The Dark Tower – WOLVES of the CALLA

My on-going real-time reviews of THE DARK TOWER novels by STEPHEN KING.  Continued from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/the-dark-tower-wizard-and-glass/

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: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/]

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

THE DARK TOWER – WOLVES OF THE CALLA by Stephen King

first published 2003 – this edition Hodder Paperback 2005

Since commencing these Dark Tower real-time reviews a few months ago, it has been announced in the same real-time that an eighth book in the series – THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE – has been written and will be published in 2012. I intend to review this TWTTK – in my own real-time! – when I have finished reviewing the existing seven books.  But oy am doing this this is in spite of TWTTK being apparently placed as an inkwell in the fiction‘s real-time between WIZARD AND GLASS and WOLVES OF THE CALLA!

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PROLOGUE: ROONT

“I know how one cowardly decision leads to another . . . and another . . . and another . . . until it’s too late to turn around, too late to change.”

A prelude that tells of a rustic community (a ‘religious’ community slightly reminsicent so far of that in ‘Revenants‘ by Daniel Mills, a novel I real-time reviewed very recently) – but here Wolves (or things that are called ‘Wolves’) are the generational Revenants, Robots are the community’s Prophets, and dire child-stealing by the Wolves of half the community’s twin children which children become Revenants themselves (children who are consequentlky ‘roont’: i.e. made physically and mentally gauche) – with much debate among the Community how to cope with these almost accepted generational attacks by Wolves. But now with the rumoured arrival of pukka Gunslingers at their borders, there is a stronger argument to stand up to the Wolves.  A brilliant opening. An intriguing Pull-In, to which I cannot do justice.  And King’s use of neologisms that eventually (with skill) become commonplace and well-used throughout this series never ceases to amaze me. And I thought I was good at neologisms!  A neologism once accepted is so much more powerful than any well-used word from boring Establishment Dictionaries, I say! (29 Mar 11)

PART ONE: TODASH

I. The Face on  the Water

“Eddie passed at least an hour telling Roland the story of Hansel and Gretel, turning the wicked child-eating witch into Rhea of the Cöos almost without thinking of it. When he got to the part about her trying to fatten the children up, he broke off…” 

We are re-acclimatised to our quinka-tet, thus leapfrogging any future or alternate reality represented by an inkwell.  We are obviously the party – contained by the prelude – a party in its turn containing ‘Gunslingers’ undeliberately come to help fight the ‘Wolves’ … and we are followed, as we sense via Roland’s greater sense: followed by those interested in our arrival amid their book’s world. Nineteen, then, as significant number. Muffin-balls. Dreams of things we once were and now are beyond any dream or even ka-toon that one day may contain our shapes if not souls upon the Channel 19 Screen for others to share, Oy included (but that’s this real-time review’s speculation not the book’s). (30 Mar 11)

II. New York Groove

“There were things in the darkness: looming shapes behind weird phosphorescent eyes, the sort of things you saw in movies about exploring  the deepest cracks of the ocean floor. Except in those movies,  the explorers were always inside a steel diving-bell…”

As Jake, Eddie and Oy pass over changing-points within a blend of a muffin-ball induced dream and time-travel – wielding their own shadows but only instinctive rather than actual presences in the New York where Jake crosses paths with himself and his choo choo book transaction we all recall, all recall … rather than a Captain Nemo controlling this very book or glass diving-ball (not bell) – because this Captain Nemo’s in my room here in the UK (30 Mar 11), I feel, watching me write this. But now, rumbled, he’s gone elsewhere, elsewhen towards whatever fate I could have told him how to avoid or consummate (depending how welcome it would be as a fate) if he stayed a bit longer to see me quoting this line from Robert Browning:  “Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!” (30 Mar 11 – four hours later)

III. Mia

“What she  cared about was the smells.”

