Stephen King asks for a lot. Including Afterwords, Introductions and Robert Browning’s original poem the Dark Tower series was inspired by, the books’ grand total length is something close to (or over) 4,000 pages. Personally, I’ve been reading the series off and on since August last year.
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After slogging through the twin behomoths of Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla, it was refreshing to zip right through this relative slim chapter of the Dark Tower saga. Especially before going onto the equally monstrous last book, which I will be beginning shortly.
After the extended flashback story of Wizard & Glass (Book IV), Stephen King returns to the forward journey of Roland of Gilead and his motley band of gunslingers. Wolves of the Calla is back in the same vein of the first three Dark Tower books with the main characters criss-crossing between their otherworldly dimension and the supposed “real” world of New York City in the 1970s.
Wizard and Glass is primarily a flashback tale, revealing in great detail one of the pivotal moments in Roland the Gunslinger’s life. The book begins at the exact second The Waste Lands ends, with our heroes racing towards an almost certain doom. Suffice it to say, Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy survive that adventure and find themselves in a modified version of The Stand, where the deadly “Captain Tripps” flu virus has killed off the entire population.
I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to read it entirely through. It seemed like a nice coffee table type book I would just flip through, checking out pages here and there. The packaging and design of the book are superb with amazingly clear and detailed scans of pages in notebooks and random pieces of paper collected from here and there. However, the content I assumed would be barely interesting, juvenile ramblings. But, it’s not. It’s actually extremely fascinating, semi-juvenile ramblings.
So far, this has probably been the most aggravating book in the Dark Tower saga. Not to say it was bad, but it was the one I had the most problems with.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the characters have entered that age, like on Pete & Pete, where romances are likely to blossom and in the book they do. Harry did struggle with his crush on Cho Chang in The Order of the Phoenix and Hermione dated a foreign Quidditch player in The Goblet of Fire, but this is definitely the “love” book.
Otherwise known as Harry Potter and the Curse of the Sprained Shoulder, which is what this behemoth cost me lugging it around in my bag back and forth from work every day. Brutal.
At this point what else could I possibly say about The Goblet of Fire that probably hasn’t been already said before. This is the book where the series turns a darker edge with a turn that I probably should have seen as inevitable, but I tend to just dive into each volume without thinking about what I might find inside.
I was hoping The Drawing of the Three was going to kick ass. Guess what? It does!
The first book, The Gunslinger, was an entertaining enough read, doing a good job setting the tone of the series and introducing the main character.