- 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:
Wolves of the Calla (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 24 gen 2006
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It is in this book we see the characters finally work together as trained Gunslingers. Each of the characters has a pressing problem and hardship in their lives, and yet they must put them aside to help the children of the Calla . How these characters deal with their own monumental problems and act as true heroes at the same time is a reflection of the fact they have become true gunslingers, following Roland.
King also takes the opportunity to let this book show us more of Roland's world and culture. I found the dance Roland did at the start of the book fascinating, and the society of goddess worshiping disk throwing women seemed like they might have walked out of the pages of Roman Mythology. King does a great job rounding the culture, and giving us views of the world just as if we were reading a historical fiction, instead of high fantasy.
Wolves of the Calla, at 736 pages, is the longest yet of the series. But the length is justified as King takes time to create characters and places so real, you feel as if you might have been there before in some odd and half forgotten dream. He builds suspense to the final battle with the Wolves, and then makes that battle as fast, and horrible as any real war skirmish.
Many complained about the references to pop culture, Kings other works, and aspects of the "real" world, but I thought they only served to make the idea of the Tower as an axis of reality more believable. Making himself a real, yet invisible character in the book gave me a little shiver, after all...if King is real in that world so am I and all his readers. Heh heh heh. It only served to make the sense of so many realities tied in one moment of fate more grand.
King also makes the themes of choices and payment for those choices central. Lives are altered forever by the Calla's choice to go along with the Wolves so long. Susannah's brave choice of using her sexuality as a weapon against the portal demon in book 3 is now coming due for payment as the birth of her monstrous child approaches. The choice the Father makes in forcing Roland's hand to not offer Susannah an abortion is about to be paid. Yet, King doesn't moralize these choices. He shows each character as someone who simply made the best choice they could. There is a great tragedy in this, and also a great beauty.
I recommend this to anyone who has found their hearts tied to the fate of the brave little Ka-Tet. To anyone who has not read the others, go back to book one first and take the journey to this one. Only then will you truly understand the path that these brave gunslingers have walked so far, to save the tower and all realities. And you will understand how far the along the path they really have still to go.
Hold on to your horses, kids. Its going to be a hell of a ride.
I will not provide a detailed recap of the story here since so many other reviewers have already done so. What I will attempt to do is explain why I give Wolves of the Calla only 3 stars, as well as to list its strengths and weaknesses. The story of the residents of the Calla and their joining forces with Roland's ka-tet to vanquish the wolves deserves 5 stars. There is intrigue, town politics, an ominous threat hanging over the twin children of the residents, and an exciting battle between Wolf and man. The personalities of the townsfolk, who are divided in their opinions of whether to fight or submit to the wolves, are well developed, as is that of the enigmatic Andy the Messenger Robot. King has done an excellent job developing the mythology and culture of the "folken" of Calla Bryn Sturgis. The reader is treated to a realistic and colorful portrayal of their language, culture, festivals, music, and traditions. After finishing the story, I felt that I had actually taken a trip there and met its inhabitants.
Where the story line falls short, and earns the book only 3 stars, is the middle half of the novel, where there is a lot of travel to the New York of 1977 and many side narratives about the pasts of several of the protagonists. The travel, sometimes performed involuntarily through a mystical "todash" and sometimes voluntarily through another magical doorway, leads to efforts to protect the rose of previous episodes from harm. Not only is all this back-and-forth action distracting, but the ka-tet's dealings with the owner of the lot upon which the rose grows, and with the hoodlums who threaten him, is tedious. Also in this middle half is an excessive amount of tale telling about the pasts of several of the characters. Pere Callahan's tale is essentially a sequel to Salem's Lot, and has no place here.
The illustrations have added a lot to the cost of the book, but little to enhance the story. I give one star to these illustrations. Granted, Roland's Mid-World is a gloomy place, but these paintings are too gloomy and colorless. Every character is depicted as sinister. They all look physically mangy and stringy, even the good folken of the Calla.
Although I prefer King's horror fiction to his Dark Tower epic, being an ardent King fan I feel duty-bound to read the entire story - all seven volumes worth. Besides, I do want to know how Roland and his ka-tet manage to save Mid-World from the evil of the Dark Tower. Reading the entire magnum opus does require a large commitment, since the story, when completed, is projected to weigh in at more than 3,500 pages. Needless to say this volume of the series should not be tackled unless you have already read the previous volumes, and thus it is best left to the diehard Stephen King or Dark Tower fans. Of course this installment will leave the story, and you, hanging in midair. But have no fear... the last two volumes will be released before year's end.
I'm aware that the crowd here is fairly rabid, so I'll get the obligatory positive points out of the way. I've read almost everything Mr. King has written up 'til the point, and I firmly believe that he will be lauded in retrospect (laudation always seems to occur in retrospect) as one of the preeminent writers of his generation. His prose is artful, his characters believable, and his stories spell-binding, and the Dark Tower is no exception. It is, as he has frequently said, the lynchpin around which his universe revolves.
