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Black House

Average Rating 4
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(168)

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(46)

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(18)

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(23)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Brilliant

If you're a fan of The Talisman and The Dark Tower series, this is the book for you. I agree with most of the people on here, it does start a little slow in the beginning, but if you continue past that then you are most definitely in for a treat. The plot is dense and...
If you're a fan of The Talisman and The Dark Tower series, this is the book for you. I agree with most of the people on here, it does start a little slow in the beginning, but if you continue past that then you are most definitely in for a treat. The plot is dense and gruesome, each twist and turn completely unexpected. By the time I finished I was unable to sleep with some terribly gruesome images spinning in my head. A great tale, possibly even better than The Talisman (which I absolutely adored).

posted by Anonymous on April 5, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Where is the story.

Well kind readers I'de just like to say that this Stephen King book is sub-par as far as I'm concerned....You start reading and you get to abut page 100 and you find yourself saying "WHERE IS HE GOING WITH THIS"....THE STYLE OF WRITING SEEMS TO BE IN THE 3RD PERSON ABOU...
Well kind readers I'de just like to say that this Stephen King book is sub-par as far as I'm concerned....You start reading and you get to abut page 100 and you find yourself saying "WHERE IS HE GOING WITH THIS"....THE STYLE OF WRITING SEEMS TO BE IN THE 3RD PERSON ABOUT HALF THE TIME WHICH SEEMS A LITTLE MIXED UP TO ME....And I'm telling you by the time you get to around page 200 you may just put the book down for good....King and Straub may have had an idea where they were going but to me they were just writing plain old filler....I read a lot fokes and flat out this is not an easy read, you almost haft to write down on a piece of paper all the people they have in this book, just try to keep track of 25 people in this book and you will see what I mean....Oh well to each there own I guess.

posted by greenjab on December 23, 2011

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  • Posted December 23, 2011

    Where is the story.

    Well kind readers I'de just like to say that this Stephen King book is sub-par as far as I'm concerned....You start reading and you get to abut page 100 and you find yourself saying "WHERE IS HE GOING WITH THIS"....THE STYLE OF WRITING SEEMS TO BE IN THE 3RD PERSON ABOUT HALF THE TIME WHICH SEEMS A LITTLE MIXED UP TO ME....And I'm telling you by the time you get to around page 200 you may just put the book down for good....King and Straub may have had an idea where they were going but to me they were just writing plain old filler....I read a lot fokes and flat out this is not an easy read, you almost haft to write down on a piece of paper all the people they have in this book, just try to keep track of 25 people in this book and you will see what I mean....Oh well to each there own I guess.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Almost $12 for 293 pages.

    Wait til it is cheaper. Not worth 12 bucks. Not at all.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    "Black House", the serial killer-themed sequel to Step

    "Black House", the serial killer-themed sequel to Stephen King and Peter Straub's 1984 collaboration "The Talisman", unfortunately presents the two bestselling authors at their worst. This novel bears little resemblance to its predecessor: "The Talisman" was a sweeping epic that spanned two worlds and featured a variety of intriguing characters, an ambitious piece of dark fantasy that endeared itself to genre aficionados and won over a great many nonfans as well. "Black House", on the other hand, is a very thin framework with lots of uninteresting and occasionally incoherent padding. Not only do King and Straub fail to convince us that the hero of this novel is Jack Sawyer as an adult (young Jack was a vivid, well-drawn character in "The Talisman", but the grown-up Jack is painfully dull and never really comes to life), but--with the possible exception of Beezer St. Pierre--none of the characters toward whom the reader is clearly meant to feel affectionate is actually *likable*.
    Both authors overindulge in their worst tendencies here. King's weakness, of course, is repetition: you'll feel a special loathing for the trademark exclamation of Henry Leyden's alter ego George Rathbun ("Case closed, game over, zip up your fly! Why, even a blind man could see that blah, blah, blah!") by the time you're done with "Black House" because it appears, oh, about 700 times in the text. Straub's Achilles' heel is the radiant-woman-who-shines-with-a-holy-inner-light syndrome. It's what made his last novel "A Dark Matter" such a dud, and here it's applied to an even more offputting--downright shrill, in fact--character named Judy Marshall. Sorry, but I just didn't buy Judy as the Madonna or Good Queen Whosis or whatever. If you absolutely must include such a character in the story, at least make her someone the reader can stand.
    To top it all off, the book is written entirely in the present tense. I'm not sure who made this bewildering decision, but it ensures that "Black House" is an uphill climb all the way. "The Talisman" was fascinating: you became embroiled in the story and forgot that you were reading a book. The sequel never lets you forget, not even for a minute. There's you, unfortunate reader, and there's this clunky, laboriously-written tome that you simply can't get lost in. Halfway through, it begins to feel like a leaden weight upon the mind. It speeds up (a little) toward the end, but that's not enough.
    Believe it or not, I'm a fan of King and Straub, especially the latter. (I thought King's 2009 effort "Under the Dome" was quite good--if way too long--and "lost boy lost girl" and "In the Night Room", the two books Straub wrote before the misfire of "A Dark Matter", are among his finest work.) I know they can do better...and, in the third installment of the Jack Sawyer saga, I expect that they will.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2003

    Nothing like the genius of The Talisman

    As a prequel to The Talisman, this book was a sore disappointment. Not only does it lack the depth and vision that made the first book such a marvelous story, it's graphic detailing of bloody death numbs the senses and sickens the reader. I found myself wanting to just get to the end so I could finish, instead of relishing every page as I normally do with a King inspired novel. Of course, equal heaps of praise and scorn are also due to Mr. Straub for his contribution to both the former and latter books. My advise to those who loved The Talisman as much as I did? Save yourself the $7.99 and the disappointment that is Black House.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    BORING

    I've gotten as far as page 344 (almost half the book) which has taken me over a month to read and I'm putting the book down again! (I'm reading other novels in between these non developing chapters) When will the page-turning event begin? I'm considering putting this book up for retirement. Too much irrelavent dialogue. The narration of the story teller is almost overbearing. Overkill on the 'thoughts' of characters that have no relevance to the story. King -Straub, I know you can do better than this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2002

    What happened to my King?