I personally feel that Mia as viewed here is intrinsically tending towards being ‘roont’ (as well as ‘enceinte’ with a ‘chap’ – or ‘runt’?), although her ‘roontness’ is not explicit.  And ‘todash’ or ‘Todash’ is the form of that ‘blend’ of dream and time-travel I described in my comments above about the  previous chapter, I assume. And while the J.O.E. triolet were todashing in N.Y., Susannah was todashing as Mia, the fourthway emanation of S.O.D.? She is amazingly conjured forth for us in this form. Roland follows into her ‘todash’ to keep an eye on her – specially if she is indeed roont within this Mia form?  ‘Todash’ is another form of Wandering?  [Thinking aloud. Wolverhampton Wanderers is a very old football (soccer) team from the Black Country with the nickname ‘Wolves’. And Callanish is a set of Standing Stones I once visited many years ago in Lewis. And Mia Farrow was ‘enceinte’ in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’.] (30 Mar 11 – another 3 hours later)

IV. Palaver

“He [a teacher] said Dickens’s stories were full of easy coincidences. / ‘A teacher who either didn’t know about ka  or didn’t believe in it,’ Roland said.”

[I learn more about travelling the Todash way rather than the ‘Doors’ or ‘Wizard’s Glass or Rainbow’ ways – and Todash also seems related to my 1995 published vignette: ‘Ribbons of Reality’. Also with a touch of ‘high’ to ignite it?]  Coincidences are never ‘easy’, I say, especially those in Dickens or King.  They are fought for (almost sometimes in an Arthurian tournament!), however easy their synergies of coincidence – or serendipities or synchronicities – at first seem. [Just google: “The Synchronised Shards of Random Truth and Fiction” changing the ‘and’ perhaps to an ampersand as an alternative.]  A synchronicity just like the man Callahan approaching the ka-tet as advance messenger from the community worried about the Wolves’ generational attacks… following the ka-tet’s ‘palaver’ regarding the J.O.E. todash in N.Y. … and didactic property matters concerning Donald Trump. But one can forgive Stephen King anything, even didacticism!  BTW, I love the word ‘palaver’ as the sort of conversational debates that have overtaken the world in the 24/7 rolling-news of the early 21st century, where news has become conversational rather than headlines in newspapers. [And oy am glad that oy am now considered to be a “sort of muffin-hound’!]

“No need for saddles with no horses.”  (31 Mar 11)

V. Overholser

“Wayne Dale Overholser” is a walking coincidence, I guess – even his surname has the air of a fast draw of a gun! Meanwhile, his pragmatism regarding the appeasement of the Wolves rooting out roonts from the community’s children without apparent ulterior motive…?  A short chapter of palaver between the parties that also has the community’s Andy the Robot offering Roland a horoscope – for me, the ultimate map of synchronicity:
  (31 Mar 11 -five hours later)

VI. The Way of the Eld

“And of course they have to be watched more or less constant, for if they get something they like, they’ll eat it until they bust.”

Readers of ‘The Dark Tower’ series? Or is it this series with its own gauche giantism: as a result of abduction by readers and their (or its) later giantism?  The permutations of creativity or “tough bubbles“?  Palaver while Andy Robot helps Eddie with a “personal moment” of ablution in the woods. [Eddie Stobart sadly died today or yesterday and his lorries had girls’ names.] The ‘Wolves’ seem to be described as dour forms of Cromwellian Roundhead (my idea not the book’s). And the refoundling fathers: Callahan and Overholser are in two minds about the nature of the Wolvish threat and of the threat’s antidote.  The fact remains that laissez faire does not seem to be an option for readers or author.  We shall never know whether they were right. Just dip your nibs into the inkwell and write: readers write as well as authors, I say. And until you read the rest, it was never written at all.  Reading something ensures it will be written. But writing something does not ensure it will be read. Any old fool knows that! (1 April 11)

VII. Todash

“‘Unless we stand true, we’ll never get within a thousand miles of the Tower,’ Roland said. ‘Would you tell me you don’t feel that?'”

