Two of the greatest storytellers of our time join forces to create an epic thriller of unsurpassed power; a twisting, compelling story of a small American town held in the grip of evil beyond all reason. French Landing, Wisconsin. A comfortable, solid middle-American town inhabited by comfortable, solid middle-Americans! and a serial killer. ...
Two of the greatest storytellers of our time join forces to create an epic thriller of unsurpassed power; a twisting, compelling story of a small American town held in the grip of evil beyond all reason. French Landing, Wisconsin. A comfortable, solid middle-American town inhabited by comfortable, solid middle-Americans! and a serial killer. Three children have been lost -- taken by a monster with a taste for child's flesh nicknamed 'The Fisherman' after a legendary murderer. It's all way beyond the experience of the local police, whose only hope lies with ex-detective Jack Sawyer, the man who cracked their last case for them. But, plagued by visions of another world, Jack has retired to this rural retreat precisely to avoid such horrors -- and, having recognized the touch of madness on this case, he's keeping well away. Soon, he'll have no choice. Young Tyler Marshall, left behind one afternoon by his bullying friends, pedals past the local old folks' home and is accosted by a crow. 'Gorg,' it caws, and 'Ty.' What ten-year-old could resist a bird that speaks his name? Not Ty, that's for sure. And as he follows the mysterious crow, he's grabbed by the neck and dragged into a hedge. The Fisherman has made another catch!
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While I do not generally look to Stephen King for eloquent writing, he can create and describe a mind-bending nightmare world as no one else. This novel, which follows the previous Straub-King effort, is very engaging. Many of the scenes and characters are nearly cliché and predictable. The twisted aspects of the plot and the bizarre nature of the crisis go far in making up for this. An old geezer wearing a dressing gown and shifting between alternate realities while wreaking havoc is a novel idea. The pace of the novel is fast. The writing is a bit more polished and comprehensible than most King work, due most likely to the Straub collaboration. This book is self-contained; it is not necessary to read Talisman first. King does provide a unique point of view and periodically makes a comment or an observation that is immensely real, capturing the essence of the situation. The bikers and their dialogue are shallow, but the queen in the asylum and the dream connection with Jack are very good. The notes from the Fisherman, signed ?your fiend? and the snatching of a kid leaving a sneaker are haunting. I enjoyed the book, but King?s real talent is writing short stories. His ideas have a variety and range that are practically unmatched.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-08-20 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. (One-day laydown Sept. 15) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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