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the Dark Tower IV links :
Nineteen (19)
the Robert Browning poem

First line :
'ASK ME A RIDDLE,' Blaine invited.

Notes :
The Wizard's Rainbow
- was introduced in Wizard and Glass and this is how it is currently understood. There are 13 glass balls, one for each of the Twelve Guardians and one for the Dark Tower. Roland's father refers to them as Bends in the rainbow. The Bends are identified by color in two sections, the first when Roland is talking with his father just before leaving for Mejis and the Outer Arc, and the second when the ka-tet are standing in front of the glass gate. Those identified are the Pink, Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow and Purple. Each Bend is associated with a terminus of one of the Beams, plus Black, which stands in the middle of the Rainbow for the Dark Tower. The Green Bend, according to Roland's father, is reputed to be in Lud. The Orange Bend was last known to be in Dis, and the Blue was last seen with a band of Slow Mutants; however, they lost it around 63 years before we first meet Roland on the trail of the Man in Black.

The Black Bend, known as 'Black Thirteen', is discovered by Roland's ka-tet in Wolves of the Calla. Mia subsequently uses it to escape to the New York of 1999, where she plans to give birth. Jake and Pere Callahan follow and retrieve the Bend, then store it in a locker beneath the World Trade Center. No further mention is made of it in the stories, leading to the assumption that the malevolent black glass ball is destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Subtitle :

Main characters :
Roland Deschain
Susan Delgado
Eldred Jonas
Cuthbert Allgood
Alain Johns
Sheemie Ruiz
Eddie Dean
Susannah Dean
Jake Chambers

Others :
Cordelia Delgado
Rhea of the Coos
Clay Reynolds
Roy Depape
Mayor Hart Thorin
Coral Thorin
Olive Thorin
Fran Lengyll
Kimba Rimber

Important places :
previous title: the regulators | bag of bones :next title
previous dark tower title: the dark tower III | the dark tower V :next dark tower title
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  • Written : Lovell, Maine - 1996
  • Synopsis :
    Part IV of an epic quest. Roland the Gunslinger and his followers have to contend with a sentient monorail intent on killing itself and taking them with it. While seeking to return to the Path of the Beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower, Roland tells his friends a story about the tragic loss of his first love, Susan Delgado.

    The book and subsequent series was inspired by the poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came by Robert Browning.

    As with the last two Dark Tower novels, this weighty fourth volume offers an "Argument": bringing the reader up to speed on the events-so-far in the series. The opening chapters go over some familiar ground, repeating much of the last chapters of The Wastelands. After the final dealings with with Blaine, the schizoid train (in a thoroughly ingenious and yet somehow obvious showdown), the small band of travellers continue their quest. There's just one problem: they've fallen off the path of the Beam and need to find their way back.

    Thus begins this long and complex tale. Throughout his career, King has used epitaphs at the beginnings of his longer works; quotes from other works that illuminate the story further. Here, he puts the device to great effect, taking from tales that not only add enjoyment to this fourth volume, but are imperitive to it.

    The tales are Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and The Wizard of Oz. The framing story, that of Roland and his companions' quest back to the Beam, takes almost blantant imagery from the latter work (some of the final scenes are taken directly fromt he filmed version.) The more important story, the story of Roland tells of his first love (and his first loss) takes a less direct approach.
    The central story -- of Roland and Susan and the dark, forbidden love they shared -- opens up a new genre to King readers. Thiose who enjoyed Misery know that King has dabbled in romance before, but never so broadly or extensively. Using the Shakespeare play as a backdrop, King creates a passionate and ultimately doomed relationship between two young lovers -- and gives the reader more insight into Roland's character. (In his Afterward, King tells of his fears of writing historical romance; that, as shown by W&G, is a fear he can now put to rest.

    Surrounding the central story is a tale of harriers and a dark future, revolving around some suspicious oil reserves; this aspect is slightly less interesting. There's nothing intrisically boring about these dealings (especially the scary scenes involving Rhea of the Coos), but King's real strength relies in the love story. King has a knack at doing this -- making those scenes that are so intense that he could fill a book of them, then spreading them out so the pages between fly. Check out the dog attacks in Cujo, the psychic flashes in The Dead Zone , psi activity in Carrie & Firestarter, Tony sequences in The Shining, aura scenes in Insomnia, painting scenes (before she steps through) in Rose Madder, and David's "God things" in Desperation. The reader waits for them, and when they come the sheer force of King's storytelling bursts from the page. In W&G, it is the hushed and hurried meetings of Roland and Susan -- and if romance can get that intense in King -- I want more.

