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The Talisman

Written by: Stephen King, Peter Straub
Narrated by: Frank Muller
Length: 28 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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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 Simon & Schuster; 2001 Stephen King and Peter Straub

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 Ratings

Overall

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous book and excellent narration.

I read this many years ago, and loved it. After losing my eyesight, the world of books were closed to me for awhile, until I found Audible. I’ve been listening to many of Stephen Kings book, and have thoroughly enjoyed them ,but this one stands out for the incredible narrative skills of the narrator. He became Wolf(who I named my first German Shepherd for) and he became Speedy, Morgan, all the characters had their own voices and he thoroughly brought this book alive to me again. I have sat with rapt attention for the last 3 days, listening to this wonderful book and this incredible narrator. Buy it. You will love it like I do!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Don't Listen to this one at Night

I use Audible to lull my brain to sleep. This book was incredibly exciting, tension filled and addictive. The reader had a great voice and his characters were all individual, recognizable, and very believable. This is a King/Straub tour de force. I was immediately caught up in the story. The protagonist is easy to like and I found myself empathising with him and his travails. I can recommend this audio book whole heartedly, Just dont listen at night. I kept waking up when the Sleep timer turned it off and resetting for another hour.. I was exhausted, in that great way that you cannot wait to get back to the story. #Audible1

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Best credit I ever spent

This book was amazing! I laughed, I cried, I was spooked. This is definitely the best Stephen King book I've ever read/listened to and this is coming from an avid King fan. Now to listen to some more of Peter Straub's work! Frank Muller does a fantastic job bringing each character to life and I found myself wishing the story would never end. I will recommend this to all my friends and family. Many thanks to all involved!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Talisman is a Classic Tale

A blast from the past I had read when I was a teen. So engaging. The bad guys are really bad, and so few good guys. It was a great stroll down memory lane with classic lines like Fushing Feef, Bad Smells Jackie, It's Axiomatic, A Manner O' Things Will Be Well, and more. It makes you wonder, which is a hall mark of any great novel, about the territories, worlds within worlds, the multiverse as it has been come to be known. I could not put it down when I was a youngling, and I tore through it voraciously in the Audiobook format. I love it, and always will.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow

This is one of my favorite books EVER and will now start listing to Black House to conti i.e. this amazing journey!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Too detailed

Although it is nice to have a good character and surrounding description I found The Talisman was overly descriptive which resulted in a terribly long and tedious start.
In contrast the narrator was excellent

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Not bad

A good book. The narrator is pretty bad though. Took half the book to get use to the poor narration.

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Pulled me in and new let go!

Absolutely loved the world that King created. Can’t wait to launch the Black House. Thanks

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Captivating and suspenseful

The way the narrator told the story had a way of increasing the suspense and excitement but also I found this irritating when the particular part he narrated wasn’t actually mysterious but his tone suggested it was.
The story was captivating and it was very hard to put down, but after finishing the whole book, I realized not all the plot made very much sense.
Regardless, I’d recommend this audiobook and liked it very much.

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great story, tower quest

another King favorite, now on to black house. Frank Muller delivers a well drawn performance, keeping me on my toes.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bill S.
  • 2010-03-24

Still Good

I read this book when it first came out in the 80s. This was before the sci-fi world took the theme of multi-dimensionality to it ad-nauseumal limit. (I know, not a word.) Even so, it's still an excellent story by these two excellent authors.

I love the fact that when you read these reviews you get both ends of the spectrum and everything in-between. One compared this to Beyond the Dome which I thought doesn't even come close to The Talisman.

I also suggest Audible listeners get used to Frank Muller. He's all over this place and you're going to miss out on a lot of great books if you try to avoid him. His style always puts me off at first, but it always ends up growing on me.

118 of 123 people found this review helpful

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  • Nate_D
  • 2014-03-26

Had no idea.....

I consider myself a Stephen King fan...a Constant Reader, if you will. However, I had never read this novel and was quite excited to begin this endeavor. I won't say that The Talisman is my favorite King story, but it would definitely merit an honorable mention in that discussion! This was a great book. I loved how different this story is ... the unbelievable creativity that went into the prose of this novel. I have never really read Straub, but will be looking him up as well, due to this great story.

