sj's Reviews > Wizard and Glass

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
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it was ok
bookshelves: drunk-review

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 that) I am still just as pissed as I was that November day in 1997 when I closed the cover at the end for the first time.

My reaction is the same today as it was then.  "What the actual fuck, Unky Steve?"

The first 100 pages?  BRILLIANT!  This is why you see TWO stars instead of just one.  That was an excellent payoff after the cliffhanger we'd been left with (again, FOR SIX YEARS) and I remember poor 18 year old sj thinking "Oh, shit, is this going to be BETTER than The Waste Lands?!"

Sadly, 18 year old sj and every other sj that has thought "Hey, maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought?  Everyone else seems to love it!  Let's try that again!" has been sorely disappointed.

Actually, everything is pretty okay up until Roland starts talking about his past over the gunslinger burritos.

Here's the primary reason I HATE THIS BOOK SO MUCH:

Susan.  Fucking.  Delgado.

I hated her the moment she stepped on the page, singing at the moon on her way to the house of Rhea of the Cöos.  Singing Careless Love, come the fuck on, already I can't stand her.  Seriously.

Also, since Roland was telling the story from her point of view, I knew she was going to play a major role and therefore would be EVEN WORSE because I HATE ROMANCE IN MY QUESTS!

(In the spirit of all honesty, I think my vitriol is a little stronger in recent years, because I knew a girl that TOTALLY IDENTIFIED with Susan Delgado [spoiler, I hated her!] and now even though I hated it before, I HATE IT EVEN MORE NOW because I could not STAND that girl.)

"Oh, but sj!  Surely, you can't JUST hate the one character!  What about the Mejisian Standoff?  WHAT ABOUT CUTHBERT AND ALAIN?  WHAT OF THEM, I BEG OF YOU?"

(heh, I totally love how adamant my non-existent audience is in my head)

Yes, all right?  I LOVE Key-youth-bert and Alain.*  I think Sheemie is awesome (especially being a grown-ass adult that has ALL OF THE BOOKS at her fingertips).  I thought Rhea was a pretty damned great villain and I LOVED Jonas.**

They weren't enough to save the book for me though.

Because I just couldn't bring myself to care.

What do I care about some shitty coastal town on the Mid-World Mexico/Texas border?  No, seriously.  Why am I supposed to care about some stupid town where the diction is terrible and the people can't even put together a good plot?***


I am tearing my hair out just THINKING about it.



No thank you.  I will just continue to skim this one (after the awesome Blaine stuff, natch) from now til the end of time, and just concentrate on reading the books in the series that I actually LIKE.

It blows my mind that this is the highest rated book of the whole series. Completely.

*I totally had conflicting early versions of his name, btw.  I'm pretty sure he went from Allen to Alan to Alain, which was what Sai King finally settled on.  Please tell me someone else remembers this?

**I still think he should be played by Lance Henriksen in the doomed but inevitable film adaptation.

***As in caper, not the overall plot.

[eta] 22/2/13

As I re-read The Stand, I find myself even MORE aggravated with this book because of the way Flagg is portrayed (and even more so in the later DT books). (view spoiler)

I still hate this stupid book. HAAAAAAAAAAATE.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
November 10, 2011 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

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Kate Sherrod Really, the whole Susan story kind of creeped me out. I could all but hear the author's heavy breathing when he wrote all those bits. I felt like I was watching his imaginary jailbait sexdoll up and dancing around. I almost got to liking her when she came to that rescue in that place but then no.

But yes. Rhea and Jonas and Alain and Cuthbert and BLAINE BLAINE THE CAPTATTACK TRAIN were why this got stars at all.

Apparently, though, dear EssJay, there are two people in the world who don't like love stories hijacking quests, and we are they.

message 2: by sj (new) - rated it 2 stars

sj Yes, yes - creepy and BORING.

I didn't need to read about Susan riding Roland like a pony (and ew, seriously). All the bad guys might as well have been twirling their mustaches while they laughed their evil laughs. It was just bad. Badbadbad.

Susie I definitely do remember Alain being Alan/Allen before, so it is not just you. ^_^

Kate Sherrod I've been thinking about this some more, like I do, and found that what I really objected to about Susan wasn't her, herself, but the way King portrayed all of the other female characters, especially as regarded their relationships with her. As in Giant Bechdel fail. So Rhea hates her for being young and pretty and desirable, her Aunt Cord hates her for being young and pretty and desirable ("Miss Oh So Young And Pretty"), Cora seems to find her beneath contempt, and Olive just goes all whistful "Jolene, don't take my man". There is not even a hint of female friendship in this world (perhaps in any King world?), nor of females able to handle life without a MA-YAN! Seriously? If the Meijis really existed, the women who lived there would have to be TOUGH and self-reliant but able to rely on each other when the men failed them. Which always happens! Olive especially made me sick, hankering after her icky husband but not even willing to be caught by him in their bed; she exists only to be pitied, and then to sacrifice herself for MOSYAP. Bleah.

message 5: by M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

M. Fenn Well, I do agree with you that Lance Henriksen would be great as Jonas. Since Lee Van Cleef is dead...

Otherwise, yeah, I liked the book. Not my favorite DT book, but I definitely liked it better than Song of Susannah. But then, I liked Wolves of Calla, so... ;)

Jediraven Agreed. It was awful. The one plus is that he killed off Susan Delgado. The bad part is he apparently thought we needed to know every detail leading up to her death.

message 7: by sj (new) - rated it 2 stars

sj Yesssss! Every time I finish it, I think "Welp, at least she's dead!"

message 8: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Reed I have just finished 'Wizard and Glass' and have spent the past half hour reading reviews on the series (trying to avoid spoilers) and then searched for reviews on this book. I seriously hoped that there were others out there who just couldn't understand the popularity of this book, or more to the point, SUSAN DELGADO.

