Friday, September 20, 2013

Stephen King - Song of Susannah


Spoiler Alert

With this, volume six of the Dark Tower series, Stephen King's epic series begins to draw to a close. Sadly this novel felt to me very much like a filler. It bridges the gap between the set-piece fun of the previous book, Wolves of the Calla and the finale. That novel was heavily influenced by classic Western themes, right down to a classic, if unusual shoot-out at the end.

Song of Susannah picks up immediately after the end of Wolves. Susannah is trapped in her own body by a former demon and is heavily pregnant with a child that will be the nemisis of Roland. The ka-tet of heroes follow her, but are split up, travelling through time, space and possibly universes to reach modern New York and Maine in 1977. You don't need to be an enormous Stephen King fan to know that Maine is the site of many of his novels, indeed he lives there himself. Rather unusually, King then becomes a key figure in the tale, not particularly as protaganist, but as the driving force of the books. An author influenced by his characters. At first I found this rather annoying and self-indulgent, but as the book reached its end, I quite liked the drawing together of all the threads of King's novels and universes.

Sadly, as a whole, I didn't feel the novel worked as well as the earlier books - it is more of a setup for the series' climax. Certainly King does have the talent to bring it all together, but whether he actually can achieve that rather difficult task remains, for me, to be seen.

King - The Gunslinger
King - The Drawing of the Three
King - Wizard and Glass
King - The Wastelands
King - Wolves of the Calla

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