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Wolves of the Calla is the highly anticipated fifth book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series—a unique bestselling epic fantasy quest inspired many years ago by The Lord of the Rings.

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, the Dark Tower series is unlike anything you have ever read. Here is the fifth installment.

Topics: Alternate Universe, Supernatural Powers, Parallel Dimensions, Vampires, Wolves, Magic, Journeys, Suspenseful, Adventurous, Dark, Fantastical, American West, Series, Epic, and Speculative Fiction

Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9780743255103
List price: $9.99
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Narratively superior to it's predecessor; but standard, unimaginative fantasy fare.more
The Wolves of the Calla is an epic story all its own; still part of the long series, but the story, characters and setting in the 5th novel are so fully developed. I think this is the novel where we see a new, more human side of Roland. We also see a very nurturing yet stronger side of Eddie's love for Susannah. We also get to see Jake as a boy - not as a gunslinger masquerading much older than he is, but as simply a boy. We also meet a new member of the ka-tet (though a temporary one) - Pere Callahan. There is more travel to a different when/where in this book, and the idea of meta stories is further developed (though won't be really explored until Book 6). Pere Callahan comes from King's Salem's Lot novel, and the novel itself (the physical book) appears in the Calla here. This is a new and interesting idea.We also find out in this novel that Susannah is pregnant, though the true parents of the baby are still to be determined. She seems to have found herself with another lady in the shadows, too.I really enjoyed Wolves of the Calla. Highly recommended!more
One of the better entries in the series.more
The fifth instalment of the Dark Tower series….. The Katet come upon a town on the path of the beam, Calla Bryn Sturges, the town has a problem that once every generation it is invaded by the wolves (not real wolves) who take one child of every twin (something the town has an abundance of). The twin is returned a few weeks later ‘roont’, a term used by the locals to describe the mental condition of the child. They are imbeciles and grow to gigantic proportions, live in pain and die young.The group decide they must help the town and Roland puts together a plan. Alongside this they have to deal with Susannah’s demonic pregnancy, the black 13 wizard’s glass and a new portal to New York where they must protect the rose at all costs.Interestingly we are reintroduced to father Callaghan (first seen in Salem’s Lot), he has turned up in Roland’s world and become part of the intricate workings of Ka.I really struggled at points with this book, on occasion I felt the plot was just too confusing with all the different worlds and timelines. But as always, King kept me engrossed in the plot enough to return.I wish that I had reread Salem’s lot before starting this book, but it was nice to see a number of King’s creations make an appearance; it’s almost as if he’s tying up all his characters in this series.I gave to book 4 stars, parts were worth 5 but at nearly 800 pages I felt it was all a bit too overwhelming. I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole time travelling/different dimension plot, but King does a decent job, and I have to admit I think he’s created his best ever character in Roland.I think King Himself will be making an appearance in the next novel, I don’t know how I fell about that but hope it works out ok…..more
A quest without a town beset by an evil monster just wouldn't be a quest at all. Walking the Path of the Beam towards the Dark Tower Roland and his friends come across Calla and are begged for help against the child stealing Wolves.Immersed in the colourful characters of Calla the ka-tet grow in more ways than one. There is danger in thier path, but they won't be facing it alone. A stranger to them, but an old friend to King's readers will help them on the way to quest's end.A fantasic read.more
In the last four installments of the Dark Tower series the general set up is Gunslinger Roland and his assorted Ka-tets are set up in an us against the world struggle. In the fifth book Wolves of the Calla King flips this notion and Roland and his Ka-tet are called upon to save the community of farmers in the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis in the world that has moved on. King brings in a character from his book Salem's Lot Father Pere Callahan. This addition was interesting and King starts to really weave our world and Roland's world together in this book. The Wolves that Roland must battle are scary because they aren't there. King begins to build the tension around the wolves from the prologue this book takes off from there and never looks back.We continue to learn about the Gunslingers and the Wolves by looking back and across worlds. Pere Callahan is our guide and I liked another character from another of King's books getting a new life and another adventure. I haven't read Salem's Lot but that didn't stop my interest in the Father Callahan back story or this character's ability to be an important part of this story. I'm also really enjoying King's notions of traveling between worlds through Todash to manipulate events that effect his characters and the Dark Tower. The Gunslingers are moving between these worlds as they prepare to battle the Wolves to save a lone rose in a vacant lot that will have a profound effect on their mission to reach the Dark Tower. Sometimes all this movement was a little confusing but in spite of this todash really added an interesting dimension to this book.The Wolves of the Calla allowed the reader to start to really understand how bad ass the Gunslingers really are. We see a more human side of Roland, which was refreshing, while Eddie and Jack start to really exercise their gunslinger skills they have acquired through the many battles they have faced so far. Suzanna's character was no as well developed in this book. Pregnant with a demon child Suzanna creates another personality Mia who is the demon baby's mid wife. While King spends time to introduce the Mia character I think the real development of this story line will come in the next book.The battle against the Wolves and the time spent in Calla Bryn Sturgis adds a very human side to the Ka-tet. Jake's friendship, Roland's clever planning, and Eddie's matter of fact attitude are all used to help this innocent group of farmers destroy the Wolves once and for all. Roland's clever planning shows a side of his character that left me with the impression that nothing can stop him wolves, stubborn citizens, time travel none of this will deter Roland from his mission to reach the Dark Tower. Eddie is becoming more confident and a grade A bad ass; while Jake develops his intuition skills and learns the touch which is a way to read minds. I couldn't wait for the battle with the Wolves and King doesn't disappoint. King releases the tension about the Wolves right before the battle when he reveals the secrets that tie the Wolves to other foes faced in earlier books. The Gunslingers defeat the Wolves in a battle scene that is just the right length and that brings a solid end to this entry in the Dark Tower series. Mia re-appears at the end of Wolves and leads the transition to the next Dark Tower book. The transition also continues the more human theme by Roland empathizing with Eddie's feelings by choosing to go after Suzanna rather than travel back to old New York.This was a solid entry in the Dark Tower. Wolves moves at a good pace and develops many of the main characters in exciting ways. The illustrations have returned to their more conventional style that help me imagine this world that has moved on. Others that have read the Dark Tower books have given me mixed thoughts on the next book Song of Suzanna but I'm still excited to continue the Gunslingers' journey to find the Dark Tower.more
