Books: Monstrous

THE TALISMAN by Stephen King and Peter Straub Viking; 646 pages; $18.95

There is no point in complaining about The Talisman as if it were a finished product, or even an ordinary novel. In fact it is something far more momentous, the first stage in the construction—the scaffolding and a few truckloads of apparitions, so to speak—of a Steven Spielberg movie. So the publicity blurbs boast. The director of Jaws and E.T. has bought the movie rights for a pot of money. Surely, by the way, this explains the dual authorship....

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