On a brisk autumn day, a 13-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: His father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America - and into another realm.
One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother's life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin....
©2001 Stephen King and Peter Straub; (P)2001 Simon & Schuster Inc., Recorded with the Permission of The Ballantine Publishing Group, a Division of Random House, Inc.; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
Audie Award Winner, Fiction (unabridged), 2002
"A classic...rare and dazzling...a journey to rival the greatest adventure stories ever told." (New York Daily News)
"Extraordinary...makes your hair stand on end." (The Washington Post)
I loved this book! Not a scary book,more of an adventure/fantasy.Starts off slow but builds up.One of kings best.
I read this book because I accidentally listened to "The Black House" which features Jack Sawyer (the young boy in this novel) as a grown up policeman.
I enjoyed about 95% of this, but started to be able to predict what was going to happen in the last couple of chapters. That aside, its awesome King. This story has a lot to do with the different worlds that we encounter throughout the Dark Tower series. Very cool. I recommend this, and Black House (in either order).
As usual Frank Muller makes this story come to life. When I dont have any particular book I am looking for, I search for books narrated by him and listen to one of those.
I'm 6 hours into this book and want to throw it away. I'm struggling, really struggling to ignore the horrible narration by Frank Muller. Other things he's done haven't affected me this viscerally. EVERY sentences ends with a dropped tone and ridiculous hiss. Every sentence. It's to the point that I cannot find the story ... where am I supposed to be excited, where am I supposed to be tense? King and Struab's writing is so strong, but Muller is ruining it. Other pieces Muller's narrated aren't like this, so why would the director/producer allow this or encourage it? I'm going to push on because some reviews say I'll get used to it, but get a clue, Audible (or whoever produced this). Don't allow this, please. I feel like I'm utterly wasting a credit.
I read it many years ago and enjoyed it then , i really enjoyed listening to it again. Stephen king at his best. Great characters.
In my opinion, this is one of King's best works. He blends just the right amounts of fantasy, suspense and humor. I've read the book several times and was so excited to finally get the audio book however the narrator's speech and inflections make it a chore to listen to for more than a few minutes at a time. Very disappointed in the audio verson.
I read this book several years ago when it first came out and was hesitant to re-read, but I am so very glad I did. You can't help but get caught up in this book and you care deeply for the characters. I enjoyed Frank Muller's reading of the book and found his ability to go from character to character and his at times his incredibly fast reading of the book to be quite remarkable. Yes, there were parts of the book that dragged but that is Stephen King's style. I encourage you to listen; I doubt you will regret it.
I was a little concerned at first when I read several negative reviews about Frank Muller's narration style... I just want to say that he made the characters come alive!! I read The Talisman 20 years ago and the Black House 10 years ago... I wasn't inspired by anything on my wish list so when it came time to use a credit I thought I'd go back to The Territories. I am so glad I flipped :)
I loved the story and thought Muller's narration was wonderful! I especially love Muller's "Wolf", it made me love the character that much more. Muller's narration inspired me to stick with Jack Sawyer and I purchased the Black House audio after I finished listening to The Talisman. I'm amazed at how many connections I missed having read the Talisman a decade before The Black House was published. FIVE stars!!
I want you to know that I am tremendously disappointed on listening to this book; The person that reads it's overly dramatic, he is expressing what a 12 year old boy thinks and does, when I think a woman would have been better, I tried to listen to it got to the second part and it was boring. I have bought and heard many books, I never felt this way about any other book so far!
if its uber popular, than i'm probly gonna read it. yeah, i'm that guy! sorry. unless its stephen king. DARK TOWER baby!!!
the story is average at best.. the end gets a lil better, not soo childish but the part that bothered me was the reader trailed off the end of every sentence with a sigh it seemed.... AND I MEAN EVERY!!!!
Say something about yourself!
I finished because I am not a quitter, but it cost me a lot. They good guys were so good, and the bad guys were so bad that make me sick. I am not going to buy the sequel.
I like Stephen King, but not this book at least in this version. Far too long, large swathes of uninteresting drivel. The story at times borders on the ludicrous; but at others in typical King style it fascinates.
"can't stand the narration........."
I love Sephen King and have enjoyed some terrific audiobooks of his books from Audible, BUT I just could not cope with this narrator's ponderous delivery - almost every sentence ending in a breathy whisper. I note the reviews of the book itself and may try listening again at some future point, but this time I couldn't stand it and gave up after the 1st half hour of gritted teeth!!
I'd previously downloaded Cell and Lisey's Story, my first introduction to the Stephen King oeuvre, and was looking forward to listening to this. If you enjoy Lord of the Rings type fantasy, this might suit you, but I found it very juvenile (maybe I was missing the point and this was a kid's book, in which case apologies). Also, a minor point but an irritating one - the reader finishes most sentences on a drawn-out sigh, so even the most banal of statements sound ludicrously melodramatic: "he ran himself a hot baaaaaaath". Thumbs down generally.
"Could have been about 10 hours shorter"
Stephen King manages to incorporate some novel ideas into the age old battle of good versus evil. However The Talisman is overly long and detailed. I found myself wishing he could have moved it on just a little bit quicker. Though it is written in a fantasy style it is not suitable for children due to bad language and horror elements.
This book is really bloated on detail that can make you want to skip ahead to move the story on. There was countless times I found my concentration drift but the idea that there was more good stuff to come kept me interested. Which I?m glad to say does come eventually.
I found the narrator very annoying at first as every sentence ended in flair that gave the impression of over exaggeration.
However, after persevering I noticed that when this flair was not present ( and you notice less as the story goes on ), the narrator is very gifted.
The story builds to an excellent climax and always leaves you wanting to know more about Jason the history about him and the territories. I just hope the Black House is a good sequel.
"A great story and BRILLIANT narration"
I have never read any of Stephen King's books before so this was a first for me. What a tremendous storyteller he is! The structure of the book is half "quest", half "road movie", as it were, and it takes a lot of skill to maintain the pace and the tension throughout such a long book. Generally the authors succeed very well, though at times the pace is a little slow. If the book has a weakness it is over-reliance on the hero always to carry the plot; that said, he is an attractive character - a kind of American Harry Potter with attitude, perhaps. A plus point is that the baddies are REALLY bad, and be aware there is a lot of gore and violence, all carried off I should say with great verve.
What makes to book is the narration - an absolute tour de force in my view. Frank Muller's style is so perfectly matched to the authors' that it is almost that the book was written for him to read. Great stuff indeed.
There is a sequel, also available from Audible - "Black House" which is a much better book, which I've reviewed separately. Both are highly recommended.
"Will your nervous system stand this book"
This was a roller coaster of thrills and emotions right from the start. Stephen king does string your nerves out on a tight wire of excitement, deliberately drawing out lurid and frightening descriptions while you are screaming inside for the action to continue. Very clever man this King. I sometimes hate him whilst reading but realise that this is part of the fun.
Buy this and the sequel 'black house' if you like a good long gut wrenching ride.
"Good but bloated"
A good and interesting story spoilt by a labourious and over detailed narration. Despite which is enjoyable.
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