The Talisman, The Eyes of the Dragon, Thinner

The Talisman (1984)

This novel is a collaboration between Stephen King and Peter Straub. The book was hitly anticipated when releases, as both were well-known horror authors on their own. The result is a good, but perhaps not great novel. The premise is solid. The plot follows 12 year old Jack Sawyer as he sets out on a quest to find the titular Talisman, a crystal, that can save his mother from cancer. He travels back and forth between our world and a fantasy land known as the Territories. Jack is a compelling protagonist and there is a lot to love about the worldbuiding involved in creating the alternate dimension. That being said, the book feels somewhat overlong and it was not as fun of a read as some of King’s earlier work.

The Eyes of the Dragon (1984)

This is an interesting entry in King’s early bibliography. TEOTD marked a departure from King’s primary genre of horror into the world of high fantasy. The book is a good read, and well paced at just over 300 pages. It is set in the realm of Delain and narrates by an unnamed 4th wall breaking storyteller. The book is also notable for its antagonist, Flagg, who made appearances in both The Stand and the Dark Tower series, creating lots of interesting shared universe possibilities in King’s works. This is a good reas if you want somethinf different from King’s bibliography.

Thinner (1984)

Published under the name Richard Bachman, this is the book that ended King’s ruse of publishing under that pseudonym. The novel follows morbidly obese lawyer Billy Haleck, who is cursed after killing a Romani woman in a car accident. As a result of the curse, Billy grows thinner and thinner regardless of how much he eats. The novel is a decent read, not a great one. It is certainly better than the terrible film adaptation however.

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