“The Wizard and the Glass” by Stephen King

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Last month, Stephen King released an eighth Dark Tower novel by the name of “The Wind Through the Keyhole.” I took this as a personal challenge, and began fervently trying to finish King’s “Wizard and the Glass,” because “The Wind Through the Keyhole” nestles firmly between the fourth and fifth Dark Tower novels.

For the past eight years I have attempted to read “The Wizard and the Glass” to little to no avail. I love Stephen King and I love his work. I remember reading the “Gunslinger” for the first time and being riveted and quickly marked as a bibliophile. I knew after reading it cover-to-cover (in the span of a couple hours) that I would forever read, and that literature would always be a close friend. However, even though the “Gunslinger” is rightfully King’s magnum opus, “The Wizard and the Glass” (which resides in the same series) woefully deviates from Roland’s tale to tell even older tale.

It starts slow and for me “The Wizard and the Glass” was hard to concentrate on because I was being constantly reminded of the much more interesting story that lay in the immediate background. However, I finally finished it and the tale was masterful as always. About halfway through the novel the sidetracked story begins to get interesting in its own right, but like all great King story it ends in sadness and to quote my own thoughts on “11/22/63”:

“Damn it Stephen King! You’re so brilliant, but I hate you!”

The novel wraps up by diving into Roland’s psyche, syncing a great Wizard of Oz reference to Stephen King’s famous novel “The Stand,” and shoring up some loose plot points divulged in the prior three novels.

“The Wizard and the Glass” is a good novel in its own right, but definitely not my favorite of King’s work or the best of the Dark Tower saga. Ironically enough, I am desperately looking forward to cracking into his newest foray into the land Oz though, so stayed tuned for my review on King’s “A Wind Through the Keyhole.”

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Sonia G. Medeiros’ April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words

This month’s challenge asks participants “to write either the opening or closing lines of a story.”  Sonia mentions one of the most famous opening lines (and personally one of my favorite) from Stephen King’sGunslinger“:

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”

I do a fair amount of free writing that borders on ranting, so during my daily exercise I decided to focus on possible opening/closing lines.  Here is the opener that Zeus-ed me this afternoon:

The first time I clawed my way out of heaven I had to go back because I forgot my watch.  The second time someone clocked me, and whispered, “you’re late.”

The Deepness in Jenga

Life is a jumble.  Sometimes everything stacks up nice and neat, but all it takes is one slight maneuver and the Jenga Tower just comes tumbling on down.  The part of the puzzle that is different for all of us is the quickness in which we build the tower, how high we build it, and how we rebuild it after it has collapsed.  I could probably expound on the aforementioned metaphor and say that each color represents a facet of our personality and that the flaws that cause the collapse of the tower are the ones that makes us stronger in the rebuilding of our beacon; however that level of detail is in a mindset and post of its own, so I’ll segue from ideological digression to something more grounded.

The last several weeks have been filled with craziness.  My girlfriend’s parents recently moved out of state leaving her feeling slightly uneasy.  All of her family now either resides in Idaho, or on the Westside of Washington State.  In their move, we helped whenever we had a chance to, and at the end of the day we ended up adopting one of their dogs to ease their move.  His name is Cody (aka Kodiak) and he is an incredibly well behaved and cute Chihuahua.  The sad part to the whole affair is that when he was a pup someone decided that negligence and abuse was the way to proceed, so unfortunately his back legs are horribly skewed because both of them were broken after being caught in a mesh kennel and then left to mend improperly.  The same individuals who left his legs shattered and misshapen, also felt it was necessary to solely feed him human food, which subsequently rotted out all of his front teeth leaving him with only his more sturdy back ones to do the munching.  When he pants he looks like a little old man, but even throughout all of the torment he is a well-adjusted, sweet, and handsome son-of-a-gun.  As I’m writing this, he is tightly wound into a little ball softly snoring away.  I’ve already become incredibly partial to him and hopefully with some diet and exercise his little chub will slowly dissipate and his legs can begin to heal.

Along with the adoption of the Chihuahua, I have been fervently writing as Celeste and I gear up for the Spokane Comic-Con.   I was fortunate enough to be able to cover the Vertigo relaunch and restructure last month, which led to quite a swell in viewership.  The Avengers vs. X-Men, which is the big Marvel summer event, just released last week and looks to be a promising 12-part arc that will pit the mightiest of the Marvel Universe in an epic slugfest.  And, at the moment, I am working on a review of Scott Snyder’s “Gates of Gotham” miniseries that premiered last year, before the DC’s new 52, as a kind of prologue to a series of articles that I will be composing about Snyder’s new Bat Family crossover story arc dubbed “The Court of Owls.”  Snyder is a superb writer and continues to push the boundaries of storytelling in both of his critically acclaimed Batman and Swamp Thing runs, so if you get a chance grab a Snyder graphic novel or comic—you won’t be disappointed.

As for the novel, “Jack and the Lilac Butcher,” I’ve kept up by fleshing out scenes here and there, and I am hopeful that the first act of the novel will be wrapped up in a couple of weeks.  It’s been a blast to write and it seems as if inspiration abounds, but I suppose once you are in love with something, whether it be a person, an idea, or a character, it is difficult not to be inspired.  In all likelihood I will post several chapters of the novel back-to-back here on WordPress, at the Writer’s Café, and at Wattpad.  I have been meaning to become more involved in Wattpad.  It seems like a great community of writers and readers that definitely deserves more of my time.

