Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

(9.5/10) Few will deny it's a page-turner.

If books are judged solely by their re-readability value then the Dark Tower books must be up there at the very top. This is my fourth pass and it is a series that just keeps giving and giving.

The first three books, The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands I found brilliant but have to be honest and admit that Wizard and Glass, on first read, was not a great experience. There are two reasons that might explain this, the first being that a year had passed since I had finished The Waste Lands and much momentum had been lost, and much that had happened had been forgotten. This is the disadvantage of reading a series as it is published, and if you do not have the time to re-read previous instalments then it may well be that the reading enjoyment is not as high as when you can simply turn the last page on book three and reach over, open, and begin reading book four. Basically, I was found myself no longer submerged in the Dark Tower worlds and found it a little difficult to get back into. The second reason for my lack of enthusiasm first time around may lie in the fact that book four does not drive the story forward very far - its purpose being to further fill out Roland's character and history. This is does by spending a large portion of the book recounting the time when Roland, in his youth, along with his apprentice gunslinger friends, Cuthbert and Alain, visited the town of Mejis on a mission whose main aim is to move them far from Gilead and the danger there.

I am pleased to say that now, although Wizard and Glass is not my favourite book in the Dark Tower series, I am certainly better able to appreciate it for what it is and what it brings to the series. It could almost be read as a stand alone novel and bears much resemblance with the recently released Wind Through The Keyhole. King throws himself into a tale of teenage love with all his heart and this can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your viewpoint. We've all been teenagers and we've all thought and behaved in ways that seemed right at the time, perhaps even unavoidable, but with the hindsight that comes with passing years, it can been looked back on as both wonderful and cringe-worthy. And this is how Roland and Susan's love story plays out - they behave as teenagers do and this is brilliantly written by King, whose talent for portraying teens is remarkable, but it can be difficult at times, as reading about self-indulgent, star struck teens can be.

This book is about Roland, who he is and how he has become who has become. It helps to explain why he is so grim, so haunted. It could be argued that you could miss out most of this book as it serves to give little forward momentum to the series but what it does, and what is does very well, is give Roland the fleshing out he deserves. As the book that follows can be looked upon as King's The Seventh Samurai, Wizard and Glass can be almost read as a stand alone book, as King's homage to Romeo and Juliet.

Before Roland's tragic past can be relived the the ka-tet have to battle a psychotic and suicidal train (surely HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey influenced this) in a game of riddles for their lives. They then travel onto a world which Captain Tripps has laid waste to (a section that readers of King's The Stand will enjoy) before they settle down in the breakdown lane on a deserted highway to listen to Roland tell his tale. And throughout King's influences shine through strongly: from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings. Although I mentioned above you could possibly miss out this book, don't. I didn't really mean it and it does serve more purpose within the series than I have given it credit for.

Review by

1 positive reader review(s) for Wizard and Glass

15+

Wizard and Glass reader reviews

from France

If you are getting hooked on the Dark Tower series due to the mix of horror, fantasy and decadent western " la Sergio Leone", then you might think (as I do) that this is the best in the whole series. If you loved the 3-men duel at the end of "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly", just wait. You think knowing a key character's ill fate at the very beginning of the volume hinders it's efficiency, just wait. You think you know what the true meaning of "150 pure bred sons of bitches on horseback!" is? Just wait. You think King can't write a love story? Well, you might really want to read this volume. I won't go into the details, but just to state a few obvious qualities of the 4th volume in the Dark Towers series: the dramatic tension is unbearable, it's placement in the middle of the series, as a definitive turning point for every character of the band, is brilliant; for example, take the Suzannah/Suzanne pair: exposing the archetype of Suzanne, liberates the true potential of her alter ego Suzannah in the following book. Is she just a repetition of Suzanne? Well, just wait... But most of all, this is the book when Roland of Gilead, one of the most interesting characters of epic fantasy ever, becomes truly whole, in his crippled manner.

9.8/10 from 2 reviews

Write a reader review

Your rating out of 10

All reviews for Stephen King's The Dark Tower series series

The Gunslinger

The Dark Tower series: Book 1 written by Stephen King

In The Gunslinger, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellb [...]