I was unspoiled for this book, not even reading the jacket summary beforehand (because why bother when I already know I'm going to want to read it?), so I was totally surprised by Father Callahan's appearance. I read Salem's Lot in high school, so it's been aaaaaages, but Wikipedia plus the story given in Wolves of the Calla itself were more than enough to get me up to speed. I know the Dark Tower books link to other King works all the time, but I never suspected a crossover as big as this, with Callahan becoming a major character.Anyway, I really enjoyed this. I'm not thrilled with the Susannah plotline, and there are a ton of things I could talk about if I had any interest in doing anything other than going awhrjewhqjkerhejqwhekqw DARK TOWER, but I really don't. :p I love this series SO MUCH and this installment was definitely not disappointing at all.Oh! And I loved that the sneetches turned out to be SNITCHES!more
Ok....here is where things got shaky for me and the DT series. I did not really enjoy Woles of the Calla...didn't understand why SK was even "going there" with this complete side-story. Frankly from this book on (5, 6 and 7), the entire series takes a drastic turn for the worse.more
King described my feelings about the novel very well on page 476 of this 709 page book: "All the rest had been ritual and preparation, necessary but not terribly helpful." Four hundred seventy six pages of not terribly helpful, not terribly exciting, not terribly page turning, but not terribly terrible material was painful to get through. However, the rest of the book, page 476 to 709, was helpful, exciting, and page turning. Not enough for me though. I will take a short break before picking up the next Dark Tower installment.more
I read this book years after I started the series, but even with my lack of memory regarding the previous books, I found this book to be an entirely enticing page turner. My favorite of the series thus far!more
A nicely weaved story that takes a littel detour from the path of the beam. It visits the police aspect of how a gunslinger works- for the help of those that need help. I wont go into the detail of the actual story as this one is much better if it unfolds as its read.My one criticism on this book is the incorporation of Father Callahan from another Kind novel. Maybe its been so long since I read that novel that those parts just seemed dreadfully dry and I trudged through them wanting to get back to the story at hand.I also have to call King out on his egoism by adding himself to story- although with the Callahan plot line I dont think he could have gotten wawy without adding himself. Those parts are codependent on each other.In spite of my criticism- I enjoyed this read and couldnt put it down.more
One of the great books in the Dark Tower series. It continues the adventure of Roland and company, expanding on their characters greatly. This is the beginning of seeing into the multiple realms of the tower, in particular with the introduction of Father Callahan and the mingling of Stephen King's previous work. The book is quite long and it is a whole lot of lead up to a really short climax, but then it is only the 5th of 7 books in the series. So this is still just lead up to the climax of the series as whole. But it is definitely a great read!more
The last good one of the series. You can tell that King doesn't drink anymore. Too bad, his writing got wimpy.more
This may be the best book in the series.more
There are a lot of things that are great about the Dark Tower series, and a lot of things that are not so great, and some things that are downright awful. One of the bad things is that King wrote it over a very long period of time, beginning in the 70’s and ending in 2004. It’s impossible for an iteration late in a series to be anything like an iteration early in a series, and it’s usually for the worse. Example: the first Die Hard movie and the fourth Die Hard movie, the first Indiana Jones movie and the fourth Indiana Jones movie, and so on. With Wolves of the Calla, I’m entering the stretch of the series that King wrote in a frenzy after a near-fatal car accident in 2001.Fortunately it’s not as bad as it could have been, although it has its fair share of bullshit. The basic premise for the novel is excellent: Roland and his gunslingers come across a town called Calla Bryn Sturgis, located at the very edge of the world, near the roiling darkness of “Thunderclap,” where evil things reside. The Calla is also peculiar in that nearly every human birth is that of twins. Every generation or so, masked riders known as Wolves emerge from Thunderclap, ride into town wielding futuristic weapons that make them nigh invincible, and abduct one child from every set of twins below puberty age. A few days later the children are sent back across the desert from Thunderclap on flatbeds behind an unmanned train, crying and sunburnt, and rendered mental retards by whatever the Wolves did to them – they have become what the folks of the Calla call “roont.” As they age, they grow to a huge size, disfigured and in pain, and generally die young.The way King gradually introduces this concept is excellent, and while it leads to a fairly predictable story (the townsfolk recruit the gunslingers to protect them against an upcoming attack by the Wolves, and they obviously prevail) there’s enough interesting stuff along the way to make it enjoyable. As well as roont children and the mystery of the Wolves themselves, the robots of Roland’s world – always its most fascinating aspect – are represented in the Calla by Andy, a spindly metal robot whose North Central Positronics chest-plate reads “Design: Messenger (Many Other Functions).” Andy is a relic of more advanced times who acts as a sort of servant around the village: He sang songs, passed on gossip and rumour from one end of the town to the other – a tireless walker was Andy the Messenger Robot – and seemed to enjoy the giving of horoscopes above all things, although there was general agreement that they meant little. He had one other function, however, and that meant much.That other function is to warn the townsfolk a month in advance before each attack of the Wolves. He seems to be a cheerful and stupid thing to the townsfolk, and a convenient plot device for the author, but in actual fact he is much more than that, and is probably the novel’s strongest element – particularly his conversations and encounters with Eddie. “Tell me about the Wolves,” Eddie said. “What would you know, sai Eddie?” “Where they come from, for a start. The place where they feel they can put their feet up and fart right out loud. Who they work for. Why they take the kids. And why the ones they take come back ruined.” Then another question struck him. Perhaps the most obvious. “Also, how do you know when they’re coming?” Clicks from inside Andy. A