Wizard and Glass is the fourth book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. This book is subtitled "REGARD." The novel was nominated for a Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1998.
The novel begins where The Waste Lands ended. After Jake, Eddie, Susannah and Roland fruitlessly ride Blaine the Mono for several hours, Eddie defeats the mad computer by telling childish jokes. Blaine is unable to handle Eddie's "illogical" riddles, and short-circuits.
The four gunslingers and Oy the billy-bumbler disembark at the Topeka railway station, which to their surprise is located in the Topeka, Kansas, of the 1980s. The city is deserted, as this version of the world has been depopulated by the influenza of King's novel The Stand. Links between these books also include the following reference to The Walkin' Dude from The Stand on page 95, "Someone had spray-painted over both signs marking the ramp's ascending curve. On the one reading St. Louis 215, someone had slashed watch out for the walking dude."(King, 2003, pg 95) among others. The world also has some other minor differences with the one (or more) known to Eddie, Jake and Susannah, for instance, the Kansas City baseball team is the Monarchs (as opposed to the Royals), and Nozz-A-La is a popular soft drink.
The ka-tet leaves the city via the Kansas Turnpike, and as they camp one night next to an eerie dimensional hole which Roland calls a "thinny," the gunslinger tells his apprentices of his past, and his first encounter with a thinny.
At the beginning of the story-within-the-story, Roland (age fourteen) earns his guns—an episode retold in the inaugural issue of The Gunslinger Born —and becomes the youngest gunslinger in memory. He did it because he discovered his father's trusted counsellor, the sorcerer Marten Broadcloak, having an affair with his mother, Gabrielle Deschain. Roland's father, Steven, forbids him from taking action against Marten. In anger, Roland challenges his mentor, Cort, to a duel to earn his guns. Roland bests his teacher, and his father sends him east, away from Gilead, for his own protection. Roland leaves with two companions, Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns.
Soon after their arrival in the distant Barony of Mejis, Roland falls in love with Susan Delgado, the promised "gilly" of Thorin—the mayor. His love for Susan Delgado clouds his reasoning for a time and nearly results in a permanent split between him and his previously inseparable friend Cuthbert. He and his ka-tet also discover a plot between the Barony's elite and "The Good Man" John Farson, leader of a rebel faction, to fuel Farson's war machines with Mejis oil. After being seized by the authorities on trumped-up charges of murdering the Barony's Mayor and Chancellor, Roland's ka-tet manages to escape jail with Susan's help, destroy the oil and the detachment Farson sent to transport it, as well as the Mejis traitors. The battle ends at Eyebolt Canyon, where Farson's troops are maneuvered into charging to their deaths into a thinny.
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