I loved the Jack and the Wolf characters. I have always been a sucker for the humble hero... The unwilling hero. Jack takes on this quest because he really has no other choice. Wolf is sucked into the narrative in much the same way, but they both are true and faithful to the light and integrity that is needed to reach their goal.

Frank Muller is simply the best narrator I have ever heard. Especially for this type of novel...you simply cannot get anyone better. His characterization is amazingly consistent, and spot on with each and every character. No one has ever committed to narration like Mr. Muller. I often buy books simply because he is the narrator. He will be missed over and over again.

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peggy
  • 2004-02-14

This is The Greatest Adventure Story Ever

Looking for Adventure?...need suspense?...want to have fun?...need a vacation?..Well this is the book for you. It is long but the action and the different adventures inside one. You will find the strange and the funny so charming that you will not want to miss a thing. The beginning sets up the story and you may want to skip ahead. Don't do it this book builds you up to the task. You will need to hold on to your seat at times and remember some of the early charpters to get the full impact of some events. You will want the story not to end! It does end but... At that time get the book "Black House" to go on yet another adventure with Jack out hero.

92 of 98 people found this review helpful

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  • Derek B.
  • 2012-11-02

What a story!

This story is entertaining from the start to the end! I know little of Straub and only bought it because of King but this book has me wanting to know more about him. I would love to tell you about the story but it would be unfair as it would likely rob the book of vital moments, so I will just say that in my opinion this book will be LOVED by any fan of King and Muller. Not only loved but read again and again in due time. I know, it's alot of hours to pledge to a book but as always King never wastes our time and always rewards us for the lost sleep. What a story!

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennie
  • 2003-04-25

Simply a classic

This story has it all: evil men, magic, adventure, a boy and his mother who are linked to another world and a dying queen, creatures of wonder as well as horror, and the best and worst of humankind. All of these headed across the continent on a collision course to the California coast.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cindylee Ginter
  • 2009-01-19

The Narrator is GREAT!

I believe the narration of this book is wonderful. The narrator has narrated other King novels, and I understand why King picks him, he gives the flavor that King is looking for in his books, a flare for the dramatic, sense of humor and an underlying sense that the work doesn't take itself too seriously. Perfect!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2003-04-10

On a mission.

This is the first Steven King novel I have read and I plan to read many more. I couldn't stop listening. The book was not what I expected. There is a connoisseur like after taste that is liberating. From the reviews of others it bothered the politically correct crowd; however, theirs is not the last word. What an adventure Jack Sawyer had compared to his name sake of Tom. If you liked Tom Sawyer and his adventures you will find this listen intriguing. Just like Tom Sawyer disturbed the people of his day, Steven King's Talisman makes the same impact. I love it and want more of it.

59 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Rowan (mtr@cutaway.com)
  • 2003-12-27

Wonderful...


Disgard the few bad reviews -- this book is wonderful, and Frank Muller was one of the greatest readers of all time...This isn't your "typical" King book, but if you loved the Dark Tower books, you will love this (and vice versa). I have forced over a dozen people to read this book, and have given away 4 tape copies over the years. I'm buying it on Audible so I won't lose it again ;-)

41 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Taffy
  • 2009-12-14

Awesome!

Awesome! I read this book when I was 16 and I loved it then... so now I'm 40 and listened to the Audiobook and still loved it!

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-12

Bad narration.

This book was ruined by the affectation of the narrator. he sounds like he's doing a bad Robert Stack impersonation while stringing out the last syllable of every worrrrrrrrd...

At a certain point, the rhythm of it got so monotonous that I hadn't even realized I'd stopped listening ages ago.

Might be a great book. I'll just have to read it instead.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • CK
  • 2019-07-07

horrible narrator

I could not bear more than 5 mn this horrible narration. Sounds like this "actor" reads a horror story to some little kids, trying to be suspenseful and scary at every end of sentense, finishing every single one of them with a dramatic, hissing sound, totally ridiculous and unbearable to listen.
This version is a waste of money.