lot of them this time; maybe a full minute’s worth… “What’s your password, sai Eddie?” “Huh?” “Password. You have ten seconds. Nine… eight…seven…” Eddie thought of spy movies he’d seen. “You mean I say something like “The roses are blooming in Cairo” and you say “Only in Mr. Wilson’s garden” and then I say-” “Incorrect password, sai Eddie… two… one… zero.” From within Andy came a low thudding sound which Eddie found singularly unpleasant. It sounded like the blade of a sharp cleaver passing through meat and into the wood of the chopping block beneath. “You may retry once,” said the cold voice. It bore a resemblance to the one that had asked Eddie if he would like his horoscope told, but that was the best you could call it – a resemblance. “Would you retry, Eddie of New York?” Eddie thought fast. “No,” he said, “that’s all right. That info’s restricted, huh?” Several clicks. Then: “Restricted: confined, kept within certain set limits, as information in a given document or q-disc; limited to those authorised to use that information; those authorised announce themselves by giving the password.” Another pause to think and then Andy said, “Yes, Eddie. That info’s restricted.”Another enjoyable part of the book was the “Priest’s Tale” (deja vu, since I just read Hyperion by Dan Simmons), the story of Father Callahan, a character from King’s early novel Salem’s Lot (which I haven’t read) who has somehow found himself in Roland’s world. After a quick recap of his unfortunate experience with vampires in Salem’s Lot, Callahan regales the gunslingers with an extensive tale of what happened after he fled: his time killing vampires in New York, realising they were hunting him, discovering his ability to travel through alternate versions of America, being hunted by the “low men” and eventually the event that brought him to the Calla. It’s pretty good, and probably deserved its own novel rather than being shoehorned into Wolves of the Calla.But now… the problems. What I love about the Dark Tower series is its fictional world: a post-apocalyptic land of ruined cities, ancient robots, machinery incongruously stamped with brands from our own world, demon circles and radioactive mutants and artificial intelligences run amok. It’s a great blend of science fiction and fantasy, and endlessly fascinating.What Stephen King loves about the Dark Tower series is quite different: rambling cosmology, fate, destiny, signs and portents, visions and hallucinations, Susannah’s irritating split personalities, representations of chaos and order, good and evil, a whole bunch of stuff I couldn’t give a flying fuck about and find very irritating to read. There’s a section early in the book where the characters (always certain that the mystical force of ka is driving their quest) are discussing the importance of the number 19 in all the omens they’ve been seeing. King then expects us to get excited about the eeeerie fact that many of the supporting characters have names with exactly nineteen letters! Coincidence? Fate? Or the fact that King himself is the one naming the goddamn characters?There’s also a few annoying interdimensional expeditions to New York City, where a rose that sits in a vacant lot – somehow representing or containing the Dark Tower – is under threat from developers, and Roland’s posse needs to protect it through exciting real estate acquisition adventure. This rose has pissed me off ever since it was introduced in The Wastelands. Unfortunately, like most things about the Dark Tower series that piss me off, it’s apparently pivotal to the story and shows no sign of going away.The last negative mark I want to jot down is the size of this book. King used to write very tight novels, like, say, The Gunslinger. These days they’re hundreds and hundreds of pages long, and the thing is, they don’t need to be. They’re not epic, just bloated. A good deal of Wolves of the Calla involves the characters sitting around testing weapons, talking to the townsfolk, and preparing for the attack itself (which is over in less than 50 pages). There’s a lot of redundancy, which Wizard and Glass suffered from quite a bit too. His writing style has gone from being sparse and concise, to dripping with detail and focusing on every character’s most inconsequential thoughts. It’s a real shame.Overall, Wolves of the Calla is appropriately representative of the Dark Tower series itself: it does a lot of things wrong, but there’s enough intriguing stuff to keep you reading. Unfortunately, I got the feeling towards the end of this book that the next installment will involve a lot more mystical destiny bullshit and a lot less of Roland’s awesome world. Including but not limited to an uber-meta meeting between Roland and Stephen King himself, which, if it really comes to pass, may cause me actual physical pain.more
My favorite thing about this series is how the style changes with each book. This one is no exception, of course. Here you have the most "Wild West" of the series. By that, I mean that a band of gunslingers is called upon to protect a township from the invading forces of bandits that take what they want from time to time. Me not being a fan of Western Films can really only quickly recall one reference: The Three Amigos.Even though King does not explore it as well as other of his books, this is the first of the Dark Tower books that is of a town collective. You get to know the inhabitants of the town with each of their characteristics described that this ends up being another Anytown, USA…just a tad archaic and outer-dimensional. One can argue that Wizard & Glass explores a town as well, but I feel, much rather, it's less about the town as a collective, and more about the individuals within and their singular goals. In the Wolves of the Calla, there is a collective, and the goal is a shared one.Overall, I thought this was a strong story. It is not my favorite, and not as explorative as The Waste Lands, but I did enjoy the 'Salem's Lot segue. I am even tickled by the bit of metafiction that is taking place (and, from what I hear, is thoroughly explored in The Dark Tower, Book VII).King also does not shy away from using gut-wrenching tragedy to bring out (and force) the adult growth out of his children characters. At first, this came as a shock to me, but I believe that I was simply caught up in the suspense of the final thirty pages. Personally (and because of experience), I should have known better.All in all, a good story, may it do you fine.more
I'm not going to rate these separately as that doesn't make sense to me. I thought this was a wonderful series. I was horrified when he got hit by the car and I thought he may not be able to finish the story. The plot was incredible and the characters were like close friends of mine by the end. His imagery and imagination are an inspiration to those of us who strive to write for a living. His best work by far, IMHO.more
