BOOK REVIEW: Joyland – by Stephen King


Title: Joyland
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: June 4th 2013
Finished reading: August 20th 2015
Pages: 283
Rating 3,5qqq

“When you’re twenty-one, life is a roadmap. It’s only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect that you’ve been looking at the map upside down, and not until you’re forty are you entirely sure. By the time you’re sixty, take it from me, you’re fucking lost.”


It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Stephen King and I’ve had a copy of this one (among others) on my shelf for a while now, so I decided to give it a go. I wasn’t impressed by one of his latest novels Mr. Mercedes, but Joyland shows that Stephen King still hasn’t lost his magic. The prose was just as good as ever and combined with the fast pace I was able to finish this novel in no time at all. And I have to say I loved the 1973 carnival setting! Very interesting and I loved the ‘slang’ the people working at Joyland used. The main character Devin was well developed and I enjoyed reading about his adventures. The ending was definitely a surprise as well; I didn’t see that one coming until after I read it! All in all it’s an entertaining read with a fast pace and just the right dose of paranormal. Recommended for mystery/thriller and Stephen King fans!


After his girlfriend left him and broke his heart, Devin Jones decided to take the summer job at Joyland to try to forget about her. His new job has him very busy and he soon learns the ropes of working at a place like Joyland. But it’s hard to forget the past… Luckily he has his new friends to help him through it. Things are not all rosy at Joyland though; a ghost from the past is still trapped at the park and the local fortune teller has things to say about Devin’s future as well. Devin isn’t sure what to believe, but he soon finds himself in the middle of an old murder investigation… Who really killed the girl at Joyland? And what about the little girl and boy the fortune teller was talking about?


Joyland is actually a mix of various genres. The typical mystery/thriller/horror read has been mixed with just the right dose of paranormal and romance, making it a very interesting read. Both the character development and the plot are very well done and I didn’t know what was going to happen until the very end. Sure, some of the scenes were a bit cliche, but I still enjoyed this read anyway. If you are looking for a quick and entertaining read and don’t mind some ‘scary’ scenes, this would be the perfect read for you.

6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Joyland – by Stephen King

  1. I love that this book came out as a dime store pulp novel first: no hardcover, no ebook. And then that hardcover came out with the beautiful map of Joyland. Sigh. I loved that this book taught me about carnies. It was also one of King’s shortest and most conclusive endings. It got me into reading, but looking back, it wasn’t his best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read the e-copy myself, but the hardcover and the map of Joyland definitely sounds tempting. I really enjoyed the carnival atmosphere as well. I agree it’s not his best work (my favorite until now is The Shining), but it was definitely an entertaining read.


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