    The paralell of Alain and Cuthbert to Susannah and Eddie are also quite shocking and exciting. Eddie and Cuthbert are jokesters; Alain and Susannah both posess "The Touch" ). The setup of the bookwas well executed: part 1 is the framing story, part 2 is the story within a story, part three finsishes the frame. This same device was used in equal measure in the excellent novella "The Breathing Method." The way the book works (and also while referring to the past DT books), you can see the exact and unmistakable comparisons of Roland's old friends and his new. We do not yet know the ultimate fate of Cuthbert and Alain -- nor those of Susannah and Eddie. But I'll tell you this much: Misery Chastain died in childbirth. And King has been known to kill off major characters before.

    Speaking of Susannah's baby: the question is this: demon or human? One would like to think human, if only because of the fact that when Susannah was Odetta, she and Eddie made love first. Maybe the demon rape tainted it, which could lead to shades of character, but a demon birth might be more bloody and more up King's alley. We won't know till we get there.

    Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy have become as much a part of King's legendary "groups" as the Loser's Club in It and the Ad Hoc comittee in The Stand were. With all the foreknowledge of the train sequence -- what with King telling everyone that Eddie saves them beforehand -- it was less enthralling than one may have liked. Still, the dead baby jokes were a stroke of genius, fitting in with Eddie's character perfectly and at the same time staying within plausibility limits. And when they discovered the abandoned newspapers telling of an important King-themed event --King fans around the world went "Wow!". The theories of semi-similar universes back-to-back are no longer theories -- and all bets are off.

    The ending sequence is a little bothersome. The reader will enjoy the sly and overt Wizard of Ozreferences (parts of it were so exactly like the filmed version [Oy pulling at the curtain], it was just thisclose to plagarism -- but still great). What isn't so good is the almost rushed aspect of it. Here we have Randall Flagg (or Russell Faradin, or whomever) -- King's greatest villain, and he does no more than play a role. Almost certainly some later confrontation will ensue -- it almost has to at this point. But this part in itself leaves one a little empty. Same goes for Tick Tock. It seemed as if something major should have happened there, especially seeing as 1. The Quick lineage is important to the story's background; 2)The character is an obvious paralell character to Trashcan Man (a point made by RF in DT3), bringing a little depth and history to an RF/TTM joining; and 3. Tick Tock was an extremely interesting character in himself. How did he turn from little Andew in the cider mill to Ticky? Why the fascination with clocks?

    Again, because of the paralell universe thing, TTM may make a later appearance (just look at Jake for proof it can happen). But, taken as a single volume, the death of Ticky was upsetting and a little flat.

    I don't want to rag on King, especially because I'm very highly anticipating both DT5 and Bag of Bones. It's going to be interesting how I change my perceptions once the whole tale plays out. (I like DT1 more now because of DT4 -- never thought that would happen). The things King fans will especially like about this book are the in-references. From The Stand, to The Talisman, to Eyes of the Dragon, to Insomnia -- this one has it all.

    The Dark Tower IV: Wizard & Glass is a terrific book, both on the basis of a single volume and as the fourth part of a very large whole. As is the case of The Drawing of the Three not much journeying to the Tower actually gets done, but the back story is finally told -- with still a few tantalizing hints of what is to come. And the Tower grows closer.


    Donald M. Grant 1997.

    "FIRST EDITION" on copyright page.

    Dust Jacket price: $45.00.


    New English Library 1998.

    ISBN 0 340 69662 1.
    845 pages.
    "New English Library Edition 1998"
    on copyright page.
    "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on copyright page.

    Copyright © 1997 by Stephen King.
    Illustrations copyright © 1997 by Dave McKean.
    Cover illustration: Bob Warner.
    Fiction: General.


    This book is dedicated to Julie Eugley and
    Marsha DeFilippo. They answer the mail, and most
    of the mail for the last couple of years has been about
    Roland of Gilead - the gunslinger. Basically, Julie and
    Marsha nagged me back to the word processor.
    Julie, you nagged tje most effectively,
    so your name comes first.




    Part One

    Part Two

    Part Three

    Part Four



    The Dark Tower beckons Roland, The Last Gunslinger, and the four companions he has gathered along the road. And, having narrowly escaped one world, they set out a terrifying journey across the scarred urban wasteland to brave a new world where hidden dangers lie at every junction: a malevolent computer-run monorail hurtling towards self-destruction, Roland's relentlessly cunning old enemy, and thetemptation of the wizard's diabolical glass ball, a powerful force in Roland's first love affair. A tale of long-ago love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado.

    With shocking plot twists and driving narrative force, Wizard and Glass is both a stand-alone novel and the eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling The Dark Tower series.

    And the Tower is closer

    Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is Stephen King’s most visionary piece of storytelling, a magical mix of fantasy and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

    Join the quest for the elusive Dark Tower.


    Troldmanden og glaskuglen (Det Mřrke Tĺrn IV) (Denmark)
    Der Dunkle Turm IV: Glas (Germany)
    A Setét Torony IV: Varázsló és üveg (Hungary)
    Mroczna Wieza IV: Czarnoksieznik i Krysztal (Poland)
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