- Copertina flessibile: 931 pagine
- Editore: Pocket Books (Mm); Reprint edizione (24 gennaio 2006)
- Collana: The Dark Tower
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 141651693X
- ISBN-13: 978-1416516934
- Peso di spedizione: 481 g
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon:
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Wolves of the Calla (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 24 gen 2006
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"A HYPNOTIC BLEND.... A sprawling tale of demons, monsters, narrow escapes, and magic portals." --The New York Times Book Review
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy—Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Finders Keepers, and End of Watch; the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams; Revival; Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic series, The Dark Tower, is the basis for a major motion picture from Sony. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
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Stark's War is a novella. It's 245 pages long (padded out to 271 by judicious use of editorial matter and division into "sections" each of which allows for 2 more pages that have no fiction on them, just a title. There are two more books, we are told, in the series. This one tells of a mildly interesting character, Ethan Stark, who finding himself as a sergeant in a military gone insane, convinces every other sergeants in a lunar occupation force to rebel on the battlefield and incarcerate all of their officers. At the end of the book, Stark is preparing to withstand invasions from Earth as the attempt to restore the status quo. Presumably by the end of the third book, their will be some sort of resolution.
Interestingly, though there are lieutenants, captains, majors, colonels and generals in this novel, the author seems unaware that there are many different levels of sergeant in the armed forces of every country, including the U.S. all the way up to Command Sergeant Major, a lofty rank that most three-stripers cannot aspire to. But in this future service, all distinctions have disappeared for some reason and there are only generic sergeants.
I read the story with some interest. Although strong on plot and weak on character, Hemry capture the reader's attention with both his view of the story and the machinations of the military. Unfortunately, having captured it ultimately backfires as it becomes obvious that this novel does not stand alone but is simply one segment of a story which will cost another $16.00 to read all the way through. It could be argued that this puffing up of a novella into a stand alone book by Ace is the logical follow-up to the double-novels of the 50's. But I cannot help feeling that charging $8.00 for a piece of work that has a beginning and the beginning of a middle, but nothing else, is a rip-off.
I have to admit that, at first, I was a bit wary that this book, like the previous Dark Tower novel appeared to be setting aside the overall story's main quest. While Wizard and Glass came as a bit of a reprieve from the driving momentum of The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands , I wasn't sure if yet another diversion from the quest for the Dark Tower wouldn't just start to feel like literary water-treading. And in the hands of a less gifted and imaginative writer, this would probably have been the case. Fortunately, however, King's world-building, character development, and solid story-telling skills give this book a lot of momentum independent of, but not totally disassociated from, the overall narrative arc of the series.
Like The Gunslinger and Wizard and Glass, Wolves of the Calla hews closely to the tropes of the Western, albeit a Western filtered through Mr. King's dark and rich imagination. Once again, the story focuses on an ensemble cast, giving us a chance to view King's dying world through the eyes of the various members of Roland's ka-tet, as well as through the eyes of Father Callahan, who by strange paths has found his way to Calla Bryn Sturgis from the world of Salem's Lot . Most satisfying in this regard, is the page space given to Jake Chambers, the ka-tet's youngest member who must struggle with the consequences of his loyalty to his ka-tet and its mission.
Wolves of the Calla is a fine continuation of the Dark Tower series, and long-time readers are not likely to be disappointed. King's skills as a writer of horror-fiction are again put to good use as he gives us a story in which bad things are coming, but we find ourselves unable and unwilling to look away.
Wolves of the Calla felt more like a western to me than some of the earlier Dark Tower novels, though of course there was always that undercurrent of the time travel/alternate worlds/science fiction thing as well. I love that he brought the priest from Salem's Lot into the plot. And I laughed when he even brought himself into the mix. Fourth wall anyone?
More than any other character, Jake really came into his own in this book. Up until now he's been a child, thrust into these circumstances beyond his control. The others have tried to protect him and he's had to face horrors, but in this book he actually has his own mission, to discover whether the father of a boy he's met in town, a friend, is a traitor. And beyond that, he has to kill, and watch someone he knows and cares about die. By the end of the book, Jake is no longer a child. He's a full-fledged gunslinger.
