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The Dark Tower V:
In Wolves of the Calla, volume five of Stephen King's epic fantasy western The Dark Tower, coincidence has, as Eddie Dean observes, been cancelled. Everything the gunslinger Roland and his companions encounter has taken on symbolic significance. So when they come to Calla Bryn Sturgis, named after the director of The Magnificent Seven, its clear that King will follow the classic western archetype of a small band of heroes defending peaceable homesteaders. Here, the heroes resist masked raiders who abduct one of each pair of twins (and almost all children are twins), only to return them a month later horribly changed.
Father Callahan from King's Salem's Lot is resident in Calla Bryn Sturgis, and has his own tale of vampires, regulators and the secret highways though alternative Americas. Not coincidentally, the evil Glass Black 13 is hidden in his church. Meanwhile Susannah is again sporting a secondary personality, this time Mia, mother to the inhuman child that Susannah does not know she is carrying, while Roland realises their quest has become a race against the arthritis which will soon leave him crippled.
In this enormously ambitious book, King continues to weave together his back catalogue with the pop culture and literature of America itself, noting in his introduction that if you haven't read the previous Dark Tower volumes this isn't the place to begin. It is, though, a hugely entertaining adventure, rich in allusion; a passing aside to Thomas Wolfe might easily be dismissed, yet his title You Can't Go Home Again, encapsulates this entire spellbinding odyssey as well as five words ever will. --Gary S Dalkin [via]