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DT 5: The Wolves of the Calla

 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:58 pm    Post subject: DT 5: The Wolves of the Calla Reply with quote

Totally digging this book! This is a return to the main story in a way that simultaneously moves it forward while revisiting the best parts of DT3. The "todash" idea was a nice move, a technique that is completely new, but still similar enough to the Doors and the Wizard's Rainbow to feel justified as a technique to get the characters between worlds. I really like how the coincidences are being handled, too, and the introduction of the theme of reality/unreality by Eddie. Rather than brush it aside and expect the readers to accept it without question, we have the characters themselves questioning it. I love that technique. It's one I use myself: when there's a narrative problem in the construction of the tale, just make it a problem for the characters themselves, so that it becomes intentional and resolvable (potentially), rather than swept under the rug. This actually gives me some peace about the Wizard of Oz ending of the last book, which I thought was ridiculous and gratuitous. According to Eddie, I was right! It *is* a reason to think there's more going on here, and not merely a gimmick.

I had my own coincidence while reading this. I was sitting in a repair shop lobby while getting work done on my car. They were streaming a classic rock channel. I got to the part (page 179 in the trade paperback) where the group is walking the streets of New York and pass by Tower of Power records, with a Rolling Stones song blaring. The first time Jake came here, it was playing Paint it Black, this time it was Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown. I stopped reading at that point, overcome by a queer certainty that the next song on the streaming radio was going to be a Stones song ... and by Gilead it was! The current song ended right then, and Jumping Jack Flash started playing right after I paused to see if a Stones song would be next. I just about shit my pants. I laughed out loud and wanted to pass my book around to everyone else in the lobby, showing them where it said, "It's the Rolling Stones ..." but I naturally thought they'd think I was crazy. It was surreal.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL I like this book too. Not as much as DT4, but what with the Calla and all, it's a bit reminiscent of the flashback in the previous book.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 400 pages in, this is a contender for the best of the series. I like the self-contained nature of the plot in as much as it concentrates on one village and their plight. Our heroes have a job to do, a real place to inhabit, and people to get to know. But it's not as simple as that; they also have the narrative tension of Mia's baby, the Black Thirteen, a possible traitor in the Calla, and the breakdown of the ka-tet. There's also minor tension regarding individual members of the Calla. And there's the rose and the New York dilemma. All of these strands are woven together into a very satisfying, interconnected story that feels like more than a hodge-podge of random obstacles. In terms of plot mechanics and world-building, this book is the most complex so far. The fact that it also feels the most unified is quite an achievement.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy shit. I don't have time to write more now, but I just finished. Holy shit. Now I realize why I had to read everything else first (or in addition) to really get this series. It seems like Stephen King is borrowing from Vonnegut or surrealism in general. The self-referential nature of this series has become explicit.

I think it might be genius. I didn't think so at first, but this isn't just a gimmick to explain away narrative coincidence. This is a multivolume statement on the nature of writing, fiction, fantasy, genre, culture, history, reality, the self.

I take back everything I said about the Wiz of Oz ending of Wizard and Glass. This has redeemed that, given it a context to make sense. I think this is the best of the series so far. This might be my favorite King book. I loved it. It's by far the best ending, but the whole thing coheres in a way his other novels do not.

If King has placed himself at the top of the Dark Tower, I don't know if I'll be pissed or once again think it's genius. But it kind of looks like King must be at the top. He is the god of this universe, its creator.

Don't tell me. You guys have been great at keeping secrets so far.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will say nothing. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why I like Av's reading order for the series so much. His makes the tie ins more immediate, IMO.
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