Excellent book with a lot of memorable scenes. Roland's dancing of the Commalla was really moving, and the introductions of the ka-tet to the village made me smile. I love the way that King creates the feeling of history for his Gunslingers that is deeply rooted in tradition, and seeing the parallels between Roland's youth and his old-but-young Gunslinger apprentices who are starting to open their eyes to the world.A friend recommended that I read Salem's Lot before starting Book 5, and I am glad that I did. I largely panned Salem's Lot because of how incomplete Father Callahan's story felt, but when viewed alongside Wolves of the Calla the author can be forgiven a bit. King does a great job with repetition and layers, bringing Eddie back to Jake's New York (and the beginning of his own New York) to learn more about the lot and about "The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind".And, of course, the action at the end is great. We see more strange bleeding from the fiction of our world to the reality of this midworld, something I hope they will explain in Book 6. The one thing I am not looking forward to is how the next book might be Susannah focused. She is my least favorite member of the ka-tet.more
The fifth installment in the Dark Tower series is full of cross-references to other King works that I love, further unifying the Stephen King universe, which even in this one novel has an infinite number of connected worlds. It begins by bringing in a familiar character from our world: Father Callahan of ‘Salem’s Lot, who after that fateful encounter with vampires began to walk the hidden roads of America, finally winding up in a rice-growing village in Roland’s world. There Roland and crew meet him and make him a part of their ka-tet. Father Callahan also has another piece of the Wizard’s Glass: the black eye of the Crimson King himself, which our heroes can use to get back to New York to do important things.There’s a lot going on in this long novel. We learn more of the rose first glimpsed by Jake in The Wastelands (Volume III) and find out what kind of danger it is in. There is news of the Beams and the Breakers, and even the Low Men make an appearance. There is the small matter of Susannah’s demon pregnancy. And there is a spaghetti Western-style plot in which Roland and the others have to save a town from marauding wolves who steal one-half of all the town’s twins (and the kids are mostly twins), only to return them retarded and doomed – “roont,” as the townsfolk of the Calla say.The cross-references abound, and King even manages to gleefully introduce elements from Marvel comics, Star Wars and the Harry Potter series. But the climactic reference in thrillingly audacious, even for King. I won’t give it away; suffice it to say, you won’t be able to wait to start reading Part 6.more
In places this felt a bit like a "Dark Tower Greatest Hits", in particular repeating themes and scenarios from "Drawing of the Three" and "Wizard and Glass". But on reflection perhaps that's just a feature of the books being set in a coherent, believable environment.more
I had caught up to King by the time this was published so I had to go out and buy the hardcover the day it came out. King's take on the classic Seven Samurai story. Really blew open the whole multiverse aspect of the series. My guess is that he finally figured it all out at this point.more
The Wolves of the Calla, the antepenultimate volume of Stephen King's Dark Tower series brings the ka-tet to Calla Bryn Sturgis, a small farming community on the outskirts of Thunderclap. The town, which births twins and only rarely "singletons", is plagued every few decades by the wolves, riders from Thunderclap who steal one child from each set of twins. The children then come back, years later, roont - dumb, and continuously growing until they die much younger than their other half.The ka-tet, as gunslingers, have the duty to protect the Calla from the wolves, which are set to come in roughly thirty days as the ka-tet passes through. In the Calla, they are introduced to Father Callahan - a man from "our" side who had been brought to the Calla in a similar way as Eddie, Jake and Susannah. A large portion of the book is spent on his back-story and he becomes a main player in the Tower quest. (Many King fans will know him from King's second novel, Salem's Lot).The majority of the book covers the thirty days of the ka-tet analyzing and preparing for the wolves to come, and on Callahan's interesting back-story which is complete with vampires and travel through the different worlds. Although it only covers roughly thirty days, the book is lengthy in pages (this edition has 736 pages) - longer even than the previous volume. However, unlike the previous volume, the story stays relevant to the Tower quest and the ka-tet, and provides further background of the characters - and further growth, especially in the boy (man, now?) Jake.As with the other volumes, King transitions smoothly and easily into the next volume - and with interesting twists. Wolves of the Calla is an entertaining expansion on the Tower quest and the blend of Roland's world with "ours", and should not be missed for even casual fans of King or the series, as it makes up for the previous, lackluster fourth volume (Wizard and Glass) and leaves the reader quickly grabbing for the next volume.more
Much better than Wizard and Glass, it's predecessor.more
Very well written, this is where the series REALLY begins to tie in with many of Kings other novels. Lots of world/time traveling in this novel and while the overall story didnt move very much, a lot of interesting things happened and the overall the series takes a new turn here. It did suffer from a few boring spots but other than was awesomemore
Book 5 of the Dark Tower series. Roland's ka-tet stumbles across the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis as they follow the path of the Beam. The Calla folken have just been warned that the Wolves will be approaching in a month - the Wolves who take one from every pair of twins (the majority of the kids) and take them off to the dark land of Thunderclap before returning them as barely a shell of their former being. The gunslingers step up to help, gaining aid in their own quest as well. After Wizard and Glass, which felt mighty slow to me this time around, Wolves of the Calla is fast-paced and exciting. Books 5, 6, and 7 were released within 18 months of each other, and the story moves through these 3 books with the same quickness.The characters are all keeping secrets from each other, and watching them dance around the facts is fun... but it hurts a little, too. These people clearly love each other, so seeing them lie to the others (and themselves) can be hard to take.Father Callahan, from Salem's Lot, plays a major role in this book (and the coming books), so it might be helpful to have read that before reading this book (but it's definitely not required).more
I'm truly conflicted about what to make of Wolves of the Calla. There's a big drop off in quality from Wizard and Glass, but given that Wizard was a perfect culmination of the Tower series to this point, that's sort of hard to hold against it. The premise is certainly promising enough- a strange take on Seven Samurai (or maybe it's The Magnificent Seven? in which case, it's still a take on Seven Samurai!) in which our ka-tet faces off against a horde of baby-stealing wolfmen. However, things start to get really messy with the "todash" stuff; I understand it as a device for moving the larger story forward, but it definitely intrudes at times on the narrative of Wolves- which I found otherwise enjoyable, anticlimactic ending aside. As for the series as a whole: the Wizard of Oz reference at the end of Wizard and Glass left me feeling... odd. But as I was basking in the afterglow of an amazing story, I remained stupidly optimistic. In Wolves we're treated to a Harry Potter reference and the discovery of a copy of 'Salem's Lot, so there's no doubt- it's going to be baaaad.more
