My on-going real-time reviews of THE DARK TOWER novels by STEPHEN KING.  Continued from here:

All reviews written without reading the books’ introductions … nor reading reviews or anything else about the books other than King’s pure fiction itself.

[All my real-time reviews are linked from here:]

There is no guarantee how quickly this review will progress, whether it be days or years.


first published 1997 – this edition New English Library 2003 (850 pages)


There are quotations from Shakespeare, Baum and Browning.

PROLOGUE: Blaine. Repeat of end of ‘The Waste Lands’ (as far as I recall) – the ka-tet‘s fate depending on out-riddling Blaine the Train.  Oy Oy.


I. Beneath The Demon Moon (I)

“Show your pass, pard! Elevated radiation levels possible, dad rattit and gods cuss it!”

Our (what the Japanese call) Bullet Train – with our riddles riddling aboard – zips in and out of existence above “the poisoned and irradiated ruin” of Candleton, zips beneath the ‘Demon Moon’ and one thinks perhaps of the latest world events, the possible cause reputedly being that same moon or the LHC or simply old-fashioned tectonic plates, plus today’s Nuclear Reactor explosion seen on TV…. (12 Mar 11)

II. The Falls of the Hounds

“Jagged tines of lightning leaped out of them and toward the mono.” 

The mono refuels its batteries at the mighty Falls with the vast stone hounds – all in “stereo” surging as the Falls “stormed around the mono“, while mono is anagram of moon….  Blaine’s suicide mission, our gamble for Topeka or Goose, dependant on a riddle’s stumping.  Our ka-tet, including each reader that is me, holds a collective breath.  “What builds up castles, tears down mountains, makes some blind, helps others to see?” (12 Mar 11 – an hour later)

III. The Fair-Day Goose


A truly compelling and absurdly humorous climax to the riddling-of-life-and death – with Eddie’s street-wise flair out-playing the Blaine-game – as eventually mono tilts into a canted quake…  “It may shift. […] Lie down. Wrap your arms over your heads.”  (12 Mar 11 – another 3 hours later)

IV. Topeka

“As he worked, he listened for the warbling of the thinny … as the four of them had listened for the god-drums; as he and Eddie had listened for the lobstrosities…”

With the vulnerability of Roland (after the Blaine-crash) handled or mis-handled by his companions in terms of the clouded ‘when’ and/or ‘where’ of the ka-tet‘s appearance in a reality that borders on realities they recognise but then doesn’t or don’t — beset by the ‘thinnies’ of time or place – and here a superflu that is a reported plague-tsunami … and I am beset, myself, with a ‘thinny’ between this book itself and Japan today: an amazing resonance, propinquity and dark serendipity…  “…a recorded announcement cautions there is no plant emergency, that this is a safety measure only. KawNuke will return to on-line status, the announcement concludes, ‘when the current crisis is past.'” (12 Mar 11 – another 4 hours later)

“…thinnies aren’t natural – they are sores on the skin of existence, able to exist because things are going wrong. Things in all worlds.” (12 Mar 11 – another 5 minutes later)

V. Turnpikin’. 1 – 6

“…a hospital, probably the kind of welfare purgatory where poor folks sat in shitty plastic chairs for hours on end, all so some doctor could look at them like they were dogshit.”

Thinnies thin and thicken as ‘cowcaught’ Charlie the Choo Choo for real appears in a Cern Zoo amid a version of Topeka that has died of superflu. Bodies all over the place as if they once superflew there to then rest forever.  Aptly, this scenario provides a new wheelchair for Susannah from the empty car-litter. And all of us in our ka-tet are turnpikin’ to and fro between our own respective realities of ‘when’ and ‘where’ to ‘now and ‘here’, with felt poignancy. Turnpikin’, dark-towerin’ up and down… (13 Mar 11)

7 – 10

“…the thinny was like finally reaching the shining water-mirage you could often see far up the highway on hot days. / Whatever it was and however you described it, being inside it was claustrophobic, purgatorial, all the world gone except for the twin barrels of the turnpike and the hulks of the cars, like derelict ships abandoned on a frozen ocean.”

