SK Saturday: The Final Update

And so it’s done, this journey I began (for the second, and last time) almost six months ago. What prompted me to travel once again down that long and winding path with Roland Deschain of Gilead? The arrival of a new chapter set in his world. It’s been a good journey. There were tears and a little laughter. There was anger and disgust. It was worth it, even the second time. 

What did I think of this final chapter in the long quest for the Dark Tower? For the sake of a review I will give it four stars. It wasn’t perfect for me as a reader, though it wasn’t as heartbreaking as I feared. Characters I’d grown to love were lost along the way and the main one’s ending left much to be desired. But I already knew that. That was the one thing I had remembered from my first trek with Roland. That wasn’t why I made the journey again, as if I thought the outcome would be any different. I made it again because it’s good to be reminded of the journey sometimes.

I needed to watch Eddie Dean fight his addiction with heroine and find his love of Susannah. I needed to see her find her love of Eddie and put that bitch Detta in her place. I needed to meet Jake and Oy. I needed to be reminded that Stephen King is the creator, and destroyer, of worlds far more intense than I could ever hope to make. It was a good journey and I’m glad I made it again. If you have not then you should. At least once. At least to meet the cast of unforgettable characters I’m mentioning. Or at least to be left with that queer feeling of wonder at SK’s mention of his other works and his life on the road to the Dark Tower.

But be warned. This story is not for the faint of heart or one who would not finish it. Once begun it must be completed. Long days, and pleasant nights.

SK Saturday: Wolves of the Calla

It took quite a bit longer than expected, but I’ve finally finished reading The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla. To say it was a large book is an understatement. I had a lot going on in my life this past couple of weeks that kept me from reading every minute I wanted to. I also picked up an erotic romance to read at the same time to temper some of the ick I felt when reading about Susannah’s ever growing chap.

In this one we find Roland and his ka-tet growing much more in tune with each other. They’re still traveling along the beam toward the Dark Tower and find themselves in the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis. This town has a serious problem and a quartet of gunslingers (and one billybumbler) is just what they need to aid them.

We learn a bit more about each of the characters in this book. Roland can dance, Jake is really still a boy despite all he’s been through, Eddie can be quite the politician when needed, and Susannah hides yet another within her skull. This book is almost three stories in one binding.

I had forgotten much about this installment of The Dark Tower series. Most importantly, that it ends in a cliffhanger. I hate that. SK also does a lot of foreshadowing with ominous single lines at the ends of chapters. I kind of hate that too. But for all his little idiosyncrasies I still really liked this book. It gets us further along the path to the tower and Roland is given the chance to be a little more human.

On to the next!  

SK Saturday: Wolves of the Calla

Okay I have a confession to make. I’m not actually done with this, the fifth, installment of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series just yet. I’m about halfway there and it’s very slow going for me.

Part of the problem is I feel no sense of urgency with this one even though I don’t remember everything that happens. Of course, the fact that there is more to the series tells us at least Roland carries on the quest after this tale. Another reason may be that it is a slow tale. There’s much telling going on and at least three different threads. 

First we have Father Callahan’s story. To muddle things up he is the priest from Salem’s Lot. That wasn’t a problem for me the first time I read this but time has had a way of changing me as a reader. It kind of bothers me now that SK decided to put so much of himself in this book. I know there’s much more later on but had forgotten how much was in this one. Not only is Salem’s Lot mentioned, but also characters from a few others. It’s not confusing to me just kind of annoying.

Second is the story of the Rose sitting in an abandoned lot in New York. The ka-tet has to save it by buying the lot to prevent an evil corporation from doing the same. Right now their plan is simple in word but difficult in deed. It involves time travel, which I’m not a huge fan of in stories, as well as for the cosmos to align correctly and shine favor on them. That’s not something SK is known for. We’ll see what happens.

Third is what the book is named for, the wolves who are on their way to Calla Bryn Sturgis. The farm/ranch town has been suffering from these invaders for centuries and need heroes to save them and their children. Roland and his crew arrive just on time to do so, but will they succeed? Time will tell.

So right now I’m at the point where all of the stories are told but it still remains to be seen where the chips will fall. I’ll get back on it this week in the hopes of finishing by next Saturday.

Happy reading!

SK Saturday: Update VI

So, I nearly forgot to post this today…I was reading. I hate to admit I wasn’t reading Wolves of the Calla, though I’m not done with it. I picked up a paranormal romance to balance out the acid trip feel of SK’s 5th installment into The Dark Tower Series. Don’t know that it worked but I promise to get back on it tonight. I’m finally at about the halfway mark. Next Saturday will bring a review whether I’m done or not, promise.

SK Saturday: Update V

As I sit here writing this it’s actually Thursday evening. However, the current installation I’m working through, Wolves of the Calla, is a massive tome and I’m not even to the halfway point yet. So, I promise to read more and hopefully more quickly, this next week. But my muse has been active and I can’t ignore her when she starts yapping in my ear.

Happy reading!

SK Saturday: The Wind Through the Keyhole

And so I finished reading this one with time to spare, amazingly. It was…different. A story, within a story, within a book. I don’t know that I really liked the format. I guess it was a little too much storytellin’ for me. 

This book is listed as installment 4.5 in The Dark Tower Series. In it we find the ka-tet of Roland, Jake, Oy, Eddie and Susannah still traveling along the path of the beam, heading toward the Dark Tower. They come to a river and meet a friendly man to get them across. He reminds Roland of a horrible storm that appears out of nowhere and is easily predicted by the billy-bumblers. Oy has been acting strangely and Roland has a “duh” moment as he realizes it’s for this reason.

That’s my first problem with this book. It’s one of those things (if there’s a term I’m not certain) that’s too contrived by the author to mesh well for the reader. Perhaps deus ex machina? Except there was no real reason for this book to happen in the first place. I don’t think I learned anything new about the characters that I needed to know so long after Roland’s journey ended. He does have a few tidbits about his mother, some introspection that makes him more human. However, I don’t think this book did that justice. In the book Roland tells everyone a story. That story is mostly about a situation where Roland tells someone else a different story. That story takes up most of the book. It’s not a bad story. I was actually quite enthralled. I just don’t know that it was worth taking up the thread of The Dark Tower series again, and getting my hopes up that it would be another piece of the puzzle. 

So, taken at face value as a stand-alone book, this is a good read. Depending on my mood I might even say a great read. But as a part of this series, being placed where it was, I just don’t know. Keep in mind that I began reading this series again solely because of this book. I received it for my birthday and wanted to remember every detail that came before this story took place. I’m in the thick of it now so will continue on with the series. But of course, I remember how it ended and know that’s not going to change.