Eddie’s existential angst regarding the shuffling together (sliding into each other) of the cards of various realities into one pack (my expression, not Eddie’s, perhaps not even King’s) is followed by another dash for cash, sorry a dash to another today of ka-tet communal todash-‘dream’ of N.Y. and the Rose and Eddie’s Chivalry in handling the Masonic Ribbons of Reality in the legs or no-legs upon Susannah Farrow and the babe-not-yet-out-of-the-woods-of-her-‘enceintibodiments’.  N-N-N-Nineteens pile up…. “Never mind splitting nails to make tacks.”  Then “tack-sees” in the N.Y. todash.  This is all a preamble, I assume, to the Knightkatetly acceptance of the commission to help Callahan, Overholser, Jaffords etc to fight the ‘Wolves’ when the latter come to capture-to-engauche, to-engulch half the twin children… [Like UN/NATO helping the ‘rebels’ against Gaddafery]. Meanwhile, King (I assume I can call you, Steve?) has the knack to make the plot’s audit trails and time-riddles work, with straightforward, expected, stock Whovianisms that seem unstraightforward and unexpected and unstock, by the artful use of dead-pan narrative. Dead-pan, but suffused with emotion, e.g. the circumstances surrounding the rediscovering of the Rose and Susannah’s legs and the insidious fears that have subtly built up around the book’s dead-pan, crackling campfire of story-telling. (2 Apr 11)

PART TWO: TELLING TALES

I. The Pavilion

“There were hard rhymes, soft rhymes, off-rhymes, even rape-rhymes – words that didn’t rhyme at all but were forced to for a moment within the borders of the song.”

For ‘rhyme’, also read ‘meaning’? This author speaks in refrains, sometimes chants, beating fists on empty coffins, bouts of nostalgic TV like the Cartwrights of ‘Bonanza‘, rape-meanings, reap-innuendoes – and the mental Barn Dance of this chapter makes me try to keep time with the book’s rhythms, makes me think this book is essentially simple not complex as I sometimes seem to make it seem … as persuaders dance as well as persuade, doubts aired, speculation as to the nature of the ‘Wolves’ without their masks, the inner rhythms not only of reality, love-within-reality, impending battle as in ‘Henry V’ (here not as a calm talkeasy campfire, but a Barn dance), while we sense Roland’s pent-up dancing-soul so full of sorrow and hope together – knowing paradoxically that victory may not even be the best hope to hope for?  The “commala” of fiction’s entertainment, the “jargon-spew” of fiction’s undercurrents.. Jake in boyish bonhomie. Eddie saddled with the community curmudgeon. Then Eddie and Susannah in innocent temporary “honeymoon” from life’s demon-moon plots and patterns …. and jigging-saws. Callahan, a man from our own world, with his church that darkly holds perhaps something more than “jargon-spew” or “commala“. (2 Apr 11 – four hours later)

II. Dry Twist

“Not that he would cry off the Tower if Old Bone-Twist Man took his ability to shoot, saddle a horse, cut a strip of rawhide, even to chop wood for a campfire, so simple a thing as that; he was in it until the end.”

Roland would never cut ‘would’, either, judging by the strength of the fiction inside of which he  lives and to which he brings life in turn.  His post-‘commala’ arthritis is eased by the oil of perceived comeliness; and speculation, by effective comparison with the arthritis, regarding bodies carrying things (life as well as death), and a future offspring ‘enceinte’ that spurns the bloodcease babes usually demand from their mothers. With this particular mother not fallowed but farrowed, we wonder (I think the author, too, at this stage, genuinely wonders) what is carried by Susannah: in which ever form (hers or ‘its’) she eventually gives birth to ‘it’. Meantime, Callahan, the Revenant Preacher, prepares to tell his own tale, during (“We spread the time as we can, but in the end the world takes it all back”) Wolf-Wait…. (3 Apr 11)

III. The  Priest’s Tale (New York)

“…working on his culinary specialty, which he called Toads n Dumplins Stew. The meat is actually stewing beef, but the colorful name amuses him.”

