Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)
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Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4)

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  74,436 ratings  ·  2,285 reviews
Roland of Gilead and his fellow pilgrims determine to reach the Dark Tower, but their quest is rife with confrontation, conflict and sacrifice - from a vast computer system which bargains in riddles to Roland's old enemy Walter and the wizard's glass.
Paperback, 845 pages
Published October 2003 by New English Library (first published 1997)
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The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
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Best Novel In The "Dark Tower" Series
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Stephen
In the immortal words of The Queen
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SimplytheBEST.

And yet I seem to be the only person who feels that way about this 4th installment of the Dark Tower series. Can you please riddle me why that is, sais? It’s not that fans of the series dislike this novel, but I often see it cited as their least favorite. I find that stunning and I don’t ken it. I don’t ken it a bit.

While I love the entire series, this one is easily my favorite. My gushing was so torrential when I read this that I was on an IV...more
Kemper
Stephen King ended the third book in the Dark Tower series on a wicked cliffhanger in 1991. By 1994 my patience had grown thin, especially after King had delivered 787 pages of pure crap with Insomnia. Even worse was that he actually had the nerve to tease some of the DT stuff in that overstuffed abomination. I was relatively sure that King was sitting on pile of money somewhere and laughing at me as he wrote page after page that was NOT the fourth DT book.

So in October of ‘94 when I read that K...more
Dan Schwent
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 c...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
In a sentence: Stephen King does Tombstone (the movie) to great effect.



With only about 25% of actual series plot development (or 500 pages sandwiched between plot development), you'd think I would hate this book. Had I not known about this beforehand or had I waited 6 years for more Dark Tower, I'd probably be singing a different tune.

Then again, I love me a western and to call them Gunslingers on top of it all (such a cool word), I'm pretty sure I would have loved Wizard and Glass no matter wha...more
sj
September, 2012:

All right. I've had a few glasses of wine, and I finally feel ready to talk about why I so very much HATE THIS FUCKING BOOK.

Please, don't get me wrong. I'm a HUGE Tower Junkie. By the time I got this book, I'd already read and re-read the first three more times than I could count, and even though it was only 6 years after TWL, I'd really been waiting 9 years total.

15 years after this book came out (and I've probably read the whole thing 5 or 6 times, and skimmed it many more than...more
Brian
King may be the master of horror and suspense, but his work as a romance novelist is a failure.

The main story of The Dark Tower goes off the rails (yes, pun intended for those who have read this) and wallows in 500 pages of Roland's backstory - a young-love yarn with a sprinkling of occasional action that just didn't work on any level. King wrote like he was getting paid by the word (He was very frightened. Very frightened indeed.) - and the whole ridiculous Wizard of Oz story tie-in just smack...more
Hunter Duesing
This book is most interesting and gripping when it actually moves the story of 'The Dark Tower' forward, something the insanely long flashback does not do at all for the majority of the book. The flashback isn't a bad story in itself, I just wish it had been published as a separate side story that fans could dig into later. The short and sweet flashbacks in the first 'Dark Tower' novel offer far more insight into Roland's character than King is able to cover in almost 500 pages here. Is the flas...more
Brandon
Picking up where The Wastelands left off, the Wizard and Glass takes us back to the ka-tet's excruciating marathon riddle session with Blaine the Mono. Shortly thereafter, Eddie, Suzannah and Jake are told a crucial story of Roland's youth during his formative years as a young gunslinger.

This was a really hard one to rate. While I loved the first three books, this one abandons the story that King has been building up since the beginning in favor of a long, drawn out back story. I'm not saying th...more
Joel
The agreed-upon definition for the phrase "jumped the shark" these days seems to be: "TV show/book series I used to really, really like is now stupid and I am mad." Like, "Man, How I Met Your Mother has really jumped the shark, hasn't it?" (Yes, yes it has). That's not quite the original meaning, which was more like, the series did something outlandish, proving that the writer(s) are grasping for ideas and moving increasingly away from the product you knew and loved. Like, "Man, Happy Days becam...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
3.5

I really enjoy the meat of this story - I really do. I like learning more about boy Roland and his ka-tet, about Susan and everything that happens.

