Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Song of Susannah by Stephen King

Posted by Caitie F on January 7, 2011

Title: The Song of Susannah 
Author: Stephen King
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Scribner (Simon & Schuster)
Year Published: 2004
ISBN: 9780743254557
Rating: ++

Summary (from goodreads because I couldn’t summarize this crazy book if my life depended on it):

To give birth to her “chap,” demon-mother Mia has usurped the body of Susannah Dean and used the power of Black Thirteen to transport to New York City in the summer of 1999. The city is strange to Susannah…and terrifying to the “daughter of none,” who shares her body and mind.

Saving the Tower depends not only on rescuing Susannah but also on securing the vacant lot Calvin Tower owns before he loses it to the Sombra Corporation. Enlisting the aid of Manni senders, the remaining katet climbs to the Doorway Cave…and discovers that magic has its own mind. It falls to the boy, the billy-bumbler, and the fallen priest to find Susannah-Mia.

Eddie and Roland, meanwhile, tumble into western Maine in the summer of 1977, a world that should be idyllic but isn’t. For one thing, it is real, and the bullets are flying. For another, it is inhabited by the author of a novel called ‘Salem’s Lot, a writer who turns out to be as shocked by them as they are by him.


I am so glad the series didn’t end here – it would have been a huge disappointment! I loved the fourth and fifth book in the series so much, but had heard from many people that the sixth was strange and the worst in the series. My best friend read the first five books then gave up on finishing it because she hated it so much. That is why it took me over a year to read this one…but I finally did and had to push myself through it.

I didn’t like Susannah’s split personalities in earlier books and I hated going back to Detta/Susannah, then adding a pregnant demon. I had to push through it every time it came back, and it was about half the book. I usually love Stephen King, so having to push myself to read it was disappointing. I have been told it is needed for the last book, but I will only believe it when I read that.

At least it wasn’t the entire book. I really loved the parts with Father Callahan and Jake. Jake and Oy have been my favorite characters in the series. Watching Jake transform from a scared boy to a kick-ass gunslinger has been amazing. I love how you can’t forget that he is just a though. This makes him more real and made me feel what he was feeling at time. Roland is a great character too, but I think Jake’s innocence combined with hardness to life makes him an intriguing and deep character.

I really enjoyed Roland and Eddie’s story…until they head over to meet this Stephen King guy who wrote about Father Callahan. Sometimes, adding the author is a character to the story works, like in I Am the Messanger. Sometimes, it is just strange and does not seem to have a point at all, like in this book. Again, I was told it matters in the next book, but I think that is poor writing and planning. It felt arrogant and self-serving in this book. I get it, he wanted to write about some of the things leading up to the accident and the accident, well he could  have written in a journal about it. Oh wait, he did, but then he published it/a fictionalized version of it. Why the need to add it to this epic story? Did he want to talk about the writing process more? He has an entire book on the topic.

Maybe I will change my mind about it after I read the seventh book. Maybe it will make sense, but as of the sixth I don’t like it or think that it is effective. In my review of the previous book I was excited to see characters saying they were real people, not just in a book and exploring the issue more in the next two books, but it just fell flat.

Apparently the last book is worth a strange and boring penultimate one, but that remains to be seen. I sure hope it is because I would be upset if this great epic fantasy ends with two weak books.

Have you read any series that had a really bad book you had to push through? Let me know in the comments!

Challenges: This counts for the TwentyEleven Challenge as an Adult Book and the 2011 Original TBR Challenge

6 Responses to “The Song of Susannah by Stephen King”

  1. […] Uglies by Scott Westerfeld 2. Youth in Revolt by C. D. Payne 3. Song of Susannah by Stephen King (read and reviewed) 4. 1776 by David McCullough 5. The Alienist by Caleb Carr 6. The Godfather by […]

  2. J said

    Like I said, book seven is great and worth trudging through book six. You know I don’t finish books I don’t like, but I made it through six because the first five were so great. It’s worth it for seven.

    I liked the Stephen King part – I thought it was clever and thought it worked with his idea of Mid-World being ALL the world’s he’s created. In “On Writing” King talks about how sometimes he feels like a channel for the books he writes – not that he creates them, but they exist and he is merely the vessel through which the books are written. Him putting himself into the book fits with that idea.

    That said, I agree talking about the accident, as important as it was to him, is a bit pretentious. Then again, this is the same series that redid the Wizard of Oz…

  3. I’ve never tried a Stephen King book because I’m afraid it will scare me too much. This one sounds like it would confuse me as well.

  4. […] The Song of Susannah by Stephen King 1. 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. 5. 5. 6. 6. 7. 7. 8. 8. 9. 9. 10. 10. 11. […]

  5. kj said

    Stephen King had a great idea with this series and it really is worth plowing through some of the garbage to get to it. The first books were excellent, but the latter books really needed a good editor to take out the trash…

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