The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah
Greetings, Song of Susannah is the sixth novel in Stephen King’s long running fantasy series, the Dark Tower. The Dark Tower franchise contains eight books in total and chronologically concludes on the seventh one as the Wind through the Keyhole, the last novel to be released, is located in the middle of the series. It is a complicated plot to explain as its lore is expansive and it holds many storylines as well as having various themes. For instance, time travel and hopping from one dimension to another are important plot points in King’s novels. The genre cannot easily be labelled but it merges Western and fantasy themes together to form a unique setting. The Dark Tower series also serves as King’s main universe as characters from his previous books, such as Father Callaghan from Salem’s Lot, and the author himself are involved in the storyline. Song of Susannah was originally published over a decade ago in 2004.
As with the other novels, the gunslinger known as Roland Deschain of Gilead and his group of warriors are trying to reach the Dark Tower. The Tower is the centre point of the universe in which the gunslinger attempts to reach as the worlds around Roland seem to be dying and he hopes to find a way of stopping the catastrophe. It is connected to what King calls the beams, a force that holds up the universe and is represented by 12 different animals. The group of gunslingers are currently on the beam of the Turtle which is one of the few remaining beams still standing. The adventure has been a long one for Deschain as he has travelled for years and thousands of miles to reach his destination, encountering dangerous situations along the way. In this book, Roland is close to the Tower but his journey takes a turn for the worse when one of his companions, called Susannah, has been possessed by a demon named Mia. Susannah had struggled with split personality disorder before her possession but the demon manages to separate her from the group by taking her through a magical doorway and transporting her into New Yok City in 1999. The demon Mia had impregnated Susannah and promised to deliver the child to the Crimson King, a powerful entity whose motives are unclear but is a constant threat throughout the series.
The remaining gunslingers, Roland, a former drug addict named Eddie, a young boy called Jake and his pet creature Oy as well as Father Callahan attempt to follow their companion. They are able to use the magical doorway but find themselves separated from each other, an unusual occurrence as most of them had been travelling together for the majority of the books. While Jake, Callahan and Oy were transported to the same time and place as Susannah, the other two gunslingers were transported to Maine in 1977. Roland and Eddie are ambushed by the mafia, of who they had previous skirmishes with in the second book, when they are teleported there by the magic door. It is up to them to survive and locate Mia before she can hand over the demon baby to the Crimson King’s men.
This only scratches the surface of the strange universe that is the Dark Tower series. It is full of mythological creatures such vampires, witches, robots and mutants to name a few of those that roam the world. The writing is easy enough to follow even though King does insert random, nonsensical sentences between other sentences for reasons that I don’t fully understand. While I did find the book a bit slower and shorter than some of the early novels, I still managed to enjoy it. King had previously mentioned that he was writing the story as he went along, having no ending planned out beforehand but problems in continuity are more noticeable in the earlier novels. I have no idea how the series will conclude but I am eager to find out when I finish the series next year with his final book. There are also plans for a Dark Tower film that will be released in 2017 and I am looking forward to see how that will be carried out.
Quote of the Day
Can I say that curse word now?