The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (Nov 1997)

Part IV of an epic quest. Roland the Gunslinger and his followers have to contend with a sentient monorail intent on killing itself and taking them with it. While seeking to return to the Path of the Beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower, Roland tells his friends a story about the tragic loss of his first love, Susan Delgado.

Common King themes:

  • Laughter used to defeat evil (Blaine's mechanical brain is fried from the effort involved in answering the jokes and riddles from Jake's book.)
  • Evidence that reality is thin (“I’m all right,” he said. “But hear me well: this is very close to where Mid-World ends, very close to where End-World begins. The first great course of our quest is finished. We have done well; we have remembered the faces of our fathers; we have stood together and been true to one another. But now we have come to a thinny. We must be very careful.” “A thinny?” Jake asked, looking around nervously. “Places where the fabric of existence is almost entirely worn away. There are more since the force of the Dark Tower began to fail. Do you remember what we saw below us when we left Lud?”)
  • The number 19
  • Excessive use of the word "insouciant"

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass has connections to the following books:

Part 1 / Chapter IV: Topeka : Captain Trips

Roland and the gang come across evidence that they have entered the version of the world which was destroyed by Captain Trips in The Stand.

Below the newspaper’s name, taking up most of the front page’s top half, were screaming black letters: “CAPTAIN TRIPS” SUPERFLU RAGES UNCHECKED. Govt. Leaders May Have Fled Country Topeka Hospitals Jammed with Sick, Dying Millions Pray for Cure

Part 1 / Chapter IV: Topeka : Gage Creed

One of the streets in Topeka seems to be named after a certain little boy...

All Amtrak rail travel has been suspended, not just in Topeka but across all of Kansas. The Gage Boulevard Amtrak station has been closed until further notice.

Part 1 / Chapter V: Turnpikin' : Randall Flagg

Graffiti on the turnpike references lots of familiar enemies (the Walkin Dude is one of Randall Flagg's aliases).

Someone had spray-painted over both signs marking the ramp’s ascending curve. On the one reading ST. LOUIS 215, someone had slashed WATCH FOR THE WALKIN DUDE in black. On the one marked NEXT REST AREA 10 MI., ALL HAIL THE CRIMSON KING! had been written in fat red letters. That scarlet was still bright enough to scream even after an entire summer. Each had been decorated with a symbol.

Part 1 / Chapter V: Turnpikin' : The Crimson King

Graffiti on the Turnpike references the Crimson King.

Someone had spray-painted over both signs marking the ramp’s ascending curve. On the one reading ST. LOUIS 215, someone had slashed WATCH FOR THE WALKIN DUDE in black. On the one marked NEXT REST AREA 10 MI., ALL HAIL THE CRIMSON KING! had been written in fat red letters. That scarlet was still bright enough to scream even after an entire summer. Each had been decorated with a symbol.

Part 2 / Chapter VIII: Beneath The Peddler's Moon : The Regulators

Young men on good horses, no scars on their faces, no regulator tattoos on their hands, good clothes on their backs, expensive hats on their heads.

Part 3 / Chapter III: Playing Castles : Sylvia Pittston

Coral remembers Sylvia's visit to Hambry years ago.

She sounded so much like the wandering preacher-woman that had come through town the year before—Pittston, her name had been, Sylvia Pittston—that she laughed again, this time almost naturally.

Part 3 / Chapter IV: Roland and Cuthbert : Bool

Flagg yells bool at Jonas after performing some sleight of hand.

“Abracadabra! Bool! The end! Now,” the man in black went on, sipping his wine delicately, “if we have finished the tiresome formalities . . .”

Part 4 / Chapter I: Kansas in the Morning : Abagail Freemantle

Jake finds a note in Kansas that mentions Mother Abagail (as well as the dark man).

Jake took it back. “‘The old woman from the dreams is in Nebraska. Her name is Abagail.’” He paused. “Then, down here, it says, ‘The dark man is in the west. Maybe Vegas.’”

References will be here!