Song of Susannah by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In the aftermath of the battle with the Wolves, Susannah disappears with Black Thirteen to go have her baby. Can the rest of the ka-tet find Susannah and secure the vacant lot where The Rose grows before the Tower falls?
This is my third time reading Song of Susannah. It's still in my Dark Tower bottom three but I come at it from a different perspective since my wife and I will be greeting our chap in just under a month.
In my re-read of Wolves of the Callah, I said I thought that book could have been a hundred pages shorter. The same goes for Song of Susannah. There is so much extraneous crap in this! Talk, talk, talk. The Beams holding up the Dark Tower are in danger but let's waste a lot of time with chitchat. Susannah is my least favorite member of the ka-tet and this one is very Susannah-heavy.
That being said, I still enjoy it. While I logically know the Tower isn't going to fall, King has me frantically reading to make sure this is still the case. The man knows how to ratchet up the suspense when the characters aren't talking everything to death. Eddie and Jake seem like bonafide bad asses in this book, even more than the last. There were also quite a few references I didn't catch the first time through, like to blind bluesman Reverend Gary Davis and to The Quincunx.
I found it somewhat off-putting when Stephen King wrote himself into the series when I first read it but it seems like a normal part of the story now, like a scar that's faded so much it's almost invisible.
Not a whole lot else for me to say, I'm afraid. This was very much a transitional book. I think maybe Stephen King wanted the Dark Tower to go seven books and padded Wolves and this one to make it so. Trimming the fat and combining Wolves and Song into one would probably have made a better reading experience.
Okay, back on the Path of the Beam for me. Let's see if I can get to the Dark Tower before my wife gives birth to our chap.
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