In recent years, however, I've seen this as becoming more of a crutch than anything else. Mr. King has been inserting Dark Tower-isms into everything he's written as of late, and while I don't necessarily mind this particular conceit, it frequently comes off occasionally as something he simply cannot escape doing (like that legendary gag about how every William Shatner TV appearence includes the word "Klingons" somewhere). "Black House" disappointed me by turning the vibrant and original world of the "Territories" that he and Peter Straub created in "The Talisman" into just another adjunct of the Dark Tower universe. I was hoping, then, that the actual followup to the series would solve the problem a bit, at the very least making all of these tie-ins worthwhile.
"Wolves of the Calla," then, is something of a mixed experience. For the first time, a Dark Tower book feels like it's being written long after previous installments. References to the previous books in the series feel forced, almost of a "hey, remember when *that* happened?" sort; if one follows Mr. King's advice and picks up this book after refreshing on the previous four, many of these references feel unnecesary and oddly out-of-character for our forward-looking troupe. Additionally, I lost count of the times exchanges of obligatory "casual reference to another world meets with confusion which is dispelled with a knowing 'never mind'" occured. King mostly avoids his tendency to "overforeshadow" this time around ("He walked down the street for what would be his last time as a human being with two arms"), which is a nice surprise.
So let's see. Two paragraphs of criticism...wow. The flaws of "Wolves of the Calla" are a shame, because King's written another excellent story. While parallels to the *other* grand epic in the current mindset are usually discouraged with regard to King's tale, I can't help but note that this is the "Two Towers" of his series. "Woves of the Calla" finds the main journey arc on pause as character development and exposition come to the fore, but King's talents at characterization and humanization mean that this is a welcome variation from the previous installments. Some have written justifiably on issues of pacing (the book's final showdown is left to the last fifty pages), but this is besides the point; "Wolves of the Calla" is less about the conflict of the villagers than it is about demonstrating how our protagonists have changed over the course of these five books. And at showing this King succeeds brilliantly.
The verdict? "Wolves of the Calla" is an excellent addition to the ongoing series, and its somewhat bizarre cliffhanger (which is no secret by now, finding King magnifying his joy of author-insertion to some previously-unrecognized levels) is sure to keep people looking forward to the next volume. "Wolves" feels a bit rusty at times--King has become so proficient at oblique references to the Dark Tower series that the book's *direct* references to the mythology feel forced--but at worst it feels like it was perhaps underedited. If you're a fan of the Dark Tower, you won't be disappointed. If you're a casual browser...well, you might want to start at the beginning.
The suspense and drama of the books are fantastic, but I think it's the characters that really set this series apart. In "Wolves of the Calla", each member of the ka-tet has agonizing personal choices to make and their decisions, sometimes flawed, sometimes heroic, make this series something beyond classification. This isn't a drawn-out epic fantasy or a gimmicky tie in of other novels. Like "Wizard and the Glass" this novel is memorable both in itself and in what is does for the series storyline.
Jake is growing up. The Gunslinger is growing a heart (has been for some time). He's also losing some of his physical abilities, but he's a much more interesting character than when he started out. Susannah's latest personality would defy belief if written by any other writer, but Stephen King handles her masterfully. And Eddie the former junkie is now the one that's desperate to hold the group together. The battle to project a town's children against seemingly unstoppable "wolves" is just one part of the story.
The stakes are raised at the conclusion of this installment by a new character with his own stunning background added to mix and Stephen King tantalizes us with the first real glimpse of how this serious might conclude. I hate the spoilers, so that's all I'll say.
Don't miss it.
Wolves of the Calla takes place in an alternate universe within an alternate universe that could be earth's future, past or even present. The point being that it is an alternate universe with very real similarities to our own. King fans will recognize themes from other favorites such as The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis and Insomnia. Although the heroes of Wolves of the Calla don't actually appear as instrumental characters in the pages of these novels, their presence is certainly felt and their quest for The Dark Tower influences a plot or two. Rather, it is the underlying presence of evil that lurks on the pages of most King novels that is the common character throughout.
The folk of Calla are good, hardworking townspeople who's spirits have been wounded by an evil force that preys on their children. Specifically, the many pair of twins who are born and reside in the town. In Calla, it seems having sets of twins is more the norm than the exception. The story builds as one by one the residents of Calla gather the courage to stand and fight the evil force preying on their spirits and the souls of their children. They must first, however, gather the resources to gain the assistance of Roland the gunslinger and his band of weary, yet fierce, warriors. In true King fashion, there is just enough truth to the horrific events that follow to allow a reader to question the thin fabric of the wool that covers the eyes of our reality. Gun battles, multiple personalities, computers gone haywire, corporations controlled by evil... Corporations controlled by evil? Sounds a lot like the 21st Century.
Wolves of the Calla is an excellent blend of horror, science fiction and fantasy. It is entertaining and thought provoking. King develops the characters in a way that makes them human and allows the events to flow like a river downstream... into the gaping mouth of a blood thirsty monster. In this alternate universe nothing is what it seems, yet everything has an air of familiarity. It is in this familiarity that King frightens us the most, because there is nothing more frightening that the alternate reality of King's mind.