One of my reading goals for the year was to finally finish this series. I've been less than excited about reading these books since my BIL spoiled the series for me (by revealing the death of a character). This book was long and tedious and could have been at least 200 pp. shorter. Wizard and the Glass remains my favorite (and I've already read Book VI).more
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Reviews

Narratively superior to it's predecessor; but standard, unimaginative fantasy fare.more
The Wolves of the Calla is an epic story all its own; still part of the long series, but the story, characters and setting in the 5th novel are so fully developed. I think this is the novel where we see a new, more human side of Roland. We also see a very nurturing yet stronger side of Eddie's love for Susannah. We also get to see Jake as a boy - not as a gunslinger masquerading much older than he is, but as simply a boy. We also meet a new member of the ka-tet (though a temporary one) - Pere Callahan. There is more travel to a different when/where in this book, and the idea of meta stories is further developed (though won't be really explored until Book 6). Pere Callahan comes from King's Salem's Lot novel, and the novel itself (the physical book) appears in the Calla here. This is a new and interesting idea.We also find out in this novel that Susannah is pregnant, though the true parents of the baby are still to be determined. She seems to have found herself with another lady in the shadows, too.I really enjoyed Wolves of the Calla. Highly recommended!more
One of the better entries in the series.more
The fifth instalment of the Dark Tower series….. The Katet come upon a town on the path of the beam, Calla Bryn Sturges, the town has a problem that once every generation it is invaded by the wolves (not real wolves) who take one child of every twin (something the town has an abundance of). The twin is returned a few weeks later ‘roont’, a term used by the locals to describe the mental condition of the child. They are imbeciles and grow to gigantic proportions, live in pain and die young.The group decide they must help the town and Roland puts together a plan. Alongside this they have to deal with Susannah’s demonic pregnancy, the black 13 wizard’s glass and a new portal to New York where they must protect the rose at all costs.Interestingly we are reintroduced to father Callaghan (first seen in Salem’s Lot), he has turned up in Roland’s world and become part of the intricate workings of Ka.I really struggled at points with this book, on occasion I felt the plot was just too confusing with all the different worlds and timelines. But as always, King kept me engrossed in the plot enough to return.I wish that I had reread Salem’s lot before starting this book, but it was nice to see a number of King’s creations make an appearance; it’s almost as if he’s tying up all his characters in this series.I gave to book 4 stars, parts were worth 5 but at nearly 800 pages I felt it was all a bit too overwhelming. I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole time travelling/different dimension plot, but King does a decent job, and I have to admit I think he’s created his best ever character in Roland.I think King Himself will be making an appearance in the next novel, I don’t know how I fell about that but hope it works out ok…..more
A quest without a town beset by an evil monster just wouldn't be a quest at all. Walking the Path of the Beam towards the Dark Tower Roland and his friends come across Calla and are begged for help against the child stealing Wolves.Immersed in the colourful characters of Calla the ka-tet grow in more ways than one. There is danger in thier path, but they won't be facing it alone. A stranger to them, but an old friend to King's readers will help them on the way to quest's end.A fantasic read.more
In the last four installments of the Dark Tower series the general set up is Gunslinger Roland and his assorted Ka-tets are set up in an us against the world struggle. In the fifth book Wolves of the Calla King flips this notion and Roland and his Ka-tet are called upon to save the community of farmers in the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis in the world that has moved on. King brings in a character from his book Salem's Lot Father Pere Callahan. This addition was interesting and King starts to really weave our world and Roland's world together in this book. The Wolves that Roland must battle are scary because they aren't there. King begins to build the tension around the wolves from the prologue this book takes off from there and never looks back.We continue to learn about the Gunslingers and the Wolves by looking back and across worlds. Pere Callahan is our guide and I liked another character from another of King's books getting a new life and another adventure. I haven't read Salem's Lot but that didn't stop my interest in the Father Callahan back story or this character's ability to be an important part of this story. I'm also really enjoying King's notions of traveling between worlds through Todash to manipulate events that effect his characters and the Dark Tower. The Gunslingers are moving between these worlds as they prepare to battle the Wolves to save a lone rose in a vacant lot that will have a profound effect on their mission to reach the Dark Tower. Sometimes all this movement was a little confusing but in spite of this todash really added an interesting dimension to this book.The Wolves of the Calla allowed the reader to start to really understand how bad ass the Gunslingers really are. We see a more human side of Roland, which was refreshing, while Eddie and Jack start to really exercise their gunslinger skills they have acquired through the many battles they have faced so far. Suzanna's character was no as well developed in this book. Pregnant with a demon child Suzanna creates another personality Mia who is the demon baby's mid wife. While King spends time to introduce the Mia character I think the real development of this story line will come in the next book.The battle against the Wolves and the time spent in Calla Bryn Sturgis adds a very human side to the Ka-tet. Jake's friendship, Roland's clever planning, and Eddie's matter of fact attitude are all used to help this innocent group of farmers destroy the Wolves once and for all. Roland's clever planning shows a side of his character that left me with the impression that nothing can stop him wolves, stubborn citizens, time travel none of this will deter Roland from his mission to reach the Dark Tower. Eddie is becoming more confident and a grade A bad ass; while Jake develops his intuition skills and learns the touch which is a way to read minds. I couldn't wait for the battle with the Wolves and King doesn't disappoint. King releases the tension about the Wolves right before the battle when he reveals the secrets that tie the Wolves to other foes faced in earlier books. The Gunslingers defeat the Wolves in a battle scene that is just the right length and that brings a solid end to this entry in the Dark Tower series. Mia re-appears at the end of Wolves and leads the transition to the next Dark Tower book. The transition also continues the more human theme by Roland empathizing with Eddie's feelings by choosing to go after Suzanna rather than travel back to old New York.This was a solid entry in the Dark Tower. Wolves moves at a good pace and develops many of the main characters in exciting ways. The illustrations have returned to their more conventional style that help me imagine this world that has moved on. Others that have read the Dark Tower books have given me mixed thoughts on the next book Song of Suzanna but I'm still excited to continue the Gunslingers' journey to find the Dark Tower.more