And within Susannah, a thinny between Odetta and Detta…? But, meantime, this section majors on Roland soon telling them of his past and a woman in it … and the thinnies between contiguous worlds showing that the merest inch sometimes differentiates one yard from another yard – and the bulldozer in it or a choochoo ridden by a Crimson King or by Gasher or by Ivor the Engine: a dream or premonition or memory? Only a “Tower junkie” like me (and Roland) can believe it’s none of these. (13 Mar 11 – three hours later)

11 – 16

“…a falling pebble that strikes another, and another, and another, those pebbles striking yet more, until the whole slope is in motion and the earth shakes with the sound of the landslide.”

Tellingly, today of all days, Roland, our Gunslinger, prepares to tell more of his past around the campfire… (13 Mar 11 – another 90 minutes later)


I. Beneath The Kissing Moon

“Musty, the six-legged cat, was on her shoulder. Her lap was full of moonlight.”

We enter rarefied territory here – not used fantasy – but a source fantasy – quite beautiful, even beyond palaver or any cullying.  It’s as if a world within a world has emerged as another world within. A glass tower in the previous section leading here to an old woman with a scrying-glass, where this old hag sees a vision of a gunslinger … who knows? It little matters, who knows? The meaning is poetry. This is surely Mr Kingery at his most strange, my old teacher who must have told of roseate visions in his secret hours. But these visions also reference the body parts of regeneration with sticky acquaintance plus thingies we care not yet to grasp … as a girl aproaches? I pick up my own reading skirts with a swish like curtains, ready for anything. At least we have left the killing fields of places we know in our recentish 20th century or of our today in crueller unnatural radiations and thinnies – and have entered dreamish thingies in an entirely new elsewhen or -where.  All in a language that magicks us.  Unka-tets us? (13 Mar 11 – another 3 hours later)

II. Proving Honesty

“The real unpleasantness was in the texture, the feel of cold flesh spongy and loose on the bones, as if the woman to whom they were attached had drowned and lain long in some pool.”

This section of encounter between the hag (Rhea) and the 16 year old girl (Susan Delgado) is one you will remember forever from the annals of literature. I wonder how many literature-lovers have discovered it here in the midst of an 840 page book that is in turn in the midst of an ever-widening set of inquels and novels that any autonomous darktowering spawns.  The boy’s meeting with the Tick Tock Man earlier is here paralleled  by a sensuality, an obscenity as well as sweetness (hag and girl respectively) beneath the Kissing Moon soon to turn Demon again. In a redolent language that defies belief as well as to die for… a foul fumbling in a seedbed to test its ONNESTY for later corruption, the hag also possibly sowing a metaphorical bomb in the girl’s hypnotised mind that we feel may be like that of a brain-washed suicide-terrorist? This is the Highest Fantasy of fey as well as concupiscent content impregnated with an onus of deep anxiety. “Already she felt as if she had been here a thousand years, and that it might be a thousand more before she could go home.” (14 Mar 11)

III. A Meeting on the Road

“I look forward to meeting you for the first time.”

…this being a low-key conspiracy between Susan and young handsome newly-arrived census-counter Will Dearborn whom she meets on the way back from the hag’s honesty-shriving of her.  This surface tryst perhaps stores up romantic intrigue (against the grain of her prospective enforced-marriage with the town mayor), after imparting to us, by their dialogue, much politics of the real world into which we’re here being fantasised.  Or it is perhaps me now meeting ‘The Dark Tower’ series for the first time, after the literary kiss it once gave me (since forgotten) in ancient or different times beyond a thinny I can now no longer cease attenuating further? These two, meanwhile, pass by, inter alia, oil derricks only 19 of which keep pumping despite the denizens’ attempts to stop them. And there is talk of another thinny or the only thinny that counts: “It looks a little like a slow-burning peat fire, and a little like a swamp full of scummy green water. There’s a mist that rises off it. Sometimes it looks like long, skinny arms. With hands at the end of ’em.”  (14 Mar 11 – another 2 hours later)

IV. Long After Moonset

“He thought of how her hands had felt on his shoulders as she stretched up to kiss him, and thought he would give everything he owned to feel her hands there again, so light and so firm.”

