Song of Susannah - Stephen King

Song of Susannah  - Stephen King

Roland felt a queer doubling, as though time had folded back on itself.

Yeah, I know that line actually comes from "The Waste Lands", but it works just as well for "Song of Susannah", which gets seriously weird towards the middle, when we meet Mr Stephen King himself, actually in the story, writing- or having written - the story we're reading. It's the kind of thing that turns your brain inside out, and is therefore not uncharacteristic of the Dark Tower books as a whole. I'm not entirely sure that I like the whole writer-as-character thing - it feels a bit too much like self-aggrandisement to me: "hey, look at me, I'm GOD" which is essentially the point of the whole chapter. However, it does make good reading. As does the whole book, actually - a lot better than 'Wolves of the Calla". It's restored that sense of mystery and of magnitude that's been missing in the previous two books. And it feels like we're getting to the heart of that mystery - some vital questions get answered, and, even better, those answers beget more questions. What is the Tower? Why is it falling? Who is Mia, and what is her baby? It ends on another cliffhanger, somewhat annoyingly, but there is some brilliant writing in there about goodness and memory and the fading of magic. Anyone who got dissuaded by "Wolves" and "Wizard", persevere - it's well worth it.

And it's nice and short, too, which I can't help feeling is a bonus. Hile, gunslingers!