Last year, during the CBR3, I swore I was going to re-read all 7 books in the Dark Tower series, along with other books and stories that fall under the Dark Tower umbrella. I read and reviewed the first three books and was cruising right along, until I got to the flashback section of Wizard and Glass.
For those who are familiar with the Dark Tower, I’m talking about Susan Delgado and the Big Coffin Hunters. For those not familiar, sorry to bore you with my Dark Tower ramblings.
I had read this book two or three times before, and had always loved the insight into Roland’s early life. I enjoyed the details of the sleepy, southwestern town of Mejis, and was heartbroken by the outcome of Roland and Susan’s tragic love affair. But this time, it just didn’t click for me until the last 100 or so pages (when the young gunslingers obliterate Farson’s army) — in particular, the amazing scene that takes place in Eyebolt Canyon, where the thinny lives.
I read this book on and off for almost an entire year. Horrible, I know. I really wanted to finish it, I wanted to get back to the world of Eddie, Jake, Roland, and Oy (oh, and Susannah, too, I guess.). I just didn’t have the patience for the drawn out story of love and evil in the flashback that makes up the bulk of the story. No fault of Stephen King — I think this book is some of his finest writing. I just wasn’t into the story this time around.
However, over the past few months, I also picked up the three graphic novels that correspond with Wizard and Glass: The Gunslinger Born, The Long Road Home, and Treachery.
These I found much easier to get through, and appreciated all of the extra detail added to the story in order to give better understanding of future events to long-time Dark Tower fans. For instance, we find out that Roland was rescued from Maerlyn’s Grapefruit by Sheemie, and that Sheemie received his special “breaker” powers accidentally when he stumbled upon a Dogan (similar to those in Wolves of the Calla), and was “experimented” on by a robot. We also get a much more detailed breakdown of the events concerning the death of Roland’s mother and how Farson’s men infiltrate Gilead.
Don’t get me wrong, Wizard and Glass is a great book and a wonderful story (and these companion comics are pretty good, too). I just really wanted to get back to the “path of the beam” and leave the past behind.