Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Wolves of the Calla is the fifth novel in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. It is also the worst book in the series thus far. There are a ton of small plot holes here, and quite a few things that happen are pretty convenient. King tries to create suspense by hiding the main characters’ knowledge from the reader for hundreds of pages. But this is just tiresome and amateurish.

This book takes about five hundred pages to get going. It’s bogged down by a large amount of back-story and general farting around, much of this having to do with the homoerotic vagabond adventures of Father Callahan, who makes his first appearance since ‘Salem’s Lot, the second book King ever published. And Callahan is written inconsistently. He really doesn’t believe in God much, if at all, yet he staunchly holds to Catholic positions (seemingly for no other reason than the sake of the plot).

King continues his highly derivative, winking-at-the-reader “homages” to various other sources: this time it’s Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel Comics, and even King himself. When you combine these (Doctor Doom in the wilderness with the lightsaber and the exploding Harry Potter ball – it sounds like ridiculous Clue), the effect is exponentially worse.

If this were a stand-alone novel, there would be no compelling reason to read it. But those committed to reading the Dark Tower series through don’t have a choice.