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the Dark Tower ref. :
Nineteen (19)
the Gunslinger
Wizard and Glass
Wolves of the Calla

Connects to :
the Eyes of the Dragon

First line :
Right here and now, as an old friend used to say, we are in the fluid present, where clear-sightedness never guarantees perfect vision.

Notes :
Black House
- is co-written with Peter Straub.

Places :
_coming soon_

Quotes :
  • “People’s voices are full of information.”
  • “When you win almost all the time, winning tastes like spoiled grape juice.”
  • “We live in a rational world. People do not return from the dead. Everything happens for a reason, and the reasons are always rational.”
  • “Maybe when you're going crazy, at first you put up a big fight and get hysterical, and then you're too crazy to fight anymore and you get all calm and accepting.”
  • “You cannot get rid of what does not exist.”
  • “Yes, it's always the past. That's where the hurt is, all you can't get over.”
  • “While good things usually take a long time to develop, evil has a way of popping up full-blown and ready-made, like Jack out of his box.”
  • “What you love, you must love all the harder because someday it will be gone.”
  • “Some things are meant to be, that's all. Meant.”
  • “Why must life always demand so much and give so little?”

  • previous title: dreamcatcher | everything's eventual :next title
    PAGE MENU : description | review | editions

  • Written : April 14, 2001
  • Synopsis :
    In this sequel to The Talisman, Jack Sawyer is now in his late thirties and has taken early retirement from the LAPD, retreating to a small town in Wisconsin. He has no memory of his adventures as a twelve-year-old boy, when he traveled into a parallel universe in search of the talisman that would save his mother's life. A series of murders involving young children force him out of retirement. There is more to these cases than murder, though, and Jack must retrieve his childhood memories to rescue the latest victim, who is coveted by the killer's evil overlord, a powerful force from End-World, in Roland the gunslinger's universe.

    In the seemingly paradisal Wisconsin town of French Landing, small distortions disturb the beauty: a talking crow, an old man obeying strange internal marching orders, a house that is both there and not quite there. And roaming the town is a terrible fiend nicknamed the Fisherman, who is abducting and murdering small children and eating their flesh. The sheriff desperately wants the help of a retired Los Angeles cop, who once collared another serial killer in a neighboring town.

    Of course, this is no ordinary policeman, but Jack Sawyer, hero of Stephen King and Peter Straub's 1984 fantasy The Talisman. At the end of that book, the 13-year-old Jack had completed a grueling journey through an alternate realm called the Territories, found a mysterious talisman, killed a terrible enemy, and saved the life of his mother and her counterpart in the Territories. Now in his 30s, Jack remembers nothing of the Talisman, but he also hasn't entirely forgotten:

    When these faces rise or those voices mutter, he has until now told himself the old lie, that once there was a frightened boy who caught his mother's neurotic terror like a cold and made up a story, a grand fantasy with good old Mom-saving Jack Sawyer at its center. None of it was real, and it was forgotten by the time he was sixteen. By then he was calm. Just as he's calm now, running across his north field like a lunatic, leaving that dark track and those clouds of startled moths behind him, but doing it calmly.

    Jack is abruptly pulled into the case--and back into the Territories--by the Fisherman himself, who sends Jack a child's shoe, foot still attached. As Jack flips back and forth between French Landing and the Territories, aided by his 20-years-forgotten friend Speedy Parker and a host of other oddballs (including a blind disk jockey, the beautiful mother of one of the missing children, and a motorcycle gang calling itself the "Hegelian Scum"), he tracks both the Fisherman and a much bigger fish: the abbalah, the Crimson King who seeks to destroy the axle of worlds.

    While The Talisman was a straightforward myth in 1980s packaging, Black House is richer and more complex, a fantasy wrapped in a horror story inside a mystery, sporting a clever tangle of references to Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, jazz, baseball, and King's own Dark Tower saga. Talisman fans will find the sure-footed Jack has worn well--as has the King/Straub writing style, which is much improved with the passage of two decades

    Stephen King Book Covers FIRST EDITION

    Random House 2001.

    "First Trade Edition" on copyright page.
    "2 4 6 8 9 7 5 3" on copyright page.

    Dust Jacket price: $28.95

    Stephen King Book Covers MY EDITION

    HarperCollins Publishers 2001.

    ISBN 0 00 710042 6.
    625 pages.
    "1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2" on copyright page.

    Copyright © Stephen King and Peter Straub 2001.
    Fiction: Horror


    For David Gernert and Ralph Vicinanza


    Part One
    (4 chapters)

    Part Two
    (14 chapters)

    Part Three
    (25 chapters)

    Part Four
    (29 chapters)




    French Landing, Wisconsin - home of Kingsland Ale, Goltz's farm implements, Maxton's old folks' home and Radio KDCU, the voice of the Coulee Country. A comfortable, solid middle-Americans; and a serial killer.

    Ten-year-old Irma Freneau's mutilated body lies in the rotting ruins of Ed's Eats & Dawgs in the woods close to the Black House. No one has discovered her yet; no one, that is, except for a host of flies and a wild dog. But her severed foot, complete with size 5 New Balance sneaker and an obscene note, is about to make its way home to French Landing, packed into a shoebox.

    Slippage is occurring in the Coulee Country. Three children have been lost to the world. Three children: slaughtered by a fiend with a taste for child's flesh. Linking the murders with those carried out by a previous century's serial killer, the local newspaper has dubbed the prepetrator 'The Fisherman', and if local police chief Dale Gilbertson doesn't catch the Fisherman soon, he'll lose his job, and another French Landing mother will lose her child.

    If only Jack 'Hollywood' Sawyer - the ex-detective from LA who cracked their last case for them - would help, Dale might save his neck. But plagued by visions of another world, Jack has retired to this pretty rural retreat precisely to avoid such horrors. And having recognized the touch of madness on this case, he has no wish to revisit the Territories whence such madness issues.

    Soon he will have no choice: for the Fisherman is about to select his fourth victim. Tyler Marshall, left behind one afternoon by his bullying friends, pedals past Maxton Elder Care 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 crow towards the old folks' home, he is grabbed by the neck and dragged into a hedge.

    The Fisherman has made another catch...


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