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The Talisman: Volume 1: The Road of Trials (2010)

by Stephen King

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1408152,216 (3.95)None
In a run-down amusement park on a desolate beach in New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Jack Sawyer is about to learn some hard truths, about his father's death, about why he and his mother are on the run from his sinister uncle Morgan, and about the real nature of the mysterious realm Jack once called the Daydreams. Now, with help from his newfound friend Speedy Parker, this young man will reclaim his identity as Travellin Jack and make his first foray back into the Territories to retrieve the magical Talisman, an object of immense cosmic significance. Yet even more important to Jack, the Talisman holds the key to saving his mother's life. In the Terrorities, where monsters lurk, evil watches, and an unbelievably precious prize awaits, Jack embarks upon a desperate quest to fulfill a destiny he never sought but cannot escape--Publisher's description.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I loved this book when I first read it years ago. While the graphic novel version isn't what I pictured, it is quite lovely nonetheless. ( )
  slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
Not very clear, graphics are not great. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
‘Jack had been six when it really started…’

So opens our short story. Short? At around 160 pages, yes, all too short and I say this because I enjoyed it way too much.

This book is a rare treat; a great story with artwork that more that matches the storytelling. The graphic style is the real storyteller here it reminded me of the heyday of Judge Dredd in 2000 A.D., a comic that I grew up with when it first came out. I spent a lot of time checking out the art in this novel as that is where the all the description is. Without the flowing narrative of either King or Straub to pull us in we are instead drawn in by a dark world spattered with blood and mystery.

A fine mix of a classic fantasy style fused with modern horror all told through the eyes of a young boy. A boy that I might add a great many readers already know through the sequel: The Talisman, this after all is a prequel to the massive hit penned by Messieurs King and Straub (not that I have ever read it).

At all times when reading this story (dialogue) pay attention to the details in the artwork: the tattered shadows, reflections in the blood, and where the eyes are looking. Originally this novel was published in six parts, the cover art for which is included in the book. As a series it would have been near the front of the queue waiting for each issue, as it is I’ll have to go and get the next part.

In summary then: a superb graphic novel that sets the ground for the real story to build upon. The cover price alone is just for the artwork – the story is a great bonus. Go get it.

Reviewed for Fantasybookreview.co.uk ( )
  MathewBridle | May 4, 2015 |
The Talisman is one of my favorite Stephen King books. I love Jack, and Wolf, and the whole story really. It's a fantastic adventure, quest, coming-of-age, horror story... all rolled into one.

So when I found out that they were adapting it into Graphic Novel form I was very excited about it. Unfortunately, despite many attempts, I've yet to make money grow on trees (or shrubs, bushes, potted plants, flowers or the cats -don't ask-), so I didn't just rush out to buy this one as soon as it hit shelves. But, by a lucky coincidence, I found this available for a fraction of the retail price at a bargain store near me. I snagged it faster than you can say "Alacazam!". I bet that's pretty fast, too.

One thing I love about graphic novels is that the artwork tells its own story. Not only does it fill in details of the story that it's just not practical to spell out textually, but it also can tell a different story - adding in a look, or an expression, or a perspective that might not have been in the original text, but works in this format.

For instance, in the scene on the Outpost Road, where the Kingsland Ale was spilled and all the townspeople were getting plastered, a whore lifts her skirt, and Jack's face is priceless.

I have always seen him as more mature than his years, and yet here he is, gawking up some tart's skirt like the twelve year old he is.

And then there's this. This man has absolutely nothing to do with the story. I think they just wanted to draw a man wearing nothing but his boots and a wolf's head. Wait, wait, no... Be sure not to miss the lower right frame. ;)


Just pure awesome.

I liked quite a bit of the artwork in here, but then there are some drawings that just make everyone look far older than they are. Jack is twelve, but in some of the drawings, he could be 30, or 40 even. If you look in the whore drawing, the "hee hee" whore has lines on her face that make her look old and ragged. Maybe she's supposed to look like that, but a 12 year old boy shouldn't. He's barely even started on his quest at this point.

Other than that, I thought that the adaptation was well done. We have the usual conversational tone of a Robin Furth adapted Stephen King novel. It gives us the jist and moves the story along nicely, without skipping over too, too much.

All in all, I very much enjoyed this one, and can't wait for the next volume. :) ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
A young boy travels back and forth from our world to another and along the way people die horrible in random ways.

Instead of this book, pick up King's son's book: Locke & Key. Much better. ( )
  hobreads | Jun 12, 2012 |
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1981, somewhere west of New Hampshire
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In a run-down amusement park on a desolate beach in New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Jack Sawyer is about to learn some hard truths, about his father's death, about why he and his mother are on the run from his sinister uncle Morgan, and about the real nature of the mysterious realm Jack once called the Daydreams. Now, with help from his newfound friend Speedy Parker, this young man will reclaim his identity as Travellin Jack and make his first foray back into the Territories to retrieve the magical Talisman, an object of immense cosmic significance. Yet even more important to Jack, the Talisman holds the key to saving his mother's life. In the Terrorities, where monsters lurk, evil watches, and an unbelievably precious prize awaits, Jack embarks upon a desperate quest to fulfill a destiny he never sought but cannot escape--Publisher's description.

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