Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Talisman (Volume 1): The Road of Trials” as Want to Read:
The Talisman (Volume 1): The Road of Trials
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Talisman (Volume 1): The Road of Trials (The Talisman - Graphic Novel series #1)

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  12,397 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
The spellbinding saga of The Talisman is now a stunning graphic novel, vividly illustrated by artist Tony Shasteen. Here’s a bold new look at the classic tale of treachery and betrayal that could only have sprung from the imaginations of master storytellers Stephen King and Peter Straub.

In a run-down amusement park on a desolate beach in New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old J
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Del Rey (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Talisman (Volume 1), please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Talisman (Volume 1)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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 she
Mathew Bridle
Oct 31, 2010 Mathew Bridle rated it really liked it
‘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 t
Traci Haley
Sep 05, 2010 Traci Haley rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2010
I'm a huge fan of Stephen King novels. I own almost everything he's written and have read a great deal of his books. Talisman, however, is one of the few I haven't read. So I wasn't sure I should pick up the graphic novel first... but of course that didn't stop me.

The art in the graphic novel is beautiful... it's got the same quality that drew me to the art of Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways series. Hard to describe, but the characters all have a sort of rounded, soft look to them, and the colors ar
May 15, 2010 Marco rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Stephen King readers, people who enjoy mediocrity?
Recommended to Marco by: The new release shelf at the library, my own curiousity.
This was really terrible.

I've always had a passing curiosity to the depth and design I've perceived in King's Dark Tower books. Reading the plots of some of his books and reviews of them, they seem like the kind of books I would like, but they never are. In fact, they're typically surprisingly hackish.

Is this graphic novel true to the novel by Stephen King and Peter Straub, I'm wondering? Part of me hopes not.

Separate from the story itself, this is bad comic booking right here. As far as sequ
I really love the novel this comic is based on, so it was disappointing to find that the graphic novel is not very well done, in my opinion. The action feels very slow and lacks the urgency of the novel, which is kind of surprising -- one would think that things would move faster in a comic book, or at least feel more fast-paced. I also really didn't like Tony Shasteen's artwork; people often look oddly proportioned, and their faces and heads in particular seem misshapen, with foreheads looking ...more
Jun 10, 2010 Cindy rated it it was amazing
The Talisman is my favorite King book of them all - it was such a departure, plus one of the first stories to really delve into the worlds of the Dark Tower. Because of that predisposition to enjoy it, I loved this book - although I feel they crammed far too much into this first book. The horrific happenings at the Oatley Tap - and the length of time Jack was trapped there, were glossed over in just a page or two. Still, even as Talisman light, it was fun and satisfying to see the story I love ...more
Oct 16, 2010 Matthew rated it it was ok
Based on the great novel by Peter Straub and Stephen King, I went in with high expectations on this one. Especially since Robin Furth was/is involved with adapting King's Darktower series to comics. I like the artwork and the basic story (it is pretty much a classic now) but the adaptation felt very clunky to me. It was slow, I felt no connection to the character and I really had to force myself to read it. Maybe I went in with too high expectations, but I say skip this one.
Johnny Andrews
Oct 11, 2014 Johnny Andrews rated it it was amazing
Being a fan of this novel originally and then to have it adapted into a comic...awesome is an understatement. My geek level went very giddy when I saw this in the library and it was a no brainer to get it out.

If you've never read the original King/Straub collaboration, shame on you, go read it now! A horror fantasy that just screams epicness.

Now add beautiful artwork, rich and dark, this really does work as a comic, now I have to find and read the rest of them.
Michelle Morrell
Jan 01, 2011 Michelle Morrell rated it really liked it
Wow, there's a lot more depth and meaning to this now that I've read all the Dark Tower books. I might have to dig out the novel itself, after these graphic adaptations play out.
Oct 30, 2016 Jared rated it really liked it
This book starts with a preview that isn't in the original book. It shows the main character, Jack as a 6 year old child. He is called Travelin' Jack, as he can travel between our world and the Territories. It also shows his father in this world and the other world, and how the conflict started with greedy men trying to gain power in each world. Most characters in the book have a Twinner-one in each world. The reader learns that Jack's dad has died in both worlds. Jack's mother, who is dying of ...more
Ea Solinas
Apr 28, 2015 Ea Solinas rated it it was amazing
In the vast and eerie world of Stephen King's multiverse, "The Talisman" is something special -- a boy's quest to save his mother, and his journey into another world where magic reigns.