There are moments that I really love - a moment between Eddie and Roland, close to the beginning, when Eddie realizes how deep Roland's emotions actually go. A lot of the stuff between Roland and Susan, and seeing more of Cuthbert and Alain, who were little more than names in the past. And, towards the end, with Roland and his new ka-tet... moment...more
Jackie
The series is excellent up to this point. This is where it takes a drastic turn into the long-winded garbage that Stephen King is famous for today.

I had great expectations for this leg of the series, however it fell short of the mark. I did like that I discovered more about Roland's past, and his love, Susan.
Blaine the monorail train was something I hope never to suffer through again, it ruined the book for me.

At one time I was extremely excited by this series, now I can hardly bear to finish...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Well, I got about two-thirds of the way through this sucker, and then set it down for over a week and a half. I wasn't bored exactly, the Roland flashback just had a rather long lull, and I felt the pull of the many other books in my TBR pile.

Before I picked it back up, I had pretty much made up my mind to forget my usual review policy of trying to give series a blanket rating...because I didn't think I would be able to give a book I could set down for a week and a half 5 stars.

Then I started it...more
Kathryn
Okay....3.5 stars. Don't kill me Dark Tower-ites....especially those who looooove this book. BUT, this book was way too long.

To start, I LOVED The Waste Lands, so I was really excited to get into Wizard and Glass because of the cliffhanger at the end of TWL. This fourth installment started of well. Then, unfortunately, I really thought the middle, or the back-story of Roland was tedious, migraine-inducing, and quite unnecessary. It started off interesting, then, I found myself bored, missing th...more
Stephen
6.0 stars. On my list of All Time Favorite novels. The Dark Tower series is on my list of top ten greatest fantasy series of all time and this book is my favorite installment of the series. In addition to concluding the journey on "Blaine the Mono" started in The Waste Lands, the bulk of this novel takes the form of a flashback to the time when Roland, then 14 years old and the youngest gunslinger in memory is sent east by his father to the Barony of Mejis with his two companions, Cuthbert Allgo...more
Liza H
Feb 26, 2008 Liza H rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: done
EXCELLENT. Here we get the grand tale of Roland's youth; we learn just who Susan Delgado was (and what happened to her) as well as more about the Dark Tower and the dangers involved in trying to reach it.

King did a great job, I thought, with the love story between Roland and Susan. In his afterword, he stated that he was old enough to have pretty much forgotten those frantic feelings of lustful first love... but certainly, I think he got it all spot-on. Roland as a 14-year-old isn't at all what...more
Dawn
This was quite a change from what I've gotten used to through reading the first three Dark Tower books! The majority of this volume is a flashback to Roland's younger days. The story doesn't really advance at all, this volume just serves to let us better get to know Roland, the man behind the guns. We see the events that set his journey for the Dark Tower into motion, we see the friends that are always mentioned but no longer around. And we meet Susan, Roland's one true love.

The reviews on this...more
F.R.
So this wasn’t the book I was expecting to read. But then is that necessarily a bad thing? Surely part an author’s job should be to subvert expectations, to take the reader to new and unheralded places. Yes, there’s the argument that Agatha Christie is hugely successful because she served the reader exactly the same dish again and again (but even there, ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ is a huge jolt to expectations). So it’s a good thing for a (constant) reader to be challenged, to be taken in a n...more
Jason P
"Ask me a riddle". Blaine invited.
"Fuck you," Roland said.


My journey towards the Dark Tower has (obviously) led me to Wizard and Glass, where we catch up with Blaine the Mono, and our friends Eddie, Susannah, Jake, Oy, and of course - Roland Deschain. Blaine is [a] pain.
This damn train is making these poor souls go through hell on their voyage to Topeka, making them ask him riddles of all things! Can you believe such foolishness, but there is a turn around... Leave it to our smart-ass, wise-cra...more
Edward Lorn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason
4.5 Stars

The Dark Tower Series is simply the most epic adventure that I have ever read. The scope of Roland’s adventure and life’s goals is immense and easy to feel how overwhelming it can be. I adore this series, and if I was not already a loyal subject to the King, these books would have solidified me as one on their own…

I have grown over time and repeated reads to like and appreciate this, the fourth book in the Dark Tower series more and more. I originally loved all the scenes with Roland an...more
Becky
This 3-star rating is for the audio version read by Frank Muller. This is actually the second time I've dropped a star because of Frank's reading... I didn't much care for his reading of The Gunslinger, but I enjoyed both The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands. This one though was just a bit much.