Muffin-toadstools and newts or toads in todash from karel capek… Toadjer! Meat and Vags. Callahan starts his life’s tale of fighting alcohol, encountering the walking dead or vags, graded vampires, even his own creator’s earlier creations, fighting for his own religion, too, and losing it amid the hums (cf the Daniel Mills’ Revenants), the blue light, the chimes, the smells of fiction stew – as bits and bobs float to the surface of the story.  Yes, fighting for love, fighting against Gaiety, fighting again against or for his God and religion, and thus we remind ourselves of Mark Samuels’ ‘The Tower’ and the earlier todash refrain even more relevant today dashed off with panash: “Unless we stand true, we’ll never get within a thousand miles of the Tower.”  Revenant or Refraining Priests like Callahan fighting against Kings and Coffin-Hunters, too. Maria Callas playing Rosalita, to boot? (3 Apr 11 – three hours later)

IV. The Priest’s Tale Continued (Highways in Hiding)

“Certainly he is in what he thinks of as the ‘real world’ now, and it’s not just the thin sheaf of currency in his wallet that tells him so. It’s a feeling, a kind of tone. A truth.”

On a journey between distant places, one crosses highways, almost secret routes. And that, as has been earlier told in this book, is true of a single steady reality that is now and here. But now we draw nearer again to what I call the Ribbons of Reality, a veritable strobe or strobing between realities: conveyed properly, in my experience, for the first time here in this Revenant Religio’s life story: Highways in Hiding: or (for me) Calles in Chronoflux? Or Spiros of Agonisingly Lost Pet News where everyone’s Fido or Tabby fetches up on an impossible island?  We do not yet reach the priest’s story’s end. Meanwhile, two young beautiful twins (one of whom is presumably due to be Wolved then respewed as Drool in coming days if the ka-tet should fail) provides a map they’ve drawn of the area and, later, Roland is shown the humming (strobing?) thing under the floor in Callahan’s church, something like a dangerous autonomously prehensile metal still alive and fresh from Fukushima…? (3 Apr 11 – another 90 minutes later)

V. The Tale of Gray Dick

While Jake in boyish mode hay-swing-and-drops with his new friend and with Oy – Roland’s condition is in intermission: and by Fable of a woman dicking a foe with a lethal discus-plate, plans begin to unwind of womankind dicking the Wolves, and other map-related plans.  Mejis in a bottle (or cul de sac). Over twenty days yet to pass, before Andy says Wolves are due, but why does a Robot rub along with economical truth? (These Wolves, through various hints, I no longer imagine as versions of Cromwellian Roundhead, but I have no replacement image as yet). Oy jump in the hay while the going is still good and the sun still out. (3 Apr 11 – another 90 minutes later)

VI. Gran-Pere’s Tale

“If ‘ee was the sort of man could convince someone else to  stick his head in a rock-cat’s mouth, that’d make you trum. Your dinh’s trum, ain’t he?”

Via the narrative mouth of oldster gran-pere Jaffords – whose family contains the loveable gullible short-lived “roont galoots” from previous Wolfish ‘engouements’ we can almost catch the first glimpse of the Wolves themselves without their masks … yet by some trick of gratuitous and spiteful ‘omniscience-withdrawal’, another oldster by the name of Stevie King keeps that glimpse as just a glimpse with nothing else for us to go on except what has been hinted already. Still, forgiveness is due, as we find ourselves imagining those older days of battle and the Wolves’ “sneetches” and then anticipate what must remain in store for greenhorn readers of ‘The Dark Tower’ books, i.e. those readers like me. (3 Apr 11 – another 3 hours later)

VII. Nocturne, Hunger

“For a moment the tip of its twitching tale stuck up, and then that was gone, too.” (Sic)

