Sunday, August 16, 2009
We're off to see the Wizard...
Not only does every story Stephen King has written seem to tie into the Dark Tower series, but even L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz seems to be a part of the tale.
There's no use explaining it here in a blog, you'll just have to read the books to get what I'm talking about. King pulls it off, but of course that's what makes King so good: the fact that he can pull it off. He is one of those writers who could put a passage in a book where a grown man and a pencil engage in a frightening conversation where the pencil threatens to kill the man's wife, and it would be completely believable. That's talent.
Wizard and Glass, the fourth novel of King's Dark Tower series, is really two books. The beginning continues the adventures of Roland and his ka-tet (group joined by destiny), but soon the novel goes into a lengthy flashback about Roland's true love and what happened to her oh so many years ago. This flashback comprises most of the novel's 700 pages. Due to it's length, this book took me a little while to read, and there were times where I had forgotten the first 30 or so pages about what happened with the ka-tet and Blaine the Mono. In fact, I got confused and started thinking that was a part of the third book.
Either way, the book is mostly good. Part of me was hoping for a big western shoot-out in the flashback between Roland and his old ka-tet and a group of wannabe gunslingers who call themselves the Big Coffin Hunters. What we get isn't bad, but since these books are fantasy and western, I really wanted that shootout in the streets.
I'm also not sure I was as moved by Roland and Susan's tragedy as I was supposed to be, but I got the idea. Either way, this book kept me entertained the whole time, and I long to see the other ways the series connects to King's other writings, and possibly to the writings of other authors.