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The Talisman Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2001

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (July 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345444882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345444882
  • ASIN: 0345444884
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The first (1984) collaboration between horror/fantasy writers King and Straub, this book has been reissued in multiple formats to coincide with the publication of its sequel, Black House. In The Talisman, 12-year-old Jack Sawyer takes on a quest in this and a parallel world, the "Territories," to acquire a mystical talisman that will save the life of his dying mother and her "twinner," the Queen of the Territories. Jack "flips" back and forth between worlds during his journey, finding his way through and past representatives of good and evil in both. Award-winning reader Frank Muller continues his long string of superlative performances. This program will generate lots of demand a must for current fiction collections. Also available in the newer, highly compressed MP3-CD format, which requires a CD player that is MP3-compatible or a computer with CD-ROM drive and MP3 player software loaded. Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

Anyway, read this book, it's good, just slow at the start.
Ronald D. Tash
King and Straub have done an excellent job of creating a believable alternate world and filling the book with memorable characters, both good and evil.
Carla Lilie
This is the only Peter Straub ( but NOT Stephen King, I am a big fan of Kings.) book I have ever read.
Karen Atwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michele Eggen on October 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Best-selling authors Stephen King and Peter Straub proved themselves a dynamic duo when they collaborated and conceived "The Talisman."
Fantasy and reality collide in this whirlwind tale as "The Talisman" chronicles the journey of a young boy attempting to save his dying mother. After meeting an eccentric old man in an amusement park, Jack Sawyer becomes aware of an alien realm called the Territories. Jack must trek across America, facing the evil creatures of the Territories and of this world, to retrieve a valuable prize that can save his mother's life.
The book, while very enthralling, can crawl at points and some sequences feel as if they don't relate to the plot, which is distracting to the reader.
The two authors each have a noticeably distinct style, making it obvious when one author stops writing and the other starts. Any avid King fan can recognize his trademark style. Straub has the amazing ability to define scenes down to the finest detail.
The novel is well-devised with the effort of both authors and very pleasant to read. The vivid descriptions make the unforgettable characters come alive. Scenes become so astonishingly real that it's more like watching a movie than reading a book.
With great descriptions, interesting characters and two great authors holding the reins, "The Talisman" is a success.
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87 of 102 people found the following review helpful By pheonix419 on December 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
J.R.R. Tolkien once said, "Write of Earth, but not Earth," That is exactly what King has created for the reader. I originally wasn't going to write a review, but after reading many of the others i felt that i should at least give my opinion even if it isn't heeded. To begin with, Jack Sawyer begins on his quest to save his mother's life. I have read the book twice, fearing Morgan Sloat, hating Osmond, crying for Wolf, and losing control of the hinge in my jaw for Jack's final victory with the Talisman. And both times, it has been one of the best books I have ever read. Some say King focuses too much on detail, but it is that detail that makes him great, that makes every action of every character sing with joy and cringe in agony. Some have also said that the ending was "obvious" and "lavish". My response to that would be that all stories that portray good and evil and human nature caught between the two have obvious endings. Good always wins, and if you are waiting for evil to triumph in one of King's novels then maybe you had better find another author to read. The book, in fact, is a bit lengthy, but with the imagery and breadth of emotion and toil, it suits its purpose just fine for me. Grade: A+
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60 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B. O'Blenis on August 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A little while ago I did a writeup for Clive Barker's "Weaveworld" and said it may be the best blend of the horror novel and the fantasy novel ever. While I stand by that 'may be' it occurs to me now that I should have also mentioned "The Talisman" as a voraciously strong contender for that title.

It's about a lot of things, including the existance of paralell realities overlaying one another and what happens in one of them also affecting what happens in the other (or others?) but perhaps the best way to describe the slice in space and time in this stunningly realized Universe (Multiverse?) we're taken to in "The Talisman" is to say that it's about a young boy named Jack who's mother is dying, and to save her he has to go on a journey to obtain a mystical artifact (the title 'Talisman'), and his mother's counterpart is also dying. And she's the Queen of one of Earth's parralell selves. This may sound like the basis for a 'Y.A.' novel a la "Harry Potter" or "Abarat" but it's not, this novel is graphic and brutal through much of its run. It also contains some of the very best of the worlds of charm and whimsey and wonder at other times. Jack is possessed of the ability to 'flip' from one world to the other, and the novel spends time in each. Items from one world, as well as people, have their counterparts in the other world as well, but in different forms. What is a house in one world could well be a hut or a castle or a tent in another. Magic is far stronger on the 'other' world, technology more prevelant in 'ours', but each exist in both.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Roni Hermony on August 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Together with It, The Stand and Weaveworld (Clive Barker) this has always been at the top of the list. I read this book over 15 years ago when it came out and since then I have read it at least eight more times. It is fantasy you can identfy with, the characters are so well drawn. I recommend it to "children of all ages", adults to, from 16 to 100 if they so wish, fantasy lovers and anyone who wants a really compelling read. I was thrilled to see the two authors have gotten together to do it again because I always wanted to know what happened when the young hero grew up. Enjoy.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By carl robertson on April 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember picking up this book one day during my lunch break at the shopping mall and reminding myself to buy it after work. It was the best thing i ever did. This book is the most thought provoking, richly layered, energetic and emotional journey that one could possible imagine taking. It has all the elements of an amazing book and Stephen King and Peter Straub did an amazing job of bringing a wonderful and emotional story onto 700 or so pages. The characters are interesting and worth caring about, Jack and Wolf in particular, the scenarios are exciting such as when Jack finally returns back to the hotel with the talisman. This is the most incredible book one can ever expect to read and is on the same grand scale as one of King's other works "IT." I laughed, wondered and cried when I read this book and it is the only book to have ever achieved what it set out to achieve and that is to move the person. It moved me and no book since this one has ever done the same. Possibly one of the most important and greatest fiction novels to ever grace our presence and one I am sure that King and Straub will regard at the end of the careers as one of their best. Do yourself a favour, get a copy and become lost in this wonderful world for a few days. Simply, a gem.
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