Published: 1982

Our rating: 9.6 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Drawing of the Three

The Dark Tower series: Book 2 written by Stephen King

Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, encounters three doors which open to 1980s America, where he joins forces with the defiant Eddie Dean and courageous, volatile Odetta [...]

Published: 1987

Our rating: 9.9 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Waste Lands

The Dark Tower series: Book 3 written by Stephen King

Roland has altered ka by saving the life of Jake Chambers in New York. Now they exist in different worlds, paradoxically sharing memories. Roland, Susannah and [...]

Published: 1991

Our rating: 9.7 | positive reader reviews

15+

Wizard and Glass

The Dark Tower series: Book 4 written by Stephen King

In a terrifying journey where hidden dangers lurk at every junction, the pilgrims find themselves stranded in an alternate version of Topeka, Kansas, that has been ravaged [...]

Published: 1997

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Wind Through The Keyhole

The Dark Tower series: Book 4.5 written by Stephen King

Visit Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. Roland tells a tale from his ea [...]

Published: 2012

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

Wolves of the Calla

The Dark Tower series: Book 5 written by Stephen King

In the fertile lands of the East, the farming community has been warned the wolves are coming back. Four gunslingers, led by Roland of Gilead, are also coming their way. An [...]

Published: 2003

Our rating: 9.3 | positive reader reviews

15+

Song of Susannah

The Dark Tower series: Book 6 written by Stephen King

Susannah has used the power of Black Thirteen to get to New York where she can give birth to a child fated to grow up as Roland's nemesis. Jake and Father Callahan set [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 7.8 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower series: Book 7 written by Stephen King

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet have journeyed together and apart, scattered far and wide across multilayered worlds of wheres and whens. The destinies of Roland, Susannah, [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.8 | positive reader reviews

15+

More Stephen King reviews

Joyland

by Stephen King

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of [...]

Series: Hard Case Crime Series
Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Under the Dome

by Stephen King

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force fi [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.8 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

The Talisman: Road of Trials

by Stephen King

In a run-down amusement park on a desolate beach in New Hampshire, thirteen-year-old Jack Sawyer is about to learn some hard truths—about his father’s death, ab [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2010

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

11.22.63

by Stephen King

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11/22/63, the date that Kennedy [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2011

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 2 positive reader reviews

15+

The Stand

by Stephen King

First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1978

Score: 101

Our rating: 9.2 | 9 positive reader reviews

15+

It

by Stephen King

It is the children who see - and feel - what makes the town so horribly different. In the storm drains and sewers "It" lurks, taking the shape of every nightmare, [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1986

Score: 110

Our rating: 9.0 | 20 positive reader reviews

15+

The Eyes of the Dragon

by Stephen King

While evidence is gathered, and the land of Delain mourns, Flagg the King's magician, unscrupulous, greedy and powerful, plots. Soon the King's elder son, Peter, is [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1984

Score: 81

Our rating: 8.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Needful Things

by Stephen King

There is a new shop in town. Run by a stranger. Needful Things, the sign says. The oddest name. A name that causes some gossip and speculation among the good folks of Castl [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1991

Score: 100

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Rose Madder

by Stephen King

Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight – with his credit car [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1995

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Desperation

by Stephen King

Welcome to Desperation. Once a thriving copper mining town in the middle of the Nevada desert, Desperation is now eerily abandoned. It's the last place that travellers [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1996

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

The Long Walk

by Stephen King

In the near future, where America has become a police state, 100 boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the res [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1979

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Gerald's Game

by Stephen King

A game. A husband and wife game. Gerald's Game. But this time Jesse didn't want to play. Lying there, spreadeagled and handcuffed to the bedstead while he'd loo [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1992

Score: 0

Our rating: 8.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Books you may also enjoy

Nightfall

by Will Elliott

Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Lord Foul's Bane

by Stephen Donaldson

He called himself Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, because he dared not believe in the strange alternative world on which he suddenly found himself - the Land. But the Land [...]

Series: Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Book 1
Published: 1977

Score: 119

Our rating: 9.5 | 21 positive reader reviews

15+

The Oversight

by Charlie Fletcher

Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines betwee [...]

Series: Oversight Trilogy #1
Published: 2014

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

by Claire North

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the kno [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2014

Score: 94

Our rating: 9.4 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+