July 9, 2009

The Talisman

Title : The Talisman
Author : Stephen King, Peter Straub
Reading Dates : 3 Jul 09 - 14 Jul 09

The Talisman Book Summary. The Talisman is the tale of 12-year old Jack Sawyer's journey to save his dying mother. In order to accomplish this, he must travel across America, both in this world and a parallel world called the Territories to retrieve an object known as The Talisman. As Jack continually flips between the two worlds to escape from the dangers he encounters, he is pursued by his late father's business partner, Morgan Sloat. He is also aided in turns by Wolf, a new friend he meets in the Territories who happens to be a werewolf and Richard Sloat, his childhood friend and son of his enemy. In the end, Jack not only succeeds in his quest but avenges his father, Phil Sawyer's death at the hands of Morgan Sloat's right-hand man, Osmond "Sunlight" Gardener.

Book History. The Talisman is the result of a collaboration between famous American horror fiction writers, Stephen Edwin King and Peter Francis Straub. The idea for the book first took form in early 1977 although it would be many years later before they began writing the book. The Talisman was finally released in 1984 while its sequel, Black House set 20 years later with a grown-up Jack Sawyer was released in 2001.

The Authors. The author Stephen King, born 1947 in Portland, Maine began his writing career while in school writing for his brother's newspaper. Many of King's stories have been turned into movies or TV miniseries e.g. The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, The Storm of the Century, The Green Mile and many more. King's co-author for The Talisman, Peter Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Peter Straub started writing professionally in 1969 when he moved to Dublin, Ireland. Straub has received numerous literary honours such as the Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Award and International Honor Guild Award. Read more on the authors on Wikipedia or their official web site.

The Talisman Movie. While Steven Spielberg has held the rights to the film adaptation since the 1980s, it does not appear as if the movie or mini-series will be made anytime soon. While events in the demo do not strictly follow the book, I'd watch the movie if it was a trailer. Watch Canadian director Mathieu Ratthe's demo reel based on the opening chapter of The Talisman.

The Dark Tower Series. Although there are no oblique references to the Dark Tower, shades of The Wasted Lands from the Dark Tower comes to mind when Travellin' Jack and Rational Richard travels through the Blasted Lands.

Book Reviews. While the events described in the beginning and end of the book was unnecessarily long and complicated for my liking, most of the book makes for a compelling read. The story truly starts to take off after Jack's escape from Oatley. The best part of the book would be Jack's chance meeting with Wolf and the friendship they share. The trust and loyalty both boys show for each other makes for a great story of brotherly love. Even the loss of Wolf serves a part in Jack's growth as Jack becomes a better person for having known Wolf. I believe it is for this reason that Jack is infinitely more understanding and patient with Richard's refusal to accept The Territories despite evidence to the contrary.

My impression of Peter Straub Books. I've only ever read 1 book by Peter Straub, Mr X. (I'm excluding The Talisman and Black House which he co-wrote with Stephen King). And that was several years ago. I found the story to be interesting and wouldn't mind reading more of Mr Straub's works.

Author's Books. Find other books by the authors here :

Free E-Book. The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott is a unrelated novel by the same name. Download and read it for free from Project Gutenberg.

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