The Black House Summary

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In The Black House, as in most Stephen King novels, a destructive and malicious force horribly assaults a placid town. Black House’s town is Coulee County, Wisconsin, and its malicious force is a psychopathic killer who kidnaps, kills, and eats young children. Jack, who as a child traveled to another world and wielded the power of an arcane object called the Talisman, has grown to adulthood and retired from the Los Angeles Police Department. Through either destiny or random chance, he moves to Coulee County, where the local police recruit him to aid in capturing the killer. Jack discovers that the killer is not human, but a monster hosting an unearthly wicked force. The monster’s extraterrestrial origin triggers Jack’s suppressed memories of his childhood adventures in a world called the Territories. The link between Jack’s incredible past and the killer’s otherworldly origin somehow make Jack the only person who can stop the killer’s rampage. Jack is an intriguing protagonist with a complex psyche and impressive past. He is intelligent, compassionate, and confused, relying on intuition and luck to resolve conflicts. Once he understands what he must do, he never waivers, exuding confidence and leadership qualities around his companions. Jack’s numerous memories from the Territories, though rarely complete, set him apart from other humans. His fearlessness is both exaggerated and inspiring, yet he is impatient at times, losing his temper and hiding his past. The killer, an old man named Charles Burnside, is perverse, and not frightening at all. Burnside is more comical than ominous; his perverse thoughts read more like mischievous adolescent rage than crazy visions in a psychotic mind. The fact that Burnside is not in complete control of the evil occurring throughout the county also diminishes his character’s villainous power. Most of the other characters in the novel are bland. Henry Layden, a blind man, possesses the uncanny ability to distinguish the...
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