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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Straub’

Adventures in Bookland: The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

It’s a big book, 981 pages in my edition, and, to be honest, the first 300 pages could have been cut by half and no one would have noticed – I was skim reading my way through it. But then, with a howl of innocent pleasure, Wolf arrives in the story. Wolf, as you might guess, isn’t exactly a wolf but he’s not entirely human either, but what he is, is one of the most memorable characters ever created by either King or Straub (who have a fair all cupboard of memorable characters). What’s more, he’s memorable as an unuterrably good person, when it is so much easier to write memorable evil characters, which has the effect of making him even more memorable. With Wolf as the companion and helper of our hero – 12-year-old Jack, on an odyssey across two parallel versions of America to save his mother – the story hits its stride. Where before I was skimming, now I began reading, marvelling on the seamless mesh between the two writers’ styles – I could not tell who wrote which bit – and zipping along until er, bit of a spoiler here, Wolf leaves the story. By this time, I was invested enough in the story and Jack to continue, and it remains good, but a spark leaves when Wolf makes his exit.