**spoiler alert** I was deeply, deeply disappointed by this book. I have been a huge fan of the series, and have enjoyed all of the books up to this o**spoiler alert** I was deeply, deeply disappointed by this book. I have been a huge fan of the series, and have enjoyed all of the books up to this one thoroughly. Song of Susannah is the worst of the series thus far. I honestly feel betrayed by the weird direction King took in this book, a direction that I had feared was coming at the end of book 5.
The only reason I didn't give this book just one star is because I felt that it did have a few redeeming qualities. The chapters with Roland and Eddie were great, up until the point that they left Calvin Tower. And I enjoyed the one chapter that Jake and Callahan graced as well.
However, the chapters that focused on Susannah were tedious at best. The Susannah/Mia interactions got old very, very quickly. And the story of who Susannah's baby is was a big "say what?" moment for me. A hermaphrodite demon had sex with Roland in book 1, kept his seed, turned into a male until he could rape Susannah and put Roland's seed in her so she would create a baby to kill Roland? What? I must have read that over 5 times and when it finally sunk in what he was saying, I still thought it was stupid.
But by far the worst part of this book was that King wrote himself into the story. I find this incredibly gauche, self-indulgent, and egotistical. But he made it even worse by essentially declaring himself "god," suggesting that he might be immortal, and hinting that his own characters save him from death in his 1999 accident. Ugh. It was just awful. I actually fantasized about finding King and punching him in the face for ruining this amazing series with this drivel.
Obviously, King was profoundly affected by the accident that nearly killed him. I have to believe that it changed the course of this story, since books 5, 6, and 7 were completed after it. I hope that, when he started the series, King never had any intention of writing himself into it. If the series was always meant to go in this direction, then I will have lost all faith in King as an author.
One final "say what?" moment for me: did King really suggest that the Twin Towers were knocked down in 2001 because Black Thirteen was hidden in a storage locker underneath? Really? What a horrible thing to do, writing himself into such a tragedy like that.
I will read book 7 because I want to complete the series. I really hope King cleaned up some of his mess and turned out something spectacular for the final note of what has been, by and large, a fascinating journey....more
I recently started volunteering at my local library's used book store, and I found a tattered, dirty copy of this book in the free section. I thoughtI recently started volunteering at my local library's used book store, and I found a tattered, dirty copy of this book in the free section. I thought it was going to be more along the lines of "Adventures in Babysitting," with funny, irreverant stories about the toils of caring for children. Especially after seeing promos for the movie based on this book (I've never seen the movie), I thought this was more of a comedy.
Instead, I got a scathing review of the high society New Yorkers who hire people to look after their children. Knowing that this book, while a work of fiction, was based on the real nanny experiences of the authors, left me feeling incredibly depressed. Had I been in the authors' shoes, and saw children being treated this way, my fingers would have been dialing DHS within the first couple of days. No wonder our children are growing up so vapid, empty, and searching. Honestly, after reading this book, all I can think about is how sad it is that so many parents don't really care about their kids.
I don't recommend this book if you're looking for something lighthearted, as I was....more
**spoiler alert** Having escaped Mid-World and returned to the path of the Beam at the end of Wizard and Glass, Roland's ka-tet resumes their quest fo**spoiler alert** Having escaped Mid-World and returned to the path of the Beam at the end of Wizard and Glass, Roland's ka-tet resumes their quest for the Dark Tower in Wolves of the Calla, but soon find more obstacles in their path.
At first glance, the central story of Book 5 may not seem relevant to the heroes' quest, which I know that some readers will find annoying. However, helping the downtrodden has always been part of a hero's duty - that is what makes a hero - and defeating the enemy in this story will, ultimately, it turns out, help Roland's cause after all.
Book 5 begins with the story of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a town which, for 6 generations, has endured raids by a group they call "the Wolves." The townspeople are predisposed to having twins, and when the Wolves come every 23 years - bearing futuristic weapons that can destroy with one blow - they steal one of each pair of twins. The stolen twins will come back about a month later "roont" (ruined), never to live a productive, normal life, and dying young and in agony.
Because there are no coincidences in Roland's world, his ka-tet comes to Calla at a time when the Wolves are due to arrive in a month. Some of the townspeople have decided to stand at fight, and they ask Roland's ka-tet for help. But that is not the only obstacle in Roland's path. At the same time, his ka-tet has discovered that Balazar (the gangster that Eddie killed before he left his 1987 "when"), is, back in Jake's 1977 when, pressuring bookstore owner Calvin Tower to sell him the vacant lot that holds THE rose. Roland et. al must, of course, figure out a way to stop him.
But that's not all! In addition to these problems, Susannah has indeed become pregnant by the demon she had sex with in order to save Jake. The demon child is growing quickly within her, and a new personality named Mia has emerged to protect the child she calls her "chap." Lastly, Roland is developing a fast-moving form of arthritis that has already settled in his hips and may soon move to his hands.