    Whatever happened to the classic King before? I was so hopeful for this book to be good because it was the sequel to one of the best books in the world: The Talisman. But NOOOO, Black House just messes up everything. They should have just left the story where it ended. I HATED how it turned out to be like a Dark Tower V. Oh well, at least we still got Stephen King's GOOD stuff like Dreamcatcher and The Shining. Do better next time Stephen. I hope FROM A BUICK 8 is good. I heard that EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL was good too - I'll have to read that!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2002

    Bleak House

    If I wanted to read about beams and towers and Crimson Kings, I would have waited for the next Gunslinger novel. I bought Black House because I wanted to revisit the magic created by The Talisman. Why King had to include Straub in his life-long work of the Dark Tower series, I don't know. Is King's imagination that spent? I find it amusing when King cross-references worlds in his novels, but this was extreme. I don't remember too much about the original novel, but I recall being fully submersed in this strange, interesting, magical new world for hours. One of many problems with Black House is that the reader will only spend about 2 percent of the time in the Territories. In fact, the same story would have worked without the Territories at all. There are many problems with this story; only one of which is that by the time a key character figures out who the killer is, the revelation is moot because it all becomes something bigger than just a serial killer. So what was the point? So much could have been done with this story. Possibly the worst problem of all is how inferior Straub's writing is to King's. You can tell right away who the current scribe is, due to the overwhelming difference in quality. I bet it was Straub who created the annoying narrative voice; and I would put money on it being Straub who included all those amateurish exclamation points!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2001

    Not Enough Like the Original

    I also found this book nowhere near as enjoyable as The Talisman. It did not have the same sense of wonder and adventure, the memorable characters, the magnitude. Jack is oddly thrust through the same character arc as in the first book (scared, reluctant, with repressed memories of the Territories to confident hero). Only one of the characters from the original interacts with Jack in this one, the rest are noticibly absent, with only a handful of sentences to describe where they are now. The Territories that we became familiar with in the first book, while always having some similarities to the Dark Tower, are now one and the same. Characters from other books are discussed, and central plot points are shared (Beams, Tower, and so on). As if tweaking Jack's world like this wasn't enough, the one other returning character has been slightly altered to be something of a Gunslinger, with similar speech patterns as Roland himself. Not that this has to be bad in and of itself, but it is a departure from the original. Even worse was the intrusive writing style, the sheer wordiness. There is nothing more jarring than to have the narrator carry on with you, the reader, as if you are both spying on the characters. And despite the book's odd disclaimer prior to the Epilogue, I found the way the book ended, while softened from what it could have been, was still very off-putting. If there is another sequel, I hope that it is more true to the spirit of the original.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2001

    Very Slow, Not anywhere near his ability...

    Have been a King fan since his first books hit the 'Stand' Yes, I know The Stand was not his first book). I found I couldn't get through this one fast enough, boring & slow. I could have skipped right to the end and really not missed much. Come on King, you can do much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2001

    Clive Cussler's 'Vahalla Rising' is better

    The first Steven King book I read was Bag of Bones. It captivated me. Then I read Dreamcatcher and was dissapointed. And now, after reading Black House, I am even more dissapointed. Clive Cussler has now moved into the lead for my favorite author. Sorry King. I still like your writing, but I have discovered the wonderful, adventurous writing of Cussler. And in my opinion, Cussler is 'king'!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    Something is wrong

    The book was too slow. All horror, and very little Talisman. Maybe Mr. King should not team up with people. Mercy was much better. Matter-of-fact, I think everything I read of his is better. Read the book: The Last Trumpet and the Woodbridge demon, it is more scarey then this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2001

    Disappointing

    I have been a King fan for years, he has written some great books, but this one was so slow. It took me forever to finish it. I have read everything Stephen King has written some were great, others so-so. This was probably the worst of them all. I think he is losing his touch. I would only recommend it if you have a good month or two to try and finish a book. I wait for new King books to come out, but this was was very disappointing!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2001

    Is this supposed to be a sequel to the Talisman or the Dark Tower?

    When I found out there was going to be a Talisman sequel I couldn't wait. I was disappointed for a couple reasons. Black House ended up being a sequel to BOTH the Talisman and the Dark Tower series, and wasn't the greatest sequel to either. It felt like a 'two birds with one stone' book. I also hated the storytelling style in this book. I found it annoying that the authors were talking directly to the reader. This book wasn't all bad, the characters were wonderful, especially Henry the blind man.

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    Posted December 20, 2010

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    Posted August 1, 2011

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    Posted July 18, 2013

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    Posted October 26, 2010

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    Posted May 2, 2012

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