Nikki's Reviews > The Talisman

The Talisman by Peter Straub
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's review
Oct 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in October, 2008

I've never read anything written solely by Peter Straub, so I didn't really know what to expect from a collaboration between him and Stephen King. Honestly, in the end, it just felt mostly like a Stephen King book, but maybe that's because I haven't read any Peter Straub. In terms of the writing on a basic level, The Talisman is a pretty easy read. The flow is pretty good and there aren't any stupidly show-offy words or anything like it. At times it does feel a bit like it could do with some editing, but overall, I liked it.

I liked the plot quite a lot. The core principle is something anyone can relate to, really: someone close to Jack Sawyer is dying, and he has to find a cure. The way this plays out isn't so realistic, perhaps -- if one object could cure all ills, life would be so much simpler, after all! But that's fantasy for you. The Territories is a pretty average idea of "the other world", which reminds me of Stephen Lawhead's version in The Paradise War, except less Celtic and more... well, American. The worlds King and Straub build up are rich with detail, all the same. The idea of Twinners and the importance of single-selved beings within the story is interesting, and I enjoyed the Jack/Jason thing that spanned throughout.

The characters are lovely. The bad guys are all pretty obvious and twisted, it's true, but the sympathetic characters -- particularly, for me, Wolf and Richard -- are amazing. My definition of amazing tends to be "not perfect, maybe even kind of irritating at times, but somehow I love them so much anyway". Which is the same for both Wolf and Richard. As for the main character, Jack -- well, he fits the bill, too. The only problem with him was that I could never quite picture a boy of his age acting in the way he does. I kept imagining him as older than he actually is -- fourteen, fifteen, instead of twelve. But that wasn't a huge problem for me.

I really, really enjoyed this book, overall. I can see flaws in it, and in places it turned out to be a little too predictable for me, but all the same, all that aside, I loved it.
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Reading Progress

10/14/2008 page 14
1.41% "Just read a bit to get me started this fine morning. Whee."
10/14/2008 page 95
9.58% "Dunno what's going on, but I like it."
10/14/2008 page 117
11.79% "I should stop reading this and get on with The Republic and North and South..."
10/15/2008 page 162
16.33% "I should slow down with this, I'm mooching the sequel and at this rate I won't have that by the time I've finished this..."
10/17/2008 page 194
19.56% "Still loving this, too. I think I've bitten off more than I can chew with all these books, though."
10/18/2008 page 244
24.6% "Still loving it, going to be so slow with it now I have Supernatural to watch."
10/19/2008 page 300
30.24% "No real surprises yet, but enjoying it."
10/21/2008 page 400
40.32% "I need to hurry up with reading this and finish it by next week. Hmm. Not too much of a trial, truly!"
10/22/2008 page 444
44.76% "Meant to read more today, but ohwell."
10/23/2008 page 599
60.38% "Ohmygod Wolf. Ohgod."
10/25/2008 page 697
70.26% "I love this book."
10/26/2008 page 901
90.83% "So tempted to stay up and finish this tonight. Mustn't!"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sheryl Harris Try an old book "Floating Dragon". You will get that Stephen King feeling.

message 2: by JM (new) - rated it 5 stars

JM Yeah, Ghost Story is pretty Stephen King-esque.

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