From Publishers Weekly
Roland of Gilead's quest to save all worlds from evil continues in this fifth installment of King's epic tale, which finds the gunslinger and his companions helping the farmers of Calla Bryn Sturgis fight against the terrifying "Wolves" who threaten to kidnap the Calla's children. Joining them is Father Callahan, who first appeared in King's second book, 'Salem's Lot (1975). Using a low, gruff voice that only Clint Eastwood could equal, Guidall aptly captures Roland's rough-edged character, but it's often difficult to distinguish between the tenors he employs for the book's many male characters. Andy the robot, however, is one character that listeners won't confuse with the others. Wise-guy gunslinger Eddie might compare Andy to Star Wars' C3PO, both in his "complacent, slightly prissy voice" and his lanky, mechanical appearance, but avid listeners will find that the tone Guidall adopts for Andy more closely resembles that of the beloved 1980s toy Speak & Spell. In the afterword, King thanks the narrator of the first four Dark Tower novels, Frank Muller, whose debilitating motorcycle accident in 2001 prevented him from finishing the series. "[A]udio insists you absorb everything," King notes, and in Muller's absence, Guidall does a fine job of bringing this epic tale to life.--udio insists you absorb everything," King notes, and in Muller's absence, Guidall does a fine job of bringing this epic tale to life.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the
Wizard and Glass
(1997), volume 4 of King's massive, postapocalyptic, chivalrized western, The Dark Tower, was rather a snooze, not for lack of action but because it was primarily a flashback that drew unmercifully on King's stash of horse-opera cliches. "'S'all very nice," one thought, "but let's move it, Steve!" Volume 5--this book--moves it, despite not getting Roland the Gunslinger much nearer the Dark Tower, taking another big backward glance, and continuing to mine an open pit of oater conceits. Roland's ka-tet--
himself and three twentieth-century New Yorkers, all of them now fellow gunslingers--approach a ranching and farming community anticipating a recurrent pestilence. After 23 years, the Wolves are coming from the evil-darkened East to abduct one of every pair of prepubescent twins older than three. The children will be returned, but nearly witless and sterile, doomed to grow immensely and enormously painfully in their middle teens, serve (if not too stupid) as workhorses, and suddenly, painfully wither and die in their early thirties. An erstwhile priest in the community knows what Roland and company are, and he persuades a community to send a committee to ask for their help. Of course, once asked, the code of the gunslinger compels acceptance. Gonna be a humdinger of a fight! Fore and aft of the showdown, King stuffs the book with juice, like the big flashback, in which Pere Callahan reveals his past in . . . 'Salem's Lot. One of the greatest cavalcades in popular fiction is back on track. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to the