Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reading Meme, Day Four

Day Four – Your favorite book ever

This is a tough pick for me. I'm not sure I have just one particular book that I love above all others because I love so many. I really had to think about it and it helped for me to go through my catalog on LibraryThing to remember all those books that I've loved and kept over the years. This book popped in my head first off and stuck around after so it became clear to me what my answer would be.

Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer embarks on an epic quest-a walk from the seacoast of New Hampshire to the California coast-to find the talisman that will save his dying mother's life. Jack's journey takes him into the Territories, a parallel medieval universe, where most people from his own universe have analogs called "twinners." The queen of the Territories, Jack's mother's twinner, is also dying. (from
That description is rather lacking for such a phenomenal book. I've read a majority of King's books including the Dark Tower series, It, The Shining, and The Stand, but I have always preferred The Talisman over the rest. I have three copies: a hardback with the red cover shown above, an illustrated set of The Talisman and its sequel Black House signed by Peter Straub and Rick Berry, and an ebook that lives in my nook. When my cousin moved from Maryland to California several years ago, I gave her my first beat-up paperback copy (with the original cover) to read on the trip. I liked the irony.

I have always felt that The Talisman was a perfect example of a coming of age story. Jack Sawyer may only be twelve when he begins his quest but he is much, much older inside at completion. Jack must travel on foot to California lest he accidentally flip to the territories. Along the way he makes friends, steals, laughs, cries, vanquishes foes, and grows up. The Talisman is loosely connected to King's Dark Tower series; the character of Speedy Parker, who may be a former gunslinger akin to Roland, is the one who teaches Jack to flip to the territories and sends him on his way.

I have read The Talisman several times and each time I discover something new. It's an excellent collaboration; I find it near impossible to tell who wrote which parts. The sequel, Black House, revisits Jack after he's all grown up. Rumors around the web claim that King and Straub are starting a third book featuring Jack Sawyer. It's definitely overdue, in my humble opinion. Jack is one of my favorite characters ever, certainly of King's books. I would definitely like to know how his story ends.

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