and some assistance from the dying boy's mother, Annie, Devin eventually uncovers the mystery and confronts the killer.

A relatively short novel for King, it lacks none of his usual magic. King writes prose that is so easy to read, engaging and full of emotion. He captures the pains of adolescence and growing up like no other author I know. He also has a knack for imbuing the mundaneness of everyday life with a sense of wonder that involves the reader with his characters and keeps them reading for more.

Essentially a crime story released by Hard Case Crime the book does attain some of King's trademark supernatural touches, including the ghost of a murdered girl and - King's absolute favourite! - a couple of characters with 'the sight'! The ending is nicely judged and quite moving, although the resolution of the crime element did come a little easily for my liking. King has always had difficulty finishing novels well, but I would put this down as one of his more satisfying attempts.

I finished the book in record time, it was that hard to put down. Just one more page, I would tell myself, and then fifty pages later I would realise I was still reading.

Overall a wonderful book and a definite read for any fans of Stephen King.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Vintage King, 3 Aug 2013
By 
RUTH RICHARDS (edinburgh, scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was a good read, but not a “great” read, if you know what I mean? Almost as if Mr King could not be bothered, or someone else wrote it. I did enjoy the story and some of the characters were lovely, so I would go 3.5 if I could.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of His Best Novels, 8 July 2013
Mr. King has recently taken to write nostalgic tales. In early work, he wrote about monsters, creepy kids and personal fears, but, as he ages, Mr. King has made the past the point. 'Joyland' proves that he can write haunting, moving tales with nary a beast. There are ghosts a-plenty, but horror stems from victims in the way, rather than monsters on the march. Some might say that the book is less a Hard Case Crime and more Classic King, but it is still a worthy read. Spend a few hours in this fairground. You will wish that you could stay.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 21 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For my money, the best writer who has ever lived. This book is fantastic, you should read it. A classic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant coming of age story, 11 July 2013
By 
B. M. Clegg "Brian Clegg" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you come to this book expecting classic Stephen King horror, you will be disappointed. But for me that's a plus because it lets what is for me King's real forte shine through.

He is great at putting across a sense of place, a wistful familiarity that makes it feel more like recovering a memory of something significant in your life than reading a story. And this he does brilliantly here.

The cover says it is a crime novel. And it is. But don't expect lots of clues and red herrings. In fact most of the detection takes place off stage. It is also a ghost story with a spot of mediumship. This is necessary for the plot, but once again it isn't at the heart of the book. Like one of my favourite novels ever, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, Joyland uses a funfair as a vehicle to explore coming of age.

In Bradbury's book it is the transition from child to teenager that is so beautifully portrayed. Here it is the arrival of adulthood, which for the main character comes with a whole mess of sadness, joy and fear.

Some friends of mine are boycotting this book because it isn't available in ebook form. Don't. It is a little gem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly supernatural superlative whodunnit, 1 July 2013
Stephen King's 'Joyland' is something different from Stephen King, that reinvents many of his familiar tics and tropes in an original and absorbing way.

There's no need to provide a synopsis of the plot in this review, as I'm sure that's easy enough to find above and below, but what's interesting to talk about is how the supernatural and American folklore are brought together in something that's branded as a pulp crime novel.

In the opening sections, there is a hint that maybe there's a ghost involved and maybe psychic abilities will play a part in this story, but this isn't The Shining. There's a haunted amusement park with a mystery that a newcomer - the narrator of this tale - finds himself unexpectedly drawn into. There's no great and talented detective here, and we don't even know that this is a whodunnit as the possibility that the crime that added to the ghost story of the actually haunted haunted funhouse ride titular 'Joyland' can actually be solved. There is a ghost, yes, but she's a sad figure, not a frightening one, despite the way in which she changes the lives of the characters in this story.

Where 'Joyland' really excels is in presenting a window into 'Carny' folklore and traditions. This is the lifestyle of the people who run amusements and carnival type fairs that are part of America, but which are dying out and becoming commercialised. The idea of the carnival and fairs and circuses are a slightly otherworldly liminal experience that are familiar to most, but are a step to the side from everyday life.

The slowly unravelling of the mystery is satisfying to behold as the main character also goes through a few coming of age experiences and grows up in his summer at Joyland along the way too. This is Stephen King at his subtlest. There aren't any great set-pieces of horror here, and it's very much a murder-mystery not a horror novel, despite a few tinges of the supernatural and a ghost or two and some psychic powers being involved.

You already know that Stephen King is one of the world's treasures and that he more than knows how to write a compelling story. This isn't King firing on all cylinders. He's holding back, but 'Joyland' is all the better for it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best, 17 Jun 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If the thought of skipping out on Joyland crossed your mind - well, I'd have forgiven you. His recent output is nothing compared to his older titles, with Duma Key, Lisey's Story and Under the Dome all averaging out at 'okay'. But Full Dark, No Stars, and 11/22/63 brought a return to form, and the trend continues with Joyland, one of King's strongest offerings in a long time - a book I have no qualms in calling one of his best.

The book purports to be a crime novel, and I suppose it sort of is. But though that is an element, it's not hard-boiled detective work, and in fact for the most part it's background, woven in here and there. Instead what you get is a coming-of-age story; a tale of heartbreak, simple yet incredibly well-rendered through King's catchy and accessible style. It's a book about friends; about growing up; about the world. In that respect, it's somewhat slow. Yet as with other highlights of King's career, such as Pet Sematary with its gentle ramping-up of events, the expert cadence prevents it from ever feeling slow.

Joyland was an excellent read from start to finish. It's addictive. The characters are well-rounded; the places interesting; the lingo a joy. It's a little bit heartbreaking at times. It's not particularly scary, and the scares that do take place are entirely human, even with the slight supernatural elements mixed in - but that doesn't matter. Joyland is King at the top of his game.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews