There’s a belief among fiction writers that, if an author is truly talented, he injects just enough of himself into his work to not be intrusive, yet to be honest and make the story itself come to life. Song of Susannah is a novel, the sixth installment of the Dark Tower series to be exact, that stretches, breaks, and ultimately conquers those rules.
Having left his readers in the lurch with the preceding volume in the series, Wolves of the Calla, we now find the members of Roland’s ka-tet and the worlds within the Dark Tower series, including our own, hang haphazardly in the balance. Now within our world in the year 1977, Roland and his ka-tet must try to clean up an even greater mess than they currently had before.
First, there is Susannah, who at the end of Wolves of the Calla was left vulnerable to the machinations of Mia, a pregnant woman intent on delivering the child she has been promised. This has left Susannah mysteriously pregnant with the biological child of what appears to be Susannah and our hero, Roland of Gilead. This is a strange situation, indeed, as Roland and Susannah have never been intimately involved.
As Mia controls Susannah’s body and barracks herself within a restaurant known as the Dixie Pig, intent on delivering her child, Roland and Eddie continue to try and save the rose that grows in a vacant lot within the metropolis of New York. The lot, owned by a man by the name of Calvin Tower, is in jeopardy of falling into the wrong hands and, as such, the universe is in jeopardy as a result.
Things truly get interesting when, after being ambushed by henchmen of Enrico Balazar, a man intent on claiming the ownership of the vacant lot in which the rose stands, Roland and Eddie become aware of an author by the name of Stephen King. Roland and Eddie recognize the author from a book by the name of Salem’s Lot, which they also recognize as being the backstory of their friend Father Callahan.
Stephen King nearly breaks the fourth wall, bringing his readers into his world, as he brings himself into the story as a young writer who is just beginning to pen an epic series with its first book, The Gunslinger, still an unpublished manuscript. Of course, this is where the story gets really interesting.
If things went from bad to worse within the Wolves of the Calla, then they’ve almost become irreparable within Song of Susannah which seems to be a dead end for all the characters involved as it leaves us hanging for the final installment of the series, The Dark Tower.
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