Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black House (The Talisman, #2)” as Want to Read:
Black House (The Talisman, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black House

(The Talisman #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  54,674 ratings  ·  1,791 reviews
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 h ...more
Paperback, 688 pages
Published September 30th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published September 15th 2001)
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 Black House, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Simina I actually read this before The Talisman because that's the order in which the publishing house translated them, beats me why. So I read The Talisman …moreI actually read this before The Talisman because that's the order in which the publishing house translated them, beats me why. So I read The Talisman after and made a lot of new sense but I still got most of it reading this before that. I do advice you read The Talisman before, not only because you'll understand more of BH, but because The Talisman is an amazing read as well, one of King's finest books.
Long days and pleasant nights to you!(less)
Rachel Hey! This might not be the info you're looking for, but I ended up reading Black House between Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower, since I had read T…moreHey! This might not be the info you're looking for, but I ended up reading Black House between Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower, since I had read The Talisman earlier & couldn't get my hands on The Dark Tower right away, and I think it ended up adding a lot to the reading experience of the series actually? I think that there are three main reasons for that:

1. chronologically, BH exists between SoS and TDT, so it fit in nicely
2. this book has the same sort of conceptual themes & connections that the whole last half of the DT series has, so it didn't really interrupt the flow of the series for me
3. it added a lot of world-building, which I always really enjoy in a series, but which I think it was best to have before the final book, since it's SUCH a good finale and I wouldn't have wanted to add anything after that, and also because it adds to the overall sense of epic-ness the whole series builds up to

Hope this can help! Happy reading :)(less)
The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
141 books — 3,520 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
1,785 books — 5,454 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  54,674 ratings  ·  1,791 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Black House (The Talisman, #2)
Johann (jobis89)
"What you love, you must love all the harder because someday it will be gone."

Twenty years ago, a young boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother's life. Now a retired homicide detective, Jack has no memory of these adventures. There is a sick serial killer on the loose, murdering and eating children, and the local chief of police begs Jack to help his force catch him.

I love Stephen King. I love serial killers. Combine the two and you have a
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I hate that the first thing you see of a review is the number of stars it's given.

Someone's feeling about a book is not easily reduced to a five-point scale. And even once that is done, how do I know what five stars means to you? How do you know what five stars means to me?

For me, a five star book is a book that I believe is worth the time and energy you're going to spend reading it.

If, (and this is key) you're into that sort of book. (Horror, Mystery, Fantasy, Hardcore Gothic Gypsy Steampunk
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is just further proof that Stephen King is a master author. Lots of action in this 2001 - 500+ page thriller and Frank Muller is incomparable as narrator. 9 of 10 stars
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
(This review was originally published in the Washington Post in 2001.)

Black House is a novel of slippage. We learn about slippage (a secondary definition of which, we are told, helpfully, in the text, is the feeling that things in general have just gotten, or will shortly get, worse) at the beginning of the book as we travel, invisibly through the town of French Landing, Wisconsin, early in the morning, winding up in an abandoned shack where “limp flypaper ribbons hung invisible within the fur o
Ahmad Sharabiani
Black House (The Talisman #2), Stephen King, Peter Straub

Black House is a horror novel by American writers Stephen King and Peter Straub. Published in 2001, it is the sequel to The Talisman.

This is one of King's numerous novels, which also include Hearts in Atlantis and Insomnia, that tie in with the Dark Tower series. After the events of The Talisman, Jack Sawyer has repressed the memories of his adventures in The Territories and his hunt for the Talisman as a twelve-year-old boy, though the r
The weirdest thing about this and The Talisman is Peter Straub's involvement, as the books are so completely entrenched in the Stephen King universe - especially this one!

The beams are breaking, the end of the world could be nigh, Roland has formed a new Ka-tet - meanwhile in French Landing someone is kidnapping, eating(!) and killing children and the local authorities and FBI have no clue; enter Mr 'all grown up' since The Talisman, and also a retired hero cop, Jack Sawyer!

A quintessential Step
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror, own, whodunit
Each time I pick up a Stephen King book, I am struck by the different writing voice I find. Truth is, I had expected it with Black House, sort of, being co-written with Peter Straub, and yet I was struck all the same. King/Straub narrate much of this tale from a moving bird’s-eye perspective, floating in and out of each character’s stance and location, with a twinge of humor on the side. They don’t even try to hide the fact that this account has been written in a book, by two writers even. I tho ...more
It's been a long time since I read this book. I remember reading it when it first came out, when I was in my late teens, and really enjoying it, but it's clear that I forgot sooo much about this book. I remember this one having more to do with the Dark Tower - but just how much, and in what detail surprised me. I almost wish that I hadn't read it now, that I'd waited until later on in my upcoming Dark Tower re-read with my bookclub, so I could read it at a more appropriate place within the Dark ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, stephen-king
What you love, you must love all the harder because someday it will be gone.
Black House ~~ Stephen King & Peter Straub


Last year, I finally made my first trip to Stephen King's universe by reading THE TAILISMAN. I wish I had read King's works in my teens. They would have been amazing trips for a 13 year old boy to take. Since visiting the Territories, I have journeyed to 'SALEM'S LOT & now, French Crossing. I have many more trips planned with King. Once more, I was completely absorbed in the worl
Edward Lorn
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up. Spoiler-free review. Spoiler discussion, Thursday Theorist episode, and spoiler-free review coming to YouTube this week.