Will Dearborn [aka Roland] is distanced by new perspectives of plot and counter-plot, as the intricacies of why he is there – at the tipping-point of his youthful sexuality – are mixed with new shuffles and re-shuffles while gunslung card-towers teeter.  Wild west saloons of conspiracy that the plot o’ershines.  Onnest Susan and her Aunt Cordelia and haggish Rhea notwithstanding.  [Meanwhile, the ka loses me as I lose the ka amid Shakespearean convolutions that always defeated me even when I officially studied Shakespeare as a student in the Sixties.] “‘That one,’ Cuthbert said, ‘would sleep through an earthquake.'”  (14 Mar 11 – another 3 hours later)

V. Welcome to Town. 1 – 5

“Opinion is politics, and politics is an evil which has caused many a fellow to be hung while he’s still young and pretty.”

Roland and his two companions, in-milksop-cognito, are greeted (greeted suspiciously and with some hidden dislike but regaled with iced tea) as counters, greeted within the plot-ically political geography and power sources (both oil and machiavellianism?) – ripened for the mayor’s ‘do’, the mayor being the lecherous codger to and for whom sweet ‘unmet’ Susan is betrothed and Rhea-shriven respectively.  Hereon in, I shall not recount these exact machinations but merely soak them in and reflect them back at you by refractive osmosis. A story within a story that may grow bigger than the book it’s in! Oy oy! (14 Mar 11 – another 2 hours later)

6 – 10

The texture he felt as he stepped into the Mayor’s House” is, for me, only a single attenuation away from a social salon in Proust’s France: sociable, conspiratorial, civilised, with a veneer hiding undercurrents, and desire bordering on healthy lust or ‘inversion’ as Roland (Marcel) surveys the stunning sight of ‘unmet’ Susan (Albertine) and recalls the essentially Proustian kiss when they first ‘met’. An unrequited love that seeps into the reader as well as the characters themselves. Later, though, the texture starts fraying….

The world’s moved on, folks say. Huh! So it has, aye, and a good piece down the road to hell is where it’s moved on to. Our job is to hold the hay out of the furnace as well as we can, as long as we can.” (15 Mar 11)

VI. Sheemie

“He had forgotten the face of his father, and walked in the moonlight, hoping to find it again.”

While Roland (Will Dearborn) moons upon his unrequited love for virginal (about to be tainted) Susan – we have a fable for what is specifically happening in Libya this very day. In terms of the book’s plot, however, it concerns the circle-jerk politics involved in  this (Roland’s) ever-expanding story-within-a-story, where, during a wild west situation in a show-saloon with frills,  six men have individual lethal drops upon each other – in a dare-devil argument over a low servant called Sheemie spilling Camel Piss over one man’s shoes (Camel Piss being all the multifarious stale drink-dregs from used glasses that Sheemie regularly collects in one bottle and puts on sale cheaply for the impecunious.) (19 Mar 11)

VII. On the Drop 

“…today she wanted to outrun her own thoughts.”

Susan in Elgarian horeseride along the Drop, where, later, she and Roland (Will Dearborn) cement (my word, not the book’s) their own machinations (mixed with machinations of forced marriages, her Aunt Cord, counting horses and/or muties, affiliations with politics beyond the scope of this real-time review but relevant to my overall reading of the book as a whole), i.e. cement them with a passionate kiss, a kiss that symbolises the mixed emotions and grapplings with pragmatic matters (that will likely prevent the metaphoric cement of the kiss setting hard) by drawing lip-blood. (Aunt Cord’s cold sore will no doubt also turn to blood before healing, as all cold sores do). (20 Mar 11)

VIII. Beneath the Peddler’s Moon

“Below them, the thinny hummed and growled and sang. There was a sound, as well: an oozing, sludgy mutter.”

I think there is at least one thinny (and if you count them carefully, probably more) in every work of imaginative fiction, some thinnies in disguise. (Cf: my fortuitous concurrent real-time review of ‘Revenants’ (Chomu Press) by Daniel Mills, written with inadvertent ‘thinniness’).  Here, the political ‘identity’ of the three lad ‘gunslingers’ are about to be sussed as they continue their ‘counting’ of things amid the literarily enjoyable world they inhabit. And with Oy now missing, I have come back incognito as the representative reader into the reality of the story in a different guise, i.e. as an “old bastard“. (20 Mar 11 – three hours later)

IX. Citgo

“…a kind of open-air haunted house.”

