Learn how and when to remove this template message The idea of writing The Talisman first took form when Stephen King moved with his family to London in early It was there he met Peter and Susan Straub, and their children. King and his family left London three months later to return to the United States. Straub and King had talked multiple times before about collaborating to write a book, but nothing ever surfaced until years after King returned stateside, when the Straubs also moved to the United States. According to King, after Straub moved, "the talk got serious,"[ citation needed ] and they began collaborating. Their literary friendship continued after The Talisman was published; in they began working on the sequel, Black House , which deals with Jack Sawyer as an adult.
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Can Jack cross America and The Territories to claim it and save his mother? I first read The Talisman while waiting for the last three Dark Tower books to be published. 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 in order to share my notes and highlights. At first, this seemed like a pain in the ass but it wound up being pretty useful when formulating my review.
Also, it beat carrying the massive hard cover around like a cave man. The Talisman is a coming of age tale and also a quest story. Still with me? King flirted with the concept of twinners in other books, though not by name. I have to believe Jack Sawyer is linked to Jake Chambers in some way.
The "greatest hits" notion I mentioned? Specific scenes seemed like they were almost lifted from other king books. You also get King staples like the spooky tunnel. Not only that, there were some future echoes as well. The Alhambra hotel, anyone? Also, there were numerous things that would be revisited during various points of The Dark Tower. So where is Peter Straub in all this? However, there are a few times in the text where the writing lacks a certain Kingliness. It takes a long time to hoof and thumb across America and The Territories and Jack Sawyer goes through several hells on the way.
Give me a railroad trip over a radioactive wasteland over those two places any day. A co-worker of mine said King is at his best when writing about kids. More than once, I would have left Richie behind, though. When Jack finally reached the Agincourt, I had the put the book down so I could finish it at home rather than sneak read the rest in my cube. The big showdown at the end reminded me a lot of something that happened in The Wastelands.
I was also really glad of how the ending turned out, the ending of Cujo still fresh in my mind. The second time through The Talisman was just as enjoyable as the first time thanks to the magic of forgetting. Trial run of the Dark Tower or no, The Talisman is an enjoyable epic and a taste of things yet to come from Stephen King.
Four out of five stars.