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Friday, August 23, 2019

When the Fantastical Becomes Reality...THE STRANGER'S GUIDE TO TALLISTON by John Tarrow

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a title that released last month via Unbound, but may or may not have made it to your must read list as of yet.  Why?  Well, it depends on the circles you run in, the types of adventures you like to fall into, and what side of the pond you reside on because the story itself is centered around a rather famous home and garden in Britain, and well yeah...unless you follow the area/topic, or live there, it may have slipped right on by.  My suggestion?  DON'T LET IT.  Why?  Oh full of questions...all in good time, my friend, all in good time.  Ready or not, here comes today's title in the spotlight...

John Tarrow

About the book...

RULE #1: Nowhere Is Safe.
RULE #2: Always Have A Way Out.
RULE #3: Be Invisible.
RULE #4: Don’t Make Friends.
RULE #5: Do Not Talk To Dead People.

Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers The Stranger’s Guide, a cryptic book charting this immense no-man’s land and his only map through its dark and dangerous puzzle of doors and rooms. 

Hunted by sinister forces, Joe is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What lies at the labyrinth’s centre and will it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs?



Image result for talliston outside

The novel is inspired by and set inside a unique and amazing house and gardens. Talliston was a 25-year project that took the UK’s most ordinary house and transformed it, room by room, by ordinary people on an ordinary budget, into Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home. 

Starting as a three-bedroomed, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex, today not a single square centimetre of the original house remains. In its place is an extraordinary labyrinth of locations, each set in different times and places.

...really, if it sounds good from that, you should click over to the site and look at all the pics of the rooms!!!


Image result for talliston garden maze

So, as I alluded to before, this was one AMAZING read!
You may pick it up on a whim thinking yeah, I could get into this for a spell only to find yourself some time later devouring pages as you spiral deeper and deeper into the proverbial void.  Curious, exciting, dangerous, mysterious, and beautiful, are just some of the words that come to mind when trying to describe the adventure that awaits you within.

We begin as all stories do...with foreshadowing of bigger things to come while we try to outrun the current situation we're in.  Here, we've a young lad nervously awaiting his parents return after an ambush in the woods and explicit instructions were issued for him to GO, STAY, and WAIT.  Well, can you guess how THAT turned out?  Yeah...probably...but in truth, it wasn't completely his fault.  Things got out of hand, and when he ran, he HAD to run; he just didn't know the open arms he was running into belonged to a mysterious house that seemed ordinary enough, and yet was beyond ordinary to the umpteenth degree!  What happens after he crosses over the gate, the people he meets, the places he goes...are beyond explanation, but not comprehension.  It's a place where the past, present, and future are somewhat fluid, and yet there is a method to the seemingly unending madness that circles within.  There are puzzles to solve, souls to save, friends to make, and hearts to break, but above all, there's the truth of YOU to discover (or rather the truth of those within the tale...maybe...but then again)...and once the maze's path is seen for the treasures it holds, there's no turning back.

Image result for talliston

By book's end, I felt like I had traversed seven worlds and the great beyond...and I regretted nothing!  Well, maybe I would have liked to see a little more detail in some areas when different lands/times were being explored, but would have definitely needed to be made into two or more books to dive in that deeply.  Then again, I wouldn't have complained about having more time in this world!  Joe was an amazing lead, even when he wasn't so much leading as being guided, and traversing the many lands of the labyrinth with him while uncovering the truth of the lessons he was discovering made this journey one to remember.

So go ahead....find yourself a comfy, cozy little corner, or perhaps an attic space ala The Neverending Story, and settle in for an adventure you won't soon forget! 


About the author...

John Tarrow is a storyteller, poet, shaman, award-winning author and creator of Britain’s most extraordinary home; Talliston House & Gardens.



Special thanks to author John Tarrow for the ebook for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or the Talliston House and Gardens, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Unbound, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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