Not being a fantasy fan, is it any wonder that I like this book more than its predecessor The Talisman? This one is far more engaging and interesting to me due to the characters and setting, not to mention it's written in one of my favorite styles: third-person omniscient. Not many books are written in this style anymore. An editor once told me it's becaus
Janie Johnson
Wow this book was, simply put, a mess and was very painful to read. Considering I totally enjoyed the Talisman, I expected this book to be just as mind capturing as its predecessor. I was very disappointed in just about the whole story. So it turned out to be 'just ok' for me.

The first half was drawn out and very wordy. The coming together of all the characters was quite confusing as well. It seemed to take half of the book before the story even got remotely interesting.

It would get good and th
Jul 06, 2008 rated it did not like it

I loved The Talisman. I think I read it when I was 13 or 14. It was a great story about a boy who could cross worlds, and took on a quest to save his dying mom. There were scary parts, but nothing too bad. Also, the line between King's writing and Straub's writing was pretty blurred. Either they shared the load, or one of them wrote while the other edited. I dunno, I could only hear one voice.

Years later, I listened to the audiobook and it was still great.

Black House is the sequel to The Talism

In the early eighties, Stephen King and Peter Straub embarked on the ultimate coming-of-age tale. The Talisman easily solidified the collaboration's super status. Then, nearly two decades later, they returned to their literary roots. Black House portrays a different Jack Sawyer, now a semi-retired Los Angeles detective. He won't remain there much longer, though. By requesting his expertise in a major case, a colleague-turned-friend leads him to Wisconsin, where his life will be irrevocably alte
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I tried to pace myself while I read this delicious and thoroughly enjoyable hybrid of thriller/horror/fantasy storytelling. I didn’t want to finish it too quickly and have the magik of The Territories that glimmers off the pages, leave me sooner than necessary. If you are a fan of the Dark Tower series, you should read this as it’s connected.
Wally Flangers
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s very rare for me to give a book a 5 star rating, but like “The Talisman”, I absolutely loved “Black House”…. This was, however, completely shocking for me because I absolutely hated the first 40 to 60 pages and was wondering how I was going to make it through 625 pages if it kept on going the way it was. The opening chapter, especially, had WAY TOO MANY character introductions and details of the town with unnecessary back stories of every store in the area for my brain to process. But once ...more
I absolutely loved this book. It's funny, because I picked it up immediately after reading The Talisman, and at first I was put off by the shift in tone and feel of this one. I wanted more Talisman style fantasy adventure, with the lovable young Jack Sawyer. What I got was a cold, detached, present-tense narrative that watched everything from above and showed a landscape that was totally out of place with the book I had just finished. This is supposed to be a sequel!

But am I ever glad I stuck wi
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
A worthy follow-up to the Talisman: you get to see another child protagonist of King (Jack Sawyer, like Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep) fighting a fresh set of demons as a grown-up.
Ashley Daviau
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the first King books I read as a teen and I read it not knowing it was the sequel to The Talisman. Now that I’ve read The Talisman and reread Black House, it’s like all the puzzle pieces finally fit together. I loved Black House but reading it again with all the missing pieces filled in made me love it all that much more. There’s something about this story that just gets under my skin and really creeps me the fuck out!
Lauryn April
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read a number of Stephen King's books, enough to consider him one of my favorite authors; and out of everything I've read by him I enjoyed this, along with The Talisman, the most. This has encouraged me to start looking at some of Peter Straub's work as well; however I have yet to do so at this time. What this book has done is inspire me to get into his Dark Tower series, which I had been avoiding doing for some time because I'd heard that it was slow getting into. If that series has ever i ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
3.5 stars

Unlike The Talisman, this collaboration between my beloved King and Peter Straub fell a little flat for me. I'm quite upset, this is my first less than 4 star King!

