Palaver's Stephen King blog

Category: King collaborations

Black House (2001)

The fact that King’s second collaboration with Peter Straub is a sequel to their fantasy epic The Talisman is not immediately obvious. Nor does it have to be; Black House is a hypnotic and often gruelling read but with numerous moments of sheer magic even before we realize that Jack Sawyer, the main character in The Talisman, lives in the same small town as the murderous “Fisherman”.

As the story moves ever further from “realism”, the links to the Dark Tower become apparent, but Black House works as a stand-alone story as well. The narrative style in the beginning of the book is almost unique, and deeply effective.

Cycle of the Werewolf (1985)

King’s second collaboration with Berni Wrightson. Originallt intended as an almanac, with short texts by King and drawings by Wrightson, it grew into a short novel. No masterpiece but interesting as an experiment and nice to look at. Was poorly filmed as Silver Bullet.

The Talisman (1984)

“West,” Speedy said. “From this ocean to the other.”

Peter Straub, another excellent writer of sometimes horror, is a longtime friend of Stephen King. In The Talisman, they collaborated on a horror-fantasy epic, sometimes writing together, writing other parts alone, imitating each other’s styles and creating a book that feels as if one person had created it. Not only that, it’s a captivating, strange and often beautiful story. Many have tried to guess who wrote which parts, but Straub has made it clear in his postings to alt.books.peter-straub that, with perhaps one example, they’re wrong. And that’s how it should be, for after all: It is the tale, not he who tells it.

Creepshow (1982)

“I want my cake.”

A loving tribute to E. C. Comics in the form of a comic book. Stephen King stories illustrated by Berni Wrightsson, where everyone gets their just or unjust deserts with a little help from the supernatural, from the north pole or from space.

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