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 on 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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
King's magnificent uberstory is finally complete... King's achievement is startling; his characters fresh... his plot sharply drawn... It is magic. (Daily Express on THE DARK TOWER
Join the quest before it's too late (Independent on Sunday on THE SONG OF SUSANNAH