Almost gratuitously meeting at Citgo, with some hint of  the area’s “contamination“, Roland and Susan are spooning together and just teetering upon their mutual exquisite deflowering of her purity thus potentially depriving the town mayor of the virginity he’s already ‘paid for’ (while gloatingly spied upon through her pink globe by hag Rhea). Citgo was previously referenced above as an area of oil-derricks, nineteen of which can be counted as still working autonomously (without human intervention) – and as one travels through it with the spooning couple one is reminded of the Fukushima of today: the numbered reactors (subject to Roland’s counting?), their insidious steaming and heath-robinson machines and ominous mystery of cooling devices and ill-refined gloop (my words, not the book’s) and so forth (please (re)read this chapter and see what I mean), with implications of WMDs and surreptitious Gaddafery by who knows whom. (21 Mar 11)

X. Bird and Bear and Hare and Fish

“Truth was sometimes not the same as reality – this was one of the certainties that lived in the hollow, cavey place at the center of his divided nature.”

As if with Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, we now watch Susan being cheated into carnal proximity with her promised husband the town mayor – a disturbing, yet hilarious, scene, later contrasted with the sensual beauty of her culmination with Roland which is an exquisite, if ominously ka-ful, scene further unsettled by our remembering the ‘terrorist bomb’ left by hag Rhea’s earlier sowing Susan’s mind via teasing her tresses as well as igniting sensitive bodily sites … and the pink effulgent ‘everything’ of the Wizard’s Glass.  Stunning writing throughout this chapter, leaving the reader riding (for once intrinsically myself rather than any surrogate succubus of a character riding me!), riding a literary-towards-real rollercoaster of emotional confabulation. (21 Mar 11 – two hours later)


INTERLUDE:  Kansas Somewhere, Somewhen

“‘Is the thinny stretching time?’ And now that he had mentioned it, Eddie could hear it in all its creepy glory – a sound like vibrating metal, or maybe the world’s biggest mosquito.” (Cf: my Thin in a Tin written two days ago.)

This brief interlude is presumably to remind us that Roland is telling this his-story of himself and Susan to Eddie, Jake and Susannah around the campfire. For me, meanwhile, I merely ask whether there is a grey area between reaping and raping…? (21 Mar 11 – another 4 hours later)


I. Beneath the Huntress Moon

“They were drugged, stone in love, and to them, every scar on the face of the world was a beauty mark.”

True love as a handicap, Roland and Susan, back from abeyance but still in it.  The machinations take stock, as cards are played with literal patience, in flattened towers (my expression not the book’s). As we all take stock, as things simmer with pent rage in the walls of Fiction before escaping out into their world and our world alike.  Rhea is just a symbol of mutation from radiation, as is her cat, and even her hypnotic powers turn inward, I guess.  Reap what thou has sown.  And youth is a gun in a sling – or a broken limb? (22 Mar 11)

II. The Girl at the Window.  (Cf: The Girl in the Swing by Richard Adams)

“Sitting there with a lapful of snake, Rhea began to laugh.”

Here we have the connivances starting to falter towards an equally faltering outcome but with the two falterings cancelling out the other in favour of ominous ka: the political ‘counting’ of Roland etc. too obviously slowing and Aunt Cord’s suspicions quickening.  A mere salute as the author passes me sitting inside his book with too much “cunning“.  And I feel I should quote this whole passage for it means a lot to me as well as to the book itself and I hope the author forgives me: “So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely if ever crosses our minds. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little.” (22 Mar 11 – four hours later)

III. Playing Castles

“Coffin Hunters! We’re Big Coffin Hunters just like you!”

As in A Tale of Two Cities (a Kingian ‘door’ between each city), the walking coffins…  And here lightsome anticipation of Reap Day. And suspicions building upon suspicions regarding Roland (if he can pluck the mayor’s gilly-flower he could be capable of anything, surely! – any Castles or RPG player or hag’s cat would know!)  – and Aunt Cord is given a kiss on the corner of her mouth (beware her cold sore, I say!) and Coral invites and then is given more than just a kiss on the corner of her mouth. Or, as a fallible Oyless reader, am I getting Cord and Coral mixed up?  Or simply confused with consuming a bottle of Camel Piss?

