Cindy Newton's Reviews > Wizard and Glass

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
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bookshelves: owned-books, to-read-in-2016, stephen-king, part-of-a-series, fantasy

I see that the ratings on this book vary among my friends. Some gave it an enthusiastic five stars, others, two or three resentful stars. I am reading this book years after original publication, so I am not a victim of the anguish suffered by those who did endure the wait. I can imagine their disappointment, though. Even without my emotions and anticipation raised to a fever pitch by years of waiting, I was disappointed.

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

Okay, so SK felt that the story of Roland's past needed to be told--I get that. But this is so LONG! And so little happens! I think this book could have been condensed to the page count of The Gunslinger and nothing significant would have been left out. Hell, I could sum up the entire story in a paragraph!

"Roland and his friends go to Hambry to get them out of harm's way. There they discover the town government is corrupt and traitorous. They pretend to know nothing while watching the government officials. The government officials pretend to know nothing while watching Roland and his friends. Roland falls in love and begins a passionate affair with Susan Delgado. Roland and his friends destroy the resources intended for the Good Man and kill the traitors. Susan is murdered. Roland and his friends go on their way."

There you go--the whole flashback. The problem for me, as a reader, was that by the end of this book, so little movement had been made on the plot graph. The book starts with our ka-tet being saved from Blaine, the murderous monorail, and then they disappear for about 500 pages while we learn detailed accounts of people who are already dead and gone by this time in the story, people whom we will never meet again. Why spend so much time developing Jonas and his sidekicks? Cordelia Delgado? Coral Thorin? They all die back in that long-ago. If the purpose of this travel in time is to reveal to us the events that caused Roland to become who he is, aren't the effects of those events more important than the events themselves? Do we really need to know every word that was said, every detail of every move every person made, in order to understand the impact on Roland? I don't think so. SK tells the story of Roland's mother's fate in just a couple of pages, but that, to me, was more impactful than that whole drawn-out story of Hambry and Susan.

The ending--well, the ending was kind of embarrassing, actually. I get that it is a reference to a cultural icon they all share, but I just don't think SK quite pulled it off. It came off cheesy and over-the-top, especially the part with the dog shoes.

In the end, after 668 pages (in my edition), they get off of Blaine, the monorail, and are back on the Path of the Beam. That's it. That's all the progress they make. I think even people who really liked this book would have to agree--that's not much!
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Reading Progress

March 16, 2012 – Shelved
March 18, 2014 – Shelved as: owned-books
December 29, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read-in-2016
May 30, 2016 – Started Reading
May 30, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 31, 2016 –
page 85
12.65%
June 1, 2016 –
page 140
20.83%
June 6, 2016 –
page 234
34.82%
June 11, 2016 –
page 445
66.22%
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: stephen-king
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: part-of-a-series
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 14, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Zoeytron I felt much as you did after reading this for the first time. My feelings changed drastically after completing the series. Subsequent rereads of it made me like it all the more.


Cindy Newton Really? So this will seem more significant later? I can definitely see Rhea showing up again! Thanks, Zoey--good to know.


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