Feo's Stuff

BLACK HOUSE

PETER STRAUB REVIEWS STORY TIME FANBOY MOVIES CONVENTIONS HORRIBLE NEWS
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?

Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES
ARCHIVE NEWS
WHO IS FEO AMANTE?
SPECIAL REPORT ARCHIVE

STORY TIME
FEO TALES
INTERVIEWS

MOVIES

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Story Time Mickey Huyck Review by
Michael T. Huyck Jr.
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
Black HouseBLACK HOUSE - 2001
USA Publication: Sept. 15, 2001
by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Random House
ISBN: 0-375-50439-7

I read THE TALISMAN back when it first came out, and Abebooks.com tells me that means 1984. Hmmmm. I don't remember 1984. Come to think of it I don't remember much of either year bordering it, either.

This reference to my 80's indulgences is only relevant because it tells you that there's no need to read or reread THE TALISMAN in order to enjoy BLACK HOUSE. Yes, it's touted as a sequel. Yes, Jack Sawyer returns as our hero and generally cool dude. But past that - nada. There’s nothing you have to know about the past to make this novel work.

BLACK HOUSE picks up twenty years after Jack left the Territories and his parallel universe traveling behind. The two decades faded his childhood memories and developed Jack into a successful and somewhat celebrated Los Angeles homicide detective. Then, while still young and quite a bit short of his career peak, Jack decides to turn in his badge and retire to the hamlet of Tamarack, Wisconsin.

It's easy to see why he chose Tamarack. For the most part it's a peaceful place. Kids can still trick-or-treat without parental escort and the neighbors talk to each other.

Up until now.

There’s someone new in town. Someone who kidnaps children, consumes choice portions, and dumps the remains. Wendell Green, reporter extraordinaire, recognizes commonalities between the current spate of murders and the hideous crimes of one Albert Fish - arguably America's most notorious serial killer - so he labels the new murderer The Fisherman.

As you can imagine, Tamarack is up in arms. The local police are in over their heads, so there's unwanted help from the state authorities. The beer-brewing, Harley-riding, literature debating "Thunder Five" motorcycle gang occasionally tosses in a bit of interference. The parents are getting downright snippy.

So, of course, it's up to Jack Sawyer, ace homicide detective, to set things right.

Taken at face value, this isn't much more than a murder thriller in the same vein as Straub's Blue Rose trilogy. But that's just face value. You can't take two masters like King and Straub and expect anything to be what you expect it to be. That's not what you pay $29.00 for, right? Besides, it wouldn't be billed as a sequel to THE TALISMAN if we were just gonna play cops and cannibals.

It's a given (therefore, I believe, not a spoiler) that the Territories still exist. And they have something to do with all this. King's DARK TOWER fans will find interesting and relevant information woven into the text of BLACK HOUSE as well. But neither of those "other" lands impact this story the same way they do in previous works. At times it's almost as if their threads were woven in more as distractions than anything else. Change a few names, shift a few places, and this could have been the same novel without a single bit of back history. Maybe I should blame King and Straub's need to revisit old ground. Maybe I should blame marketing. Probably, since it didn't hurt the story, I won't blame anyone at all.

The plot is strong, the characters well developed, and the build-up adequate. I say adequate because both King and Straub have (long ago) taken to using twelve words where eight would do just fine. But I never found myself bored and at times I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, so there's no need for them to apologize. Not once when I was reading this did I go to sleep before 3 a.m.

A good going and well worth four BookWyrms.

BookWyrmBookWyrmBookWyrmBookWyrm

This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

BOOKS BY
STEPHEN KING AND PETER STRAUB
BY
KING
BY
STRAUB
BY
GUM!
THE TALISMAN BLACK HOUSE ON WRITING THE HELLFIRE CLUB THE GUMAZING GUM GIRL


Bookmark and Share

Return to Story Time

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

BUY BOOKS FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream
PAPERBACK

Horror 201: The Silver Scream
A tome of interviews with
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
ED NAHA,
GEORGE A. ROMERO, and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed
PHANTASM EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING CIRCUS OF HELL
Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell

Forward by
GAHAN WILSON,
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
WILLIAM STOUT,
HILARY BARTA,
STEVE BISSETTE,
SPAIN RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
TONE RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
ALEX PARDEE,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
D.W. FRYDENDALL,
SHANNON WHEELER,
VINCENT WALLER,
JACOB HAIR,
NENAD GUCUNJA,
STEVEN MANNION,
NORMAN CABRERA,
and more!

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2017 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.