And that magic begins to bloom like a black rose in "The Talisman: Road of Trials," the first comic book collection adapted from King and Peter Straub's epic fantasy. Vivid, shadowy and hauntingly visceral, this story gives an eerie, dark edge to the everyday world. The first part is kind of fragmented, but it doe
Feb 09, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
Recommended to Ashley by: Rick Hunter
I think, that a few years back, I attempted to read the actual novel "The Talisman" but it failed to hold my attention. I couldn't even have told you what I read out of those few chapters that I managed to wade through so I was a bit doubtful when my brother found this at a used bookshop. He's a big S.K fan so I figured at least it would help round out his collection of all things King but I wasn't in any hurry to read it myself.

Amazingly enough, I was suckered in pretty fast. I guess with the a
Alex Telander
Sep 22, 2010 Alex Telander rated it really liked it
After the success of the brilliant Marvel adaptations of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the skillful writing hand of Robin Furth now turns to the bestselling story of The Talisman, along with experienced artists Tony Shasteen, Nei Ruffino, and JD Mettler. Stephen King and Peter Straub co-wrote and published The Talisman in 1984. It is the epic tale of Jack Sawyer, a young boy with a sick mother, who must travel to the other side of the country to find her cure. He also must travel to an ...more
WHY did I do this to myself?
WHY did the first graphic novel of the year have to be such a bad apple?
Now I've heard that this is a graphic novel that you don't have to have read the original novel version of first before you read this. I liked that because I'm not a fan of Stephen King at all. However even that fact could not get me to like this graphic novel.

The only positive thing that I do have to say about it is that the artwork was fabulous. It was drawn beautifully, the colours were amazi
Dec 22, 2015 M rated it did not like it
The saga of the Talisman finds itself entrapped in a graphic novel prequel in this visual volume from Robin Furth and Tony Shasteen. Building upon the world crafted by Peter Straub and Stephen King, the book details the first dimensional jaunts of young Jack Sawyer. Saywer's father apparently is one of many people able to traverse the normal realm and a medieval world dubbed the Territories. Murdered by a business associate who seeks to profit from walking in both worlds, the elder Sawyer sends ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Jessika rated it really liked it
This graphic novel made for a quick read that I really enjoyed.

The Talisman is one of my favorite books. It is an AWESOME epic story. Naturally, I was excited to find this adaptation of it, and I loved it.

I think that's where a lot of people struggle with this one. Going in, you've got to remember that this isn't the WHOLE's an ADAPTATION. The Talisman is a very complex tale. If you haven't read it, you probably won't get what's going on here. That's not to say you absolutely won't
Jan 12, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
A bit intimidated by the length of "The Talisman" (original novel), I decided to read the first graphic novel by Robin Furth. This is only the first graphic novel of the series. The rest, I think, will be forthcoming. There's something about a graphic novel that really brings a story to life, and this is true particularly of a dark fantasy like "The Talisman" that takes place in a surrealistic/dream-like setting of "The Territories," a duplicate land, where dopplegangers of all the characters ...more
Reprints The Talisman #0-5. Jack Sawyer commences a quest to save his mother and at the same time the queen of a parallel world called the Territories, but his father's killer is after him, and Jack might be running out of time. The Talisman adapts Stephen King and Peter Straub's 1984 novel of the same name. The art and storytelling are strong if not a bit slow, but fans of The Dark Tower series or The Stand series by Marvel will recognize it is about the same pacing. The problem with The ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Julian rated it it was ok
I didn't really enjoy this. I thought the artwork was decent but the colours were a little nauseating. The story I will probably continue to read but it didn't grab me like a lot of other GNs have recently. I can't really pinpoint what it is that I didn't like about the book but as I read it just didn't hook me in and I felt a bit indifferent to the characters and the plot by the end of it.
I haven't read much of Stephen King and nothing of Peter Straub so I didn't really have any expectations of
A gorgeous representation of one of my favourite King novels. It felt wonderful to slide back into this story of a boy and his harrowing quest. By necessity, this is a scaled down version of a rich and complex novel, but the artwork is tremendous, and the soul of the story is present if not all the flesh and bone. I would be very curious to hear feedback from readers who have not read the novel; it was hard for me to separate all that I knew. What would it be like going in completely blind?