‘Time is short,’ Coral said. She hadn’t the slightest idea what she meant,” (23 Mar 11)

IV. Roland and Cuthbert

The “stuffy-guy” a Middle Eastern tyrant?  This long chapter has compellingly-told interconnections between heroes battling heroes to create bigger heroes of themselves and then bigger friends for each other, and, later, one of this big book’s small-time plot-carrying, spear-carrying, sin-eating characters (when compared to the heroes) just scrawling obscene graffiti to spite the heroes, and blind love turning one’s eye against the USE that blind love can be put to as well as the dangers of blind love’s numbing, dumbing the mind, de-heroing heroes and, later, killing a hag’s pet snake as a memento of ‘Women in Love’ DH Lawrence‘s snake-poem and the ill-read messages between us and them and messages that speak of those who tell of or on them: we reader-constellations around the Star-King. Soon to be Starving-King if his words run out.  And the man in black is back, the man in black is back, oh the man in black is back… and whether “Frank Sinatra really was a better crooner than Der Bingle“. (24 Mar 11)

V. Wizard’s Rainbow

Ka had swept them into this: it was perhaps best that they count on ka – and their own courage – to sweep them back out again.”

As Reaping-Day approaches, the potential inquel’s keyhole quinka-tet here of Roland, Alain, Cuthbert, Susan and Sheemie becoming a cross-patterned parallel with those listening: Roland, Eddie, Jake, Susannah and Oy? Furthermore, I wonder if the political / plotical matters here are just another example of Adam S. Cantwell’s “the kind of avant-gardism that looks within, …” , with images of pinkness, a pink grapefruit, a version of Merlin and a Rainbow (incidentally the prequel of Women in Love) – Cordelia/Coral/Cort … and hag-Rhea’s earlier share of projecting hypnotism by loading Susan’s fate with the shearing of her own shocks…  Meaningful avant-gardism within a meaningless SF Fantasy (or vice versa with ‘meaningful’ and ‘meaningless’), the best SF Fantasy in the world, the nexus of the Beams – or the various types of Moon… (25 Mar 11)

VI. Closing the Year

My bungalow house, where I reap this book (‘reap’ being a cross between reading and real-time reviewing) is a couple of minutes’ walk from the Seafront.  I can even see from behind a gap in two other houses – this very minute through the uncurtained glass – one of the wind turbines on the  distant Seaback. I live in changing times (just look at today’s date to gauge the context of history whence I read this book and ‘real-time’ it – whence I shall reap this world’s mispalaver). “There is a sense – inarticulate but very much there – that things have gone amiss this season. It is the closing of the year; it is also the closing of the peace.  […] …the world  as it has been will be swept away. It starts here. From its field of roses, the Dark Tower cries out in its beast’s voice. Time is a face on the water.” My face. Or Rhea’s face. “Rhea dreamed in the ball and lost herself in her dreams, as others had done before her; deep in the petty pleasures of far-seeing, she was unaware that the pink ball was stealing the wrinkled remains of her ánima. She likely would have considered it a fair trade if she had known. She saw all the things people did in the shadows, and they were the only things she cared for, and for them she almost certainly would have considered her life’s force a fair trade.” And look into your own heart – why do you read Horror Literature and other dark SFtopias like ‘The Dark Tower’? Why do you write it? Why do I reap it? Spear-carriers. Or sin-eaters, both. (26 Mar 11)

VII. Taking the Ball

If I could draw a crude basic eye here, I would, so as to serve as heading for this chapter’s review, a chapter concerning an ambush of our three sterling youths, and other characters fulfilling gradually their own ominous kas, including Rhea’s: who uses the glass pink ball to watch a woman she torments through it by making that woman do her housework by getting on her hands and knees and licking into all the house’s corners with her tongue!  And the author uses the book, this book, to picture tantamount the same thing: thus acting worse than Rhea: because he created Rhea.  He effectively created the readers, too, by writing so damned well we cannot fail to read his work, we readers, who entice him, by our presence, to see things in his own version of a ‘pink ball’ for us to see them later, readers who are effectively worse than the author by conspiring to make the events real by completing the circle of creativity, a circle that needs dependable readers or witnesses or pupils or, even, reciprocal teachers to make everything real by symbiosis, a circle representing – or soon becoming – a pink-veined eyeball. No wonder the Rheader desperately clings to the ball when others come to reclaim it.  Who is the Wizard, him or us? (26 Mar 11 – three hours later)

VIII. The Ashes

“…she had paid for her love with the dearest currency of all – had paid with her soul.”

