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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

4.2 (4323 )
5 star
 (2168)
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4.3 (2321 )
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (2313 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kristopher Ames Marysville, WA 06-23-05
    Kristopher Ames Marysville, WA 06-23-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    183
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good listen, but too Long"

    I don't mind long books, but this one just seems to drag in sections and it gets so bad at times that you think they will never move past this part of the story. Overall though, it is a good book and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall A. Dobbins Left Hand, WV 05-31-05
    Randall A. Dobbins Left Hand, WV 05-31-05 Listener Since 2004

    Braisyn

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    I never thought that I would find an adventure as well written as Swan Song which is my all-time favorite book, but I have found one that finally makes the grade.
    I have read lots of Stephen King's novels but this one is definitely the best of the lot. It is written so well that from the very first I found myself emersed and actually walking along beside Jack on his travels and wondering what was around the next bend. Truly a classic and I recommend it highly.
    And Frank Muller did an excellent job telling the story. He doesn't just read, but his voice actually changes and takes on the personality of each character that he is reading.
    I think I'll give this book a rest for about a year and then "read" it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 05-07-05
    Michael 05-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    114
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "totally engaging?"

    An amazing journey through multiple worlds told with word pictures as only Stephen King can paint. You experience the life a boy battling demons, inside and out, in his quest to save his mother becomes a man?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Montilee Royal Oak, MI, United States 04-28-05
    Montilee Royal Oak, MI, United States 04-28-05 Member Since 2010

    Just this fox who plays export analyst by day and horror writer by night.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    122
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Frank Muller will be missed"

    Every once in a while, a reader comes along that makes your breath catch in your throat, your eyes fix on nothing but your imagination, and entire world ceases to spin - just for you.

    Frank Muller is one of those readers, and once you hear him tell the tale of Jack Sawyer and his journey through the Territories to save the life of his mother, Queen of the B-movies, and the life of her alternate, Queen of the Territories, from there on out, whenever you read the book itself, you can't think of anyone else's narration by Frank's. His style may take some getting used to, but it is magic in the ears.

    This is an epic, which means it's long but that's the beauty of it - nothing gets left out, everything is understood. You can easily lose a weekend just getting lost in Jack's story.

    There are parts that make you laugh, drop your mouth in amazement, and cry like a baby. There is a point in the story, and listeners know of which I speak, that I had to pull the car over to cry, even though I've read this book 20 times if I've read it once.

    This book of course ties loosely into The Dark Tower Series, and after listening to this one, grab The Black House, which is the sequel, also read by Frank, to complete Jack's tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krenrite 03-26-05
    Krenrite 03-26-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
    Overall
    "Bizarre and entertaining"

    I found this book to be very bizarre. It didn't take long to get my interest because I had to know if the main character was crazy or what. It's filled with adventure, suspense, and mystery. I thought the narrator did a great job. Give this book a listen and flip your mind into a different reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Attleboro, MA, USA 03-24-05
    Edward Attleboro, MA, USA 03-24-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    "Great Story - but didn't like reader"

    I agree with a few other reviews of this title. The story is great but the guy reading it has some kind of Clint Eastwood fetish. Gets annoying at some points. Other than that, great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 03-23-05
    Mary 03-23-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "The Narrator"

    Once I got used to him, after the first hour or two, I loved him and can not imagine anyone else reading the book. His soft, throaty, spooky voice is perfect!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KBeat SoCal 08-16-04
    KBeat SoCal 08-16-04 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "iPod Audible"

    I could not agree more with "Prefect." Parts of this book are totally engaging and enjoyable, but for far too many sections, it simply drags. I don't think I would have finished the 29 hour endeavor but for the "faster" feature of the latest iPods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Avondale, AZ, USA 07-22-04
    George Avondale, AZ, USA 07-22-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Jack and Jason"

    What a remarkable concept. the thought of a parallel world or many worlds is intriguing. This book is a great listen. I listen on my way to and from work each day, this book was easy to pick up and start again after the day was done or on the way in. It is a bit long, but I think that the length is necessary to understand the story.
    Highly recommend it to the readers who enjoy King and are able to turn off the "Logical mind" in order to explore another reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Lees Summit, MO, USA 07-03-04
    Scott Lees Summit, MO, USA 07-03-04
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    "Enjoy the journey."

    I found the naration of this novel to be a bit breathy for the first hour or so. Every sentence ended with a whimper which I found to be very anoying and almost made me quit listening. Hang in there - the naration gets much better.

    This is a great journey with wonderfuly diverse characters. Some are a bit stereotipical while others are fresh and original. I found Richard Sloat to be very anoying. Enjoy the journey because the ending leaves a little to be desired. Many of my questions went unanswered - once again - just enjoy the journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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