Mia subsumes Susannah’s ‘dream/time/place’ me again in the Castle of Todash – not Detta-ridden, not Odetta-enhanced – with a bellyful of the “chap” (cf: cowboy’s ‘chaps’?).  This is a conjuration of a nightmare, genuinely one of the most rat-roasted and nightmarish nightmares in literature, I guess, even in the broad sunshine of this morning during which I read it: filling me with a foreboding farrowed by disgust. Strong writing.  And I do forgive Stevie King’s assumed omniscience for openly keeping deliberate secrets from the reader in the previous chapter – because we are here  imbued with a different foreboding, i.e. that the members themselves of the ka-tet are now actually keeping secrets from each other.  Each with a tale that twitches then is gone, as if never told. But Oy, meantime, seems to read minds as well as these words and helps Boy Jake with secrets of the book’s plot that Oy knows better than its characters – i.e. regarding his new friend Benny’s father’s connection with Andy and with….  But that would be telling. Spoilers, not secrets. [Re Mia’s farrowing in my terminology – ‘farrowing’: giving birth to a litter of pigs. Cf: the pig roast in the nightmare. Wow!] (4 Apr 11)

VIII. Took’s Store; The Unfound Door

“Nayyup, nayyup, don’tchee bring that dairty bumble-beast in ‘ere, don’tchee never!”

Much wisdom between Roland and Jake (“When one knows and one does not, the one who does not must bow his head, and the one who does must take responsibility.”) A lesson for authors and readers alike, I’d say.  And I apologise to Dinh King.  Then hilarity at the store, including racism’s backchat.  Followed by a respectful scene from Knightly High Fantasie where the oldster Henchick, the Manni-Man, shows Roland the Door – potentially implicatory in Callahan’s (Caliban’s?) past arrival at the community with the fukushima-box containing ‘Black Thirteen’ (?) and in future Wolverine battles – i.e. a Door in the Platonic(?) Cave of Voices, as we hear poignant echoes of the whole book (so far) from basement to attic – come to challenge us all. (4 Apr 11 – three hours later)

IX. The Priest’s Tale Concluded (Unfound). 1 – 10

“…Mrs Shaw used to call me ‘Bama […] Oy slept on the floor beside him with his nose on one paw.”

Jake OyBama? A mere trifle to take my mind off this slipstreamic, grinding tale by Callahan of Callahan-baiting and being swastikaed and testicleaved by the Hitler Brothers – only to be saved by the Synchroniesed Shards of Random Truth and Fiction I’ve identified in this book’s narrative pecking-orders of interpretative character-planting.

“‘Finish your story,’ said Roland. ‘Maybe you’ll sleep better tonight.'” (4 Mar 11 – another 3 hours later)

11 – 20

“What you want hardly matters. You’ll go where the King decrees, and there you will wait.”

Having survived the “dust-bunnies” of time-in-sleep, I am now faced with Faddah Callahan’s tail’s last Lost Pet Notice – as he extricates himself, by jump-windowing, winnowing – away from the earlier imputed extra-mural threads he once inhabited as a vampire-baiter towards a Topeka-‘takeaway’ with a homophobic, anti-drugs, anti-Aids subtext. Towards the Dharma Cave in Wolfland, as it were, where real-time ‘morning nightmares’ take sway again, for me, blossoming from the hard text itself.  From the box and what it contains. And the King’s Third Eye, sorely unhealing … Reagan, Kennedy, O’Bama, Rose-Bush…. [And I need to re-read ‘The Room in the Tower’ by EF Benson]. (5 Apr 11)

PART THREE: THE WOLVES

I. Secrets

“I don’t know what you’ve got in your head, but you be careful.”

