Audio reviews reflect PW
's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.
DARK TOWER V: Wolves of the Calla
, read by George Guidall. Simon & Schuster Audio
, unabridged, 22 CDs, 26 hrs., $75 ISBN 0-7435-3352-6
Roland of Gilead's quest to save all worlds from evil continues in this fifth installment of King's epic tale, which finds the gunslinger and his companions helping the farmers of Calla Bryn Sturgis fight against the terrifying "Wolves" who threaten to kidnap the Calla's children. Joining them is Father Callahan, who first appeared in King's second book,'Salem's Lot
(1975). Using a low, gruff voice that only Clint Eastwood could equal, Guidall aptly captures Roland's rough-edged character, but it's often difficult to distinguish between the tenors he employs for the book's many male characters. Andy the robot, however, is one character that listeners won't confuse with the others. Wise-guy gunslinger Eddie might compare Andy to Star Wars
' C3PO, both in his "complacent, slightly prissy voice" and his lanky, mechanical appearance, but avid listeners will find that the tone Guidall adopts for Andy more closely resembles that of the beloved 1980s toy Speak & Spell. In the afterword, King thanks the narrator of the first four Dark Tower novels, Frank Muller, whose debilitating motorcycle accident in 2001 prevented him from finishing the series. "[A]udio insists you absorb everything," King notes, and in Muller's absence, Guidall does a fine job of bringing this epic tale to life. Simultaneous release with the Donald M. Grant/Scribner hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 4).