I am not going to list all the things I didn't like about this book because I don't particularly like putting negative reviews out there, as I don't want people to not read the book and form their own opinions!! I will just say, for the negative parts, I did not like the narrative style, I didn't connect with Jack as much as
I don't even know what to say about this book, except for negative things. Not only did I not finish this book, but I am left completely disappointed in it. I was expecting the same fuel The Talisman had for me, which I really, really enjoyed. Boy, was I disappointed. Not only was the storyline disappointing, the writing for me, was a disaster in the slow as molasses department.

I was excited about reading this with the friends I read it with, but now, I am left with really nothing nice to say a
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is actually a sequel to "The Talisman" written with Peter Straub. Quite long like most of King's books, but I always enjoy the ride. Following Jack Sawyer's investigative talents (who kind of doesn't really want to get involved) we find ourselves in a small town where children are disappearing, apparently being eaten. Jack befriends the town cop, some bikers, and begins to unravel the "other" world that seems to blend with "French Landing" with its token crazies, crows, and lurid old men. J ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: standalones
3.5 Stars – I know this is a little low for this book….

I read this not knowing about the Talisman at the time – I’d never heard of Goodreads and just read whatever I could get my hands on without worrying if it was part of a series! Well I think that is one of the reasons I just didn’t gel with this book.

I last read this when I was quite young so I think some of this story was lost one me – I need to go out and buy the Talisman and try this all over again. I remember reading this and being like
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-reads
Jack used to be a coppice-man and he is now settling into a new home in Wisconsin. He has been having strange dreams, no Speedy or flipping over for many years now he is trying to deal with the present.
Jack is eventually forced out of retirement as a Coppiceman on trail of the Fisherman, flipping over again but to where? What does Speedy and black crow feathers have to do with the case? This is an engrossing page-turner written in a more faster momentum than The Talisman I am loving the adult Ja
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this a little more than The Talisman. However, I would say that if you did not like The Talisman, you may not enjoy this one either. It does have a darker, more horror-like feel to it. Overall, I enjoyed it. Liked getting back to see Jack Sawyer. I'm Looking forward to the third book, if it is ever written, although I probably would want to read the Dark Tower series before I read it. Overall, I would say 3.5/5 stars rounded up. ...more
Apr 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one who loved The Talisman
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Stephen King and Peter Straub apparently decided that, since their last collaboration was so great, they would try to follow it with an astounding book that broke every single writing rule in existence. I believe the effort is a prime example of why those rules were made in the first place. Amen.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dude, over twelve-hundred other people have posted their thoughts about this book here, people like Gaiman and Rothfuss, and I'm sure I can't think of anything that hasn't already been stated multiple times, and far more eloquently.... so: I liked it, but I liked the first one better. The end. ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror/fantasy/thriller
Recommended to Jason by: SK Bibliography
Favorite new book read in 2019

Finally, the Rock has finished all of Stephen King's novels... Well, I don't know if the Rock has or not, but I have! I intentionally left this one for last because I thought it would suck. I thought it would suck because The Talisman sucked and this is the sequel. Boy, was I wrong. It's a shame I gave this so much unwarranted contempt prior to investigation, but it's also nice to go out on a five star read. Well done Messrs. King and Straub.

Allow me another par
the sheer vastness of black house makes it a little difficult to talk about. a combination of the talisman and the dark tower, alongside a detective murder/mystery inside the small town of french landing; black house has a lot going on and was at risk of becoming a convoluted, confusing mess.

good thing it isn't. black house is spooky!. the atmosphere in this thing is just so creepy. if i never go to french landing, i will live a happy man haha. i loved the exploration of this town's people, the
Like Jack Sawyers, I had forgotten much about the events of The Talisman. But as Jack recalled those events, I did as well. Often, an author will give a small recap of the previous books in a series. This didn't feel like a recap and I'm not sure it was intended to be, but it was a great way to refresh one's memory.

I liked that there were a lot of references to The Dark Tower series. However, the references may have had me scratching my head if I hadn't read that series. Gunslinger, Blain the Tr
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Regulators
  • Blaze
  • Roadwork
  • Thinner
  • Charlie the Choo-Choo
  • The Running Man
  • The Long Walk
  • Rage
  • Gwendy's Magic Feather (The Button Box, #2)
  • The Throat
  • Shadowland
  • Drevna svetla
  • Son of the Endless Night
  • The Bachman Books
  • Glimpses: The Best Short Stories of Rick Hautala
  • The Infinite Onion
  • Lost Boy Lost Girl
  • The Fireman
See similar books…
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

Other books in the series

The Talisman (2 books)
  • The Talisman (The Talisman, #1)

Related Articles

When Kristin Hannah, the bestselling author of The Nightingale, began her new historical epic centered on the Dust Bowl and the Great...
170 likes · 45 comments
“Ka is a friend to evil as well as good. It embraces both.” 15 likes
“Case closed, game over, zip up your fly.” 11 likes
More quotes…