Book Review: Wolves of the Calla - Book 5 of the Dark Tower Series

Wolves of the Calla
by Stephen King

After finishing the Harry Potter books, I was eager to wrap myself up in another series. A number of people recommended the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. In particular, one friend of mine said it was like Harry Potter with drugs, sex and violence. That was quite a statement, but I came to learn that it was also inaccurate. The Dark Tower doesn't hold a candle to Harry Potter and I was let down.

When I started the series, I told myself I wouldn't review any of the books until I finished the series. Since that is not going to happen, I am writing the review now. For one, the books get longer and lamer. This last one, Wolves of the Calla, was a little less lame than the third and the fourth, but lame nonetheless. In what ways is it lame? Let me count the ways that they were all lame:
  1. Long, boring drawn-out stories. The series might actually have been tolerable if it had been edited down to a 3-book series. Yet King's rambling is tiring, repetitive, and seems like it was slapped together in a hurry.

  2. Total douchebag characters. From the beginning I knew I was in trouble because none of the characters were cool, endearing, charming, interesting, none of that. They are poorly developed and I actually believe that it might have been King's intent to make them as unlikeable as possible. SPOILER ALERT: YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. As I read along, I realized I wanted them all to die in the end. They all do, which is completely predictable.

  3. Dialog is almost as bad as some urban fiction novels. The conversations are unimaginative, choppy and unnatural. Also, the dialect that King creates is terrible, just terrible.

  4. All the books feel like they're recycled from the book before. The same crap goes on in all the stories. The dilemmas are all magically fixed, the ammo never runs out and the good guys always win. Plus, King actually recycles characters from other novels. I understand that he's trying to mix worlds, dimensions and times (or "whens"), but he fails at making it entertaining.

  5. ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT: I had a very strong feeling that this series was going to end like crap. After speaking to a friend about how little I enjoyed book five, he said there was little hope of me liking the rest. He asked if I wanted to know how the series ends. I did. Here it is: The last line of the last book is actually the first line of the first book. Roland's dumb ass ends up exactly where he started. Thank God I didn't put myself through that additional torment.
Every now and then, the writing piqued to a high quality and for a minute I forgot how little I was enjoying myself. But for the most part I was disappointed. I read King's book On Writing and was just dazzled by his writing and his understanding of the craft. Then this. I will probably read King again, but I'm definitely not subjecting myself to that mediocre Dark Tower drivel any longer. I was fortunate to have picked up an amazing pair of books after this, so I had a successful reading rebound.

1 comment:

bart said...

I enjoyed the whole series haven't read Harry Potter. I think Steven King and I are the only 2 that liked the ending.