"'I choose the Tower. I must. Let her live a good life and long with someone else- she will, in time. As for me, I choose the Tower.'"
- It's not even really a Dark Tower book- Ok, so Wizard and Glass is essentially a break in the journey of the ka-tet of Roland, Eddie, Susannah and Jake (and Oy) where Roland tells the WORLD'S LONGEST STORY about his past trauma and blah blah blah I don't really care about any of that. There are about 100 pages at the start and then 60 or so pages at the end dedicated to the characters I'm used to and already love, and the rest of it I'm just not really interested in? This is probably because
- It's the most other-worldy and stuff book- About the only other book of The Dark Tower series that I don't massively love is The Gunslinger, and really only the parts where Roland is just roaming on his own. I just... Am not that into fantasy, and witches and weird old traditions and stuff, EXCEPT (and this is an important part of my love of The Dark Tower series) when there's an observer along from 'our' world to whom this is also as strange and they comment on it and call it out on its strangeness. That's FINE, but this book totally doesn't do that. And you know what?
- It's a pretty dick move, King- I mean, not so much the Roland's backstory thing, but the gap between this book and the last one (The Waste Lands) was six years (or, 9 books, if you will) which is a brutal enough wait for the next book in a series, but when that book doesn't really have anything to do with the main story... It's really annoying. And yes, I understand that I can read any of them at any time, but that doesn't stop me being pissed off for the people who did have to wait! PLUS it has taken me a year to get to it, and there are another 9 books until the last three and yeah. Even THAT is quite a long wait.
- It's SO LONG- Seriously, a book that only really has 160 important pages REALLY doesn't need to be 845 pages long. It just doesn't. And I understand that King is all 'enamoured' with Roland's world or whatever, but seriously, the minutiae of this feels really really unnecessary. I could honestly sum up the story for you in a couple of sentences and you'd probably get just as much out of it as actually reading it. To be completely fair to it, I will say that the second half of the story is better than the first half, but maaaan does that first half drag...
- It's not even that important!- I feel like the whole story is supposed to reveal a lot about Roland's psyche and why he acts the way he does and is SO SERIOUS all the time and so on, BUT it honestly feels like the whole GIANT story is just a prologue to something that happens in the last few pages and has maybe 4 pages dedicated to it. And I might be overstating that a tiny bit, BUT the two events are at least AS important as each other, if the other isn't more important. And it's just BOGGLING to me why he would structure things like that, because you do realise you just devalued your ENTIRE book, right dude?!
- The bits with the gang are a bit not-good- Because obviously THESE are the parts that he chooses to keep brief... Pretty much all that happens with the main characters is that they escape the perilous situation they were in at the end of The Waste Lands, they go into the world of The Stand (which is actually really cool and yessss I do like your crossing of stories, Mr. King) and settle down to listen to Roland's story, there are some WEIRD and unnecessary references to The Wizard of Oz for some reason, and then some showdowns that SHOULD be dramatic but really aren't at all. Like, it's laughable how non-dramatic they are. And then that's basically it!
I just... Yeah, it's annoying. But a few points- the story is very much not-my-thing, so I was never going to like it THAT much anyway, I definitely don't remember being as pissed off by it when I was reading all 7 books in a row (apparently I have definitely spent too much time away from The Dark Tower!) and I don't know but there might be things that are important in it. I think what I'm saying is, don't be put off by The Dark Tower because this book sucks, because it might not suck for you! It might be exactly your thing. But I definitely feel like I'm just going to be reading the first and last few pages of it from now on, and if you were going to skip a book in the series? This would be the one to skip.