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The Talisman by Stephen King

The Talisman (1984)

by Stephen King, Peter Straub

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6,32974623 (4.04)162
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    Valjeanne: A real page-turner collaboration between Peter Straub and Stephen King! More "flipping" between alternate dimensions, shape-shifting good guys and bad guys, and a hero you'll love. :-)

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English (73)  French (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
God pound it, that was a tedious read! There is an awesome 300 page book in this behemoth! Jack Sawyer takes on a Herculean task and must cross the country/Territories to achieve it. Part Tom Sawyer, part Jack Kerouac, and even a bit of Jesus in this 12 year old! A good tale, but stretched out much too long. Makes me nervous about the sequel. Wolf! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Aug 22, 2014 |
Jack Sawyer was my first character crush. Ok, maybe not my first. But what an awesome adventure. It has everything. Horror, mystery, thriller, fantasy, love - mostly familial love, but still. After all this, it is just an amazing story of friendships and the journey.
( )
  tiddleyboom | Jan 6, 2014 |
A young boy goes on a quest across the United States and its parallel world, the Territories, to save his mother.

I have such mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it's an early attempt to tackle some of the themes that I grew to love in King's books, such as the idea of linked worlds. On the other hand, I think it's bloated and the execution is clumsy. I also didn't feel a real connection to these characters. Perhaps that was Straub's influence, a writer I tried to like but could never connect with either.

Contrariwise, the sequel Black House is a much better read.

Read ages ago because Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. Reviewed from memory. ( )
  sturlington | Nov 28, 2013 |
3.5 stars

13-year old Jack's mother is dying. He finds himself on a quest from New Hampshire to California to find a “talisman” to cure his mom. This quest will take him back and forth between worlds, this one and the “Territories”.

I waffled on this one between rating it ok (3 stars) and good (3.5 stars). I'm not even sure what genre to call it – it was a mix of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, maybe? I'm not always a fantasy fan, and what I did find in this book was that the parts that I lost interest in where mostly the parts in the Territories, the other world. My mind did wander at times, but there were other times where I was interested. In a way, some of the parts felt a little like short stories (which I'm also not a fan of), but more fleshed out short stories, where there would be some focus on the people Jack met and what he was doing for a time, then he'd move and on there would be new people and another “story” before he moved on again. Overall, I'll rate it “good”, but I don't think I'll read the sequel. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 13, 2013 |
What an odd experience, reading this book. It was unmistakably King: never having read any Peter Straub, I might not be able to identify his influence here anyway, but this book felt just like every other Stephen King book.

And, incidentally, "just like every other Stephen King book" is how I would describe The Talisman's plot. This novel is like a shambling Frankenstein's monster, rudely stitched together out of concepts and plot points from the rest of King's oeuvre. From the [b:Shining|11588|The Shining|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1349371560s/11588.jpg|849585]-esque beginning, with the family holed up in the deserted off-season resort hotel and the mysterious old black man who seems to know something special about the kid; to the interminable, dimension-hopping road trip second act, reminiscent of [b:The Stand|149267|The Stand|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1213131305s/149267.jpg|1742269]; to the here-at-the-nexus-of-all-possible-worlds climax (which almost feels like King taking an early dry run at the apocalyptic end of [b:The Dark Tower|5091|The Dark Tower (Dark Tower # 7)|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1348208581s/5091.jpg|6309701]), almost everything here felt familiar. Throw in another few of his favorite themes - childhood friendship overcoming horrible supernatural menace, crazy evil religious nutcases, etc. - and the King grab bag is complete.

An exciting read while it lasted, except in the places where it was overlong, but nothing to hook me into reading the rest of the (trilogy?) series. ( )
  benjamin.duffy | Jul 28, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straub, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Well, when Tom and me got to the edge of the hilltop, we looked away down into the village and could see three or four lights twinkling, where there was sick folks, may be; and stars over us was sparkling ever so fine; and down by the village was the river, a whole mile broad, and awful still and grand. -Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
My new clothes was all greased up and clayey, and I was dog-tired. -Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
The book is for Ruth King, Elvena Straub
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On September 15th, 1981, a boy named Jack Sawyer stood where the water and land come together, hands in the pockets of his jeans, looking out at the steady Atlantic.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345444884, Mass Market Paperback)

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
. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer braves the mysterious dangers of the Territories, a surreal parallel world, in his cross-country quest through the U.S. for the Talisman, the only hope for his dying mother and for his own survival.

» see all 10 descriptions

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