While the dubious honor of the first King book to make me cry goes to The Dead Zone, the Talisman is the first King book that made me sob. The character of Wolf is one that stays in your heart forever. The Talisman does have the honor of being the very first King that I ever bought in hardcover. It was right before Christmas (when it was released or on sale at the B. Dalton bookstore), I was with two friends, I saw it and picked it up, put t back down as I really didn't have the cash to buy it (needed it for presents for others) and my friends forced me to buy it.
The Talisman also has the honor of being the very first limited edition book I ever bought. I purchased a copy directly from the publisher, Donald M. Grant. Of course all of the signed copies were sold out by then, but I was able to buy one of the 'gift' editions. I will never forget when it came in the mail! Such a beautiful book and the art work is stunning! A few ears later I met Don at a convention in Seattle and asked him to sign my copy, which he graciously did. I told him I blame him for my addiction to fine editions of books and my mounting credit card debt. He just laughed. Thanks for passing on the love of fine books, Don. RIP.
I received a few of my Stephen King books that have been in storage for a while today and I was so overjoyed to see my dog-eared copy of The Talisman in the box. I've had this copy now for 30 years I think (looking at the publishing details) and never have I loved a character as much as I love Wolf. I would recommend this book to everyone on the basis alone of Wolf as a character first and foremost, but then the book as a whole is simply wonderful and again another of my favourites, but I do always temper my recommendation with saying 'You will cry'
My all time favorite character is wolf. And one of the most beautiful passages ever written --
"Wolf collapsed like a falling tree.
Jack knelt, turned him over. The hair was melting away from Wolf's cheeks with the eerie speed of time-lapse photography. His eyes had gone hazel again. And to Jack he looked horribly tired.
"Jacky--" Wolf raised a bloody hand and touched Jack's cheek.
"Shoot...you? Did he..."
"No," Jack said, cradling his friend's head. "No, Wolf, never got me. Never did."
"I..." Wolf's eyes closed and then opened slowly again. He smiled with incredible sweetness and spoke carefully, enunciating each word, obviously needing to convey this if nothing else. "I...kept...my herd...safe."