Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After a riddle contest with Blaine the Mono, Roland and his ka-tet continue on their quest for the Dark Tower. While camping, Roland reveals the story of his youth and his first love.
The best part of this was Roland's backstory. You see that he wasn't always the killing machine he's become and learn a lot more of the backstory of the series as well. Astute Stephen King readers will appreciate the world they go through after entering the thinny.
The only complaint I have about this one is that I could have done without all the Wizard of Oz business. It seemed like he just slapped that on to wrap things up.
The 2011 re-read:
My opinion of Wizard and Glass has been colored somewhat by the passage of time. While I enjoyed the tale of Roland's first love and the confrontation with the Big Coffin Hunters, the flashback seemed about a hundred pages too long, like maybe Stephen King wasn't sure where he wanted the story to go next and decided to do some stalling.
That's not to say I don't like Wizard and Glass. It's just my least favorite of the first four Dark Tower books. It's still pretty good, though. The tension mounts as Roland and his young ka-tet head toward their inevitable conflict with the Big Coffin Hunters. It reminds me a lot of the battle between the Earps and the Cowboys in Tombstone.
The middle book of the Dark Tower is still a satisfying read, no matter what your opinion of the extended Flashback. Roland's back story makes him an even more tragic figure than before.
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