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Black House by Stephen King
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Black House (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Stephen King (Author)

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7,611781,196 (3.8)1 / 115
Fiction. Horror. HTML:

Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother and her Territories "twinner" from a premature and agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, WI. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.

When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades earlier by a real-life madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed "The Fisherman" and Jack's buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help his inexperienced force find him. But is this merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious and malignant force been unleashed in this quiet town? What causes Jack's inexplicable waking dreams, if that is what they are, of robins' eggs and red feathers? It's almost as if someone is trying to tell him something. As that message becomes increasingly impossible to ignore, Jack is drawn back to the Territories and to his own hidden past, where he may find the soul-strength to enter a terrifying house at the end of a deserted track of forest, there to encounter the obscene and ferocious evils sheltered within it.

.… (more)
Member:Catchlightning
Title:Black House
Authors:Stephen King (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2003), 688 pages
Collections:My Read Books
Rating:
Tags:3-5, currently-reading, the-usa-in-books

Work Information

Black House by Stephen King (2001)

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» See also 115 mentions

English (73)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
I would strongly recommend you read The Talisman before starting Black House. This book resurrects our hero, Jack Sawyer—twelve in the first book and thirty-one in the second book. Jack first discovered he could flip to the Territories as a child. After saving The Talisman, he grew up and became a detective in L.A. When he moves to French Landing, a small rural town in Coulee County, Wisconsin, to retire, he's quickly caught up in the hunt for a killer dubbed The Fisherman, who kidnaps, tortures, and eats children. (Yes, gross.) Paired with an unlikely group of people, including bikers, a blind man, and a crazy woman in Ward D, Jack discovers the Black House and The Big Combination—a harrowing pit where slave children struggle to break the beams that hold The Tower in place. If you've read The Tower series, you'll know exactly what that means. The Krimson King is alive and well in French Landing, and Stephen King is at the top of his game. Six hundred twenty-seven pages fly by while Jack fights the good fight against the creepy bad dudes. ( )
  PaulaGalvan | Jan 19, 2024 |
So...I found the last few chapters the most interesting and fans of the Dark Tower series...if you have never read this you should. I believe that series was born inside this book....

( )
  Becky_From_Kansas | Jan 8, 2024 |
I read 'The Talisman' to which this forms a sequel many years ago and can't remember much about it other than I found it rather a disappointment, being a fan of both authors' work. Anyway, that isn't really a difficulty for the reader since there's enough background to fill in the gaps.

The book starts in a very disconcerting and distancing style where the reader is a bird's eye view being whisked from place to place and shown/told lots of things about various characters and situations. This gradually calms down although the whole book continues to be told in present tense with occasional head hopping between characters and quite a lot of info dumping about people's backgrounds. I found it a slow, very long read bogged down from time to time by dragged out pacing and I had to take a couple of breaks to read non fiction as a refresher.

I wasn't keen on protagonist Jack who takes a fair while to finally take on the role he should in solving the initial child murders - no doubt indirectly leading to unnecessary deaths - and much preferred a secondary character (avoiding spoilers as this character is eventually killed off). There are some powerful set pieces, such as the assault on the five biker characters (again, Jack is directly responsible since he should have told them to wait until he was available, rather than approach Black House by themselves), but most of the time any chance of building suspense is deliberately sabotaged - the reader is told that particular characters are about to be killed off. An odd character choice is to make a lot of an old lady at the carehome, constantly telling the reader how lovely she is etc, as if she is going to be key in some way, but only having her make one real appearance.

The distancing of the early chapters occasionally recurs - once, near the end, there is an actual reference to the two men (though not by name) who are writing the story so there is always the sense that this is just a made-up story rather than something the reader can immerse themselves within. As a fan of birds I also found it rather a misfire to have an "evil" crow featured. For fans of the Dark Tower series there are quite a few direct references, with the murderer being directly implicated in the plan to destroy the Beams and bring about universal destruction.

Altogether, it was rather a mixed bag and I would rate it at 3 stars overall. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Black House is a story that could only be created in the minds of Stephen King and Peter Straub. In the sequel to the Talisman, we catch up to Jack Sawyer 20 years later, living in a small Wisconsin town. He’s presently a retired Las Angeles homicide detective as a result of a sketchy incident.

Jack is trying to live a simple life in his new community, with his new friends. Horrific murders take place in this sleepy town that are similar to ones that occurred decades earlier. The local chief of police begs for Jack’s help...

I have photos and additional information that I'm unable to include here. It can all be found on my blog, in the link below.
A Book And A Dog ( )
  NatalieRiley | Sep 30, 2023 |
This is one of my favorites, I read the Talisman second, but this book was still better. ( )
  CherieSanders | Sep 18, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straub, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Marenco, Maria TeresaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You take me to a place I never go, You send me kisses made of gold, I'll place a crown upon your curls, All hail the Queen of the World! -- The Jayhawks
Dedication
For David Gernert and Ralph Vicinanza
First words
Right here and now, as an old friend used to say, we are in the third present, where clear-sightedness never guarantees perfect vision.
Quotations
A kid in this place would stand out like a rose in a patch of poison ivy, if you know what I mean.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Horror. HTML:

Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother and her Territories "twinner" from a premature and agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, WI. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.

When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades earlier by a real-life madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed "The Fisherman" and Jack's buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help his inexperienced force find him. But is this merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious and malignant force been unleashed in this quiet town? What causes Jack's inexplicable waking dreams, if that is what they are, of robins' eggs and red feathers? It's almost as if someone is trying to tell him something. As that message becomes increasingly impossible to ignore, Jack is drawn back to the Territories and to his own hidden past, where he may find the soul-strength to enter a terrifying house at the end of a deserted track of forest, there to encounter the obscene and ferocious evils sheltered within it.

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