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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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Extraordinary . . . Makes your hair stand on end."
--The Washington Post
"A Classic . . . rare and dazzling."
--New York Daily News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
During his travels he incounters both fantastical and realistic evil. He also encounter allies within both worlds. The best part of this novel is the development of the young naive Jack (young lead character) to the strong and confident jack at the end. As the reader, I felt afraid for him in the beginning during this journey and wondered how could a young 12 year old boy survive? By the end, I felt completely confident of jack's abilities and didn't doubt that he would succeed.
Although there have since been better sci-fi novels (Tad William's,, Otherland series). The Talisman is still one of the best novels to merge the coming of age story with science fiction.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
A slow start , but once you get into the story. It,s hard to put down.
Five. Stars. From a avid. Reader.
Liked best the characters, especially Jack & Wolf.
Disliked nothing except the end came too soon.
Recommended to anyone who needs a fantasy world to escape to for awhile.
One of my faves in King 's collection. Nothing like a Quest to save the worlds! Looking forward to starting Black House...again.Published 23 months ago by Nicola MacNaughton
...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 broPublished on July 30 2012 by Tim
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 morePublished on Jan. 6 2005 by Michael Beveridge