Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King (The Dark Tower)

Roland and his company prepare to defend a town that sees half of its children kidnapped and “roont” once a generation.

Wolves of the Calla is still my favorite of the Dark Tower books. I think it’s because it has the best standalone story of the bunch. Calla Bryn Sturgis, the town, has the feel of the American frontier, and watching Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy prepare to do battle against the kidnapping Wolves is fraught with suspense, tension, and action.

I had forgotten all about Pere Callahan, whose story takes the B-line here. Callahan, of course, was one of the main character’s in King’s ‘Salem’s Lot, and his introduction marks the beginning of the intertextuality that will pervade the rest of the series. I’ve never had a problem with King’s insertion of himself into the story, because I think it works with what he’s trying to accomplish. But I remember being nervous the first time I read Calla, worried that he was about to wreck the series I’d become so heavily invested in.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so I’ll save a lot of my thoughts for the next book. But this rereading of Calla was no less enthralling than past reads, and I still get goosebumps when Roland dances the commala. I think this book contains some of King’s finest writing, and that’s saying a lot.

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