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The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla: 5 (Dark Tower) by Stephen King
Cover Artist: Bernie Wrightson
Review by John Berlyne
Donald M. Grant Inc Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 1880418568
Date: 04 November 2003 List Price £16.83 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

I'll begin this review by stating that King's magnum opus is undoubtedly required reading for any self-respecting genre reader. It is a vast work, thirty odd years in the writing, panoramic in scope, depth and idea, filled with myriad wonders and dangers and ultimately a hugely rewarding (if at times uneven) experience for any reader who puts in the necessary time it takes to plough through it. To date there have been five volumes released, and the King publicity machine states that the author has completed the remaining two volumes which will published next year. Given the nature of this work, this review can be aimed only at those readers familiar with the series -- if you're thinking of beginning this journey with The Wolves of the Calla, DON'T! Start -- as I did to prepare for this review -- by picking up The Gunslinger and working your way through. If you don't, frankly, you won't have the slightest clue about what's going on!

From official release/information:

Amazon.co.uk Review: In Wolves of the Calla, volume five of Stephen King's epic fantasy western The Dark Tower, coincidence has, as Eddie Dean observes, been cancelled. Everything the gunslinger Roland and his companions encounter has taken on symbolic significance. So when they come to Calla Bryn Sturgis, named after the director of The Magnificent Seven, its clear that King will follow the classic western archetype of a small band of heroes defending peaceable homesteaders. Here, the heroes resist masked raiders who abduct one of each pair of twins (and almost all children are twins), only to return them a month later horribly changed.

Father Callahan from King's Salem's Lot is resident in Calla Bryn Sturgis, and has his own tale of vampires, regulators and the secret highways though alternative Americas. Not coincidentally, the evil Glass Black 13 is hidden in his church. Meanwhile Susannah is again sporting a secondary personality, this time Mia, mother to the inhuman child that Susannah does not know she is carrying, while Roland realises their quest has become a race against the arthritis which will soon leave him crippled.

In this enormously ambitious book, King continues to weave together his back catalogue with the pop culture and literature of America itself, noting in his introduction that if you haven't read the previous Dark Tower volumes this isn't the place to begin. It is, though, a hugely entertaining adventure, rich in allusion; a passing aside to Thomas Wolfe might easily be dismissed, yet his title You Can't Go Home Again, encapsulates this entire spellbinding odyssey as well as five words ever will. --Gary S Dalkin

(Source: Donald M. Grant Inc)

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