Wizard and Glass

Wizard and Glass

infobox Book |
name = The Dark Tower IV:
Wizard and Glass
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = First edition cover
author = Stephen King
cover_artist = Dave McKean
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Fantasy, Horror, Science fiction novel
publisher = Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc.
release_date = November 4, 1997
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages = 787
isbn = ISBN 1-880418-38-X
preceded_by = The Dark Tower III - The Waste Lands
followed_by = The Dark Tower V - Wolves of the Calla
portal|The Dark Tower

"Wizard and Glass" is the fourth book in the "Dark Tower" series by Stephen King. The subtitle of this novel is REGARD.


The novel begins where "The Waste Lands" ended. After Jake, Eddie, Susannah and Roland fruitlessly riddle Blaine the Mono for several hours, Eddie defeats the mad computer with one of his signature talents, telling children's jokes and riddles. Blaine is unable to handle Eddie's "illogical" riddles and short circuits.

The four gunslingers and Oy the billy-bumbler disembark at the Topeka railway station, which to their surprise is located in the Topeka, Kansas, of the 1980s. The city is deserted, as this version of the world has been depopulated by the influenza of King's novel "The Stand". Links between these books also include the following reference to The Walkin' Dude from "The Stand" on page 95, "Someone had spray-painted over both signs marking the ramp's ascending curve. On the one reading St. Louis 215, someone had slashed watch out for the walking dude."(King, 2003, pg 95) among others. The world also has some other minor differences with the one (or more) known to Eddie, Jake and Susannah, for instance, the Kansas City baseball team is the Monarchs (as opposed to the Royals), and Nozz-A-La is a popular soft drink.

The "ka-tet" leaves the city via the Kansas Turnpike, and as they camp one night next to an eerie dimensional hole which Roland calls a "thinny," the gunslinger tells his apprentices of his past, and his first encounter with a thinny.

At the beginning of the story-within-the-story, Roland (age fourteen) earns his guns — an episode retold in the inaugural issue of "" — and becomes the youngest gunslinger in memory. He did it because he discovered his father's trusted counsellor, the sorcerer Marten Broadcloak, having an affair with his mother, Gabrielle Deschain. Roland's father, Steven, forbids him from taking action against Marten, and instead sends him east, away from Gilead, for his own protection. Roland leaves with two companions, Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns.

Soon after their arrival in the distant Barony of Mejis, Roland falls in love with Susan Delgado, the promised "gilly" of Thorin - the mayor. His love for Susan Delgado clouds his reasoning for a time and nearly results in a permanent split between him and his previously inseparable friend Cuthbert. He and his "ka-tet" also discover a plot between the Barony's elite and "The Good Man" John Farson, leader of a rebel faction, to fuel Farson's war machines with Mejis oil. After being seized by the authorities on trumped-up charges of murdering the Barony's Mayor and Chancellor, Roland's "ka-tet" manages to escape jail with Susan's help, destroy the oil and the detachment Farson sent to transport it, as well as the Mejis traitors. The battle ends at Eyebolt Canyon, where Farson's troops are maneuvered into charging to their deaths into a thinny.

The "ka-tet" also captures the pink-colored Wizard's Glass, a mystical, malevolent orb or crystal ball. The glass then shows him a vision of his future, and also of Susan's death (she is burned as a harvest sacrifice for colluding with Roland). The visions send him into a stupor, which he eventually recovers from — at which point the glass torments him with "other" visions, this time of events that he was not present for but nonetheless shaped his fate and Susan's, such is the nature of the Wizard's Glass. Thus Roland's sad tale comes to a close.

In the morning, Roland's new "ka-tet" comes to a suspiciously familiar Emerald City. The "Wizard of Oz" parallels continue inside, where the Wizard is revealed to be Marten Broadcloak, also known as Randall Flagg, who flees when Roland attempts to kill him with Jake's Ruger and narrowly misses (Flagg has bewitched Roland's own guns, saying, "Only misfires against "me", Roland, old fellow"). In his place he leaves Maerlyn's Grapefruit, which shows the "ka-tet" the day Roland accidentally killed his own mother. Roland, it has been explained time and again, tends to be very bad medicine for his friends and loved ones. Nonetheless, when given the choice, Eddie, Susannah and Jake all refuse to swear off the quest; and as the novel closes, the "ka-tet" once more sets off for The Dark Tower, following the Path of the Beam.


* Readers of the uncut version of "The Stand" may be confused by the dates given in the book. The uncut edition takes place in the 1990s, while Wizard and Glass brings the ka-tet to that world in 1986. When "The Stand" was first published, it took place in 1980, so "Wizard and Glass" is simply keeping in line with the canon of the original print. It may be said that this is "another when" than the novel "The Stand", as pointed out by Roland.

External links

* [http://www.darktowercompendium.com/ The Dark Tower Compendium website]
* [http://www.stephenking.com/DarkTower/ The Dark Tower official website] (requires Macromedia Flash 6)
* [http://www.stephenking.com/pages/works/list_written.php List of Stephen King's works] - including this series - from his official website
* [http://www.thedarktower.net/wiki/ Dark Tower Wiki]
* [http://www.thedarktower.net/ TheDarkTower.Net]
* [http://www.thedarktower.com/ TheDarkTower.com]
* [http://www.thedarktower.com/palaver/showthread.php?t=696/ Towerpedia!]
* [FR] [http://www.latoursombre.fr/ LaTourSombre.fr : French encyclopedia]

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