by Stephen King
After six gunslinging, blood-spilling and time-tripping books, The Dark Tower, the seventh and final installment of King's fantastical series of the same name, finally reveals what's lurking at the top of that tower. And the answer is...a year's supply of Turtle Wax! Not really, but many series fans are going to be miffed when they find out what metacowboy Roland of Gilead encounters at the end of his odyssey to save both real and surreal worlds. It's a long way to go for an ending that doesn't—ahem—necessarily end.
As in previous Tower books, King resorts to such ego-boosting horse-play as making himself a character and dotting the Tolkienesque good-vs.-ghoulish plot with references to his own bestsellers. But give him credit for keeping the adventure entertaining. For every mention of rat-headed nurses and mystical vampires, there are pop-culture gags about Robert Goulet and Darth Vader. And as for that finish, Roland's fate might be frustrating, but hey, it's the journey that counts.