- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (2 July 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340696621
- ISBN-13: 978-0340696620
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.9 x 4.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,387,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass: Wizard and Glass Vol 4 Paperback – 2 Jul 1998
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Wizard and Glass, the fourth episode in King's white-hot Dark Tower series, is a sci-fi/fantasy novel that contains a post-apocalyptic Western love story twice as long. It begins with the series' star, world-weary Roland, and his world-hopping posse (an ex-junkie, a child, a plucky woman in a wheelchair, and a talking dog-like pet named Oy the Bumbler) trapped aboard a runaway train. The train is a psychotic multiple personality that intends to commit suicide with them at 800 m.p.h.--unless Roland and pals can outwit it in a riddling contest.
It's a great race, for the mind and pulse. Films should be this good. Then comes a 567-page flashback about Roland at age 14. It's a well-marbled but meaty tale. Roland and two teenage friends must rescue his first love from the dirty old drooling mayor of a post-apocalyptic cowboy town, thwart a civil war by blowing up oil tanks, and seize an all-seeing crystal ball from Rhea, a vampire witch. The love scenes are startlingly prominent and earthier than most romance novels (they kiss until blood trickles from her lip).
After an epic battle ending in a box canyon to end all box canyons, we're back with grizzled, grown-up Roland and the train-wreck survivors in a parallel world: Kansas in 1986, after a plague. The finale is a weird fantasy takeoff of The Wizard of Oz. Some readers will feel that the latest novel in King's most ambitious series has too many pages--almost 800--but few will deny it's a page-turner.
'King at his most ebullient. He's at his best here - as a resourceful explorer of humanity's shadow side, as a storyteller who can set pages on fire' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
'King's most personal, most engaging work' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'Grim, funny and superbly energetic, it's King at his best' MAIL ON SUNDAY --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The town of Candleton was a poisoned and irradiated ruin, but not dead; after all the centuries it still twitched with tenebrous life—trundling beetles the size of turtles, birds that looked like small, misshapen dragonlets, a few stumbling robots that passed in and out of the rotten buildings like stainless steel zombies, their joints squalling, their nuclear eyes flickering. Read the first page Browse Sample Pages
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Top Customer Reviews
Wizard and Glass is mostly set in the past, telling a story of Roland's days before his quest. After the cliff-hanger is resolved, Roland decides it's about time he told them more about the beginnings of his quest and as the day ends, time slows as he's able to tell his whole story in one "night". Once the tale is told they have an interesting confrontation with the Man in Black and then head off again along the beam. What's amazing about this book however is the tale in between. The rest are really book-ends. At the start, the conflict had to be resolved and at the end we had to be brought back onto their quest, back to the present.
Some people criticise spending a whole book in the past, but then, by now don't they care a lot about Roland? I certainly did and I wanted to know more about him. I admit I felt daunted by the prospect of such a long tale, but when it contains the best storytelling in the series that soon fades. This has drama, emotion, character development and an intriguing plot. It's a fully resolved and extremely well-told tale. The ending brought tears to my eyes, and any tale that can do that can't be anything but well-told.
We also get to find out a bit more about Alain and Cuthbert, which is really important in understanding who Roland is. And we get to see Roland, more or less at his best. The plan of three gunslingers being carried out with skill and precision, though not perfectly, for nothing ever goes perfectly.
My own words aren't really adequate to describe how good this book is, so I'll leave it there, just adding that if you're thinking of reading these books then you're in for a treat when you get to the start of Wizard and Glass.
To begin with the book ends the cliffhanger involving Blaine, the psychotic monorail. It then moves on into a long journey through a pseudo-Kansas where strange 'thinnies' warp space itself. Then, Roland begins the tale of his first adventure as a Gunslinger.
At first the story moves at a slow pace, but you'll find all the Western-esque scene setting and character building to be esential when the the terrible end comes. Soon, however Roland and his young gunslinger friends Cuthbert and Alain have a nasty run in with the Big Coffin Hunters, Jonas, Depape and Reynolds. These three are brilliant anti-gunslingers, posessing all of a gunslinger's skills, but without any loyalty to honour and justice.
Rapidly the sleepy town of Hambry becomes embroiled in the war against the revolutionist John Farson and Roland's friends find themselves beset on all sides...
Finally, with his terrible story told the heroes of 'The Waste Lands' move ever onwards, encountering things plucked from a twisted version of 'The Wizard Of Oz' and revealing more of Roland's oldest enemy, Marten.
King's true skill as a writer lies in his ability to make the ridiculous seem not only feasible, but positively sensible. And there is much in Roland's world that you would scoff at if not for the earnest honesty and attention to detail King writes with.
At times you'll find the book heavy going, at others you won't be able to tear yourself away but come the end you will find that the horror of this story is far greater than that of any other King story because of the deep emotional level that it touches on.
Passion and pain. Love and misery.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely wonderful item, fantastic experience with this seller. Many thanks!!Published 14 days ago by Mr. Andrew Watts
This series is just getting better and better! I love the references to things from our world. Absolutely fantastic read.Published 1 month ago by Kayleigh Rogers
I am not the greatest fan of Stephen King, however I was told that this series was well worth a read.
As a science fiction fantasy mash-up it is amazing. Read more
If you are looking at this then I'd say it's safe to assume you've read the preceding books, and you don't need convincing to buy it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. B. Abbott