Tuesday 23 April 2019

The A-Z Blog Challenge, Letter T

Letter T of My Favourite Books by title
Three authors, three genres
Fantasy, Sci-fi and ... Alien Abuduction

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23471757-the-talismanThe first one is The Talisman, by Stephen King. Here's the blurb:

On a brisk autumn day, a twelve-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America--and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother's life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin ...

If anyone asks me, what's your No.1 book by Stephen King? This is it. Hands down. And this is not really a book of horror, although it has plenty of dark edges. It is more a work of fantasy, of parallel universes and a boy called Jack trying to save his mother's life.

This novel has a sequel, The Black House, a book which ties directly into the Dark Tower series, so by association this book does too, as Jack has a lot more to find out than just how to try and save his mother.

For me this book offers the best character yet: Wolf. He befriends Jack in the other realm and is his companion and is absolutely beguiling. I loved him.

If you don't know where to start with Stephen King books, this is a great place. It shows you exactly how Stephen King captures his readers imaginations, and why he crosses genres with a lot of his writing. It's not to be missed.

Did you know that Stephen King was almost killed in a car accident back in 1999? The paramedic said there was an angel sitting on his shoulder, because he shouldn't have survived with all his injuries. He said it was like something out of one of his own books: when he came to, the guy who had hit him with the van was just sitting a rock nearby watching him, with his dog sitting next to him, calm as you like, and just tells him help is on his way. You can read more about it in his non-fiction book On Writing, which is mostly about the craft or writing, but he adds it in at the end.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/656936.TransformationThe second is Transformation, by Whitley Strieber. Here's the blurb:

According to bestselling author Whitley Strieber, his contact with strange aliens did not end with the release of his controversial book, Communion. Instead, the "visitors" kept coming. In Transformation, Strieber challenges his own fear for a triumphant breakthrough in understanding.

This one has a tricky genre. I found it in the 'mythology' section of my book shop! It is not really fiction as it is Whitley Strieber's account of being 'visited' by alien life forms since he was small.

The first novel Communion, which this is sort of the sequel to, is an account of how he uncovered these visits, through a series of hypnosis sessions, and debates all the possibilities, including losing his mind and even having a medical problem.

Transformation was written and released about a year or  so later, and was sort of the outcome of the publication of Communion: all the people that had contacted him, including his siblings since its release, and how the aliens themselves had made themselves more known since his coming out about them. But also his upset and frustration that they were visiting his young son, and he was powerless to stop it. He also talks about being taught about astral projection by them, and the electric soul of all living things.

I found both books fascinating, and the jury is out for me as to whether he is spinning a tale or whether this is true. I have no reason not to believe it. But at the same time, unless it happens to you how can you conceive of such a thing? But I liked these books enough to keep them in my collection. And Whitley Strieber already being an author, has written them well - they are far from incoherent ramblings.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/989036.TruckersThe third one is, Truckers by Terry Pratchett. Here's the blurb:

'Outside! What's it like?'
Masklin looked blank.
'Well,' he said. 'It's sort of big -'

To the thousands of tiny nomes who live under the floorboards of a large department store, there is no Outside. Things like Day and Night, Sun and Rain are just daft old legends.

Then a devastating piece of news shatters their existence: the Store - their whole world - is to be demolished. And it's up to Masklin, one of the last nomes to come into the Store, to mastermind an unbelievable escape plan that will take all the nomes into the dangers of the great Outside...

 I couldn't pass the letter T without mentioning Truckers, which is the first part of a series called the Bromeliad Triology. 

You could say this is Terry Pratchett's spin on The Borrowers, as the characters are little gnomes or 'nomes' as he calls them, living under the floorboards of a department story. But I felt these little tales were far more colourful and fun and full of humour than that book. 

I recently read all three to my eldest son and we thoroughly enjoyed them. Again they can be seen as Terry Pratchett's children's book, but the humour in them is for all ages. If you don't fancy the discworld, these are worth a look.


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