Wizard And Glass: The Dark Tower Iv: Wizard and Glass Vol IV

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9780452279179: Wizard And Glass: The Dark Tower Iv: Wizard and Glass Vol IV
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This Plume edition features full-color illustrations by Dave McKean. Roland and his band have narrowly escaped the city of Lud and boarded Blaine, a train that will take them to, of all places, Kansas, where the ghost city of Topeka has been depopulated by a superflu and where, alongside Interstate 70, an emerald palace rises enchantingly. Before Roland and the companions of his "ka-tet" continue along the Path of the Bean, Roland must tell his companions the tale that defines him both as a man and hero, a long-ago romance of witchery and evil, of the beautiful, unforgettable Susan Delgado, of the Big Coffin Hunters and Reah of the Coos. And when his tale is finished, Roland confronts a man who goes by many names, a man who "darkles and tincts" and who holds perhaps the key to the Dark Tower.

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Review:

Wizard and Glass, the fourth episode in King's white-hot Dark Tower series, is a sci-fi/fantasy novel that contains a post-apocalyptic Western love story twice as long. It begins with the series' star, world-weary Roland, and his world-hopping posse (an ex-junkie, a child, a plucky woman in a wheelchair, and a talking dog-like pet named Oy the Bumbler) trapped aboard a runaway train. The train is a psychotic multiple personality that intends to commit suicide with them at 800 m.p.h.--unless Roland and pals can outwit it in a riddling contest. It's a great race, for the mind and pulse. Films should be this good. Then comes a 567- page flashback about Roland at age 14. It's a well-marbled but meaty tale. Roland and two teenage friends must rescue his first love from the dirty old drooling mayor of a post-apocalyptic cowboy town, thwart a civil war by blowing up oil tanks, and seize an all-seeing crystal ball from Rhea, a vampire witch. The love scenes are startlingly prominent and earthier than most romance novels (they kiss until blood trickles from her lip).

After an epic battle ending in a box canyon to end all box canyons, we're back with grizzled, grown-up Roland and the train-wreck survivors in a parallel world: Kansas in 1986, after a plague. The finale is a weird fantasy takeoff on The Wizard of Oz Some readers will feel that the latest novel in King's most ambitious series has too many pages--almost 800--but few will deny it's a page-turner.

Review:

'King at his most ebullient. He's at his best here - as a resourceful explorer of humanity's shadow side, as a storyteller who can set pages on fire' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

'King's most personal, most engaging work' SUNDAY EXPRESS

'Grim, funny and superbly energetic, it's King at his best' MAIL ON SUNDAY

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