Audiobook: Joyland

by Stephen King
Read by Michael Kelly
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: Lot of language, including a dozen or so f-bombs (and that was just in the first half). It’s in the adult mystery section of the bookstore.

I was wandering around the store, looking for something to listen to, and I asked a coworker for a recommendation. I had been listening to a lot of humor, and I wanted something with more… weight. This is what she suggested to me. She pitched it as a coming-of-age novel, no horror, a slight mystery.

And so I went for it.

And got about a third of the way into it before I bailed. It’s the story of the summer of 1973, a boy from Maine who worked at a third-tier amusement park in North Carolina and his experiences that summer. By the time I bailed, his long-term girlfriend broke up with him and he’d saved a kid from choking to death. And there was an illusion to a grisly murder four years before. But that’s it. And I think that’s why I bailed when something better came along. It was meandering — a ton of foreshadowing, which just made me annoyed — and circular, and while Devin was okay as a main character, I just didn’t really care. That, and King introduced the murder fairly early on and then just let it hang there. Which drove me nuts. What’s the purpose of the murder? Why wait until nearly halfway through to bring it back up?


I really am ruined for adult books. Either that, or I’m just reading the wrong ones.

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