From the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Talisman, “an intelligent…suspenseful page-turner” (The Wall Street Journal) from “two master craftsmen, each at the top of his game” (The Washington Post).
Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer traveled to a parallel universe called the Territories to save his mother and her Territories “Twinner” from an agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, Wisconsin. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories, and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.
When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades ago by a madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed “the Fishman,” and Jack’s buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help the inexperienced force find him. But are these new killings merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious and malignant force been unleashed in this quiet town? What causes Jack’s inexplicable waking dreams—if that is what they are—of robins’ eggs and red feathers? It’s almost as if someone is trying to tell him something. As this cryptic message becomes increasingly impossible to ignore, Jack is drawn back to the Territories and to his own hidden past, where he may find the soul-strength to enter a terrifying house at the end of a deserted tract of forest, there to encounter the obscene and ferocious evils sheltered within it.
Today's literature is plagued by sequelitis; plagued because many of the offspring are abominations. But here's a marvelous exception. Seventeen years after King and Straub's first collaboration, The Talisman, comes an immensely satisfying follow-up, a brilliant and challenging dark fantasy that fans of both authors are going to love. Page by page, the novel reads as equal parts King and Straub, with the Maine master's exuberance and penchant for excess restrained by Straub's generally more elegant (though no more potent) approach. But the book, far more than its predecessor, is set explicitly in the King universe, with particular ties to the Dark Tower series. Its primary hero is The Talisman's Jack Sawyer, now retired from the LAPD and living with no memory of his otherwordly Talisman exploits, alone in French Landing, Wisconsin a town surveyed by the authors in an unusual third-person plural narration that buoys the book throughout. Terror stalks French Landing in the form of the Fisherman, who's been snatching, killing and eating the town's children. We know that the Fisherman is a resident of the town's elderly care facility, but Jack doesn't; when yet another child, Ty Marshall, is taken, Jack enters the hunt for the killer and the boy. He's joined by an array of locals, notably a gang of philosopher bikers and blind Henry Leyden, a 50-something cool cat whom every reader will adore. Jack is going to need all their help, and more, because The Fisherman is controlled by a malignant entity from End-World, where the Crimson King aims to unravel the fabric of all the universes. It's to blighted End-World, via the portal of the Black House a creepy local house painted black that Jack and others travel to rescue Ty, in the novel's frantic conclusion.The book abounds with literary allusions, many to the King-verse, and readers not familiar with King's work and particularly with The Talisman may feel disoriented, especially at first. But there's so much here to revel in, from expertly excuted sequences of terror, awe or passion the novel is a deep reservoir of genuine emotion to some of the most wonderful characters to spring from a page in years, to a story whose energy is so high and craft so accomplished that most readers will wish it ran twice its great length. What is probably the most anticipated novel of the year turns out to be its most memorable to date, a high point in both the King and Straub canons. This will be a monster bestseller, and deservedly so. 2 million first printing. (One-day laydown Sept. 15)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Unfortunately, I was able to buy it
It was NOTHING like The Talisman which I've three times over that 20 years. The voice artist as usual was superb and the only saving grace as far as I was concerned. Too much time in the 'real world' and not in The Territories made it a lukewarm murder mystery.
Something strange is happening with this book. Having been a HUGE fan of The Talisman and wanting to read this sequel to that book, I decided to buy and download The Talisman here in iBooks a couple of weeks ago. I did so and just recently completed that reading, loving every page of it as I did some 20+ years ago. So then I came back to buy and download this sequel, and all of sudden the book was not available. I could pre-order it for just $16.99 and get it in November, some 5 months from now? REALLY? A book that was published in 2001?
And now, you can longer buy and download the Talisman, which is now also available only as a pre-order. Even though it is sitting in my iBooks library, it says it's not available still for a few months. That book was published in 1984. So what gives? I written to iBooks Support twice now and have not yet been given any answers about this bizarre occurrence.
In the meantime, I've downloaded a copy of Black House for my Kindle app ... for $7.99. You'd think there would at least be some sort of an explanation for such craziness. But nothing.
Very weak sequel lacking all the magic of the first segment (The Talisman) and straining to keep readers reading by throwing in a gruesome murder every hundred pages or so. I don't know, all the ingredients seemed right but it was just missing that vital SOMETHING. Kinda like Godfather Part III ! It's been a decade since I read it and still have no desire to try it again. Be interesting to see how the SHINING sequel stacks up later this year.