The Talisman (Talisman, #1)
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The Talisman

by Stephen King, Peter Straub
Release date: 1984
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

World Fantasy Award nominee 1985.

"You got a job, Travellin' Jack," Speedy told him. "A job that ain't gonna let you go, and that's the Lord's truth. I wish it was different."

Jack Sawyer, twelve years old, is about to begin a most fantastic journey, an exalting, terrifying quest for the Talisman – for only the Talisman can save Jack's dying mother and defeat the enemy who is out to destroy them both. But to reach his goal, Jack must make his way not only across the breadth of the United States, but through the wondrous and menacing Territories as well.

The Territories lie as firmly in the imagination as Atlantis or Oz; they are as real as every reader's own vision of that parallel world evoked in the mind's mysterious eye. In the Territories Jack finds a world little removed from the Earth's own Dark Ages: though the air is so sweet and clear a man can smell a radish being pulled from the ground a mile away, a life can be snuffed out instantly in the continuing struggle between good and evil. Jack discovers 'Twinners', odd reflections of the people he knows on Earth-most notably the dying Queen Laura, the 'twinner' of Jack's own imperiled mother. But only a few can flip from one world to the other; Jack's late father could, the malevolent Morgan Sloat can, and so will Jack himself.

As Jack makes his way westward towards the redemptive Talisman, a dual array of heart-stopping encounters challenges him at every step – from a terrifying period when he's held captive in an Indiana home for wayward boys that is run by a sadistic religious fanatic, to sudden and murderous attacks by enemies of Queen Laura in the Territories.

Stephen King and Peter Straub have combined their talents to create an unforgettable epic of fantasy, adventure and resounding triumph.

(updated 2011-06-12)

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