I love Blaine, Jake, Rhea, Jonus and especially Sheemie, but I don't think I have ever been so bored with a character, as I have been with Susan. I have even started to not like the name Susan, which doesn't help when my girlfriends Mother is called Susan.

I'm really hoping Roland does not have any more love interests for the rest of the series. Or if he does, they are killed off within 2 pages. It's not that I'm completely against romance, it's just that not once did I find myself slightly interested in this part of the story. I was more upset with the quick death of Jonus, than I was with the drawn out barbecue of Susan.

I'll carry on with this series, probably skip 'The Wind Through The Keyhole' and I am praying for more Blaine, Rhea, etc and no characters similar to whining Susan Delgado.

Pamela Lawson I couldn't have worded it better myself. I almost quit reading it because I cared so little about the back story. I was okay with it at first, but I think it went on way too long. Like you said, I read the books because I'm enjoying the journey to the dark tower, and this book did not make any progress towards it.

Luisa Oh, my God!!! I'm not alone!! I hate susan delgado so much I can think of a dozen ways for her to painfully die in that book. I really, really hate her.

message 11: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy Bashforth Put it this way, it took me about a month to read the three previous books, so far its taken me about 2 years to get through this one. Its written like really bad chick lit. I don't really have a problem with the character of Susan, just the way she's written. I'm sure I'll get to the end hopefully. Fingers crossed.

message 12: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy Bashforth And the following books will be better

message 13: by Matt (new) - rated it 2 stars

Matt I'm just glad I'm not the only one who hated being ripped out of the quest to reach the tower for so long! Page wise and time wise, come to think of it... If King hadn't done such a good job making the four main characters interesting, maybe the flashback story wouldn't have felt so intrusive. Or, perhaps, he should have broken it up into segments throughout the book so it seemed less forced. I love this series, including the coda that so many hated, but this book took me the longest to finish for that very reason.
I would have rated this one star if it weren't for the first part of this book, and knowing how the series turns out, although I still feel that several of the villains were slighted in the last installments.

Seinaruyoru Wow, I am so the opposite on some of these points. I didn't find Blaine particularly interesting. I was actually really disappointed after all the build up and foreshadowing. However, I have been waiting since I started reading Gunslinger a couple of months ago to learn more about Roland's world. In general I like how he built it, and to be honest I could have spent more time with young Roland, Cuthbert and Alain.
Could give or take Susan Delgado. I suppose it helped that I had no expectations of her to begin with. Steven King said he no longer understands romantic love. And I believe him, because I have yet to read a believable instance of couples falling in love in a single one of his novels. So, I didn't have high expectations of her, and everything with her went as expected. But I loved the world building. I loved learning about Roland's past and culture.
Maybe it will get better, but I just finished this book and Steven King has yet to get me to care about Eddie or Susannah....maybe the next book will get me there.

Susan I hear you. This is my fave book, but Susan is annoying as fuck. Also, her most interesting trait is that she has beautiful hair, which is kinda worrying character-building-wise.

message 16: by Al (new) - rated it 5 stars

Al Culbertson I thought this was a great book, and puts into perspective why Roland's wants the dark tower so badly and who these people of his past were (Susan, Alain, and Cuthbert). The bar scene was freakin awesome. Cuthbert with his slingshot is the man!

Charlotte Graham OMG I hated Susan too! She was a mary sue character IMO. I just didn't really feel like they had a real connection beyond just being attracted to one another. I don't know. Call me cynical. I just don't think you meet the love of your life at 15.

message 18: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda Spacaj-Gorham How much negative impact would it have on my enjoyment of book 5 if I just stopped reading right where I am in chapter 13? I can't stand anything about the Susan Delgado character and it's making me feel creepy about King's view of women already and there are still 24 chapters left in the book! I cannot believe the supposed naiveté of this woman. She doesn't fit into her world convincingly, which hurts my brain. WAY too much repetition in describing her beauty. It's like someone is cramming cheap, oily cake icing down my throat until I want to vomit. A tiny bit would be fine in context, but for the love of god, enough already!
So, if skipping the whole rest of the book would upset the apple cart for the rest of the series, Could I just pick up in chapter 33 and not loose continuity for book 5?

message 19: by Hyzenthlay (new)

Hyzenthlay Amanda wrote: "How much negative impact would it have on my enjoyment of book 5 if I just stopped reading right where I am in chapter 13? I can't stand anything about the Susan Delgado character and it's making m..."

There are a few things worth reading in this book, but none of them really have anything to do with Susan. The chapters with Roland's OG ka-tet and their relationship are worth your time, the Big Coffin Hunter stuff is worth it, a few things from this book become semi-important down the line.

I would suggest skimming til the end of Roland's sad tale and picking up there.

message 20: by Gua (new)

Gua Amanda wrote: "How much negative impact would it have on my enjoyment of book 5 if I just stopped reading right where I am in chapter 13? I can't stand anything about the Susan Delgado character and it's making m..."

Thank God, I thought I was the only one who felt that way about Susan Delgado. What was particularly annoying is that on the one hand, SK wants to make it sound like she's unspoiled and unaware of how fluffin' perfect she is, but then she always seems to be noticing how men react to her. ("Boys have been stubbing their toes around me since I grew my breasts"--puke). Just the way he constantly described her attributes made me want to do to the book what was done to Susan IN the book.

Justin love this review, pretty much mirrors my same opinion on this book

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