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Joyland (Hard Case Crime) (Hard Case Crime Novels) Paperback – 7 Jun 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 560 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Case Crime (Titan Books); 01 edition (7 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781162646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781162644
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (560 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"...the book... features some of King's most graceful writing... ruminative, amused, digressive, marvelously unaffected, and finally, devastatingly sad." --Entertainment Weekly

"King at his best." --AICN review

"One of Stephen King s greatest books." --Retroist review

"Both gripping and touching in equal measure." --Bad Haven

"...period murder mystery with a heart...King brings his usual finesse to this tale s mystery elements." --Publishers Weekly"

""Wrapped in a gloriously pulpy cover, Joyland is a coming-of-age story set in 1973 at a North Carolina amusement park -- creepy! -- that's haunted by a murderer." --Time Magazine

"From horror authority Stephen King comes some hard-boiled action, with all the elements of a good crime novel including the early 70s, southern secrets, carnivals, and a meddling college kid." --The Daily Muse

King presents the everyday (especially the slightly-past everyday of yesteryear) in a way that's reassuringly familiar yet also compelling enough in its small observations and insights that makes for a good read. He's in fine form here. --The Complete Review

Joyland is wonderfully nostalgic and evocative, and he's created a world richly populated with a believable cast of eccentrics making for a totally engrossing slice of Americana. --The List

King is a genius at pulling his readers into the affective space of an ordinary central character. --The Guardian

"Joyland is a hard book to pigeonhole it s been published as a crime novel, and certainly has all the elements: murder, clues, a final confrontation with the (human) killer. But it s not completely grounded in reality. Linda s ghost is very real, as are the premonitions of Madama Fortuna and Mike Ross, a dying young boy --SFX

Joyland describes being young with the necessary vigour, and the slow agony with which a broken heart heals with the necessary tenderness. It's explicitly a novel about false appearances, but the feelings are real. --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. --The Express

For Stephen King fans, and that includes horror fans Joyland is one of the books that is a must buy. --Pissed off Geek

"his sweet, lovingly told tale immerses us in its world and reminds us how elegant and even gentle a writer King can be." --Deep Focus Review

"[King] is a master storyteller, crafting his stories with vivid descriptions to provide his audience with the best ride." --Pop Culture Nexus

"Take Joyland to the beach, or curl up on the couch and fall into the year, the time and place, and let Stephen King do what he does best tell a great story." --Lit Reactor

...what makes King special is that he s an unusually imaginative horror writer who s as interested in characterisation as he is in fright. --International Express

"Joyland is a far gentler, deeper, more thoughtful book than it masquerades as... and all the more intriguing for it. --The News Review (Supp. to The Ovserver)

"The novel defies expectations and proves once again that King is the master, not just of horror, but of the written word and of reader emotions." --Den of Geek

"JOYLAND allows King s gift for writing believable, human characters to shine through. It s this quality in his writing that makes King s work so memorable and engrossing." --Aint It Cool News

...what makes King special is that he s an unusually imaginative horror writer who s as interested in characterisation as he is in fright." ----International Express

"Joyland is a far gentler, deeper, more thoughtful book than it masquerades as... and all the more intriguing for it." --The News Review (Supp. to The Ovserver)

"Stephen King has remarked how much he loves crime fiction, and he has transmuted that affection into a typically compelling King novel... intriguing." --- The Good Book Guide

...what makes King special is that he s an unusually imaginative horror writer who s as interested in characterisation as he is in fright. --International Express

"Joyland is a far gentler, deeper, more thoughtful book than it masquerades as... and all the more intriguing for it. --The News Review (Supp. to The Ovserver)

About the Author

Stephen King has written dozens of bestselling books including The Shining, The Stand, and The Green Mile. Film adaptations of his work include "Misery" and "Stand By Me". In 2003, King received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2007 he was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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By Liz Barnsley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." -- Proverbs 15:13 (NKJV)

I know many Stephen King fans, and I'm fascinated by his writing methods and style. Yet I find his books hard to take due to the ghastliness involved in many of them. Consequently, I don't read many. I'm glad that I made Joyland an exception. It's a superb book with only the tiniest aspects of what normally repels me (and obviously attracts many others).

Characterizing this story according to genres is a challenge. It's clearly an homage to the carney world. There's a murder mystery. It's also a coming-of-age novel. And, of course, there's a non-Biblical supernatural element. Ultimately, the book is perhaps best understood as being gracious and full of charm, upholding the idea of doing the right thing. If that's the kind of uplifting book that appeals to you, consider Joyland. The book is written from a male perspective in every sense, so don't expect the kind of cosiness that a book with a woman's perspective often brings.

Mr. King does a great job of adding many appealing, and unforgettable characters, the kind that you might like to have as friends, coworkers, and neighbors. I can't remember many novels of this length that succeed so well in this regard. Excellent!

Perhaps the best thing to say for capturing this book is that while many of Mr. King's books start from fragments of a nightmare he has had, perhaps this one story started with a daydream while sitting under a pleasant apple tree as summer retreated into fall.

Nice going, Mr. King.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
There are a few books in the 'Hard case Crime' series which don't really fit in with their mission statement, and this is one of those. I have had this book sitting on my TBR pile for a while, after buying it in a moment of weakness. Stephen King did have another book published by this Press, The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)), which lets face it, was average at best. With that in mind to be honest I wasn't really expecting much of this, but to my surprise I found that I loved this story.

Whether you are a fan of King or not you will admit that some things he does brilliantly, whilst others he isn't so good at, so if you decide to read this book bear that in mind. To be honest, the finale as it were for this book is more of a quick bang and fizz, where arguably other writers could have made something a bit longer and better, but despite that I did enjoy the ending.

Devin Jones reminisces about when he was twenty one, still a virgin, and started work at an amusement park. What King does best is small groups of people, either small town communities or other smaller groups, such as in prison i.e. The Green Mile. This story mainly centres around the amusement park and some of the employees there, and a mother and son who live on the way there. Devin originally takes on a job in the school term break to work at the place along with others. We read about his girlfriend, his relationships with others and his emotional state. He finds out that the Ghost Train ride is apparently haunted by a girl who was killed on the ride.
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