Song of Susannah by Stephen King
Digital Audiobook narrated by George Guidall
Published by Pocket Books on June 1, 2006
Series: The Dark Tower #6
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, History
Length: 544 pages or 14 hours, 10 minutes
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To give birth to her "chap," demon-mother Mia has usurped the body of Susannah Dean and used the power of Black Thirteen to transport to New York City in the summer of 1999. The city is strange to Susannah...and terrifying to the "daughter of none," who shares her body and mind.
Saving the Tower depends not only on rescuing Susannah but also on securing the vacant lot Calvin Tower owns before he loses it to the Sombra Corporation. Enlisting the aid of Manni senders, the remaining katet climbs to the Doorway Cave...and discovers that magic has its own mind. It falls to the boy, the billy-bumbler, and the fallen priest to find Susannah-Mia, who, in a struggle to cope with each other and with an alien environment "go todash" to Castle Discordia on the border of End-World. In that forsaken place, Mia reveals her origins, her purpose, and her fierce desire to mother whatever creature the two of them have carried to term.
Eddie and Roland, meanwhile, tumble into western Maine in the summer of 1977, a world that should be idyllic but isn't. For one thing, it is real, and the bullets are flying.
These are the simple vectors of a story rich in complexity and conflict. Its dual climaxes, one at the entrance to a deadly dining establishment and the other appended to the pages of a writer's journal, will leave readers gasping for the saga's final volume (which, Dear Reader, follows soon, say thank ya).
Where Wolves of the Calla felt incredibly slow-paced, Song of Susannah rushes past. In my previous reads, I haven’t really thought about it too much (since the Dark Tower has been a series I’ve read straight through, rather than sneaking other book in between) but nothing really gets accomplished in this one. King moves the story along, but unlike the satisfaction you get at the end of Wolves of the Calla when the minor boss has been defeated, we are left in Song of Susannah without resolution.
I suppose the bright side that is knowing you have to get some sort of resolution in The Dark Tower because, well, it’s the last book in the series. Almost there!
The thing is – in a seven-book series like this, you have to be committed to the journey. Not all series are like Harry Potter in that they will give you a little victory along the way. Epic fantasies like The Lord of the Rings or The Dark Tower require a lot of traveling, and so sometimes you will simply have little action scenes and encounter, but you may not foil Voldemort in this book! And that’s okay.
I like the pacing a lot in Song of Susannah because it pulls you along more like The Waste Lands does – the story takes on a life of its own and you aren’t left peeking in the back to see how many pages you have left. Additionally, it’s nice to see a few different characters take the lead. Eddie and Jake are my favorites, but Song of Susannah sees most the book in either Pere Callahan’s perspective, or in (of course) Susannah’s. The direction of the journey definitely feels like it is shifting, although it’s too early to tell if its for good or not.
One thing that has always bothered me about Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower is the author’s inclusion of himself. He explains this very well and uses it well within the story… I just find it a bit egocentric? Then again, this is Stephen King… he’s written how many bestsellers? I suppose you have afford to be a little egocentric.