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Literature / Song of Susannah

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Preceded by Wolves of the Calla.

Song of Susannah is Book VI of Stephen King's Epic Fantasy series The Dark Tower. Pressed for time, Callahan, Jake, and Oy are hot on Mia's trail as she manipulates Susannah into dimension-hopping to New York in the year 1999. Can they prevent Mia from giving birth to The Chap who will help his father, the Crimson King, destroy the Dark Tower?

Meanwhile, gunslingers Roland and Eddie travel to 1977 Maine in search of bookstore owner Calvin Tower, and end up meeting Stephen King himself.

To see the character sheet for the whole book series, go here.

Followed by The Dark Tower (2004).

Song of Susannah provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Author Avatar: Stephen King appears in the book as himself. Roland and Eddie have to talk him into continuing the Dark Tower books, since the stability of the universe depends on it about as much as on the Beams and the Rose.
  • Badass Bystander: John Cullum, a fairly ordinary groundskeeper, gets mixed up in the shoot-out between Roland and Eddie, and Balazar's men. He sides with the ka-tet without just about any hesitation, helping them survive the ambush, providing them with transport, and inviting them to his home afterwards. Lastly, he points them in the direction of Stephen King when Eddie worries about not being on time to both talk to him and save Susannah, saving them a significant amount of time.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The Dixie Pig is full of the Crimson King's soldiers.
  • Body Horror: The Grandfathers in the Dixie Pig, a very high-ranking type of Vampires, are described as incredibly grotesque-looking complete with monstrous teeth.
  • Demonic Possession: Mia isn't simply a split personality, she is a spirit who invaded Susannah's body to give birth to the Crimson King's son.
  • Disney Death: Black Thirteen is hidden in a storage locker in the basement of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1999. The text implies that it would be either destroyed or irretrievably buried in the 2001 terrorist attack.
  • Fetus Terrible: Susannah reasonably suspects that this is what Mia's son will turn out to be, considering it's the son of the Crimson King.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Eddie remembers how his brother Henry thought that the personal computer race that started in the late 70s would crash by the mid-80s.
  • Self-Deprecation: Stephen King makes the claim to Eddie and Roland that he's not a very good writer, and points out his real-life penchant for using plenty of references and miles of character development in his works.
    Stephen King: "In fact, whenever I run out of inspiration and resort to plot, the story I'm working on usually turns to shit!"
  • Tempting Fate: Having traveled to New York City in 1999, Jake and Father Callahan hide Black Thirteen in a self-storage locker beneath the World Trade Center. They buy as much time as they can, setting the locker's final opening for June 2002. Callahan is sure that someone can only get the sphere by breaking into it, but Jake points out that the locker could be smashed open if the building were to collapse. The World Trade Center would be destroyed by a terrorist attack in 2001.
  • The Undead: The Dixie Pig is full of various classes of Vampires.
  • To Serve Man: Though mercifully brief, Susannah catches a glimpse of the Grandfather-type Vampires feasting on a baby.