The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (Jun 2004)

Susannah, now pregnant, has yet another taking control of her. The demon-mother, Mia, uses Susannah and Black Thirteen to transport to New York City of 1999. Jake, Oy, and Pere Callahan must rescue Susannah while Eddie and Roland transport to the Maine of 1977. A vacant lot in New York is the prize that must be saved and ties these together.

Common King themes:

  • Main character is hit by a car and almost killed (Stephen King worked his own car accident into the Dark Tower story, fashioning it as a murder attempt by the Crimson King.)
  • Twinners (Stephen King says that Cuthbert and Eddie are twins.)
  • June 19, 1999 (Stephen King awakens from a dream and realizes he's written in his dreambook: “6/19/99, O Discordia.” He is later hit by a van and killed in Lovell, Maine on this date.)

The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah has connections to the following books:

11th Stanza / Chapter 13 : Jack Torrance

After Eddie and Roland leave, Stephen King finds himself thinking about The Dark Tower - and some of his other works.

His mind drifted, as it so often did while listening to the radio, and he found himself thinking of the characters from that old story, The Dark Tower. Not that there were many left; as he recalled, he’d killed most of them off, even the kid. Didn’t know what else to do with him, probably. That was usually why you got rid of characters, because you didn’t know what else to do with them. What had his name been, Jack? No, that was the haunted Dad in The Shining. The Dark Tower kid had been Jake. Excellent choice of name for a story with a Western motif, something right out of Wayne D. Overholser or Ray Hogan. Was it possible Jake could come back into that story, maybe as a ghost? Of course he could. The nice thing about tales of the supernatural, King reflected, was that nobody had to really die. They could always come back, like that guy Barnabas on Dark Shadows. Barnabas Collins had been a vampire.

11th Stanza / Chapter 6 : Mac McCutcheon

“Now he came out of the bathroom and crossed to the bureau. “Is this a practical joke?” he asked, rummaging for dry jeans and a fresh tee-shirt. To Eddie, King’s house said money—some, at least. God knew what the clothes said. “Is it something Mac McCutcheon and Floyd Calderwood dreamed up?”

11th Stanza / Chapter 6 : Floyd Calderwood

“Now he came out of the bathroom and crossed to the bureau. “Is this a practical joke?” he asked, rummaging for dry jeans and a fresh tee-shirt. To Eddie, King’s house said money—some, at least. God knew what the clothes said. “Is it something Mac McCutcheon and Floyd Calderwood dreamed up?”

1st Stanza / Chapter 1 : Father Callahan

Father Callahan plays a large part in this book, but the strangest moment is when he and some of the other characters find a copy of Salem's Lot in the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind (the Stephen King book where Callahan first appeared).

Father Callahan took a cup of coffee with a nod and a distracted smile, but no word of thanks. He had spoken little since they’d come back from the cave. In his lap was a book called ’Salem’s Lot, by a man of whom he had never heard. It purported to be a work of fiction, but he, Donald Callahan, was in it. He had lived in the town of which it told, had taken part in the events it recounted. He had looked on the back and on the rear flap for the author’s photograph, queerly certain that he would see a version of his own face looking back at him (the way he’d looked in 1975, when these events had taken place, most likely), but there had been no picture, just a note about the book’s writer that told very little. He lived in the state of Maine. He was married. He’d written one previous book, quite well reviewed, if you believed the quotations on the back.

4th Stanza / Chapter 1 : Can-Toi

The Wolves, she supposed. The real Wolves. The ones in New York. The vampires of whom Callahan had spoken, and the low men. Or was there something else? Something even worse?

8th Stanza / Chapter 3 : Carrie White

When Eddie and Roland ask John Cullum about 'Salem's Lot, he tells them a little more about its author.

“Dunno,” Cullum said. “Lots of people around here read it, tell you that much. Because it’s set in Maine. And because of the ads they had on TV, you know. Also there was a movie made out of his first book, but I never went to see it. Looked too bloody.” “What was it called?” Cullum thought, then shook his head. “Can’t quite remember. ’Twas just one word, and I’m pretty sure it was a girl’s name, but that’s the best I can do. Maybe it’ll come to me.”

9th Stanza / Chapter 3 : Shawshank Prison

Tenuous, but this feels like a Shawshank reference. It is sadly never explained.

“Cullum closed one eye and appeared to calculate. “In the fifties, I spent ten miserable years as a guard at the Maine State Prison,” he said, “but I met a hell of a nice man there named—” Roland shook his head and then put the two remaining fingers of his right hand to his lips. Cullum nodded. “Well, I f’git what his name is, but he lives over in Vermont, and I’m sure I’ll remember it—maybe where he lives, too—by the time I get acrost the New Hampshire state line.”

Coda: Pages From a Writer's Journal / July 6th, 1998 : Sully John

I wrote for awhile this morning on my Vietnam story, switching over from longhand to my Power-Book, so I guess I’m serious about it. I like the way Sully John reappeared. Question: Will Roland Des-chain and his friends ever meet Bobby Garfield’s pal, Ted Brautigan? And just who are those low men chasing the old Tedster, anyway?

Coda: Pages From a Writer's Journal / July 9th, 1994 : Chip McCausland

Chip and Stephen King both walk (and get hit by cars) on the same road.

It seems that a Stoneham man, Charles “Chip” McCausland, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking on Route 7.

Coda: Pages From a Writer's Journal / September 22, 1922 : Rose Daniels

In Stephen King's journal, he describes an idea he had for a novel. It appears to be referring to Rose Madder, where Rose does actually buy a picture in a pawnshop and discovers she can step into it.

Meanwhile, I have an idea for a novel about a lady who buys a picture in a pawnshop and then kind of falls into it. Hey, maybe it’ll be Mid-World she falls into, and she’ll meet Roland!

References will be here!