It was very popular in the eighties and became the #1 National Bestseller. It made people become more interested in fantasy, and without it, the huge fantasy spark in the last decade may have never happened.
Perhaps the reason you've never heard of it is BECAUSE there isn't a movie, because it seems like today, the only way you hear about books in mainstream media is if there's a movie based off of it. Its a fact that a book sells quickly when people hear about a new movie based off of it. This year, The BFG is a summer movie, and the book by Roald Dahl became a new Amazon bestseller because of it.(less)
King writes far too few dark high fantasy with worldbuilding and in this one, we see the potential of the (view spoiler)[switching between the different realities and the manifestations of t ...more
The first few chapters are a little slow and not very exciting, but they are important and hold crucial story points that will come into play later, so to anyone reading this for the first time, I recommend ...more
The great thing about us residents of the country of READING is that we are a diverse, eclectic bunch. We like and dislike all sorts of different books and for different reasons. Sometimes a few of us will like a book or writer, but for completely different motivations and coming from different perspectives altogether.
“It had great action”
“There was wonderful characterization and dialogue”
“It was a clever allegory and well written.”
And so we come to Stephen King’s 1984 collab ...more
Only the Talisman will save young Jack Sawyer’s dying mother and he must embark on a quest across America (and into another world) in order to obtain it.
I had been anticipating The Talisman since forever, I can’t even put my finger on why, I just had the feeling it would be a book I would fall in love with. And if I’m completely honest, it just wasn’t what I had hyped it up to be in my head. I still REALLY e ...more
I first read The Talisman while waiting for the last three Dark Tower books to be published. Thanks to the magic of getting older, I forgot 95% of what happened. When the ebook fell into my lap, I was ready for a reread.
Brief Side Bar: This book fell into my lap because Goodreads offered me an ebook of my choice ...more
"Traveling" Jack Sawyer is a good kid and 12 years old when he and his mother flee Los Angeles for New York ultimately ending up in an empty, creepy hotel in New Hampshire; and while Jack questions the moves, he knows deep down his mother is not well.
As the days pass and his mother's rest periods become more frequent, a worrisome Jack explores a closed amusement park nearby and is soo...more
The Talisman is quite epic and not necessarily for the casual King fan. If you happen to try and make this your first King book ever, you may not want to try anymore - and you might not even make it through this one. But, if you have read several of his "shorter" books, dabbled in some of his bigger offerings (The Stand, IT, etc.), and maybe even taken in a Dark Tower book or two, I think you will be ready to graduate to The Talisman.
It doesn't quite feel like a King book. That mak ...more
There is so much that happens in this novel, that any thoughts I can cram into one review will always be woefully inadequate.
Don't you sometimes think there's more to life than order?
Don't you want just a little magic?
It is perhaps a good thing to read this book three decades down the line, separated from the hype that so weighed it down when it was first published. 50% Horror; 50% Dark Fantasy. 50% Straub; 50% King, and yet not anything you would have expected from either.
The quo ...more
Stephen King ~~ The Talisman
Believe it or not, THE TALISMAN is the first Stephen King novel I have read. I wish I hadn't put reading King off for so long. I would have loved him in my t ...more
- Book is so cohesive, it feels like it was written by one author instead of two.
- Horror and fantasy elements are blended together perfectly.
- Story is astonishingly original and unpredictable.
- Prose is lush and magical.
- Events are very exciting (particularly the climax).
- Gruesome moments are not for more gentle readers
(Of course, chances are gentle readers avoid any book with the words "STEPHEN KING" on the cover anyway!)
I finally made it... that was a huge book.. Look I’m all in for big books but this one surely didn’t have to be that long...
Some parts surely were very exciting and filled with high tension but some other parts were moving like a slug and i felt like i was drifting to some other territories of my mind.
I kept saying to myself that this is not a dark tower book, this is not a dark tower book but I coul ...more
Recently, a good GR friend agreed that the word 'magical' is a great way of describing The Talisman. In turn, she shared a quote by Markus Zusak:
“Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it.”
Only now can I not only fully agree, but appreciate the sentiment behind Zusak's words.. although it's uncertain if he was referring to this particular novel. It's incredibly profound, and they describe my feelings tow ...more
There is a running debate among King fans whether the early Stephen King books (first published during the 70s and 80s) are better than the post-millennium modern King. Like all such debates, there is no right answer, as it is entirely subjective. Of his post-2000 books I have only read 11/22/63 which I think is very good, but it did not leave a deep impression like his “classic” works, The Stand, The Shining etc. The Talisman (first published in 1984) is King’s first collabor ...more
I have loved this book for a long time. It's a quest, it's a great story with great characters, but more than that, it's almost like a prototype of where The Dark Tower series would eventually go... An alt universe mini micro ...more
Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer has one mighty task ahead of him. He must make a journey across the country in order to save his mother. A quest? Aye, you bet. A quest worthy of another young lad we know and love- Jake Chambers. Twinners? Mayhap, mayhap not.
Jack’s father died leaving him with his b-list movie star mother. She’s dying of cancer. Sucking on cigarettes and living the good life, she knows her son must go. Even if she doesn’t ...more
The Talisman is my favorite author collaboration. Two of my favorite authors, Straub & King, combined their unique storytelling voices to pen one of my all time favorite, dark fantasies.
I first read this on a family vacation to Dillon Beach, CA. We rented a ho ...more
I began to stitch together a longish review pinpointing all of the things that didn't work in this book, but I decided that since 2014 hasn't yielded me much precious reading time so far, I'd much prefer to spend free hours lost in another book and not thinking any further on this one. I've not read anythi ...more
2018 Subjects Specific Reading Challenge
I have 30 books with specific subjects that I need to read
Book 16: A book by two or more authors
Stephen King and Peter Straub
First Sentence: On September 15th, 1981, a boy named Jack Sawyer stood where the water and land come together, hands in the pockets of his jeans, looking out at the steady Atlantic.
Having read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn just recently; it is easy to see what have sparked the ...more
In many ways this book reminds me of myself. A bullet train at each end couldn't convincingly carry its massively distended midsection. Only way to get that bloated middle moving would be to tear it out and fashion a sail out of its pages. Still, the beginning and the end could bald new tires tearing ass out of the gate and across the finish line. That middle tho...that shit's a pitstop when you've got a full tank and four new shoes.
See! You couldn't do it!
These are two men who traffic in the dark. Authors who have spent their careers crafting nightmares. One prefers the harder stuff, brutal, bloody, lots of cursing and (for some reason) more references to shit and farting than have ever made me entirely comfortable (anyone else remember the book about people shitting out aliens? "Dreamcatche ...more
Overall, it felt like a patch-work quilt where a collection of short-story adventures were sewn together with 12-year old Jack ...more
The problem I have with this book (and many of the Stephen King books I've attempted to read) is that everything in it is presented as being mean, petty, twisted, angry, cruel, etc.
When I read, I'm willing to wade through sad, oppresive, heart-wrenching difficulties with the main characters if necessary, but ultimately, I read fiction in the hopes that it is going to help me feel good about life, forget my troubles, forget ...more
If you want to check out either of those previous reviews, here are links:
2010 read: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
2016 read: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
That is all. :) ...more
I love Jack. Love. He's so good and pure and honest and brave and willing to do what is needed to do the right thing. I love the way that he starts out scared and un ...more
But here, I realize that I underestimated just what The Talisman did for me. More than once I thought that it felt like Tolkien. I was often reminded of The Dark Tower (which I had not yet read during my first visit to the Territories). A Mark Twain boy's adventure even ...more
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