Title: Song of Susannah
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 456
This is the sixth book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and it’s a corker – it’s also a shorter read than the last two books, which is good because, as the reader, you feel like you’re making real progress towards the Tower. It’s closer than ever now, and you can almost taste it.
This book deals with a pregnancy, and the members of Roland’s ka-tet are split up and sent to different points in time to achieve different missions, all of which have a bearing on the Tower and, ultimately, the existence of everything. And speaking of Ka, it’s a strange thing – that’s why they end up meeting some author guy who wrote a book called ‘Salem’s Lot. He has a wife called Tabby, and he really needs to give up the booze and the ciggies before the fate of the Tower is never decided.
If that’s not a spoiler then I don’t know what is. Either way, I was impressed by the way that the book got meta without being spoiled by it – it’s hard to get it right, and King did a good job. He also does a great job of keeping you interested in the action – because of the split in the ka-tet, we get to jump backwards and forwards and to get glimpses of the action in different times and places. It keeps you going from start to finish, and that’s a good thing.
Song of Susannah also progresses the story line in a much more tangible way than the last couple of books, and whilst there isn’t exactly a cliffhanger ending, it does help to set up the final book in the series and to whet your appetite for more of the gunslinger’s adventures. By this point, most of the members of the ka-tet are fully-fledged gunslingers themselves, and even Oy seems to have undergone some character development by the end of it.
So yeah, overall, I felt like this was the Dark Tower series back at its best, and it was a pleasure to read it. The fact that it was a little shorter than some of the other, more recent books in the series, combined with the character development and the story line, means that it’s a fantastic addition to your collection.
Besides, the Tower is closer than ever before, and after you’ve whizzed your way through this book, you only have one book in the series to go. Unless you count The Wind Through the Keyhole, which is a late addition to the series. I’m counting that, and I’m looking forward to getting to that one, too.