“The Wizard and the Glass” by Stephen King

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Last month, Stephen King released an eighth Dark Tower novel by the name of “The Wind Through the Keyhole.” I took this as a personal challenge, and began fervently trying to finish King’s “Wizard and the Glass,” because “The Wind Through the Keyhole” nestles firmly between the fourth and fifth Dark Tower novels.

For the past eight years I have attempted to read “The Wizard and the Glass” to little to no avail. I love Stephen King and I love his work. I remember reading the “Gunslinger” for the first time and being riveted and quickly marked as a bibliophile. I knew after reading it cover-to-cover (in the span of a couple hours) that I would forever read, and that literature would always be a close friend. However, even though the “Gunslinger” is rightfully King’s magnum opus, “The Wizard and the Glass” (which resides in the same series) woefully deviates from Roland’s tale to tell even older tale.

It starts slow and for me “The Wizard and the Glass” was hard to concentrate on because I was being constantly reminded of the much more interesting story that lay in the immediate background. However, I finally finished it and the tale was masterful as always. About halfway through the novel the sidetracked story begins to get interesting in its own right, but like all great King story it ends in sadness and to quote my own thoughts on “11/22/63”:

“Damn it Stephen King! You’re so brilliant, but I hate you!”

The novel wraps up by diving into Roland’s psyche, syncing a great Wizard of Oz reference to Stephen King’s famous novel “The Stand,” and shoring up some loose plot points divulged in the prior three novels.

“The Wizard and the Glass” is a good novel in its own right, but definitely not my favorite of King’s work or the best of the Dark Tower saga. Ironically enough, I am desperately looking forward to cracking into his newest foray into the land Oz though, so stayed tuned for my review on King’s “A Wind Through the Keyhole.”

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8 thoughts on ““The Wizard and the Glass” by Stephen King

  1. I don’t know – I always enjoyed the world-building that went on with Wizard and Glass in that it put a lot of meat on the bones of Roland’s character. I didn’t mind that it was a pause in the bigger story of Roland’s quest although i know a lot of people did. Song of Susanna on the other hand…

    1. “Wizard and the Glass” wasn’t bad by any means, and towards the end of the book I really became enthralled in the plot within the plot. But, in traditional King fashion the ending was heart wrenching. Have you had a chance to crack into “Wind Through the Keyhole,” yet?

      1. Not yet – I’ve just under 100 pages of 22.11.63 to finish it. Really enjoying it so far. King seems to have hit a late career purple patch at the moment – Under the Dome was a real page turner as well although the ending wasn’t great. He almost lost me with Lisey’s Story – the only King book I couldn’t finish and some of his other recent stuff has been just ok rather than great.
        My favourite DarkTower book is probably “Drawing of the Three” – it’s the first one of the series I really remember reading. I loved all the flipping between worlds and the interaction between Roland and Eddie especially in that one.

      2. I was a little disappointed with how “11/22/63” ended, but it wasn’t a total flop. Personally, the “Gunslinger” is my favorite, but any of the first three are stellar. The relationship developed between Roland and Eddie is amazing in “Drawing of the Three,” so I can totally see why that one is your favorite. I’m with you on “Lisey’s Story” as well–I couldn’t get through it; however, I am excited for “Joyland.” It sounds more classic King then the novels he has put out the past several years.

      3. Ok, finally finished 11.22.63 and have to say that I thought the ending was one of his better ones. It was more or less a given that stopping JFK getting killed was going to have bad consequences but I liked how he wrapped things up between Sadie and Jake without resorting to a cheat. I hadn’t heard anything about “Joyland” what’s it about? The last I heard he had “Dr Sleep” as his next book.

      4. I did enjoy the ending, but even though I’ve read plenty of King to know it never ends joyfully, I was still hoping that Jake and Sadie would end up together. It was definitely my romantic side kicking in, but the way he did was in all honestly how it should have been done. It’s more ‘realistic’ and poignant, instead of just having everything magically working out.

        As for “Joyland” here is a blurb I just nabbed from EW:

        Charles Ardai, editor of Hard Case Crime, promises a layered and textured story. “Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book,” he said. “It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time. Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.’ ”

        I’ve heard bits and pieces about “Dr. Sleep”–is it a sequel to “The Shining”?

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