I was unspoiled for this book, not even reading the jacket summary beforehand (because why bother when I already know I'm going to want to read it?), so I was totally surprised by Father Callahan's appearance. I read Salem's Lot in high school, so it's been aaaaaages, but Wikipedia plus the story given in Wolves of the Calla itself were more than enough to get me up to speed. I know the Dark Tower books link to other King works all the time, but I never suspected a crossover as big as this, with Callahan becoming a major character.Anyway, I really enjoyed this. I'm not thrilled with the Susannah plotline, and there are a ton of things I could talk about if I had any interest in doing anything other than going awhrjewhqjkerhejqwhekqw DARK TOWER, but I really don't. :p I love this series SO MUCH and this installment was definitely not disappointing at all.Oh! And I loved that the sneetches turned out to be SNITCHES!more
Ok....here is where things got shaky for me and the DT series. I did not really enjoy Woles of the Calla...didn't understand why SK was even "going there" with this complete side-story. Frankly from this book on (5, 6 and 7), the entire series takes a drastic turn for the worse.more
King described my feelings about the novel very well on page 476 of this 709 page book: "All the rest had been ritual and preparation, necessary but not terribly helpful." Four hundred seventy six pages of not terribly helpful, not terribly exciting, not terribly page turning, but not terribly terrible material was painful to get through. However, the rest of the book, page 476 to 709, was helpful, exciting, and page turning. Not enough for me though. I will take a short break before picking up the next Dark Tower installment.more
I read this book years after I started the series, but even with my lack of memory regarding the previous books, I found this book to be an entirely enticing page turner. My favorite of the series thus far!more
A nicely weaved story that takes a littel detour from the path of the beam. It visits the police aspect of how a gunslinger works- for the help of those that need help. I wont go into the detail of the actual story as this one is much better if it unfolds as its read.My one criticism on this book is the incorporation of Father Callahan from another Kind novel. Maybe its been so long since I read that novel that those parts just seemed dreadfully dry and I trudged through them wanting to get back to the story at hand.I also have to call King out on his egoism by adding himself to story- although with the Callahan plot line I dont think he could have gotten wawy without adding himself. Those parts are codependent on each other.In spite of my criticism- I enjoyed this read and couldnt put it down.more
One of the great books in the Dark Tower series. It continues the adventure of Roland and company, expanding on their characters greatly. This is the beginning of seeing into the multiple realms of the tower, in particular with the introduction of Father Callahan and the mingling of Stephen King's previous work. The book is quite long and it is a whole lot of lead up to a really short climax, but then it is only the 5th of 7 books in the series. So this is still just lead up to the climax of the series as whole. But it is definitely a great read!more
The last good one of the series. You can tell that King doesn't drink anymore. Too bad, his writing got wimpy.more
This may be the best book in the series.more
There are a lot of things that are great about the Dark Tower series, and a lot of things that are not so great, and some things that are downright awful. One of the bad things is that King wrote it over a very long period of time, beginning in the 70’s and ending in 2004. It’s impossible for an iteration late in a series to be anything like an iteration early in a series, and it’s usually for the worse. Example: the first Die Hard movie and the fourth Die Hard movie, the first Indiana Jones movie and the fourth Indiana Jones movie, and so on. With Wolves of the Calla, I’m entering the stretch of the series that King wrote in a frenzy after a near-fatal car accident in 2001.Fortunately it’s not as bad as it could have been, although it has its fair share of bullshit. The basic premise for the novel is excellent: Roland and his gunslingers come across a town called Calla Bryn Sturgis, located at the very edge of the world, near the roiling darkness of “Thunderclap,” where evil things reside. The Calla is also peculiar in that nearly every human birth is that of twins. Every generation or so, masked riders known as Wolves emerge from Thunderclap, ride into town wielding futuristic weapons that make them nigh invincible, and abduct one child from every set of twins below puberty age. A few days later the children are sent back across the desert from Thunderclap on flatbeds behind an unmanned train, crying and sunburnt, and rendered mental retards by whatever the Wolves did to them – they have become what the folks of the Calla call “roont.” As they age, they grow to a huge size, disfigured and in pain, and generally die young.The way King gradually introduces this concept is excellent, and while it leads to a fairly predictable story (the townsfolk recruit the gunslingers to protect them against an upcoming attack by the Wolves, and they obviously prevail) there’s enough interesting stuff along the way to make it enjoyable. As well as roont children and the mystery of the Wolves themselves, the robots of Roland’s world – always its most fascinating aspect – are represented in the Calla by Andy, a spindly metal robot whose North Central Positronics chest-plate reads “Design: Messenger (Many Other Functions).” Andy is a relic of more advanced times who acts as a sort of servant around the village: He sang songs, passed on gossip and rumour from one end of the town to the other – a tireless walker was Andy the Messenger Robot – and seemed to enjoy the giving of horoscopes above all things, although there was general agreement that they meant little. He had one other function, however, and that meant much.That other function is to warn the townsfolk a month in advance before each attack of the Wolves. He seems to be a cheerful and stupid thing to the townsfolk, and a convenient plot device for the author, but in actual fact he is much more than that, and is probably the novel’s strongest element – particularly his conversations and encounters with Eddie. “Tell me about the Wolves,” Eddie said. “What would you know, sai Eddie?” “Where they come from, for a start. The place where they feel they can put their feet up and fart right out loud. Who they work for. Why they take the kids. And why the ones they take come back ruined.” Then another question struck him. Perhaps the most obvious. “Also, how do you know when they’re coming?” Clicks from inside Andy. A lot of them this time; maybe a full minute’s worth… “What’s your password, sai Eddie?” “Huh?” “Password. You have ten seconds. Nine… eight…seven…” Eddie thought of spy movies he’d seen. “You mean I say something like “The roses are blooming in Cairo” and you say “Only in Mr. Wilson’s garden” and then I say-” “Incorrect password, sai Eddie… two… one… zero.” From within