Thursday, July 11, 2013

Audiobook Review: Joyland by Stephen King

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Read by: Michael Kelly
  • Length: 7 hours and 33 minutes
  • Source: Audiobook provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | The Book Depository

Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book....Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved” (Charles Ardai, Edgar- and Shamus Award-winning editor of Hard Case Crime).Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland 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. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

My Thoughts

I have been a Stephen King fan for as long as I can remember and have read so many of his books and loved them. This book, though not as much of a thriller as I expected it to be, was fantastic! As the synopsis says, it was beautiful and heartbreaking. I loved learning Devin's story and listening to it all unfold. There are many side characters that play very important roles in his life. For once, I didn't figure out who the killer was until almost right before it's revealed and that's saying a lot for me. This isn't one of my favorites of his, but I did still really enjoy it.

Normally this would be the part of the review where I talk about the main character, but since Devin is telling his story to us, I don't really know how to explain him. We basically are going along with him as he grows up, deals with love, loss, and heartbreak. Along with that we have a murder mystery, but though it really brings the story to where it's going, it's more in the background then you would think. I guess that Devin is the type of person I would be friends with. He cares about people in such a beautiful way, and even though he has suffered hurt and heartbreak, he is still a great person, and willing to extend his heart out to people again and again. 

There are a lot of secondary characters that I really grew to like. Annie and Mike being the ones that I liked most and had such an important part in this story. I also really loved Erin and Tom, Madam Fortuna, and in a weird way, Wendy. Wendy being Mike's first love who broke his heart. Mike was definitely my favorite though, and he worked his way into my heart the same way that he did to Devin. He really made the story for me and even managed to pull some emotion out of me.

I listened to the audio version of this and I have to say that it was a great choice. The narrator was great at the different voices in a large cast of characters. I always knew who was supposed to be talking when. I thought he was also the perfect voice for Devin. I really felt as if he was telling me his story, not like someone was narrating it for him. I don't know if that makes sense, but I know what I mean. I could imagine sitting there having coffee and chatting with Devin as if he were a real person telling his story. It was easy to get wrapped up in the story and not want to stop.

I loved that a lot of this story took part in an amusement park. It was fun to imagine the scenery and the things going on. Even though the story is centered around Joyland, I really more see it as a branch of the story. Mostly, I think it was about the beauty in love, life, and even death. I loved the friendships Devin formed. I loved the broken person he started as, and who he became. He was a strong person even if he didn't realize it himself. This wasn't really creepy or even that much of a thriller. It was just a beautifully told story with some tragic events. I really enjoyed it.


* A copy of this audiobook was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

18 comments:

  1. Unlike you, I have not read a single Stephin King book, I'm been meaning to as I'm currently watching the Under The Dome T. V. series and it's pretty intense. Good to hear you enjoyed the characters here, including the secondary ones.

    Fantastic review, Amy! <33

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    1. I loved the book Under the Dome. I am enjoying the show, but being that I have read the book, a lot about the show is irritating me. Lol!! He is really great about his characters. A lot of authors can't pull off large casts well, but he does it fabulously!

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  2. I never read any books by SK, but have watched the movies based on some of his books, Cujo was waaay too much for me, as well as Children Of The Corn. Carrie and Christine were tolerable. My fav. by SK is The Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile. Oh and let's not forget Stand By Me based on his novella, The Body. Someday I may crack one of his books open. Great review, too bad it wasn't more thriller filled for you.

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    1. I have read so many of his books! Of course I have also seem many of the movies from his books as well. I just really love his writing. Even though Joyland wasn't as creepy as I was expecting, I still loved the story and the writing was great!!

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  3. I've read only a few Stephen King books, but the few I've read have been highly enjoyable. I didn't know he had another book coming out. I'm glad that you had a good time listening to it though. The secondary characters sound great but it's a shame the book wasn't as creepy as you expected it to be.
    Anyways, glad you had fun with this one, Amy! Fabulous review!

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    1. I did really enjoy this, I just thought that it was going to be more creepy. The fact that it wasn't didn't take away from it though. As always his writing was fantastic, but I thought it was much slower than a lot of his books.

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  4. I passed on all the S&S audio again, but maybe I should have gotten this one. I'm just not a big mystery person, and I've only one read Stephen King book. I do want to try some of his at some point, but he has so many that it's intimidating. lol. Anyway, I love when the narrators are so good at all the voices. There are only a couple I enjoy who don't do the full cast on their own. Haha.

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    1. I have always liked Stephen King, even his less creepy books. I just thought this one would have more scary stuff to it and it really wasn't. It had that little bit of chilling atmosphere at times, but mostly it was just a great story.

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  5. Confession: even though I watch every single Stephen King movie, I have yet to read the books. I KNOW! I know I need to read them.

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    1. Haha! It seems like a lot of people haven't read his books. I grew up reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I didn't get really into YA until a few years ago even though I read a few here and there. Now it's almost all I read.

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  6. I can't handle scary so I haven't really read Stephen King (other than once in high school and it scared me for life). This does sound like a less scary one though and actually sounds pretty interesting!

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  7. I think if there is one thing that King always manages to nail it's that his secondary characters always come to life. The secondary people usually feel just as substantial as the MC. I feel like I haven't even heard of this book before, when I saw that you were reading it on GR I had no idea what it was. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention!

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  8. This sounds pretty interesting. I've only read one King book, The Green Mile, and I have to say that it was addictive. I'm glad you enjoyed this; a great narrator always helps.

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  9. I'm not into Stephan King. I guess I'm weird. I am glad that you enjoyed this one.

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  10. Whoa -- love Stephen King but the whole "Funhouse of Fear" sounds super-scary. My family is watching Under the Dome, so perhaps I will stick to that for now…
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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  11. This sounds so good! I just love the cover and I keep wanting to pick it up, but I haven't yet. I haven't actually read any Stephen King yet, but I feel like I would really like his stuff and I've seen some of the movies based on his books. This was a great review and I totally get what you're saying about a good reader!

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  12. Another great read from the King. I was lost in this book. Stayed up way to late at night reading as I couldn't put it down.
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