Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Dark Tower Diaries -- Day Thirteen

Alright, we've knocked off The Waste Lands and are now 82 pages into book four, Wizard and Glass. This one was written five years after book three and checks in a whopping 694 pages.
They ain't getting any smaller, these books.
The Waste Lands ends on a bit of cliff hanger. Roland and company have fought there way into an old city and found a train (actually a monorail) that will take them on their next step towards the tower. But (and there's always a "but") its AI unit is hundreds (thousands?) of years old and has gone bananas. It agrees to take them to their destination, but it plans to commit suicide at the end of the line by crashing, taking Roland and co. with it. It agrees to spare the group only if they can tell it a riddle that it cannot solve.
Wizard and Glass opens with the crazy monorail driving them to their doom, and the group doing their best to our riddle-it. Surprisingly, it is Eddie who ends up Kirk-ing the monorail whose mind goes up in a puff of its own illogic. But where Roland and gang end up is the flu-ravenged world of King's earlier novel The Stand.
There is something I've always found eminently readible about the best of King's work, and certainly this is his magnum opus. It should be fun to see how he starts tying all this into his other works.

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