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Song of Susannah : The Dark Tower VI Hardcover – 7 Jun 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., London; First UK EDITION edition (8 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340827181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340827185
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 23.9 x 4.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Amazon Review

Song of Susannah continues directly from the almost literally cliff-hanging epilogue to Wolves of the Calla. As ever with such series, this is not the place to begin and new readers are strongly advised to start with volume one, The Gunslinger.

Meanwhile the penultimate instalment in the Dark Tower septet follows three interlocked storylines. Roland and Eddie in New England, where they undergo the firestorm of the book’s only major action set-piece, Jake and Father Callahan hot in pursuit of Susannah in New York, and Susannah herself, together with her alter ego Mia, struggling with probably the strangest pregnancy in all fiction. Her travails certainly make the New York horrors of Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby seem almost mundane. The novel is not complete in itself, but leads to a duel climax-cliffhanger leading directly into the final volume, The Dark Tower.

While the journey itself is compelling and the finale riveting, it is Stephen King’s imaginative boldness which make this episode so remarkable. Stories about storytelling have become increasingly common in modern fiction, with books within books and fictional authors being central to such metafictions as Christopher Priest’s The Affirmation and Jonathan Carroll’s The Land of Laughs. King though takes the process further, writing himself into the saga, playing ingenious games with what the public knows of his life, even to his famous near fatal accident in 1999, and in a breathtaking achievement weaving the 34 year long writing of this series of books into its own fabric. The shocking sting in the final pages mean all bets are off for the epic final volume.--Gary Dalkin


'Superbly energetic, it's King at his best' Mail on Sunday on WIZARD AND GLASS

'This fifth instalment has all the hallmarks of classic King, fine characters, compellingly-written in a gripping well-honed plot' Daily Express on WOLVES OF THE CALLA

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First Sentence
"How long will the magic stay?" At first no one answered Roland's question, and so he asked it again, this time looking across the living room of the rectory to where Henchick of the Manni sat with Cantab, who had married one of Henchick's numerous granddaughters. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on 28 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Stephen King is approaching the end of the path leading to the Dark Tower. This sixth and last but one volume is phenomenal. It is the story of Susannah, who has been hijacked by some primitive spirit, who has been impregnated with a child during a rape in some stone circle, when she moves towards her delivery. It has to happen in New York in 1999. Susannah is thus taken by force, or nearly, to the Big Apple that looks like a big blood pie. The other members of her gunslinger ka-tet are following, plus the priest from Salem's Lot. And all of them are back in New York or in Maine, at different times and at in different places with different missions. Mia, the evil spirit, leads a game that she does not control. Her leadership is thus vain and blind. She is the prey and the prisoner of the Crimson King who wants her child, not really hers in fact, to achieve his destructive project against the beams that support the Dark Tower and the whole world. But the book is phenomenal because it brings together a great number of lines from other books by Stephen King. It is a real multiple crossroads and roundabout of a good dozen of his previous novels. This gives some perspective to his whole writing history. So many books have dealt with the theme of the bad guy who is trying to destroy the world. Evil versus good. But the good side is no choirboy : they are also able, the gunslingers, to kill innocent people if necessary. They are some kind of levelling machine that flattens everything and everyone that stands in their way. There is no stopping them. The chase is irresistible. Stephen King seems to want to give the key to his whole writing career and work. But Stephen King also goes one iota further in his obsession about the relationship between himself and his characters.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Isengrin on 10 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Stephen King's Song of Susannah is the sixth in his epic Dark Tower series. It follows directly from the end of Wolves of the Calla. As the villagers deal with the aftermath of their battle, Eddie plans to follow Susannah/Mia, and one of the beams that holds the Dark Tower in place finally snaps.
The strength of the narrative is how the characters have divided loyalties: to find Calvin Tower and persuade him to sell the lot containing the Rose to the 'Tet-corporation' and protect the Tower, or deal with the affair of the heart and find Susannah.
However, this conflict means the narrative is split three ways: there is little interaction between the groups and the story becomes three separate narratives, with Susannah, not surprisingly, the primary focus. The story mostly takes place our world in 1975 and 1999. Roland and Eddie leave the story around page 314, while Jake and Callahan really only have forty pages to themselves. Each of these three threads ends with a sense of anticipation for the final novel.
The story does carry the narrative forward - to a point. Song of Susannah answers some questions, most particularly, the surprising revelation of who the father of Susannah/Mia's baby is, and some remarkable characterisation of the internal conflict between the multiple personalities. Also, very impressive is the gradual transformation of Jake, becoming more like Roland following the death of Benny Stillman.
There are some disappointments within the story: one of the strengths of the earlier volumes was the gradual revelation through the retrospective view on the revolution and the fall of Gilead - there is none of that in this volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew D Wright TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
I do love Stephen King, his wise-whispery narrative voice, the dark flip and twist of his imagination and sheer creativity of his metaphors, but... As Magnum Opus's go, The Dark Tower isn't a Gormenghast or a Lord of the Rings, although I really wanted it to be. It is original, yes, gripping at times, weirdly fantastical and there's absolutely nothing else like it out there. It merges a spaghetti Western hero with a quest to save existence from vampires, robots, demons and the Crimson King. Where it falters is when the narrative becomes little more than an echo-chamber for King's own experience. He's a vastly intelligent, generally self-effacing chap but he's fallen into the trap here of crossing the line between fact and fiction and as a result diminishing our experience of both. For as foreshadowed heavily in Books 5 and 4, in this story the author himself makes an appearance.

Locked inside the walls of our own skulls it is easy for any of us to lose perspective and this series is beginning to read like therapy as Eddie and Roland, separated from Susannah and Jake, head to 1970s Maine to meet - yes, you guessed it - Stephen King himself. This infinity mirror effect is fascinating, but the reasons for this are not all positive. A big part of our interest comes simply from open-mouthed disbelief that he's actually going to go through with it. The writer meets his own characters scene is a bit of a cringeworthy moment, although to give King credit he doesn't paint himself into this picture as anything other than the flawed human being he is.

The plot point that justifies King's decision to bring himself into the story is that he's effectively been channelling the Dark Tower stories for years.
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