MY FAVORITE STEPHEN King book used to be The Talisman.
When I would tell people that, I would always get this skeptical look often followed by a bit of a sneer.
Them: “You know that’s not his best work, right?”
Me: “Uh huh.”
Them: (Stifling a Scornful Laugh) “If you know that, why do you like it?”
The conversation would end with whoever it was deciding I was no longer worthy of conversation and walking off. Rude, yeah, but so’s telling people what they can and cannot like. I’m entitled to like whatever I want to like, and I liked the The Talisman, dammit.
Suck it, literary snobs. Suck. It.
Now that the literary snobs have left the room, I’ll explain.
- I liked The Talisman because I like co-author Peter Straub.
- I liked the concept of parallel dimensions (which is why I annually binge watch Fringe and am now obsessed with Counterpart).
- I liked the Queen of the B’s and the character Traveling Jack.
- I liked it because I was in college, and it made me feel all grown up to read it.
- I like it because it was the first Stephen King book I had the guts read. (I was too wimpy to read Carrie and too much of a dog lover to read Cujo. Eventually, I eased myself into ‘Salem’s Lot, which is very, very good, but not my favorite.)
The Stand was my second favorite Stephen King book. I had the worst case of the flu when I read that the first time. Don’t read The Stand if you have the flu. Also, I hear there’s a new one coming out staring Erik Northman. Good. I didn’t like the guy that played whatever Randy whatshisface was supposed to be.
I also remember liking Needful Things, but that’s because my family has an antique store. Not an antique store, like that, though. A normal antique store.
It’s been a while since I’ve read The Talisman, and I’ve since learned that it had homophobic themes. See https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/every-single-stephen-king-book-ranked/. I didn’t pick up on the homophobic themes when I read it years ago, but then would I have? What does that mean? Does it mean I shouldn’t like it?
I may have to re-read The Talisman to see if what I thought years ago is how I feel today. Tastes change, and maybe mine has. All I know is that The Talisman was once my favorite Stephen King book. Whether it remains so is yet to be determined.