Frank is rather drawly, and his interpretation of the patois of the people of Mejis just didn't work for me. Sheemie especially. I think this is probably one of those situations where someone els...more
Wendell Adams
I could say lots of things about this book, but nothing really does it justice: it is just good; good in that way which eludes description, like the taste of an ice cold Coke to a parched throat on a summer afternoon or the warmth of a fire on a chilly autumn morning. And like those things, you take it for granted how enjoyable it is. Honestly, the ongoing tale of Roland and the Dark Tower becomes your own quest; the five companions your own friends ; and those persons lost along the way your ow...more
Lou
I was there following Rowland in search of the man in black i was a the doors in the drawing of the three and visited the waste lands. And now the wizard and glass leaves me a bit with a bad taste in my mouth. One consolation is at least Stephen King has some human qualities in failing at things, in storytelling. In this rare case for me that his, until now I have not experienced any bad or boring writing with this authors work. Alas we still have many more books to follow the merry band of pilg...more
Olivia
Jun 22, 2012 Olivia added it
After the exciting finale of The Wastelands I was looking forward to this one. I had read the first three books in the Dark Tower series back to back to back. I guess this one kind of brought that pattern to a screeching halt. This isn't a terrible book- but it was definitely a change of pace.

First off, just about the entire thing is back story. Hearing about Roland's lost love Susan was necessary but Stephen King really drew it out. I've been frustrated in the past by how long winded King can...more
Chris
So. Now that we've put three books behind us, and sit at the pivot of the series, it is time that we settle down and have ourselves a little palaver about Roland, the Gunslinger.

We know little about this man, the protagonist of our epic series. We know he's a hard man, the kind of man who can cross deserts, brave oceans, and kill entire towns if need be. We know he's a dedicated man, who will follow his quarry wherever they may flee to. We know he is single-minded, the kind of person who would a...more
Jake Menne
Immediately upon finishing I let out a gleeful childlike giggle with the thought that I can read the next three books in the series in quick concession.

Definitely my favorite of the first four.

By taking a break from the main story line and delving into the past the reader not only gets a rather great story but great background, perspective and ramped up world building.
“Is this story a western?” Jake Chambers asks. Well yes it is, but it is also a romance, mystery, fantasy, and a bit of comedy...more
Chris
This is really a 5-star book, and a personal favorite. This 4-star rating is for the audio edition.

Frank Muller is a good narrator and I've enjoyed journeying with Roland's ka-tet with Muller covering the story. His voices feel true for Roland, Susannah, Jake, and especially Eddie Dean. Even for Oy.

But I was disappointed when the tale took us back to Mejis. Here, Muller took an approach with the regional dialect that made all of the residents of Hambry sound like uneducated, ignorant, rubes. Som...more
Maciek
There is nothing I like more than four hundred page flashbacks. DOH!
The opening is great, and so is the coda, but the pace pretty much drops when the flashback begins. King halts his narrative for no real reason.
Roland, the Gunslinger, is a well drawn character and everything the reader needs to know about him has been shown in his actions and conduct. There was no need to fully disclose his past - Roland's reservedness and restraint were an integral part of his character - he's a mystical Guns...more
David jones
Finally. This. Is. Done. After months of laboring through it, I finally said enough, after reading another person's review on it and did something I don't think i should've done; I skipped a huge chunk of Roland's back story. I know, I know, but I think it didn't add anything to the story, and I kind of thought it was confusing and boring. This is why the book only receives three stars. I started the book, which is the continuation from the end of The Wastelands, and that part was good, but then...more
Rob
Mar 01, 2013 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who are awesome! Cuz this book is Awesome.
Recommended to Rob by: Kristopher
Executive Summary: This book to me is by far the best in the series. It's the reason I love the Dark Tower. I've read it more times than I can remember, and I highly recommend it.

Audio Book: Another quality reading from Frank Muller. I've gotten used to him the last 3 books, and now I'm sorry this was his last.

Full Review
When I first was recommended the Dark Tower I was in high school. This was the most recent book. When I got to it's end I wanted more. There was no more to be had.

You could alm...more
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M...more
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“True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring — once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.
And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.”
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