I am
David Leslie
Apr 11, 2015 David Leslie rated it liked it
Shelves: watchmen, owned-books
Art-5*****Really great art I was thinking 4/5 but Im in generous mood.
I would have rated it higher but I hate series of GNs,and the ending was terrible,it wasn't even a cliffhanger ending which I could have handled,but apart from that it's Stephen King(An S.K tale from the 80s a time where he was knocking his storys out the park)so I would have gave the story a 4 if it wasnt for the last 2 pages!
Jared Conti
Nov 10, 2013 Jared Conti rated it did not like it
What sadness in this little package.

The Talisman is one of my most favoritest King books, and this has left such a bad taste in my mouth.

I like what Robin has done with her Dark Tower Concordance, and the adaptations filling in the gaps have been pretty swell enough, but boy-howdy this was a stinker.

You can't just take 150+ pages of a book and adapt it into five issues. Seriously, the scenes at The Oatley Tap should have been an issue in and of itself.
Oct 28, 2010 Phobos rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-read
The artwork is nice. The story is pretty good. I vaguely remember reading the Talisman around 14 years ago. Just as with The Stand graphic novel, the story moves along very quickly, almost too quickly. There's a lot of action and a lot of story. The novel is well-suited to a graphic novel but the story does feel very condensed. Even without remembering too much about the original novel, it felt like the story was going by really quickly.
Dec 28, 2012 Oren rated it did not like it
I enjoyed it, it was a good introduction to a story which I could never get into in book form (though it's been a good 20 years since my last try). So why 1 star? Because this is the first volume of a larger series, and they've apparently cancelled their plans to complete the series. So save yourself the trouble of getting interested in volume one, then discovering that the next book is never coming. Go read the novel instead, if you can deal with it :)
Jun 19, 2010 Frank rated it did not like it
Never read the actual book, but since I know it's tied to the Dark Tower universe I thought this was a good way to catch up. Uh, no. This is terrible. Just terrible. The writing is amateurish and the action is nonsensical. Looks like they just cut and pasted scenes from the novel instead of adapting it to this new format.
Feb 02, 2013 StoryTellerShannon rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Tale of a preteen hero who can travel from this world to a medieval fantasy one where everyone has a twin. His mother's twin is a sleeping queen who can't wake up and yes her kingdom has fallen into ruin. I think this first volume is setting things up but we've yet to get to the really good stuff though there is promise here.

Tim Rohr
Dec 25, 2014 Tim Rohr rated it it was ok
The book made me interested in reading the novels. There was just way too much going on that I didn't understand and had to reread some parts. The art looked good but it didn't always give me enough to understand what was going on in both worlds. I may check out the novels but the book didn't do much for me otherwise.
May 24, 2010 Brian rated it liked it
I don't like this trend of printing half (or less than that) of a whole storyline....and especially in hardcover!

It's been a long time since I've read the Talisman. This adaptation make me want to revisit this book, because I know a LOT is being skipped/skimmed over.
Dale Rosso
May 06, 2014 Dale Rosso rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed this story and how Traveling Jack meet new friends and learned that there is more to the world than meets the eye. For those reading it for the first time, please note that there is a sequel called "Black House".
Oct 01, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-fiction
Excellent book. A little hard to get into. It may take up to chapter 5 before one is really caught up in it. Then hold on for the ride as the book goes from this world to a scarier one and back again. Original and fast paced.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Stephen King Fans: The Talisman-graphic novel 7 83 Aug 06, 2012 10:43PM  
  • The Stand: Hardcases
  • Stephen King's N.
  • Mientras vivimos
  • La reina oculta
  • Stephen King: The Art of Darkness
  • Voyage Along the Horizon
  • The Lost Work Of Stephen King: A Guide to Unpublished Manuscripts, Story Fragments, Alternative Versions and Oddities
  • La Rosa Di Alessandria
  • Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques
  • Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King
  • Road Rage
  • The Stephen King Companion
  • Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King
  • Creepshow
  • The Tango Singer: A Novel
  • The Stephen King Universe: The Guide to the Worlds of the King of Horror
  • Road Rage: Two Novellas (Duel & Road Rage)

Share This Book