The penultimate volume in the Dark Tower series, The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah, a #1 New York Times bestseller, is a pivotal installment in the epic saga.
Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, the Dark Tower series is unlike anything you have ever read. Here is the penultimate installment.
There's something about a crippled, black, schizophrenic, civil rights activist turned gunslinger whose body has been hijacked by a white, pregnant demon from a parallel world that keeps a seven-volume story bracingly strong as it veers toward its Armageddon-like conclusion. When Susannah Dean is transported via a magic door on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the scene of much of The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla) to New York City in the summer of 1999, the "demon-mother" who possesses her, Mia, has only one thing on her mind. She must give birth to her "chap" at a predetermined location in Manhattan's East 60s, as instructed by the henchmen or "Low Men" of the evil Crimson King. Pressed for time, Father Callahan, preteen Jake and talking pet "billy-bumbler" Oy follow Susannah and Mia's trail in an effort to prevent an act that would quicken the destruction of the Dark Tower and, in turn, of all worlds. Meanwhile, gunslingers Roland and Eddie travel to 1977 Maine in search of bookstore owner Calvin Tower, who is being hunted down by mobster Enrico Balazar and his gang, who first appeared in Eddie's version of New York in The Drawing of the Three. Avid readers of the series will either be completely enthralled or extremely irritated when, in a gutsy move, the author weaves his own character into this unpredictable saga, but either way there's no denying the ingenuity with which King paints a candid picture of himself. The sixth installment of this magnum opus stops short with the biggest cliffhanger of King's career, but readers at the edge of their seats need only wait a few short months (Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower will be released on September 21) to find out how and if King's fictional universe will come to an end. 10 full-color illus. not seen by PW.
Once again I am drawn into the Gunslingers tale. My IPad has made going through the series painless. I'm not frustrated by some of the loose endings, because I can download the next book immediately. I am already mourning the completion of the set as I begin the final novel. I am grateful to be reading them now, as I might have felt differently if I was forced to wait years between. These books are amazing not only for the characters or the tale, but because they alter your perception of reality. Enjoy.
Boring and Obvious
Here's the plot. Ka-tet goes through door in cave and finds themselves in elsewheres. The rest of the book is spent either walking a couple blocks in New York, or meeting with SK in Maine. That's all, folks. Unfortunately, you got to go through this one to get to the end. Meh.
My least favorite, so far in the series
And the most like Steven King at his most self-indulgent. I have thought this series has included some of King's finest, least gimmicky writing, especially DK 4&5. It's an incredibly sprawling, undisciplined series, though. Just because this is an epic ( and can now be read uninterrupted) these volumes should at least end at a reasonable stopping point, have some kind of natural arc. Up till now, the Waste Lands was my least favorite for that reason, but at least there was some fine storytelling. This is a hiccup of unformed plot between volumes, some really uninteresting writing, and a massive injection of pure Steven King ego. I won't give any spoilers, but I am hopeful the last volume, after so many pages of mostly happy investment, is not this disappointing.