Interesting collaboration between two celebrated authors - the process of joined creation always strikes me fascinating, since it means input from two people with enough respect for each other to give other side a freedom and space to come up with ideas. By 1984 both King and Straub were successful enough respectively so this might sound as a safe bet, however it is still a curiosity that two such famous people decided to cook something together, not many authors are able to do that.
Contrary to my expectations, "The Talisman" is actually not a horror at all. Sure, it has occasional dark and chilling moments, its occasionally even creepy but mainly this is a fantasy story with a twelve-year old protagonist floating between two worlds (our reality and its mirror image, which is kind of medieval) in a search of talisman that will cure his dying mother. Jack Sawyer is kind of medieval knight himself (despite his young age) in a search for a Holy Grail and along the way he has to journey trough difficult and dangerous places, encounters all sorts of strange characters, avoid the enemies and befriends delightfully bizarre sidekicks. It was a fairly gripping read, as you would expect from anything that King wrote and if there is one thing that slightly bothered me, it was that my affections were not so much centred on Sawyer kid (who is supposed to be the main character) but far more towards his comical sidekicks - as if they are aware of this, authors eventually decided to eliminate everybody who might upstage their main hero (noble boy fighting to cure his mother) which upset me greatly and I even considered stop reading the darn book any further - once my favourite character was out of the story, it lost its charm and attraction for me and the rest was just plodding away to its conclusion. Authors tried to patch it up later, but I wasn't convinced. I noticed this with Stephen King already before, the tendency to create literary characters we get attached to, just to dispose of them in the next chapter, it is a kind of mental cruelty, really.