Andy came a low thudding sound which Eddie found singularly unpleasant. It sounded like the blade of a sharp cleaver passing through meat and into the wood of the chopping block beneath. “You may retry once,” said the cold voice. It bore a resemblance to the one that had asked Eddie if he would like his horoscope told, but that was the best you could call it – a resemblance. “Would you retry, Eddie of New York?” Eddie thought fast. “No,” he said, “that’s all right. That info’s restricted, huh?” Several clicks. Then: “Restricted: confined, kept within certain set limits, as information in a given document or q-disc; limited to those authorised to use that information; those authorised announce themselves by giving the password.” Another pause to think and then Andy said, “Yes, Eddie. That info’s restricted.”Another enjoyable part of the book was the “Priest’s Tale” (deja vu, since I just read Hyperion by Dan Simmons), the story of Father Callahan, a character from King’s early novel Salem’s Lot (which I haven’t read) who has somehow found himself in Roland’s world. After a quick recap of his unfortunate experience with vampires in Salem’s Lot, Callahan regales the gunslingers with an extensive tale of what happened after he fled: his time killing vampires in New York, realising they were hunting him, discovering his ability to travel through alternate versions of America, being hunted by the “low men” and eventually the event that brought him to the Calla. It’s pretty good, and probably deserved its own novel rather than being shoehorned into Wolves of the Calla.But now… the problems. What I love about the Dark Tower series is its fictional world: a post-apocalyptic land of ruined cities, ancient robots, machinery incongruously stamped with brands from our own world, demon circles and radioactive mutants and artificial intelligences run amok. It’s a great blend of science fiction and fantasy, and endlessly fascinating.What Stephen King loves about the Dark Tower series is quite different: rambling cosmology, fate, destiny, signs and portents, visions and hallucinations, Susannah’s irritating split personalities, representations of chaos and order, good and evil, a whole bunch of stuff I couldn’t give a flying fuck about and find very irritating to read. There’s a section early in the book where the characters (always certain that the mystical force of ka is driving their quest) are discussing the importance of the number 19 in all the omens they’ve been seeing. King then expects us to get excited about the eeeerie fact that many of the supporting characters have names with exactly nineteen letters! Coincidence? Fate? Or the fact that King himself is the one naming the goddamn characters?There’s also a few annoying interdimensional expeditions to New York City, where a rose that sits in a vacant lot – somehow representing or containing the Dark Tower – is under threat from developers, and Roland’s posse needs to protect it through exciting real estate acquisition adventure. This rose has pissed me off ever since it was introduced in The Wastelands. Unfortunately, like most things about the Dark Tower series that piss me off, it’s apparently pivotal to the story and shows no sign of going away.The last negative mark I want to jot down is the size of this book. King used to write very tight novels, like, say, The Gunslinger. These days they’re hundreds and hundreds of pages long, and the thing is, they don’t need to be. They’re not epic, just bloated. A good deal of Wolves of the Calla involves the characters sitting around testing weapons, talking to the townsfolk, and preparing for the attack itself (which is over in less than 50 pages). There’s a lot of redundancy, which Wizard and Glass suffered from quite a bit too. His writing style has gone from being sparse and concise, to dripping with detail and focusing on every character’s most inconsequential thoughts. It’s a real shame.Overall, Wolves of the Calla is appropriately representative of the Dark Tower series itself: it does a lot of things wrong, but there’s enough intriguing stuff to keep you reading. Unfortunately, I got the feeling towards the end of this book that the next installment will involve a lot more mystical destiny bullshit and a lot less of Roland’s awesome world. Including but not limited to an uber-meta meeting between Roland and Stephen King himself, which, if it really comes to pass, may cause me actual physical pain.more
My favorite thing about this series is how the style changes with each book. This one is no exception, of course. Here you have the most "Wild West" of the series. By that, I mean that a band of gunslingers is called upon to protect a township from the invading forces of bandits that take what they want from time to time. Me not being a fan of Western Films can really only quickly recall one reference: The Three Amigos.Even though King does not explore it as well as other of his books, this is the first of the Dark Tower books that is of a town collective. You get to know the inhabitants of the town with each of their characteristics described that this ends up being another Anytown, USA…just a tad archaic and outer-dimensional. One can argue that Wizard & Glass explores a town as well, but I feel, much rather, it's less about the town as a collective, and more about the individuals within and their singular goals. In the Wolves of the Calla, there is a collective, and the goal is a shared one.Overall, I thought this was a strong story. It is not my favorite, and not as explorative as The Waste Lands, but I did enjoy the 'Salem's Lot segue. I am even tickled by the bit of metafiction that is taking place (and, from what I hear, is thoroughly explored in The Dark Tower, Book VII).King also does not shy away from using gut-wrenching tragedy to bring out (and force) the adult growth out of his children characters. At first, this came as a shock to me, but I believe that I was simply caught up in the suspense of the final thirty pages. Personally (and because of experience), I should have known better.All in all, a good story, may it do you fine.more
I'm not going to rate these separately as that doesn't make sense to me. I thought this was a wonderful series. I was horrified when he got hit by the car and I thought he may not be able to finish the story. The plot was incredible and the characters were like close friends of mine by the end. His imagery and imagination are an inspiration to those of us who strive to write for a living. His best work by far, IMHO.more
Excellent book with a lot of memorable scenes. Roland's dancing of the Commalla was really moving, and the introductions of the ka-tet to the village made me smile. I love the way that King creates the feeling of history for his Gunslingers that is deeply rooted in tradition, and seeing the parallels between Roland's youth and his old-but-young Gunslinger apprentices who are starting to open their eyes to the world.A friend recommended that I read Salem's Lot before starting Book 5, and I am glad that I did. I largely panned Salem's Lot because of how incomplete Father Callahan's story felt, but when viewed alongside Wolves of the Calla the author can be forgiven a bit. King does a great job with repetition and layers, bringing Eddie back to Jake's New York (and the beginning of his own New York) to learn more about the lot and about "The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind".And, of course, the action at the end is great. We see more strange bleeding from the fiction of our world to the reality of this midworld, something I hope they will explain in Book 6. The one thing I am not looking forward to is how the next book might be Susannah focused. She is my least favorite member of the ka-tet.more
