Monday, November 05, 2007
Wizard and Glass: Book Review 8.5/10
The fourth installment of Stephen King's Dark Tower series more than makes up for the sloppy mess of the third book, as well as the ridiculously long wait inflicted on fans of the series when it was first released. In keeping with the format of the series to date, the book is played out in multiple vignettes. The first concludes the cliffhanger ending from book three with Blaine the Monorail and the riddle contest. The second is a lengthy flashback to Roland's beginnings as a gunslinger and the genesis of his quest for the Dark Tower. The third feels tacked on and parts of it nearly superfluous (you'll find out what happens to Tick Tock...and likely be disappointed), but acts as a bridge back into the journey along the Beam. The middle section concerning Roland's teenage years is the meat and potatoes of the book, and contains some of King's best writing. If I had reviewed that section alone, I would give it 5 stars. While I have yet to finish the series, I am presently of the opinion that King would have done better to have written solely within the secondary world the Gunslinger inhabits, rather than bouncing between realities. The blend of Old West and High Fantasy is a fascinating one, which would be well worth further exploration. Readers who enjoyed the flashbacks best (fans of the series are divided on this - they either loved or hated this particular installment) will be excited to learn of Marvel's Graphic Novel adaptation, The Gunslinger Born, which will be released in November of 2007.