It may seem like a lot, and it is. The book is overly wordy and long. This seems to be common with King's book these days, and I wonder if King has gotten "big" enough that editors feel that they no longer have any control over him. I definitely skimmed over some parts that seemed like filler.
Still, I really liked this book. I found the main story very compelling. I liked the townspeople of Calla Bryn Sturgis and found myself caring about their fate. I liked the addition of Pere Callahan - a character many will recognize from one of King's other books - to the ka-tet. And I find myself looking forward to the final showdown with Balazar in 1977.
All in all, a very solid and enjoyable book.
One final thing that I will say with is this: if you are not otherwise a King fan, I think reading a few of his other books would be extremely helpful in understanding this and the rest of the books in this series to come, namely Salem's Lot, The Stand, and, unless I miss my guess, It....more
Bergdorf Blondes is the tale of ueber-rich young ladies in New York City trying to snag suitable mates.
This is the kind of book that I consider "a ligBergdorf Blondes is the tale of ueber-rich young ladies in New York City trying to snag suitable mates.
This is the kind of book that I consider "a light bit of confection." Not much to it, not the most complex story line, but enjoyable enough and fulfilling as a "time waster."
I was surprised, while reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, to see how much vitriole people had towards this book. I can see where people with more reasonable lifestyles and better heads on their shoulders might find this book offensive to their sensibilities, but I guess I just didn't take it all that seriously. This wasn't meant to be world-class fiction.
I realize that there probably are real people out there in the world like the "heroines" of this book - the bergdorf blondes. But this glimpse inside their glitzy world honestly made me feel better about my own decidedly unglamorous life, which isn't nearly as vapid or pointless as theirs.
I think this one is a great bit of fluff for beach reading or for those moments when you want to unwind without thinking too hard....more
While there were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, overall I would have to say that it was disappointing.
With its long chapters full of denseWhile there were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, overall I would have to say that it was disappointing.
With its long chapters full of dense, dialogue-free paragraphs, I had a hard time getting into the book to start. I felt that most of the main characters were poorly developed, to the point that I often thought to myself, "Now, why would they react like that?" Additionally, some of the main characters were only marginally likable, even after you learned of the personal tragedies that had formed who they were.
Still, I found myself interested in their lives, only to be disappointed by underdeveloped story lines and much unfinished business. I guess that's pretty much what life is like, but since that's the case, I don't really need to be left hanging in my fiction reading.
The ending landed with a really heavy thud for me and was probably the biggest disappointment in the book. Unless Ms. Smith is planning a sequel, she left me hanging. I also found the short "update" chapter on the "rest of the girls" from the original trip very superfluous. They were hardly even mentioned in the rest of the book, why on earth would I care enough about them to get their updates?...more
It has been over a year since Doug, our protagonist, lost his wife Hailey in a plane crash and Doug's life is still in a shambles. His twin sister ClaIt has been over a year since Doug, our protagonist, lost his wife Hailey in a plane crash and Doug's life is still in a shambles. His twin sister Claire has just left her husband and moved in with Doug; his sister Debbie is about to get married to Doug's former best friend - whom she met at the shiva for Hailey; and his stepson Russ's behavior is spiraling out of control. And Doug can't seem to get through his grief to the other side.
"How to Talk to a Widower" follows Doug's journey back to the living as he learns to deal with family crises, rebuild his relationship with his stepson, and step foot back into the frightening world of dating. Tropper writes characters that remain very likeable - even through some situations that you might find morally questionable - and you'll find yourself rooting for them to work it all out.
I enjoyed the greater majority of this book, although some of it has a very somber tone - a book about a man grieving his dead wife can only be so funny. My biggest quibble is that the end seemed to drag on a bit, particularly through a dangerous situation that I personally found highly implausible, and which seemed somewhat out of place in the story.
Still, I would recommend to anyone looking for a well-written piece of touching, hopeful fiction....more
It should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of Marian Keyes, given how many of her books grace my "read" shelf. This Charming Man rates as my favIt should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of Marian Keyes, given how many of her books grace my "read" shelf. This Charming Man rates as my favorite of her books, but Sushi for Beginners comes in a close second.
I picked up a tattered paperback copy of this book at a library book sale over the weekend and finished it in a quick 3 days. I could hardly put it down! The story is both fun and interesting, the characters compelling and - for the most part - likable, and the ending is quite satisfactory.
This would be a great read for traveling and/or the beach, or for those times when you just want to relax and lose yourself in a fun, frothy book....more
This novel is a very beautiful and moving story of love, loss, family, and living in every moment of every day. I would recommend it to just about anyThis novel is a very beautiful and moving story of love, loss, family, and living in every moment of every day. I would recommend it to just about anybody!...more