Characters are built up in many ways – Sheemie’s with pointilliste eventuality, as if the writer’s skill is often not his own skill but is the ka of a character who takes over without warning during the writing process – or Susan’s with the writer’s matchless deliberate skill, a heart-wrenching panache, even if ‘panache’ is the last word she’s thinking of as she selflessly rescues the youthful three with such loss to her own soul: the panash of ‘ashy’ having ‘shy’ selflessly built in.  Deliberation is often a seemingly difficult remove from a character’s simply being created as a fiction character in the first place, especially if that deliberation results in the character autonomously taking action in the plot beyond the tolerance margins first established by the creator for that character. (26 Mar 11 – another 2 hours later)

IX. The Reaping. 1 – 9

“…squalling zombies that stood rusty-weird in the moonlight with their pistons going up and down like marching feet.”

Fukushima cast as Oilpatch or Citgo graphically detonates with the impulse of 9/11 except here the kamikaze 9/11ers are the good gilead-guys – and those wrenched from their seedbeds by the explosions are the bad guys (brash cowboy types) who need to negotiate the Bad Grass (literal but also metaphorical for our times?). Yet I fear the worst for Susan. Indeed, we’re told the worst (told by a collusive or non-collusive Narrator or by Roland or by King?) – the worst in fact regarding what the pink reader-eyeball will later entrap.  [“…its strange, addicting sweetness […] that single pink pulse of light he’d seen far too much.”]  But every character’s trapped in our book, aren’t they, not only her.  Interesting unlikely similarity, meanwhile, between Jonas’ sex with Coral and Roland’s love-making with Susan.  And Susan is ‘enceinte’, like Susannah (?) in the different quinka-tet that I mentioned in my ‘reaping’ of the Wizard’s Rainbow chapter, i.e. a quinka-tet  that is listening to this story-within-a-story by now grown to almost fill this gigantic ‘Wizard and Glass’ book. (27 Mar 11)

10 – 23

“He reached out a stealthy hand and caressed the curve at the bottom of the drawstring bag. Just touching the ball made him feel as if he could do anything,”

And indeed touched I am. And excited by all the implications of the three young well-slung gunslingers, now ball-slingers – and what has turned out to be a whole list of spear-carriers (built up heretofore with rough diamond care as characters worthy of being more than just spear-carriers): appropriately (in  hindsight) the Big Coffin Hunters: Eldred Jonas, Roy Depape, Clay Reynolds, Alan Coren, Philip Glass, Stephen King, Fran Lengyll, Wertner, Croydon, Hookey, Renfrew…  And nigh death-trodden Rhea of Cöos is offered bespoke-sliced suckulence by Cordelia before or after “the ash-pallid glow of five o’clock” (it is difficult to know exactly when as today we turned our clocks forward an hour for British Summer Time from Greenwich (oh so ) Mean Time). Meantime, Roland now possesses our pink eyeball and we ominously know what we have already seen with it or been told to see with it or what he may therefore see in it beyond the cliffhanger of Reaping Eve… (27 Mar 11 – six hours later)

X. Beneath the Demon Moon (II). 1- 12

“Ahead is a tree like a crooked, clutching hand; on its tempest branch a billy-bumbler has been impaled. It should be dead, but as the pink storm carries Roland past, it raises its head and looks at him with inexpressible pain and weariness. ‘Oy!’ it cries, and then it, too, is gone and not to be remembered for many years.”

I, too, may not be seen soon for many years. She-me. “How can the future already be happening?” One needs to steel oneself for the impending poignancies of this still on-going chapter. The ka-flows of each reader – each of our thinnies perhaps merging or attenuating by force of fiction and its visionary language – now seem subsumed by the “pink sockets where his eyes had been seemed to grow.”  While a Rhea-invigoration blackens Susan with her gossip, one can be pretty sure that it is certainly not going to be a picnic at Hanging Rock. (28 Mar 11)

13 -27

“…the steaming, stagnant water, and it wasn’t water at all. It came alive, somehow, as he struck it; grew green hands and a green, shifty mouth; pawed his cheek and melted away the flesh,”

