Talisman-the worst novel by Stephen King? Direct question to the author

  • New to the board or trying to figure out how something works here? Check out the User Guide.
  • The message board will be closed from Friday, December 21 at 4 PM ET to Wednesday, December 26 at 8:30 AM ET and from Friday, December 28 at 4 PM ET to Wednesday, January 2 at 8:30 AM ET
    As always, the Board will be open to read and those who have those privileges can still send private messages and post to Profiles.

  • The message board is closed between the hours of 4pm ET Friday and 8:30am ET Monday.

    As always, the Board will be open to read and those who have those privileges can still send private messages and post to Profiles.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Apr 20, 2016
34
48
52
WW
#1
Dear Mr. King,


My name is Denis Bushlatov. I am a horror writer from Ukraine and a great fan of yours. I have ready 99% of your works and that is a lot. Being a freelance journalist I have even sent a request for an interview to your associate but was refused. I still hope, nevertheless…

During your carreer you have written many excellent novels and some not very good. Then, there is a minor quantity of those that are entirely bad but I have never thought you could write something so bad it literally hurts.

I have just finished reading «The Talisman». Repeating myself, I think that you have managed to create a great number of fascinating novels and at least two which are close to genius. It was a torture for me to realize that «Talisman» was written by the same guy who had given us «The Shining».

I will try to be objective and I would greatly appreciate your feedback as maybe I do not understand the purpose behind the way this novel was written.

In your «On Writing» you have mentioned that Peter Straub is a master of dialogues. Well, I always considered him to be one boring writer without any potential (even though he had one good novel) and it was obvious for me that his grave-heavy style had dominated «The Talisman». It even seemed that most of the writing was done by him and only some parts (like the one dedicated to Sunlight Gardener School or Outley) were performed by you.

Talking about the dialogues… They are horrible. People simply don’t talk like that. Jack screaming «Rainbow! Rainbow! like some imbecil-boy after a seemingly endless culmination at the Black Hotel, makes the reader want his immediate and painful death. The lines of characters seem to be as long and meaningless as the story is. They speak as if they were ancient Greeks in Illiada-wait for their turn, then step forward and strike a monologue even if the whole universe is about to collapse. The novel is full of such examples. And of course…the adverbs, the ones you had warned against in the mentioned «On Writing»… They are crawling around the text like ants.

There are other semantic parasites. Pain is always EXCRUCIATING. Antagonists always MULE, etc.

The plot could have been good for a novella but we are talking about a book as big as”IT” and even though “IT” was not one of your best it (ups, here goes the repetition) definitely kept the attention while “The Talisman” just goes on forever. Soon enough the reader stops following the logics of the events. It’s beyond understanding why e.g. Parker, being a ‘Cop of the Territories» could not stop Morgan and his friends by himself and sent a little boy to do the job. Nor one can comprehend how Mr. Jack could eliminate an entire squad of wolves by UZI. I mean-can you imagine a 12-year old shooting an UZI? What kind of a hulk kid that would be?

Morgan flapping between territories and US lands just to stay behind Jack… monstrous fish jumping out of the water to catch bullets like Neo… That was really…excruciating…

IMHO, there can be only two reasons for this story to be written-a) Money, which is impossible as you are a well-off writer and b) an intention to play a sort of a joke on a reader.

I am not sure the above will stay on your site for long and yet, It would have been great if you could comment on it.

I still hope for that interview as wellJ There are millions of fans in Ukraine and Russia needing your attention,

“I am yrolde and true friend and Servt. inAlmousin-Metraton” as Josephus Curwen would have said,

Thanx and kind regards,

Denis Bushlatov
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
48,540
130,192
Maine
#2
Stephen does not personally respond to posts here so you will not receive a response from him but I suspect there are many here, myself included, who would disagree with your opinion of the book. To each their own, though, and you are entitled to your opinion even if it isn't complimentary or accurate in its assessment of the book and the motives for writing it.
 

AnnaMarie

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2012
7,049
29,418
Other
#3
I loved The Talisman. It's one of my favourites.

I'm not a big fan of Peter Straub, but I've been captivated by one or two of his books and I think this collaboration was excellent.

~~~

There are a few of King's book I didn't love. Joyland comes to mind. But I don't think I ever insulted him over it. Just not my taste in a book.
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
42,128
161,785
74
Just north of Duma Key
#5
Hello Denis-- I am sorry you feel this way about The Talisman, as it is one I completely enjoyed. Everyone has their own reaction to a particular book. One doesn't necessary have to like a book, however one can express their dislikes in a kinder manner.
Only Mr.King and Mr. Straub know why they wrote this book, and I suspect it was for the pure enjoyment of the Constant Reader, not to make money, nor play a joke. This book, and it's journey may not have been your cup of tea. May you find other SK books to your enjoyment in the future.
 

muskrat

Dis-Member
Nov 8, 2010
4,486
19,260
Under your bed
#10
Aw, the book isn't that bad. I'll admit it ain't one of my top tens but it has a lot of fun stuff going on to keep you interested. I can think of worse novels.

And what's with it always coming down to the he just did it for the money bit? If someone doesn't like something, it's he's a sellout. Uncle Stevie was practically Elvis rich by the time they did Talisman--I doubt money was the primary factor for doing it. Straub, maybe (heh heh).
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,675
92,028
USA
#11
The Talisman is a fantasy, and so fantastical elements are to be expected. Maybe another book is more your cup of tea, and that is fine. Enough people like this book that I suspect Mr. King isn't crying into his own tea at a negative review. By now he's got to have review-skin like an elephant (lol).
 
Apr 20, 2016
34
48
52
WW
#15
I loved The Talisman. It's one of my favourites.

I'm not a big fan of Peter Straub, but I've been captivated by one or two of his books and I think this collaboration was excellent.