[Some of my comments may appear crass, but equally some of the text has a special creativity of (or from) crassness, refrain-crassness, neologistic-crassness, multi-meaning-crassness and, like ‘run and ‘commala’, ‘crass’ has many crass meanings in my paradigms of fiction and reality.] The ‘ominscience-withdrawal’ regarding the nature of Wolves continues to aggravate. A crass device.  Urtexts of social matters, such as ‘abortion’ as well as ‘homosexulaity’ and ‘drugs’ within a High-Principled High-Fantasy but where I also anticipate, generously as one honourable author to another, that the Dark Tower (in essence or metaphor) will eventually resolve or neutralise any Didacticism once the Tower has been attained. Yet, I can’t complain. I am entirely absorbed by the text – by Faddah Callahan’s tussling with the problems of Susannah-Mia’s demon-enceinteness. Jake’s tussling with his suspicions about his friend’s father and coping with a spectrum of secrecy.  The spectrum of secrecy (my term), but what a significant one for the nature of  this Fiction, I say.  From Dinh to Diminuendo. And Eddie’s tussling with briefly visiting New York to  resolve a property deal that is beyond the scope of this review if not of my reading about it. And the women’s dish-dashing competition ready for Wolf-decapping. Beautifully done.  And Embrocatory Rosalita and her Privy – her Privacy, too, vis-a-vis Dinh-dingling.  (5 Apr 11 – three hours later)

II. The Dogan, Part 1

“Perhaps that’s why we’re friends – we fit around each other’s wrong places, make something that’s almost whole.”

When seen in the context of this book, that seems to be an eternal truth. While Roland keeps the door open of Black Thirteen’s box it keeps the door open to Eddie’s N.Y. visit.  There is a lot of business here, as they say in the theatre, and a lot of props. A lot of properties (one time’s version of which is sheltering the Rose-Tower?). Calvin Tower’s best books even make the transition between the two halves of reality here in contiguity.  And like the ‘tale’ SIC quote a few chapters above, the best things are the misprints, i.e. the wrong thingies, the Hogans or Dogans of our friendship: my friendship with this book, and this book’s friendship with me. “Only this time why don’t you actually use your eyes instead of just letting the light pour through?” An amazing chapter, the surface of which I cannot even begin to scratch.  Except there is another pesky ‘omniscience-withdrawal’: but only a short one, a momentary with-drawing to allow me to read this very book one day because it was on Calvin’s special  bookcase. One day, if not today.  (A false date, a misdrawn gap of time… 5 Apr 11 – another 4 hours later)

III. The Dogan, Part 2

“‘Moon,’ Oy said, much more quietly. Now he was looking out the window. ‘Moon, moon. Moon.'”

A deep, seminal, pivotal chapter, but oy don’t know why — that mine, mine, mine … are the Wolves to be enticed into a cul-de-sac cave or mine? Are there treacherous forces working for the Wolves? It’s as if – deep inside somewhere like a lumbering Shardik – I am Oy, for real, not just playfully, not internet-jokingly, nor real-time-reviewly.  THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF. As if, earlier, Oy was tutored into greater  imagination of self-reality (bordering on aspirational acuity) by watching the TV series ‘Lost’ then come back via ka to this book for the first time (as we do) and watch the Dharmic extra-mural-machinations-intra-hollowed-landscape evolve ab initio – as Jake and Oy become tantamount to readers of a new surreptitious backstory, where new-found friendships and cherished verities are severely tested. Not Door, but Lock.  Dogan’s, not Hogan’s, Heroes. (6 Apr 11)

What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. (TS Eliot) (6 Apr 11 – 20 minutes later)

IV. The Pied Piper

“…and the grass beneath was as green as summer. There were folken flying kites, couples promenading hand in hand,…”

And, ironically, Andy the Robot leading a twins cavalcade … and, to record the zip code, Callahan leaves for NY amid todash chimes, warbling thinnies, and the humming sound of me reading.  And why does Roland want a door-lock put on the outside of Rosalita’s fine strong privy? Roland’s wiLes are sometimes just one certainty away from assumption – but in which direction of truth? [Meantime, I sense that the Piper at the Gates of King wants his Third Eye to reabsorb this book’s essence after its todash of inter-futurine gestation within my free-loading reader-brain.] (6 Apr 11 – another hour later)

V. The Meeting of the Folken

“Ye can’t mean to be part of this madness, can ye?”

