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Black House (The Talisman #2)

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  46,694 Ratings  ·  1,339 Reviews
In the long-awaited sequel to "The Talisman", retired homicide detective Jack Sawyer is drawn back to a parallel universe called the Territories, where he must 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.
Hardcover, 625 pages
Published September 15th 2001 by Random House
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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 Wells 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…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 have, 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)

Community Reviews

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Patrick
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Neil
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
...more
Ron
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Franco  Santos
Tremenda secuela de El Talismán. No esperaba demasiado de este libro y aun así logró sorprenderme, ¡y de qué manera! Desde ya puedo decir que es uno de mis libros favoritos de mi autor favorito. Maduro, con personajes fuertes y entrañables, y una escritura mataficcional que logró envolverme en la historia como pocas veces me ha pasado. Está de más decir que lo recomiendo sin lugar a dudas. De lo mejor que he leído.
Becky
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
Gorgona Grim
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Za početak, citat: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1299...
(view spoiler)

Ono što bih odmah volela da izdvojim je dinamika same radnje koja je toliko dobra da se ni u jednom trenutku ne oseti zamor i tenzija razv
...more
Dustin
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it

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
...more
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
...more
Anthony
Jul 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chris
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lou
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Danielle
Apr 04, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lauryn April
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Terry
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.
Craig
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
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
...more
Kathryn
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
...more
Bill Khaemba
from the start I wanted to burn this book but My God it was worth my patience my God!

Long live Stephen King
Larry Chambers
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
[I wrote this review in late 2001 for amazon.com shortly after reading Black House for the first time.]

Hello, My Name Is TreeRider and I’m a Stephen King-aholic.

If you’re a casual Stephen King (or Peter Straub) reader, or just a fan, this book may disappoint you. Likewise if you’re expecting further adventures of Jack Sawyer in the Territories. Jack spends very little time in the Territories in Black House, and most of that comes near the end of the book. I prepped myself for Black House by rere
...more
J.S. Bailey
Man, what were these two thinking?

There were things I liked about this novel. There were things that I didn't like. Like the first-person plural bird's eye point of view that nearly drove me mad. The first several chapters were extremely confusing because so much information was dumped on the reader all at once and it was hard to sort everything out.

I liked getting to revisit "Travelin' Jack" to see what he was up to, but I feel that I would have understood Black House better if I had been more
...more
Dxmaniac69
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure the book is really a five star novel, but sometimes a novel just resonates with you, and Black House did with me. I was emotionally involved with this book from the very beginning.

Read Talisman first. I don't think this book would be have as effective if you haven't read Talisman.

That said, I actually didn't like Talisman as much as Black House. But it did help me appreciate the main character, Jack Sawyer, that I really cared about him again when his story picks up again in Black H
...more
Brownie
Aug 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any avid reader
I'd forgotten how I found out about this book but I never regretted having bought it because it's one the best thrillers ever written. I love it so much even after reading it thrice in the last 3 or 4 years and I'd happily recommend it to anyone who loves reading thrillers. This book is the collaborative efforts of two thriller maestros i.e Stephen King and Peter Straub. The Black House is actually the sequel to their first collaborative effort which is called 'The Talisman'. The first book chro ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
I've read it pretty quick after it was published in the Netherlands, let me check.....2001.
What I remember is that I was very exited when I learned this book was coming, cause I loved the other book the 2 authors wrote together: The Talisman. One of my favourites and it had a lot of connection to Stephen King's other world.(Waste Lands, Dark Tower World).

Ah writing this down and checking all my SK books I am starting to feels homesick. I should call it SKsick? Back before I read English I felt l
...more
Arun Divakar
Mar 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another prime example of why some sequels taste like half cooked food. The Talisman was an experience in itself, a novel where you could only speculate as to which author wrote which part. It was also a wonderful concoction of genres : horror, coming-of-age and fantasy. The sole reason why I decided to read the sequel was because I loved Talisman. Disappointment is the only emotion I have about this book.

After the first hundred pages, it was a completely disinterested way in which I approached t
...more
Kat
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror, 2010
This was a hard book to read at first. The issue at stake is a serial killer who goes after children, small ones. As the mother of a small child, you can understand why it was a bit hard to read. I found it easier to read toward the middle, and the ending practically flew.

This story picks up about 20 years after The Talisman leaves off. Jack Sawyer is now in his 30s and is a retired police detective. He's forgotten all about the journey he took back when he was 12 years old. It's an interesting
...more
Josiah
Oct 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written like Stephen King and Peter Straub decided that since everyone enjoyed The Talisman SO ever much, they decided to write a book that broke EVERY writing rule in history, just to see how much money they could make! I know both of these authors and know they are better than that. I jave sofar read 28 Stephen King books and Ghost Story and Koko by Peter Straub. I have not read The Talisman yet, but am planning to soon, although judging by this one, I will not be looking forward ...more
Lazar Janic
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dobrodošli u roditeljski košmar! Ako nemate decu, setićete se da ste to nekad bili.
Barbara Webb
Oct 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Travelin' Jack Sawyer is all grown up, but has forgotten the adventure of his youth. Now, after a short but brilliant career as a police detective in Los Angeles, Jack has retired to a small town in Wisconsin to try to escape a shock he cannot understand. But Jack has touched the Talisman, and the other side doesn't release those who know its secrets so easily. As a serial killer drives the local police to seek his help, Jack comes to realize that the true darkness that threatens this small town ...more
Kathy
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm really enjoying this book so far. Talisman, wasn't my favorite Stephen King book, so I was a bit leery about a "sequel". It's interesting how diverse the opinions are on this book. People seem to either love it or almost hate it. I find that very interesting. I'm such a huge King fan, I couldn't imagine having such strong feelings against one of his books. Well, so far so good. :)

I loved this book. And for someone that didn't love The Talisman as much, this book brought it all together for m
...more
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  • The Dark Tower: Treachery
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  • Sleepwalk
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  • Everville (Book of the Art #2)
  • The Lost Work Of Stephen King: A Guide to Unpublished Manuscripts, Story Fragments, Alternative Versions and Oddities
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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
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“The King is in his Tower, eating bread and honey. The Breakers in the basement, making all the money.” 8 likes
“Case closed, game over, zip up your fly.” 8 likes
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