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The Talisman | [Stephen King, Peter Straub]

The Talisman

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3708 )
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4.2 (1750 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason Montclair, VA, United States 03-04-10
    Jason Montclair, VA, United States 03-04-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    8
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    Overall
    "wow this was BAD."

    I was feeling inspired to read the Talisman again after just finishing the excellent UNDER THE DOME. All I can say is, wow, Stephen King has really gotten better over the years. This book is just terrible. Let me tell you how bad this book is, I listened to 25 hours of it or whatever and just couldn't finish the last hour. Couldn't take it anymore.

    I read this book when it first came out, and even then as a teen I was underwhelmed by it. There are just a ton of problems with the book. Its a mediocre and awkward story. The magic negro stuff is embarrassing. Much of the dialogue is also embarrassing and painful. The sci-fi-ish flipping through dimensions stuff is just boring and I completely zoned out listening to it.

    Lastly, I'm sure I'm not alone in commenting on Frank Muller's terrible narration. He literally ends every sentence in this hushed whisper like he is out of breath. I think it is supposed to be dramatic. However, if you end EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE that way it is not dramatic, just TERRIBLY IRRITATING. I don't know how I ever got past the first hour because the effect was like nails on a chalkboard. Man, I couldn't wait to move on to something else.

    5 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan pittsburgh, PA, USA 10-13-03
    Dan pittsburgh, PA, USA 10-13-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    14
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Long Day's Journey into Nothing"

    This was my first experience with Steven King (or Peter Straub for that matter). I was entirely dissapointed. The characters were very one-dimentional, the plot was extrodinarily thin and full of holes, and the prose was entirely overdone. This novel was, at best, a short story streached into 30 hours. Unlike some other reviewers, I actually enjoyed the reader's interperative style - in fact that, and a general hope that things would improve, were the only things that kept me from giving up at 10 or 15 or 20 hours.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Des Moines, IA, USA 09-11-08
    John Des Moines, IA, USA 09-11-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Good book, needs a better tone"

    I think this is a great book, I just couldn't get into the narrators tone. It just seemed to be a little too close to sounding like someone reading a childrens book rather than the epic journey that tis story really is. Still a great read/listen.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. B. ENRIGHT 09-05-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    6
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "I agree, this book was too long"

    I gave it a 3 but it is more like a 2 1/2. This was my 2nd Stephen King book. Years ago I read Misery and loved it. My interest in this book waxed and waned as I listened. I looked forward to it ending to know the ending but mostly to be done with it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shedric Kennesaw, GA, United States 07-01-04
    Shedric Kennesaw, GA, United States 07-01-04
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "This book had huge holes in it."

    I am a fan of Stephen King and I downloaded this book on the strength of his name alone. Bad mistake.
    I was so very frustrated by this book! The biggest hole I saw in this book was the journey itself. The author mentions that Jack had flown back and forth (by airplane) with his mother numerous times. Yet, Speedy told him not to fly for fear of flipping into the territories, falling out of the sky, and of course dying. At this time, Jack was dependant on the magic juice to flip. Why not fly, without drinking the juice? This solution makes this a six hour book versus a 29 hour book

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Chico, CA, United States 03-26-10
    Douglas Chico, CA, United States 03-26-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    341
    27
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    0
    5
    Overall
    "awesome!"

    The best audio book I've listened to.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Beck Chester, MA 10-25-05
    Paula Beck Chester, MA 10-25-05 Member Since 2002

    baybay2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    285
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    118
    80
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    3
    Overall
    "What was I thinking?"

    What was I thinking when I bought this book? Steven King has gotten too wierd and long winded for me. Remind me next time not to buy a Steven King book.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Nelson, British Columbia, Canada 07-19-04
    Terry Nelson, British Columbia, Canada 07-19-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    67
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    2
    Overall
    "Lost interest"

    Got too complicated for me. It had good parts though it got to the point that I couldn't care less how it ended. Very long and quite out there.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn 11-09-03
    Kathryn 11-09-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I found this audiobook very difficult to get through. I didn't care for the narrator at all! The story was very long and at times incredibly tedious. This is the first book that I've gotten from Audible that I didn't enjoy.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Venice Accrington, N/A, United Kingdom 07-29-03
    Venice Accrington, N/A, United Kingdom 07-29-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
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    18
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "Jarring, irritating narration."

    After listening to my first Stephen King novel - Bag of Bones - and being completely bowled over by it, I couldn't wait to listen to this one.

    What a complete waste of money!

    The story is probably great, but Frank Muller's narration is so awful and irritating that I simply cannot listen anymore. I will be very careful to avoid this narrator in my future purchases on audible. This is a pity because he narrates quite a lot of titles that I would have liked to have listened to. But once bitten - twice shy!

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
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