Just the other evening I finally wrapped up Clive Cussler’s “The Race” after slowly slogging through its whimsical pages.  My haste was deeply lessened with work and various sidetracks, but I was eventually able to finish the novel.  I greatly enjoyed it.  It was a fantastic period piece set in the early part of the twentieth century, specifically focusing on the early days of aviation, and the fictional Van Dorn Detective Agency’s various Pinkerton-like exploits.  I have now moved on to finally finishing King’s “Wizard in the Glass,” so that I can dive into his newest Dark Tower novel, “The Wind in the Keyhole,” which releases later this month.  Even though I have not finished the Dark Tower saga I am greatly intrigued by the fact that King has returned to his masterpiece after all this time with a fill-in novel.  Hopefully, this will give me the necessary push to finish the series that I have so longed to read, but never ‘found’ the time to enjoy.  With a stack of books at my bedside I have found that Goodreads has been an excellent site to virtually house all of my reads and want-to-reads, while simultaneously engaging in literary discussions.  If anyone is interested, or already as an account, send me a follow and I’ll make sure to follow back.  I always love to see what others are reading.  There is always a hidden gem in someone’s library.

Well, I am off to dive into the endless sea of pop culture that I ‘oh-so’ love.  A latte, a cozy Chihuahua, some Queen on vinyl, and a bought of writing are in order for this blogger.  A hat off to everyone, and hopefully the sun is shining wherever you are.


Anthony Schultz

Zap! The “Read of the Moment” has been Categorized!

In order to streamline my “Read of the Moment” page I’ve officially abolished the page, but created a category to that will act as a page in the menu structure above.  Essentially, books and graphic novels listed below are ones that I have finished through and through since the first of the year (2012).  Expect more to come, because as any writer knows reading is his or her best research and ally.

Robert Kirkman‘s “Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear the Hunters” 

Read 2.18.2012

Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” is an amazing series by Image Comics that blends traditional horror elements with realistic situations and applicable philosophies.  The series follows Rick Grimes and specifically centers on his groups humanity (or lack thereof).  This particular volume  focuses on cannibalism and the consequences of raising children in an apocalyptic wasteland.  “Walking Dead” is a masterful experience, presented in beautiful high gloss, black and white art panels.

Scott Snyder and Stephen King’sAmerican Vampire

Read 2.10.2012

The first volume of “American Vampire” couples Scott Snyder and Stephen King on a collaborative story that spans 45-years and is essentially a reaffirming of the vampire.  Stephen King writes a wonderful prologue that expresses his disdain for the overly romanticized characterizations of the modern vampire and tells readers that he aims to make ’em scary again.

Snyder and King take wild west outlaw, Skinner Sweet, and make him frightening while depicting a much more grim interpretation of the vampire community.  A gritty and graphic jaunt into early American history with a spectacular character who puts the pointed fangs back into the vampire.

Jeremy Robinson‘s “Insomnia and Seven Other Short Stories”

Read 1.29.2012

This was a stellar collection of short stories by Jeremy Robinson.  After wrapping up “Pulse” I decided to dive into more Robinson tales by reading “Insomnia”–his sole anthology of short tales.  All of them are excellently written and what stood out most was his ‘afterwords.’  After each short story Robinson wrote a brief blurb about how the story came about and what he was thinking at the time.  It was a brilliant slice into the mind of a successful writer, and more often than not, I looked forward more to the ‘afterword’ than the story.  Most of the stories fell into the Sci-fi or horror genres and they all seemed fairly experimental.  I loved “The Eater, “Harden’s Tree,” and “Dark Seed of the Moon” in particular, but there is not a single one that I would not recommend.  If you have a Kindle or another type of eReader and like Science-Fiction and Horror pick there is no excuse not pick this anthology–only a scant $2.99 for eight short stories.

Jeremy Robinson‘s “Pulse”

Read 1.25.2012

Jeremy Robinson writes a lot like Matthew Reilly.  His prose is thick with action and the read is always quick.  Robinson’s “Chess Team Adventures” series is very reminiscent of Reilly’s “Scarecrow” series, but where Reilly’s plots usually hint at the supernatural Robinson’s embrace it fully.  He has no problem working in ancient mythologies and bring them forward to the present almost wholly intact.  If you like action-thriller novels dripping with mythologies of civilizations past, jaunts across the world, and a character roster that just drips cool when they enter a scene then this is the book and series for you.  

Stephen King‘s “11/22/63”

Read 1.17.2012

Stephen King is masterful storyteller and from what I have read of his latest venture is phenomenal. The character development is superb, as always, and the character are hard to not to immediately latch onto to and fall in love with.  The time travel bit is executed wonderfully.  The plethora of jargon and scientific explanation for such a phenomenon is omitted and it is merely used as a plot device to create an interesting tale.  It’s not the mean, but the means.  Great read thus far!  Can’t wait to finish it.  As an aside I just recently read that King will be writing a sequel to the “Shining” as well as an eighth “Dark Tower” novel, which will fall between the fourth and the fifth ones.  I can’t wait!  Happy hunting, everyone!

After wrapping up this novel I decided to do review about it, so check it out by clicking here!

Matt Reilly‘s “Ice Station

Read 12.30.2011

Matt Reilly’s “Ice Station” hits you like a tone of bricks.  This is the first in a series dubbed the “Scarecrow” line, named after the title’s main character Shane Schofield, aka Scarecrow.  Published in the late nineties, “Ice Station,” is a little rough plot-wise, but what makes up for the roughness is a journey filled with action, mayhem, and craziness as an American recon unit is charged with recovering an unidentified flying object beneath the Wilke’s Ice Station in Antarctica.  It is a great read, and I would highly recommend it.  It was one of those novels that has sat on my shelf for years and now after reading it I woefully regret the long delay.

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