I hold the feather. The ‘omniscience-withdrawal’ has now itself been withdrawn and readers are now aware of the true nature of the Wolves, while the debate of the community (in various well-drawn factions, some quite roontish in their own ways, as if roonts are not only the ‘regurgitated’ twins, but otherwise so-called grown-ups too, like many grown-ups whom we all know on our readers’ side of this book’s own door, but in which direction of truth from a zombie or vampire is a roont?) – so, yes (before I lose the audit trail of this sentence), while the debate foreshadows the ordained revenant wolf-raid of this generational season, we give each other nervously knowing looks regarding the community’s ‘moles’ and how even boyhood friendships spend much time in unspoken mines – and we suffer for ourselves Susannah’s pre-labour cramps – but which one of us moves around in her belly ready to out? [One day, if not already, this book will be read on kindles; but I vow always to read it on sheaves of blossie-wood.] (7 Apr 11)

VI. Before the Storm

“He took one, reading the headlines (a flood in New Orleans, the usual unrest among the homicidal idiots of the mideast)…”

Wolf-Eve.  Roland, for me, is inscrutably good, inscrutably bad, or perhaps neither, but never both.  Eased by empathy with Rosa’s cat-oil, I begin to relate to a fiction character more than it seems possible. Plans are afoot, moles neutralised, the Andy thing being the best ‘down-booting’ … by privy password or passing words painfully … of a machine I’ve ever imagined possible.  This is dead crazy stuff. And often creatively crass. But the magic fiction (as opposed to its magic realism) transcends all suspension of belief or disbelief.  I am actually feeling nervous myself about the outcomes very soon to unfold. Genuinely nervous. Like I was last year when about to go ‘on holiday’ to Russia. “All I mean to say is that if you want to come with us, you have to roll with us. Do you ken?” (7 Apr 11 – three hours later)

VII. The Wolves

Perfectly understated, despite the wild Spinradian battles and stormtroopers. Retribution and fulmination. Treachery and redemption. Much breast-beating and pathos. Bathos, too. Bathos and crassness are blood brothers, a ka-tet. A crass crossness.  Yet, I am sweetly fulfilled. Fulfilled that I saw it coming.  “The feeling of uselessness. The sense that he would fight this battle or battles like it over and over for eternity, losing a finger to the lobstrosities here, perhaps an eye to a clever old witch there, and after each battle he would sense the Dark Tower a little farther away instead of a little closer.  And all the time the dry twist would work its way in toward his heart.” Or the dry twist or arthritis or whatever canker works its way through the rose of my own 63 year old heart.  The Wolves and their “thinking caps” or achilles bootheels: electronic blogs or internet forums or fizzing hadron colliders beneath the avatars and masks we present to this new world of nemonymous comic heroes or dream-potters – we who are not we, but remain desperate, disparate Oys each trying to be I. Take off your spectacles and see the bare-boneflesh carving that is your real vulnerable face. Listen to that devastating crack as someone snaps your avatar or wooden cross or dry-twisted hope. (7 Apr 11 – another 3 hours later)

Epilogue: The Doorway Cave 

And in contrast with what should be the most heart-wrenching pursuit by Eddie et al: via Susannah’s abandoned wheelchair to the Doorway Cave with the Tower bookcase (containing ‘Nemonymous Night’ by DF Lewis in almost as bathetic a reality as that wherein the real book of which we’re told the title and author is shelved upside down) – we have further degrees of crassness and bathos, as if to test or taunt our readership to suspend criticism – because, despite that bathos, we readers remain genuinely worried by the voices from our past (and the book’s past) and then we become even more worried about Susannah-Odetta-Detta-Mia who has apparently travelled here as if in a shameful quest for her own finds or night soil … into and then out of some sort of way-stationary vixenhole while the bearing and drawing of the now emergent Babe eats her – its new-born mother – countwards.

[Not a coda, so much as a sly grin by a different author who happens to work in a backroom of the same office as King.]  “…totally unsurprised to see a six-pack of Nozz-A-La, the drink favoured by discriminating bumhugs everywhere.” (7 Apr 11 – another 90 minutes later)

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

6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Dark Tower – WOLVES of the CALLA

  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

  3. Pingback: Mia – Farrow – Farrowing | My Last Balcony

  4. “Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!” Browning

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