The fifth installment in the Dark Tower series is full of cross-references to other King works that I love, further unifying the Stephen King universe, which even in this one novel has an infinite number of connected worlds. It begins by bringing in a familiar character from our world: Father Callahan of ‘Salem’s Lot, who after that fateful encounter with vampires began to walk the hidden roads of America, finally winding up in a rice-growing village in Roland’s world. There Roland and crew meet him and make him a part of their ka-tet. Father Callahan also has another piece of the Wizard’s Glass: the black eye of the Crimson King himself, which our heroes can use to get back to New York to do important things.There’s a lot going on in this long novel. We learn more of the rose first glimpsed by Jake in The Wastelands (Volume III) and find out what kind of danger it is in. There is news of the Beams and the Breakers, and even the Low Men make an appearance. There is the small matter of Susannah’s demon pregnancy. And there is a spaghetti Western-style plot in which Roland and the others have to save a town from marauding wolves who steal one-half of all the town’s twins (and the kids are mostly twins), only to return them retarded and doomed – “roont,” as the townsfolk of the Calla say.The cross-references abound, and King even manages to gleefully introduce elements from Marvel comics, Star Wars and the Harry Potter series. But the climactic reference in thrillingly audacious, even for King. I won’t give it away; suffice it to say, you won’t be able to wait to start reading Part 6.more
In places this felt a bit like a "Dark Tower Greatest Hits", in particular repeating themes and scenarios from "Drawing of the Three" and "Wizard and Glass". But on reflection perhaps that's just a feature of the books being set in a coherent, believable environment.more
I had caught up to King by the time this was published so I had to go out and buy the hardcover the day it came out. King's take on the classic Seven Samurai story. Really blew open the whole multiverse aspect of the series. My guess is that he finally figured it all out at this point.more
The Wolves of the Calla, the antepenultimate volume of Stephen King's Dark Tower series brings the ka-tet to Calla Bryn Sturgis, a small farming community on the outskirts of Thunderclap. The town, which births twins and only rarely "singletons", is plagued every few decades by the wolves, riders from Thunderclap who steal one child from each set of twins. The children then come back, years later, roont - dumb, and continuously growing until they die much younger than their other half.The ka-tet, as gunslingers, have the duty to protect the Calla from the wolves, which are set to come in roughly thirty days as the ka-tet passes through. In the Calla, they are introduced to Father Callahan - a man from "our" side who had been brought to the Calla in a similar way as Eddie, Jake and Susannah. A large portion of the book is spent on his back-story and he becomes a main player in the Tower quest. (Many King fans will know him from King's second novel, Salem's Lot).The majority of the book covers the thirty days of the ka-tet analyzing and preparing for the wolves to come, and on Callahan's interesting back-story which is complete with vampires and travel through the different worlds. Although it only covers roughly thirty days, the book is lengthy in pages (this edition has 736 pages) - longer even than the previous volume. However, unlike the previous volume, the story stays relevant to the Tower quest and the ka-tet, and provides further background of the characters - and further growth, especially in the boy (man, now?) Jake.As with the other volumes, King transitions smoothly and easily into the next volume - and with interesting twists. Wolves of the Calla is an entertaining expansion on the Tower quest and the blend of Roland's world with "ours", and should not be missed for even casual fans of King or the series, as it makes up for the previous, lackluster fourth volume (Wizard and Glass) and leaves the reader quickly grabbing for the next volume.more
Much better than Wizard and Glass, it's predecessor.more
Very well written, this is where the series REALLY begins to tie in with many of Kings other novels. Lots of world/time traveling in this novel and while the overall story didnt move very much, a lot of interesting things happened and the overall the series takes a new turn here. It did suffer from a few boring spots but other than was awesomemore
Book 5 of the Dark Tower series. Roland's ka-tet stumbles across the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis as they follow the path of the Beam. The Calla folken have just been warned that the Wolves will be approaching in a month - the Wolves who take one from every pair of twins (the majority of the kids) and take them off to the dark land of Thunderclap before returning them as barely a shell of their former being. The gunslingers step up to help, gaining aid in their own quest as well. After Wizard and Glass, which felt mighty slow to me this time around, Wolves of the Calla is fast-paced and exciting. Books 5, 6, and 7 were released within 18 months of each other, and the story moves through these 3 books with the same quickness.The characters are all keeping secrets from each other, and watching them dance around the facts is fun... but it hurts a little, too. These people clearly love each other, so seeing them lie to the others (and themselves) can be hard to take.Father Callahan, from Salem's Lot, plays a major role in this book (and the coming books), so it might be helpful to have read that before reading this book (but it's definitely not required).more
I'm truly conflicted about what to make of Wolves of the Calla. There's a big drop off in quality from Wizard and Glass, but given that Wizard was a perfect culmination of the Tower series to this point, that's sort of hard to hold against it. The premise is certainly promising enough- a strange take on Seven Samurai (or maybe it's The Magnificent Seven? in which case, it's still a take on Seven Samurai!) in which our ka-tet faces off against a horde of baby-stealing wolfmen. However, things start to get really messy with the "todash" stuff; I understand it as a device for moving the larger story forward, but it definitely intrudes at times on the narrative of Wolves- which I found otherwise enjoyable, anticlimactic ending aside. As for the series as a whole: the Wizard of Oz reference at the end of Wizard and Glass left me feeling... odd. But as I was basking in the afterglow of an amazing story, I remained stupidly optimistic. In Wolves we're treated to a Harry Potter reference and the discovery of a copy of 'Salem's Lot, so there's no doubt- it's going to be baaaad.more
One of my reading goals for the year was to finally finish this series. I've been less than excited about reading these books since my BIL spoiled the series for me (by revealing the death of a character). This book was long and tedious and could have been at least 200 pp. shorter. Wizard and the Glass remains my favorite (and I've already read Book VI).more
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