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The Talisman [Turtleback]

Stephen King
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover CDN $29.47  
Turtleback, January 1991 --  
Paperback --  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $11.72  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged CDN $16.78  
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Book Description

January 1991
On a brisk autumn day, a thirteen-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America–and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest
. . . .
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Library Journal

The first (1984) collaboration between horror/fantasy writers King and Straub, this book has been reissued in multiple formats to coincide with the publication of its sequel, Black House. In The Talisman, 12-year-old Jack Sawyer takes on a quest in this and a parallel world, the "Territories," to acquire a mystical talisman that will save the life of his dying mother and her "twinner," the Queen of the Territories. Jack "flips" back and forth between worlds during his journey, finding his way through and past representatives of good and evil in both. Award-winning reader Frank Muller continues his long string of superlative performances. This program will generate lots of demand a must for current fiction collections. Also available in the newer, highly compressed MP3-CD format, which requires a CD player that is MP3-compatible or a computer with CD-ROM drive and MP3 player software loaded. Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good. But Loses Steam halfway through May 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jack Sawyer is a precocious 12 year old who, while visiting a Coney-Island like resort town, meets an elderly African American janitor named (Speedy) who tells him of a fictional country called the territories. Speedy informs him that if he drinks a magic wine he can 'flip' into the territories, a fictional world where his mother is Queen.
Jack believes Speedy, and goes on a quest to save his mother from his father's evil ex-partner and the ravages of cancer.
I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of the Talisman. I liked the character of Wolf. But after awhile I found the writing became repetitive. I felt Jack was too mature to be 12. I also found his friend: Richard to be very annoying. Richard whines more than any character ever created by Anne Rice. Plus he was useless. Also, the ending was too surreal for me to find very interesting. I think the threat of Sloat could've been resolved in a different way.
Peeves? What's with all Phallic imagery? It seems like every rock and tree is described as looking like an erect (you know what). This was done WAY too much. Surely the author could come up with some other less Freudian adjective?
Overall, while this book started off well, it quickly lost steam. Would recommend for diehard fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Novel ever Written!! April 12 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As you can see from the Rating and the Title for this review I thought this was a great book. Ok. This is a large 700 page epic that is somewhat like the Lord of The Rings but it is MUCH different than that. At first when I picked it up I was worried about if I would hate it or like it. A lot of people said to me that you might not like it because it is a fantasy story and a lot of other people did not like it.
This is not a horror story, but it is a fantasy story yet it has some horror elements because King wrote part of it. In the genre category I would say it is fantasy/horror/drama. As most epics it has some drama. What I loved about this novel is the interesting touch of Peter Straub's terrific writing, but also my favorite aspect of it is how there is cliffhanger after cliffhanger. Most would say that a 700 page epic must contain a lot talk and unneeded material. That is not true here. Talisman is just pure story after page 90 or so. Also by the final scene of this book I was so attached with the characters that I could not let them go. The ending was not really sad but it was "beautiful", so I nearly cried(It is hard to make me cry).
I will give a summary with as much detail as possible but with no spoilers. It starts off with a boy named Jack Sawyer. Jack's mom is dying from the "Black Death" or Cancer. To add to his troubles his Dad died a few years earlier, and, guess what?
Jack is only 12 years old. Poor kid. While Lily Cavanaugh(Jack's Mom), Queen of the B's is dying with Cancer in a New Hampshire Resort with her only son, Jack meets someone mysterious on the beach near an amusement park. His name is Speedy Parker. Jack eventually spills out that his mother is dying and that he obviously is very sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Stephen King fan April 14 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
I just keep trying but I just can't seem to like him. I always felt like his books could be good if they were edited down to about 1/3 their original length. I had just about given up when a friend recommended this to me.
It does have some of that excess "stuff" that King writes, but for the most part, it is a highly engaging, richly rewarding, heartfelt story which did not fail to keep my interest. I won't review the plot since the Amazon review and many other reviewee's will give you trailer. I will only mention that the characters are filled out and believable, the plot is entertaining and suspenseful, and the overall book rocks just a little. Don't let the author's name fool you. If you've tried Stephen King and found him wanting, try this book. Both it, and it's sequel are well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Plays these Changes? May 27 2004
By A. Hart
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Of all of King's books, including the Dark Tower series, this one is my favorite. Once I got through the first few chapters, I was captivated. Something about the mythic atmosphere of this book, and the beautiful eeriness of the Territories world, did something to me. Jack Sawyer is half Tom Sawyer and half Frodo Baggins, a boy traveling across America because he must, even though he's afraid. My favorite character in this story was Wolf, an innocent and simple-minded teenage werewolf who accompanies Jack on part of his journey, and who is symbolic of what our world is capable of doing to the good world that we have left behind.
This book is good for everyone. Even if you are not a big King (or Straub) fan, I am sure that many people will consider this to be the exception.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good the second time.... Feb. 27 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of my faves in King 's collection. Nothing like a Quest to save the worlds! Looking forward to starting Black House...again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite books... March 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jack Sawyer is a thirteen year old boy who grew up dreaming of a magic place far away, but always wrote if off as make believe. Jack and his mother move to a beach front communnity on the east coast. This is where Jack meets a man named Speedy Parker. He tells Jack about the magic realm of the Territories, and that the dreams Jack has been having all his life are real. Speedy informs Jack that his mom is dying, and that he has to go into the Territories to get the only thing that can save her life - the Talisman! Unfortunately, Jack also has the fate of the Territories resting on his shoulders. The queen of the Territories is dying as well, and can only be saved by a human that manages to obtain the Talisman. Speedy warns Jack that monsters, demons, and people from both his own world and the Territories, will stop at nothing to make sure that Jack never gets his hands on the Talisman. Join Jack on his quest in this amazing story, as he faces numerous challenges and obstacles!!
The Talisman in my opinion, is Stephen King's best book. The fact that Peter Straub was also involved, only made the book even better. The story unfolds like a modern day Lord of the Rings. King and Straub did such an amazing job with the description of the Territories and all of the evil that is encompased within. I also love the fact that Jack can travel in and out of the Territories at will. This also means that creatures from the Territories can travel into the real world, which means that he is never safe. The characters are incredibly written and they are one of the big reasons that the book is so appealing to readers. There are too many to mention, so I will cover only my personal favorites. Jack Sawyer is the best heroine that I have ever encountered in a novel.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book!!
Published 1 month ago by Real Health
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
As expected.
Published 2 months ago by adam weekes
1.0 out of 5 stars this book is...
...boring. What a string of hapless experiences this boy endures. Not a friend to be found (that isn't a wolf). I like King, but man, pick it up a bit bro
Published on July 30 2012 by Tim
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Fantasy
What a great book, I did think however it was quite longer than it could have been with all the little obsticles Jack has to overcome, but I guess it just adds to his quest. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2005 by Michael Beveridge
5.0 out of 5 stars An awsome book for all
I came across this book as I was looking for a good book for my English class, but all of the books that I had found were slow starting. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by sean fuller
2.0 out of 5 stars A long freaking book
The Talisman was a book that was written for people who like fantasy. This is not a darn horror novel. The book starts out boring and get's good when the character Wolf comes in. Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by "fantasticty"
5.0 out of 5 stars A great pairing
While this is a departure for both authors, the mixture of styles is both perfect and exciting. From page one until the end, you will be immersed in Jack's world.
Published on April 1 2004 by Jeannette Trayser
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!
For those of you wanting a "Stephen King-y" book, you may be slightly disappointed.
For those of you who might be turned off from the book because it might be... Read more
Published on March 27 2004 by Hadley
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