…water 10 million times more dangerous than itself.  And having glimpsed the face of my own father, I dare not impart the devastating nature of the thinny that divides us or sucks us towards each other, the ‘you’ in ‘charyou’, the pink moon-glass demonising my own given nature, a nature given to me by good innocent parents. The Horror Literature I love. To be remembered for loving it? Surely not. And even writing it. Extrapolating it, as I do with my real-time reviews. I’ve always said it is fiction, so it doesn’t matter. Just entertainment. Fiction doesn’t make things real. But this wondrously written chapter (and its earlier context) has given the lie to that!  I feel I am my own pack-mule with someone else’s body its burden, not mine.  Meanwhile, the tankers blow sky-high around us. Ambushed by a story-within-a-story that has become the main story.  Tomorrow, everything to be read in this book will become fiction again, with retrocausal relief. Or not. (28 Mar 11 – three hours later)


I. Kansas in the Morning

“On both sides of the turnpike the thinny lapped all the way up the embankment, casting its twitching, misshapen reflections of trees and grain elevators, seeming to watch  the pilgrims pass as hungry animals in a zoo might watch plump children.”

The quinka-tet de-brief each other, shoehorn us back into their world, following Roland’s own tragic parade of ‘children’ plumped by fiction has passed by in a still-expanding story-within-a-story (still expanding even though it’s no longer being told in real-time). I feel that my own Dark Tower is ‘The Dark Tower’, currently blinding me long-term to other opportunities of fiction and fiction-‘reaping’.  Roland obsessed, DF Lewis obsessed, by different Dark Tower quests, yet paradoxically the same … each telling of the other in perpetual mutuality or synergy – or mis-synergy? (29 Mar 11)

II. Shoes in the Road

“sometimes a word or an image got into your funnybone like a virus and just lived there a while.”

…and that is just one step away from a Jungian Archetype or a Kingian Kakhef or a Hollywood Culture (as in cultured pearl) – and, after finding the bespoke red shoes for the quinka-tet, even four for Oy and stumpy ones for Susannah, they become exquisitely steeped in more rainbows than one, more wizards than one, more cartoonish humanish humanfish nemo-finds within the crystalline gate-cultures of a palace that is real only because of its strength of unreality – and I at least know where Oz comes from, if Roland doesn’t. Only one letter from Oy. (29 Mar 11 – two hours later)

III. The Wizard

They were back aboard Blaine, and soon the riddling would begin all over again. / Jake felt like screaming.”

But no, behind the screen the mighty voice of the Wizard is rumbled by Oy – as not MereKing sitting there with his type-pod, not even the real-time reviewer, if maybe the Tick-Tock reviewer! – and we ‘realise’ that the story-within-a-story is not yet finished, as we rediscover (or hope to do so) the Autonomous Audit Trail of Fiction-as-Religion, of Magic Fiction (as the only realism or reality) not Magic Realism, its Path of the Beam…. (29 Mar 11 – another 2 hours later).

IV. The Glass

“in this dim light, they look like the boots of a man who has walked through a creek of blood.”

From bespoke cowboy boots to bespoke visions for all characters seeing their fiction-within-a-fiction as more real because of the fact they see it and we see it through their eyes, as you see this book through my eyes, making it even more real in Time as well as Fiction Space – and the return of the one with the dead snake as belt or necklace makes Fate’s Devastation a snake’s outcome become ouroboric. Killed one for another, as fiction coats the whole mule with thick pink-lit spit better for the snake to digest it. (For mule read reader). (29 Mar 11 – another hour later)

V. The Path of the Beam

“Bird and bear and hare and fish.”

Blah blah blah blah blah blah yak yak yak yak yak yak tick tock tick tock

karel capek kakakakakaka kansas fucKING

END (29 Mar 11 – another 45 minutes later)


I shall be real-time reviewing in due course the fifth book in ‘The Dark Tower’ series. Please watch for an eventual  announcement and the link to it in the comments below.


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7 responses to “The Dark Tower – WIZARD AND GLASS

  1. Pingback: My Real-time Reviews of Books by Other Writers | DF Lewis's Real-Time Reviews

  2. Pingback: My Real-Time Reviews of Stephen King (The Dark Tower etc) | My Last Balcony


  4. Pingback: Today’s Excerpt from my review of Wizard and Glass | My Last Balcony

  5. Pingback: The Dark Tower – WOLVES of the CALLA | My Last Balcony

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