I read The Talisman when I was in high school, and the story still sticks with me today. It's part horror, part fantasy, part adventure. What King and Straub managed to do was weave a wonderful story with intrigue and suspense, regardless of how you want to classify it. In The Talisman, Jack Sawyer must travel between his world and a parallel universe where his mother is the queen all in the hopes of saving his mother, who is dying. The novel has a clear dark edge to it despite the youth of its protagonist. It's not all fun and games for Jack, who has the ability to flip between worlds in this adventure. In the process he befriends Wolf, a werewolf from the alternative universe. Wolf provides some comic relief as well as some scary moments for Jack as he transforms into a werewolf in our world under a full moon.
Trying to stop Jack in his quest is his evil uncle Morgan Sloat and the forces that work for him, who would like to see Jack's mother perish. The novel has a definite epic feel to it. There are a lot of interesting parallels between the worlds like how time and distance are related to each other as well as the contrast between the use of magic and technology. The Talisman is one of the novels that really turned me on to the worlds of fantasy and horror and made me want to write. It's brilliantly crafted and well written. Separately Stephen King and Peter Straub are great writers, but together they work magic.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity.