Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower Series #4)

Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower Series #4)

4.5 461
by Stephen King, Dave McKean

View All Available Formats & Editions

Stephen King invites listeners back into the world of Roland the Gunslinger in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in his epic "Dark Tower" series. Roland and his companions escape from one world and slip into the next, where Roland tells his story, one that details his discovery of something even more elusive than the Dark Tower--love. Simultaneous trade paper


Stephen King invites listeners back into the world of Roland the Gunslinger in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in his epic "Dark Tower" series. Roland and his companions escape from one world and slip into the next, where Roland tells his story, one that details his discovery of something even more elusive than the Dark Tower--love. Simultaneous trade paper release from Plume. 12 cassettes. The first three volumes of this series have been repackaged and are listed below this annotation. (Fiction Unabridged)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"I have written enough novels and stories to fill a solar system of the imagination, but Roland's story is my Jupiter," declares the Jove of popular novelists in his afterword to this bountiful fourth volume (of a projected seven) in the epic tale of Roland the Gunslinger. King began writing this alternate-world western saga in 1970, four years before Carrie saw print, but the first volume came out only in 1976 and subsequent volumes in 1989 and 1991. Each appeared in a limited edition hardcover from Grant, then in Plume trade paperbacks that sold wildly, as the Plume edition (see below) of this novel should-for while this isn't King at his most accomplished, it is 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-but also, at times, at his worst-as a purveyor of tasteless, pompous near-juvenilia. A recap of the earlier volumes guides readers into this entry, the longest yet, which opens with Roland and his band held captive on an impossibly fast train run by a homicidal computer. Once that menace is dealt with (in a way that invites adults to snigger like adolescents), Roland regales his fellows with the novel's core story, an acutely tragic tale of youthful love involving a witch, a diabolical crystal ball, a tear between worlds, betrayal, murder and dazzling action. The narrative concludes with a visit to a nightmarish, latter-day Oz. Mixing horror, fantasy both high and low, western icons and pop references, the novel lacks structural rigor and sometimes even sense, but it sweeps readers up in such swells of passion that few may notice, or care. Illustrated.
Library Journal
Frank Muller's reading of King's fourth book in a projected seven-part series (e.g., The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower, Bk. 3, Audio Reviews LJ 2/15/92) is effective in creating a suspenseful and fearful atmosphere. We find Roland, the knight errant/gunslinger, continuing his quest to attain the Dark Tower, the source of destructive forces in his Mid-World. A major portion of this work is a recounting by Roland of his ill-fated love affair with Susan Delgado. The writing is expectedly imaginative, the story line engrossing, and the characters vivid. The listener is carried along through alternating Western, urban, and futuristic settings. The work stands on its own, incorporating a summary of Books 1-3, but will be better appreciated if listened to as part of the whole. Recommended for sf/fantasy collections and Stephen King fans.Catherine Swenson, Norwich Univ. Lib., Northfield, Vt.
Kirkus Reviews
After a five-year lapse, King's gargantuan cowboy romance about Roland of Gilead (the Gunslinger) hits volume four, with three more planned.

King's behemoth was begun in 1970 and published serially as The Gunslinger (1988), followed by The Drawing of the Three (1989) and The Waste Lands (1992). Volume one was portentously sophomoric, volume two prime King, volume three slack. Though this latest begins where The Waste Lands leaves off, with Roland and his four companions, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy, a half human/half animal with limited speaking ability, in a verbal gunfight to the death with Blaine, the homicidal supercomputer that lives on riddles, the story doubles back on Roland's youth and his grand love for Susan Delgado. The roundabout narrative leads us to Wizard of Oz territory—more particularly to a horribly transformed Topeka, Kansas—which the quintet must pass through as they seek the Dark Tower, the hub of creation, where Roland will discover some knowledge that will halt the quickening destruction of his post- technological Mid-World. In 1986, Topeka and the nation are huge graveyards struck by the superflu from The Stand. Roland retells the story of his youthful adventures in Gilead and of his teacher Cort, of star-crossed Susan, and of his companions Alain and Cuthbert, while reading portents in the wizard Maerlyn's glass ball . . . . Will the Path of the Beam from the Dark Tower be from the lighthouse in King's Castle Rock film logo?

In Roland's quest tale, which King calls "my Jupiter" among the solar system of his published works, the bleak cosmology of self-assurance versus wrongness is as compelling as ever. But seven rambling volumes of bemusedly wry storytelling? This will be The Ring Cycle on top of The Lord of the Rings.