Bit by bit the mythology of Stephen King's world(s) are coming together in these books. Susannah/Detta/Mia has her own demon (literally perhaps) to face, but her real trials will come in the next book. I also find it interesting that even though our main hero, Roland, still has his 'powers' of observation and cunning and wisdom, King has been knocking him down bit by bit through the books, first by taking away two vital fingers on his right hand, and now in this book with a creeping arthritis that threatens to shut him down. Writers, take note--I can't think of another writer who is meaner to his protagonists. And it works.
So all in all, I enjoyed this. The middle had a few slow moments, most notably that Callahan's tale was longer than I thought was necessary. But other than that? Really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the next one.
In shopping around for another space opera, the Stark's War trilogy under Jack Campbell's new nom de plume of John Hemry was my reason to give Stark's War a whirl.
Hamby's writing takes a decidedly different turn from Campbell. First, the good ... the hypothetical not-to-distant technology of lunar warfare is painstakingly envisioned and enjoyable. No magic weaponology. The first quarter of the book is promising. Our hero, Sgt Ethan Stark is a career, up through the ranks mil (military) enlisted guy. His non-mil childhood experience are not so positive in the families commercial fishing enterprise. By the end of the first half of the book a solid image of man-on-the-moon combat technology is well done and as craftily as the `Lost Fleet'.
Then the book changes rather dramatically and unpredictably. Stark's War #1 was written in 2000 long before the current economic meltdown. In a 2012 context, Sgt Stark's world view is a rage-against-the-machine hero who's target is anything and everybody associated with the military-industrial complex, officers and command motivations, a caste system like segregation of ranks and a basic bias for thoroughly believing that officers expend enlisted personal for personal career gain. Stark's rule #1 ... never trust command. Add to this mix absurdly irrational corporate greed, worthless politicians beholden to big corp and civilians, who are generally unknown but most probably `enemies' to Stark's (Hambry's) Darwinian view of 22nd century human society and you get Occupy Wall Street taking he reigns of civilization.
Sgt Stark very much appears to be the embodiment of a 2012 OWS protestor and heroically assuming 4-star level command through mutiny to 'run' the Moon the OWS way. The ending, a 22nd century OWS victory, is completely predictable at a little past half way. The narrative of the Sgt Starks transformation into 'world peace' rebellion is bad writing. Hamby crosses the line into hyperbole and propaganda as if it's right out of the front pages of 2012. Is the average OWS protestor `qualified' or `capable' to run the Moon? Do we desire to be led by the OWS 'principles'? Indeed, yes we do for Hambry as that is Stark's War's premise. If you can imagine that an OWS protestor is the right guy to run the expansive Moon society, this is a read for you.
It's curious that the anti-hypocrisy 'money' of Stark's ranting's is not born out in Hamby's own exercise of hypocrisy with his greedy big corp publisher. This is a faux-trilogy deviously short on pages and segmented into 3 installments to maximize revenues. The reader will be hard pressed not to conclude that a $/word contract is in operation. At $8/per installment, Hamby stands to reap a $24 revenue for what should otherwise be a single $8 book. This trilogy is by no means a $24 space opera craftsmanship. I read volume 1 cover to cover in 5-6 hours with interruptions. The OWS-like screeds can be bypassed to accomplish the read to 4 hours.
It's an average book at best but a fun read if one skips the author's 1-2 page editorial opinions. However, the publisher pricing dupe is ridiculously transparent. Hamby queues up his screeds in a fashion that alerts the reader that he's about to exit story and enter the screed mode.
Whoever is actually writing these books is extraordinarily naïve and damaged by experiences that stunted maturity. In Stark's War, the author disses everyone but the enlisted soldier. My own experience in the defense technology domain among joint government and civilian scientists, corporations operating under federal regulations and overseen by competent gov't employees and the quality, leadership and camaraderie between enlisted's and the officer corps reveals a very different reality to me after 40-some years. Hamby might get the science but completely misses the boat in how the people and organizational side of the equation work.
we have come to such a pinnacle of pain for all involved. the ka-test stretches to the breaking point more than once and then it expands. but as with any movement, there is pain. read on