Dan Schwent's Reviews > Wolves of the Calla

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
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Feb 07, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: western, reread-in-2011, weird-western, 2011
Read in February, 2008

The 2011 re-read:
Roland and his ka-tet of gunslingers ride into Calla Bryn Sturgis, a town with a problem. Once every generation, a gang of marauders called The Wolves ride out of Thunderclap and steal half of the town's children. The ones that return come back roont, or brain-damaged. Can Roland and the others stop the Wolves before Susan gives birth to the demon in her womb?

It was a long wait between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. Was it worth it? Well, does a horse piss where it pleases?

The main story of Wolves of the Calla is right out of The Magnificent Seven or Seven Samurai. The gunslingers ride into town, prepare the town, and settle the bad guys' hash. The secondary stories, of which there are several, are what make the book. You've got Father Callahan from Jake, Eddie, and Susannah's world and his fearsome burden, Black Thirteen. You've got someone in town helping the Wolves. You've got Roland and his arthritis. You've got Calvin Tower and the vacant lot containing the Rose. And most of all, you have Susannah's disturbing pregnancy.

The gang going todash was one of the more interesting parts of the book and something I'd forgotten about in the years since I read this book the first time. I devoured the book in a day and a half when it first came out so I must not have savored it. There were so many wrinkles to the story that I'd forgotten.

I love how the Man in Black doubled back and met Callahan at the Way Station while Roland and Jake were on in trail in The Gunslinger. In the revised edition of The Gunslinger, Roland contemplates putting his quest on hold for a few years and training Jake so he'd have another Gunslinger with him. Would they have met Callahan if they'd let the Man in Black get away? Tantalizing...

People say that the long flashback in Wizard and Glass fleshed out Roland's personality. I'd say watching Roland interact with the people of Calla Bryn Sturgis in this book went a lot farther in showing what kind of man Roland was before the world moved on.

I can't really say much more for fear of giving too many things away to people who have never read it. If you like the Dark Tower, this one is probably in the top three books of the series.

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Comments (showing 1-12)




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message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda What do you think of the casting of Javier Bardem as Roland in the Ron Howard film version? It seems an interesting choice after his performance as Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. I haven't read the books, so I'm curious to get the take of someone who has.


Kemper It seems a little off to me. Bardem was incredible as Chigurh in NCOM, but I just don't see him as Roland. Viggo Mortenson's name was also brought up regarding the DT thing, and he seems more Roland-esque to me. But I gotta lot of doubts about this whole thing. Ron Howard and Dark Tower don't seem to belong in the same sentence.


message 10: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I didn't think Viggo or Bardem look seem like they could do Roland justice. I still stick by Hugh Jackman as my choice, unless they can de-age Clint Eastwood about thirty years.


Stephanie You should read the books Amanda. I am fine with Bardem, he has the acting chops to pull it off, but he better get used to wearing contacts.......since they beat heck out of the fact that Roland has blue bombardiers eyes. Not big on Ron Howard either.


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Well, it looks like casting won't matter as Comcast has pulled the plug on starting The Dark Tower movie franchise:

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/di...

I really do need to read the books, but the thought of starting such a long series is daunting. However, it's Stephen King, so I may have to give it a go.


Stephanie Oh crap! HBO should probably do it anyway.


kent Amanda wrote: "Well, it looks like casting won't matter as Comcast has pulled the plug on starting The Dark Tower movie franchise:

http://marketplace.publicradio.org/di......"

Amanda, I felt the same way before I read The Stand. With a few exceptions Steven King's writing goes down smooth and easy


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Watch out when Stepheny invites you to see her basement. The stairs are slippery ; )


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Watch out when Stepheny invites you to see her basement. The stairs are slippery ; )"

Slippery is better than sticky.


Leah Polcar What are your other two books in the DT top three?


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent The Gunslinger and The Waste Lands


Leah Polcar Agreed there.


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