Joyland Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Joyland

A college student takes a summer job, only to discover a mystery. Devin Jones, a college student from Maine, takes a job at the Joyland amusement park in order to escape the greatest heartbreak (so far) of his life. At the amusement park, Devin meets a cast of characters as unique as they are strange - Madame Fortuna, the park's resident fortuneteller, ride operator Lane Hardy, jack-of-all-trades Fred Dean, and the park's aging owner, Bradley Easterbrook. Dev also meets his neighbors, a young mother by the name of Annie and her ailing son, Mike. As the summer progresses, Dev learns about Joyland's shocking secret - the murder of a young woman named Linda Gray, found with her throat cut in the park's House of Horrors. The story of Linda's tragic death became a ghost story for the employees of the park, where different people claimed to have seen Linda's spirit in the House of Horrors. One day, Dev, too, sees the ghost of Linda Gray and sets out to track down the person who killed her. Dev enlists the help of his friends and co-workers, Erin Cook and Tom Kennedy, to try to unravel the mystery surrounding Linda's death. As Annie and Dev grow closer, Dev arranges a special visit to the park for Mike, who is close to death. Unfortunately, Dev ends up delivering both himself and Mike into the hands of Linda Gray's murderer - a person closer to Joyland than anyone ever suspected.
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Best part of story, including ending: Overall, the story was good - great characters, a fleshed-out setting, and a solid chain of events - but the ending seemed a little convenient (even for a Stephen King story).

Best scene in story: I enjoyed the scene where Dev first dressed up as Joyland's canine mascot, Howie the Happy Hound, because I have never done anything like that - but through Stephen King's description, it seems like I have.

Opinion about the main character: Dev definitely seems like a typical young, stupid college kid who suffers through his first big break-up. He acts - and reacts - like anyone going through that kind of heartache would, but also grows and matures as his summer progresses.

The review of this Book prepared by Adam Koeth a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Joyland

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Horror Story?    -   Yes Any non-mystery subplot?    -   entertainment world Horror plotlets    -   the ghost chased me! Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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