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Black House
Cover of Black House
Black House
Talisman Series, Book 2

New York Times best-selling authors Stephen King and Peter Straub are acknowledged worldwide as two of the most acclaimed voices in horror-fiction history. Twenty years ago, Jack Sawyer traveled to a parallel universe to save his mother from an agonizing death. Now a retired L.A. detective, Jack lives in a small Wisconsin town with no memory of his past adventures. But when a string of grisly murders pulls Jack out of retirement, he is set on a path that will reawaken past nightmares and put him face-to-face with a dreadful supernatural force.

New York Times best-selling authors Stephen King and Peter Straub are acknowledged worldwide as two of the most acclaimed voices in horror-fiction history. Twenty years ago, Jack Sawyer traveled to a parallel universe to save his mother from an agonizing death. Now a retired L.A. detective, Jack lives in a small Wisconsin town with no memory of his past adventures. But when a string of grisly murders pulls Jack out of retirement, he is set on a path that will reawaken past nightmares and put him face-to-face with a dreadful supernatural force.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 20, 2001
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine In the sequel to THE TALISMAN, Jack Sawyer, celebrated homicide detective, has retired from police work after a particularly disturbing case awoke memories he'd just as soon let sleep. But retirement isn't enough to escape the call of the Territories and the continuing work its inhabitants have in mind for him. Frank Muller continues his performance of the earlier story, portraying its characters twenty years later in their lives and adding new ones to the cast with his customary perfection. Muller's finest gift to audio must be his uncanny ability to sense, develop, and portray dozens of complex human and inhuman personalities in a single production. Muller has fun with some, condemns others, and renders even the bit players unforgettable. All of them dance to the seductive music of his lyrical narrative, which invites us into the party as well. R.P.L. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Talisman Series, Book 2
Stephen King
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