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Joyland by Stephen King



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.

“I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.” – Stephen King



 “Work close to heaven!”

That was the advertisement that Mr Devin Jones one Summer reacted to, and this stand up guy at the age of twenty one was soon to become Howie the Happy Hound suited up in Hound attire doing the Hokey Pokey dance with kids at Joyland, a fun amusement park, a place where fun was lived out in its highs of rides and pitch darkness of the Horror House.
There is unfortunately no tunnel of love, just in case anyone reading wants to hope on a flight out to Joyland. The nearest to a tunnel of love is the Horror House but as you embark on that ride, with zombies and skeletons leaping out of nowhere to surprise you in the dark, watch out for any lonesome dame stranded, lurking, wearing a blue skirt and blue sleeveless blouse and a matching blue Alice band, she is not part of the outfit, the fun, she is out of place in Joyland, her presence, the mystery behind her, the suspense that surrounds her is the hook in the tale, one of which our master storyteller Mr Stephen King has used to great success i have to say, one to have you hooked and transported to this summer and the lead characters days working at Joyland.

Published by Hard Case Crime, a publishing house that specialises in suspense, mystery and noir, its no surprise that King chose them to tell this throwback suspense and mystery story. He has used a great setting a theme park, just liked great stories such as Something wicked This way Comes by Ray Bradbury, a memorable and strong character is present with the young protagonist Mr Devin Jones with hero qualities and some flaws, and another even better character Mike a young boy who is severely ill and wheelchair bound, you will also read of some love for the main character one gone and a possibly another to be gained.
This story has the reader ponder and read over the good days that have past, the love that was lost and found, the death that was faced and the life that managed to live on, a quaint feeling left upon the reader cast, on the good people lost and struck from this earth but the wonderful memories that lay and they left behind.
Joyland somewhere, somehow, may be found across the world, across seas and across lands, in hearts and minds, through efforts and great human endeavor, in fun-houses, parks, and happy days, everyone has some fun-house days to remember, recollect and reflect on the silver-lining and on the others of whom have left behind a memory gone from this passing world but never be forgotten.
A modest story can have great ramifications and reverberations, there is a power present in this great storytelling and of one I am in awe of Stephen Kings ability to do right, he connects and transports his reader.
In this tale he weaves you slowly in, with the telling of the main character Devin Jones and his humble efforts on a summer job at Joyland, a place of fun, and slowly revels some darkness and then some light with the great character Mike and his dreams of being out of his wheelchair high up in the sky on a ride, like the kite he regularly reels from his seat, as dreams are forged, and he breathes the air you have the great feeling of freedom he must have felt and then the darkness comes again and then…….the rest lays in wait for you to read this Summer, run and buy it in truck loads and give out for free.


“I remember Mike’s day at the park—Annie’s day, too—as if it happened last week, but it would take a correspondent much more talented than I am to tell you how it felt, or to explain how it could have ended the last hold Wendy Keegan still held over my heart and my emotions. All I can say is what you already know: some days are treasure. Not many, but I think in almost every life there are a few. That was one of mine, and when I’m blue-when life comes down on me and everything looks tawdry and cheap, the way Joyland Avenue did on a rainy day—I go back to it, if only to remind myself that life isn’t always a butcher’s game. Sometimes the prizes are real. Sometimes they’re precious.”

“Who knows, this place might be your future.”
“Maybe,” I said, although I already knew what my future was going to be: writing novels and the kind of short stories they publish in The New Yorker. I had it all planned out. Of course, is also had marriage to Wendy Keegan all planned out, and how we’d wait until we were in our thirties to have a couple of kids. 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 you’ve been looking at 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 f*****g lost.”

“There’s one Hollywood Girl on each Helper team…..They run around in these short green dresses and green high heels and cutie-pie green hats that always make me think of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Only they re the Merry Chicks. They tote Speed Graphic cameras, like the kind you see in old movies, and they take pictures of the rubes.” She paused. “Although I’d advise you against calling the customers that yourself.”
“Already been warned by Mr. Dean,” I said.
“Figures. Anyhow, the Hollywood Girls are told to concentrate on family groups and dating couples who look over twenty-one. Kids younger than that usually aren’t interested in souvenir photos; they’d rather spend their money on food and arcade games. So the deal is, the girls snap first, then approach.” She did a breathy little Marilyn Monroe voice.
” ‘Hello, welcome to Joyland, I’m Karen! If you’d like a copy of the picture I just took, give me your name and check at the Hollywood Photo Booth on Hound Dog Way as you exit the park.’ Like that.”

“This is a badly broken world, full of wars and cruelty and senseless tragedy. Every human being who inhabits it is served his or her portion of unhappiness and wakeful nights. Those of you who don’t already know that will come to know it. Given such sad but undeniable facts of the human condition, you have been given a priceless gift this summer: you are here to sell fun. In exchange for the hard-earned dollars of your customers, you will parcel out happiness. Children will go home and dream of what they saw here and what they did here. I hope you will remember that when the work is hard, as it sometimes will be, or when people are rude, as they often will be, or when you feel your best efforts have gone unappreciated. This is a different world, one that has its own customs and its own language, which we simply call the Talk. You’ll begin learning it today. As you learn to talk the Talk, you’ll learn to walk the walk. I’m not going to explain that, because it can’t be explained; it can only be learned.”