Joyland Book Review

“I loved county fairs when I was a kid. There’s sort of a cheesy, exciting feel to them, and I decided that’s what I wanted to write about.”-SK

Bookstore Totals

  • King’s second book published with the Hard Case Crime imprint
  • Published in 2013
  • NY Times Best Seller
  • This book was was re-produced in 2013 a week after the release into a 3 book limited edition: 1) a gift edition. 2) a numbered edition. 3) a numbered and signed edition numbered and signed by the author.


Okay, this book was a little hard for me to review. I mean I liked it, didn’t love it. Didn’t hate either. It’s very difficult to hate anything that Stephen King writes because I like his stuff so much. That’s why with every book from him I read, I can always find something that works for me. Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but I’m a total fan of his, not a critic from New York or Los Angles. That’s not to say every book or short story he writes is the greatest piece of fiction to ever hit the bookstores. King has more hits than misses and for me he hasn’t missed anything.

Joyland was one of those books that was like 60/40 for me if I’m honest here. I read it in a span of a few days. I could have read the entire thing in a day if I had the time, but I couldn’t.

So what’s got me at a 60/40? (60% liking it) I think the length. The length of Joyland was short and even though it was short, it did keep my attention throughout. It’s not like because the length of the book made it any less of a good read, but I think the shortness really undercut what could have been a really engrossing novel.


I really think that Joyland could have been an epic novel if he really wanted it to be and I think that’s my problem with it: It’s just too damn short! Plus, I’m greedy because I wanted more because I felt like King really just scratched the surface with the killer, Lane Hardy, and Devin the book’s young sleuth. But with any good story, you always leave it wanting more. And that’s a good feeling to have: I wanted more with this story!

In the end, the book is what it is and Joyland works despite my issue with the length:

  1. Joyland works because it’s a coming of age tale. I like when characters are telling the story and are much older, giving their slant to the events of the narrative, possibly bending the truth a bit to suit their fading memories on what happened concerning the tale they are telling. People do that all the time when recounting a story from long ago.
  1. Joyland works because it’s a book that can be read in a quick amount of time. This can come in handy for those that just want something to sit on the couch with on an idle, rainy Saturday afternoon with nothing to do or on a long drive.  Perfect book to get lost in for awhile.Image result for joyland alt cover
  1. Joyland works because Devin has had his heart broken at a young age. Guys or girls both can relate to this because we’ve all been down that road before in a relationship much as Devin had in the book. I felt for him because I had a certain situation in my past that was like Devin’s. Again, King has a way of tapping into a reader’s emotion and memory conjuring up things that were happy and sad about our lives. Why can he do that so well? Because he writes about real people with real everyday emotion. The characters in Joyland had that and more.
  1. Joyland works because it’s a whodunit. I like mysteries myself. And who better than to write a mystery about a killer working the carnivals and theme parks over time than Stephen King.
  1. Joyland works because it’s not a convoluted book. As much I as wished it was more engrossing, it is still at its core a pretty straightforward book without the notions of having to flip back and re-read pages because of a clue that you think you might have missed. It was nice to just sit down and read and be entertained.

I do recommend anyone reading this book that hasn’t yet.

Joyland is a really cool place to visit- 2/5 (Okay)


One thought on “Joyland Book Review

  1. I looked for this but never could find him @ #1 for this book which I thought strange. I still can’t find this book at #1…I see it on the list but not at #1. Do you know where it’s at? If so send a link b/c I’ve looked but perhaps not in the right places.

    Thanks for the correction


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