Wizard and Glass

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Overview

Stephen King returns to the Dark Tower with the fourth volume in his series. Roland, The Last Gunslinger, and his band of followers have narrowly escaped one world, and slipped into the next. It is here that Roland tells them a long-ago tale of love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado.
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Wizard and Glass: (The Dark Tower #4)(Revised Edition)

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Overview

Stephen King returns to the Dark Tower with the fourth volume in his series. Roland, The Last Gunslinger, and his band of followers have narrowly escaped one world, and slipped into the next. It is here that Roland tells them a long-ago tale of love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado.
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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452279179
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/3/1997
  • Series: Dark Tower Series , #4
  • Edition description: Illustrated [color]
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 1.54 (d)

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 120 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(78)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2003

    Brilliant.

    This was one of the greatest books I have ever read. The relationship between Roland and Susan is one ofthe most tragic things I have ever seen. It was great to find out some back history about Roland. This was simply an amazing book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2003

    The Wait

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2003

    Great story.

    First off, I must say that if you have not read books 1-3 of the Dark Tower series, don't start here. These books should be read in order, or else some of this won't make any sense, although the story Roland tells is pretty much complete in its own. And that story is amazing. If you've read the first three Dark Tower books, you're probably already going to get this book. The tale Roland tells is full of romance and action and drama and suspense. I nearly cried, and I never nearly cry. Read the Dark Tower. Also, this is probably the best of the Dark Tower books, even though they're essentially one story, and they're all amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2002

    A web of enticement

    Having read the other parts to The Dark Tower, I had high hopes for Wizard and Glass and was not let down. A moving addition to a dark and mystical tale we all hope King manages to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2001

    the truth...

    This book, Wizard and glass, I read for a school book report. It is a pretty good book, but was confusing in some parts. If you are looking for a suspenseful and mysterious book, this book is good for you, however if you are the type who doesn't like foul language and some sexual scenes, I don't recommend this book. and it isn't a good idea to read this for a book report!! ;-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    simply the greatest

    This is one of stephen king's best works. It made me frusturated at some times (like when the followers had no idea who mother abagail was, it made wan to just yell it in their faces) but most of the time it made want to be a part of Roland's world,. I can't wait for the next one to come out, but I dont want it to end, it's that good!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    this book kicks ass

    if you like books big books by stephen king about the dark tower youll like this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2000

    the best book i have ever read

    this book was very exciting and inventive. I was on the edge of my seat evey minute. I could'nt put it down it was to good. I kept getting in trouble at school because I wouldent put it away. this is by far the best book I have ever read and i cant wait for king to come out with the next book fall of 2001 thunderclap (i dont know about the release date for a fact I heard it from I web site.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2000

    I Want to Be a Gunslinger

    What an excellent book. My son received this for Christmas, and I picked it up and couldn't put it down. I haven't read the rest in the series, but now I know I have to. This book kept me up till the wee hours of the morning and when I was finished reading it, I really didn't want to be. Roland is a hero you won't soon forget, and you know the personality of each individual so well that you can't wait to find out what happens to each of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2000

    So far so Good

    so far ive enjoyed reading up to now but im waiting for the 5th book of the series but i give it 5 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 1999

    Brilliant Offbeat Saga

    This book was great and written quite differently from Stephen Kings other books! But it is a definite must read for fans everywhere! I couldn't put it down! There a hints of part VI in the prologue and I can hardly wait for its release!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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