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The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah Paperback – April 5, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 843 customer reviews
Book 6 of 8 in the Dark Tower Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's something about a crippled, black, schizophrenic, civil rights activist-turned-gunslinger whose body has been hijacked by a white, pregnant demon from a parallel world that keeps a seven-volume story bracingly strong as it veers toward its Armageddon-like conclusion. When Susannah Dean is transported via a magic door on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the scene of much of The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla) to New York City in the summer of 1999, the "demon-mother" who possesses her, Mia, has only one thing on her mind. She must give birth to her "chap" at a predetermined location in Manhattan's East 60s, as instructed by the henchmen-or "Low Men"-of the evil Crimson King. Pressed for time, Father Callahan, preteen Jake and talking pet "billy-bumbler" Oy follow Susannah and Mia's trail in an effort to prevent an act that would quicken the destruction of the Dark Tower and, in turn, of all worlds. Meanwhile, gunslingers Roland and Eddie travel to 1977 Maine in search of bookstore owner Calvin Tower, who is being hunted down by mobster Enrico Balazar and his gang, who first appeared in Eddie's version of New York in The Drawing of the Three Avid readers of the series will either be completely enthralled or extremely irritated when, in a gutsy move, the author weaves his own character into this unpredictable saga, but either way there's no denying the ingenuity with which King paints a candid picture of himself. The sixth installment of this magnum opus stops short with the biggest cliffhanger of King's career, but readers at the edge of their seats need only wait a few short months (Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower) to find out how-and if-King's fictional universe will come to an end. 10 full-color illus. not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

King's epical Dark Tower hastens to a close, and its penultimate volume is one of the speediest. The gunslingers of Mid-World and other alternate Earths have defeated The Wolves of the Calla (2003) but lost one of their number. Susannah Dean, nee Odetta Holmes, lacking her lower legs after a minion of the Satan of Mid-World, the Crimson King, pushed her in front of a subway train, and whose personality is sometimes split between black bourgeoise Odetta and viciously paranoiac Detta Walker, has been taken over by the spirit Mia to be the body in which Mia will gestate a boy who will eventually kill head gunslinger Roland. The child is to be born in New York in 1999, which is where Susannah-Mia repairs through one of the doors between worlds. The other gunslingers pursue through the same door, but only 11-year-old Jake Chambers, accompanied by former 'Salems' Lot priest Don Callahan, get to New York. Roland and Susannah's husband, Eddie Dean, tumble into an ambush in New England in 1977. Each chapter--called a stanza and ending with two songlike quatrains--advances one subset of gunslingers' progress. King keeps us on tenterhooks throughout--and leaves us there. Before quite departing, he tacks on a clever coda about the gradual creation of the Dark Tower--but in which world? The series concludes with The Dark Tower in September. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Dark Tower (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743254554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743254557
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (843 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you thought that the previous five Dark Tower books were departures for King, just wait until you read this one. At some point around the 11th Stanza ("The Writer"), "Song of Susannah" is, like the song says, guaranteed to blow your mind.
Picking up right where "Wolves of the Calla" left off, our heroes Roland, Eddie, Jake, and the relative newcomer Father Callahan prepare for yet another sojourn out of Roland's world and into ours. Right off the bat, though, things do not go quite as planned. A Beamquake shakes the foundations of all the worlds, and we learn that the Tower is in much greater jeopardy than we may have previously suspected. And as always, wherever Roland goes, gunplay is sure to follow, but this time, it's waiting for him...
King's further explorations into the rich world of the Dark Tower are as rewarding as they ever were. The characters, by now, have become as comfortable as old friends. Still, there are new facets to be seen yet, and we get a closer look at each of them as the story goes on.
It's very difficult to write about this latest installment without giving what makes it so different away completely. The events and revelations found in "Song of Susannah" are so central to the themes of the overall story, and yet revealing them here would entirely ruin the fun of discovering them as King has presented it. Some readers will doubtless dislike the road King has begun to travel as the story approaches its conclusion, but I am convinced that many more will absolutely love it. It is a credit to King's growth as a writer that he can even attempt this ambitious sort of storytelling, and more, that he can do it successfully... at least, so far.
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Format: Hardcover
Dear reader, if you've lived through the other 5 installments you must read this one. Period. How could you not?
That said, it is sad to think that this epic journey seems separated into Books 1-4, and Books 5-7 (or at least 5-6, one hopes King jumps back on the right track in 7). Where the first four books were engaging, suspenseful, moving and heroic, Books 5 and 6 seem unimportant and done with much less care.
It's still our favorite crew--Roland at the mast, Eddie and Susannah behind with Jake quickly growing to match them--but they don't have the same spirit. Time has muted their shine. When Roland used to speak, he demanded our attention. I find him withering in these latest books, and not because of his arthritis. What a shame.
Overall 5 and 6 are enjoyable, in and of themselves. As a lover of these worlds, with their strange similarities and inconsistencies, it was great to once again spend a little time with the ka-tet. Yet the Tower's unfolding mystery seems too easily unraveled since the end of Book 4, and without much imagination. King is a gifted writer, to be sure, and occasionally we are flashed with his signature wit and intellect. What we miss are the high stakes that arose from this being an honest tale, with fantastical elements.
Instead we are treated to some gunfire for arbitrary reasons (ka, I guess?) with stock antagonists--and not terribly charismatic ones at that (Andy the Robot? Jack Andolini returns in two more installments?--Stephen, come on, the Lobstrosities had more personality). Most of `Wolves' was a diversion from the tale, detouring to reconnect with Peter Callahan. Slight frustration aside I was fine with that, thinking King was laying some subtle groundwork.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never read so many mixed reviews for a DT book as with this one, and I was at the point where I didn't know what to think about it. Then I read it, or rather FLEW through it, and I think this book is great.
I was never incredibly compelled by Susannah/Detta/Odetta in the previous books but this one changed my opinion of her. Susannah is incredibly strong, and her struggle with Mia is haunting. Mia is actually a very interesting character. I don't fear her, I don't really like her, but I pity her. However, I felt that the Mia's story and the truth of her "chap" was a bit contrived. Especially his name and his purpose (no spoilers here, but if you read it, you may roll your eyes like I did.)
I also love the pairing of Eddie and Roland. I think Eddie makes Roland feel as if he is still a part of his old ka-tet of long ago, and they bring out the strength in each other.
Jake, Callahan, and Oy's mini-tet was also interesting, and I wish there had been more of them in this novel, but I have a feeling they'll hold an incredibly important role in the next book. The change in Jake is fascinating. He knows his purpose now, and he is no longer a boy. He has been to war and seen death and he is hardened but not emotionless. Also, I am incredibly attached to Oy at this point and there is a scene where he starts to cry when he thinks Jake is going to leave him behind and I felt a little tear trickling...then felt a bit silly. And Callahan has been well developed in the short time we've known him.
I think that King's inclusion of himself in this book was brilliant. I can't wait to see what role he'll play in the last novel. A little self-indulgent? Of course! He's a WRITER, after all, and we're an indulgent folk!
I also enjoyed the poetry at the end of each chapter. Kind of summed things up.
Over all, this prelude to the final battle is full of suspense and intrigue. I found it haunting and intriguing. Bring on the final battle! I can hardly wait.
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