~~~

There are a few of King's book I didn't love. Joyland comes to mind. But I don't think I ever insulted him over it. Just not my taste in a book.
there are no insults in my small review. just pure facts. sorry if it seemed insultive though
 
Apr 20, 2016
34
48
52
WW
#16
Is this really Tara?

Seriously though, I have a question for you Denis: did you read this book as originally written in English or translated into Ukrainian, Russian or another language?
In English of course so as the rest of his books. Actually, the only saga I did not read yet is The Dark Tower. Everything else was...digested. I've been reading SK since I was 16
 
Apr 20, 2016
34
48
52
WW
#17
It
I loved The Talisman. It's one of my favourites.

I'm not a big fan of Peter Straub, but I've been captivated by one or two of his books and I think this collaboration was excellent.

~~~

There are a few of King's book I didn't love. Joyland comes to mind. But I don't think I ever insulted him over it. Just not my taste in a book.
's not about likes or dislikes. It's about pure professionalism and respect to the reader. I am the writer myself (of course not even nearly that well-known as SK) and yet, it is VITAL for anyone who is doing literature to respect the reader.
Oh, by the way...funny as it is, I loved Joyland:)
 

ghost19

"Have I run too far to get home?"
Sep 25, 2011
8,367
51,642
46
Arkansas
#19
Dear Mr. King,


My name is Denis Bushlatov. I am a horror writer from Ukraine and a great fan of yours. I have ready 99% of your works and that is a lot. Being a freelance journalist I have even sent a request for an interview to your associate but was refused. I still hope, nevertheless…

During your carreer you have written many excellent novels and some not very good. Then, there is a minor quantity of those that are entirely bad but I have never thought you could write something so bad it literally hurts.

I have just finished reading «The Talisman». Repeating myself, I think that you have managed to create a great number of fascinating novels and at least two which are close to genius. It was a torture for me to realize that «Talisman» was written by the same guy who had given us «The Shining».

I will try to be objective and I would greatly appreciate your feedback as maybe I do not understand the purpose behind the way this novel was written.

In your «On Writing» you have mentioned that Peter Straub is a master of dialogues. Well, I always considered him to be one boring writer without any potential (even though he had one good novel) and it was obvious for me that his grave-heavy style had dominated «The Talisman». It even seemed that most of the writing was done by him and only some parts (like the one dedicated to Sunlight Gardener School or Outley) were performed by you.

Talking about the dialogues… They are horrible. People simply don’t talk like that. Jack screaming «Rainbow! Rainbow! like some imbecil-boy after a seemingly endless culmination at the Black Hotel, makes the reader want his immediate and painful death. The lines of characters seem to be as long and meaningless as the story is. They speak as if they were ancient Greeks in Illiada-wait for their turn, then step forward and strike a monologue even if the whole universe is about to collapse. The novel is full of such examples. And of course…the adverbs, the ones you had warned against in the mentioned «On Writing»… They are crawling around the text like ants.

There are other semantic parasites. Pain is always EXCRUCIATING. Antagonists always MULE, etc.

The plot could have been good for a novella but we are talking about a book as big as”IT” and even though “IT” was not one of your best it (ups, here goes the repetition) definitely kept the attention while “The Talisman” just goes on forever. Soon enough the reader stops following the logics of the events. It’s beyond understanding why e.g. Parker, being a ‘Cop of the Territories» could not stop Morgan and his friends by himself and sent a little boy to do the job. Nor one can comprehend how Mr. Jack could eliminate an entire squad of wolves by UZI. I mean-can you imagine a 12-year old shooting an UZI? What kind of a hulk kid that would be?

Morgan flapping between territories and US lands just to stay behind Jack… monstrous fish jumping out of the water to catch bullets like Neo… That was really…excruciating…

IMHO, there can be only two reasons for this story to be written-a) Money, which is impossible as you are a well-off writer and b) an intention to play a sort of a joke on a reader.

I am not sure the above will stay on your site for long and yet, It would have been great if you could comment on it.

I still hope for that interview as wellJ There are millions of fans in Ukraine and Russia needing your attention,

“I am yrolde and true friend and Servt. inAlmousin-Metraton” as Josephus Curwen would have said,

Thanx and kind regards,

Denis Bushlatov
Don't go away mad....just...just go away.
 
Apr 20, 2016
34
48
52
WW
#20
I would not call it facts but opinions. It is very insulting to suggest that King only wrote the book to play a joke on his readers.
Ok, let's put it this way-this book contradicts almost every rule of his "On Writing". It's a dead-born child and it could have done well with some other wrriter but we al know how SK can (or could) write. It's really hard to make another masterpiece like Pet Sematary or MIsery and yet...
 
Likes: AchtungBaby
Status
Not open for further replies.
ELEVATION is now available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook!