Michael Johnson's Reviews > Song of Susannah

Song of Susannah by Stephen King
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's review
Mar 13, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: audiobook, fiction

I have to start this by saying that I have never actually read a Stephen King book and I now know why this series was a poor place to start. I found myself with a surplus of time sitting around and access to a large library of audio books. Listening to the first 4 books was a pure delight, the story was interesting, the characters were unique. But like you may know, having never actually read any other of Mr. Kings books, perhaps I missed some clues to my upcoming disappointment. Something happened near the end of vol 5. `Wolves of the Calla` and my opinion of everything changed. One of the characters discovered a book by some yet unknown author named Stephen King, a book which depicted events of his life. There is only one direction a plot twist like this can take and it`s a steep downward spiral of vanity on the part of the author. Why do they do it, why do authors write themselves into their stories? I can only assume it`s vanity, or such supreme lack of inspiration that they desperately need something fill the pages, what better than details of where Mr. Kings wife takes the kids to camp in the summer. Can`t sell a book like that unless Rolland and Eddie Dean are involved somehow, the idea being that the impression these beloved characters take of Mr. Kings `modest` little ranch and of Mr. King himself will be remembered as fact. That he `Drank beer as if a man with a gift for doing so` or he was surrounded by `a kind of darkness` aura or ghost sitting on his shoulder, that his stories flow out of him from his navel.
Unlike the other books in this series, vol. 6 was obviously the book that should`t have been. It was far shorter than the others and just seemed jammed full of filler. Near the end of vol. 5 I started to notice a pattern of narration which was annoying, it became doubly so throughout the `Songs of Susannah` because like the book also says time and time again `once it was seen, it cannot be unseen`. I noticed at least once per chapter one of the characters would think to themselves about some unanswered question and then remind us that the answer to that question was still, in fact, unanswered. E.g. `Michael wondered if it was actually the flying spaghetti monster in the room at the top of the dark tower, but of this, Michael was not certain`. When I started to notice this I remembered that perhaps the most common line that Rolland ever spoke was `I don`t know` because it seemed other characters are constantly asking him unanswered questions.
More filler, between each chapter was a stanza or verse which was suppose to be a sung in the Calla from the previous book at festivals or town parties. They came off sounding stupid and unlike things that people would be singing to one another in the first place.
This book just generally seemed like filler and made me worried for how the whole series is going to end. Instead of listening to a Audiobook, I'm actually going to take the time to read book 7, I hope I wont be disappointed.

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