"Blazing action."

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dark Tower Series, #4
Edition description:
Illustrated [color]
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 8.94(h) x 1.54(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Finders Keepers, Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63—a recent Hulu original television series event—was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Brief Biography

Bangor, Maine
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1947
Place of Birth:
Portland, Maine
B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Wizard And Glass (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 461 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt such loss after reading this, it was tangible. Never have i been brought so close to fictional characters. The development of Roland in this portion of his tale is exceptional. This volume is the hook, if you werent hooked already.
James Snietka More than 1 year ago
Builds to a crescendo that leaves you begging for more. The story of Roland's youth is fantastic and hard to put down. Easily the best book so far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first 2/3 of the book seems to be very slow moving, and were difficult to maintain interest in. However, the last third picks up the pace and keeps your attention well. Fills in a lot of the back story missing in the first 3 installments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and have read it several times. Its like revisiting old and dear friends. But the story of Rolands first love is my favorite. It explains so much about his character. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Painfully good; bittersweet. Of the first four, this has been the best. My heart hurts but I must read the next immediately!
beyondapointofthought More than 1 year ago
Wizard and Glass is quite a long book, and for most of the beginning, is kind've slow. We find our ka-tet in a parallel world where the presidents on the dollar bill change with each dimension they're in. Sports teams end up in different cities, soda brands are changed, etc. We find a witch that isn't all she seems to be at first and we discover that all things serve the Beam as they follow it onward toward the Dark Tower. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite of the Dark Towers series. Just hope Roland gets it right somewhere on the path and can live his "Happily ever after" with Susan.
johntwhitehurst More than 1 year ago
Fantastic story! You will not put it down once you start!
kch More than 1 year ago
We're off to see the wizard the wonderful wizard of Oz or maybe that would be Flagg---wait just a minute, what is Flagg doing in Oz? I have never been much of a Stephan King fan but I Loved this book and the 3 before it, can't wait to read Number 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are you even allowed to use that phrase anymore? It definitely applies to this chapter of the tower. I have found myself preparing to read it for the second time, eager to meet Susan again for the first time, and follow her and Roland down the bittersweet path that Ka has laid out for them. This novel is framed by the journey to the tower with Roland's current ka-tet, and offers vast insight into the mind behind those bombardier's eyes. These passages will give you a brand new vision...and if you were considering stopping after The Wastelands, I suggest giving this book a chance. It is worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every person that enjoys a king book must sit down and read this series you can notice how kings writing style changes over the uears and i believe it makes the series even better. Folks the is time travel magic and action in these books. Theres friendship and the breaking of friendship, love and companionship, gunfights with other people as well as mystic creatures. It a wonderful series and a must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it just as much the third time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Hearing about Roland's past is fascinating. Best one yet.
pinkstorm64 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book but you have to read the whole series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow going until about page 400. The story about the gunslingers first unintential job was awesome.
CTK More than 1 year ago
I give this 5 stars. The back-story of Roland, Susan, Cuthbert, and Alian was extremely well written. I could not put the book down. It's a long book, but a fast read. Great background of Roland's life and what drives him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion (this is an opinion, don't hate me) of the entire series this was the worst. I honostly couldn't read it for more than maybe 10 minutes at a time. I read through all the other books in the series within a week apiece this one took me months. The story is fantastically bland and has very little to do with the rest of the series. It feels like poor Steve ran out of steam and had no idea how to follow up the third book (my favorite). After this one the series picked up dramatically however. And really, this is the honest truth, you could read the first and last 20 pages of this book and not miss a single plot point relevant to the rest of the series. So just take half an hour to sit in the bookstore instead of buying it and you'll be all set.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are now or have ever been an avid reader of 'Stephen King' you have to agree with me when I say that after 'The Agonizing Wait' there is no excuse for this disaster. I have been reading Stephen King since I was twelve, 'Thanks to my mother' and I have loved everything he has ever written, especially as Richard Bachman. My mother is a King finatic, and after she read me Mrs. Todd's Shortcuts, I have made a point of reading everything that he has ever written. I am affraid of what he is going to do with the next 'Tower'. Justin Swartz.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my sixth time reading the Dark Tower series, and I find Wizard and Glass to be the one book that draws me in more than any other. It is just a great book to get lost in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jsthlrd More than 1 year ago
This story is about Roland's past which is obviously wrought with pain. Its excellently written, but I simply don't enjoy such tales of teen romance and tragedy very much which is why I only gave 4 stars. It is a must read for the series though.