Dark Tower V : Wolves Of The Calla

Version: Unabridged
Author: Stephen King
Narrator: George Guidall
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction & Literature, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: November 2003
# of Units: 22 CDs
Length: 26 hours
Tell Your Friends:


Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland's youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future's only promise. Followers of Stephen King's epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the Dark Tower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah; Jake Chambers, the boy who has come twice through the doorway of death into Roland's world; and Oy, the Billy Bumbler.

In this long-awaited fifth novel in the saga, their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World's borderlands. Beyond the town the rocky ground rises towards the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community's soul. One of the town's residents is Pere Callahan, a ruined priest who, like Susannah, Eddie and Jake, passed through one of the portals that lead both into and out of Roland's world.

As Father Callahan tells the ka-tet the astonishing story of what happened following his shamed departure from Maine in 1977, his connection to the Dark Tower becomes clear, as does the danger facing a single red rose in a vacant lot off Second Avenue in midtown Manhattan. For Calla Bryn Sturgis, danger gathers in the east like a storm cloud. The Wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to, and they can give the Calla folken both courage and cunning. Their guns, however, will not be enough.

Reviews (14)

The Calla

Written by Dewey Stevens on November 7th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

George Guidell not quite as engaging as the late Frank Muller, but the story draws you in. Found myself looking forward to my commute!

Love the Dark Tower

Written by Anonymous on March 19th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

If you have read 1-4 you will read this one too. Another great chapter in the saga. I loved the tie in to Salem's Lot. Sadly the reader is not as good (1-3)... but you definitely get used to him as I did in 4.


Written by Heather Stevens on November 20th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5


Wolves of the Calla

Written by Lynn Smoak on July 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved it. I can't wait to continue the series with Dark Tower VI. I am beginning to believe that this is Stephen King's best work, especially in the audio version. He is able to make you relate with all of the characters. I started this series many years ago with Gunslinger, which I didn't this was that great but as the series has continued, every volume gets better. I can't wait to see how it ultimately comes out, who survives, who doesn't, etc.

Guidall is no Roland

Written by Chris on February 8th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I see from reading the other reviews that I'm not the first to be disappointed by the narrative change. It does ameliorate the pain somewhat to hear the reasons, but I feel that Guidall would have been at the bottom of my list when scouting for a replacement; he is dry, uninteresting and seems to spend more time admiring his own voice than attempting to portray each character as a unique, distinct individual. The story itself was well done - not as good as Wizard & Glass, but still satisfying in its own way. The introduction of Callahan was beautiful; I love the constant resonance of other worlds and other stories in this series - it's like King's tying an entire universe that spans decades into one tidy knot. I'm still going and am looking forward to the next... even if Guidall weaseled his way into the narration.


Written by Tami Whalen on January 19th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I loved this one too on thw whole. I was very disappointed that the reader was different and that put me off for the first 2 CD's later in the Autor's note King explained why and then I understood and felt a little quilty for being so irritated in the first place. I do wish that note had come at the beginning instead of the end, I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I could have gotten past hearing a different version of Roland right away. The book overall was compelling though no 4 is still my favorite. I also didn't care for all of Susannah's alter ego stuff but I know that is just building into the next book which I can't wait to read.

Dark Tower V : Wolves Of The Calla

Written by LRS on August 17th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I enjoyed the audio. I was interested from the start and can’t wait to see how the audio finishes. It was a little confusing at first with the different character moving back and forward between their worlds. Still I highly enjoyed this audio. LRS.

The story is great, but the narrator...

Written by Jessica Gassner on March 2nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I would give this review 5 stars based on the story, but the new narrator lacks the depth and range of Frank Muller, who narrated DT 2, 3, & 4. Frank Muller had it down! He really brought these characters to life, and I don't see how it could have been done better. The new narrator, George Guidall, does not do Eddie Dean's trademark New York accent, and gives him a whiney voice that doesn't sit well with me. Guidall doesnt appear to have read/listened to the books, as he is always mispronouncing words and character's names. This is unfortunate, as when you are enjoying an audio you become involved in the story, but these annoyances really pull you back out. I don't think anyone could have done as good a job as Frank Muller, and it's unfortunate he was unable to finish King's great work before passing. I don't think anyone could have held a candle to Muller, so my 4 stars is based on narration not story content.

Slow Moving Story

Written by Anonymous on September 25th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I was a huge fan of the Dark Tower series, rabidly waiting for each story to come out. I still remember each story in detail and was looking forward to listening to the rest of the books - now I see why reading a Stephen King novel is better than listening to it. He really needs to check his ego and get an editor. The meat of the story is fantastic - the first and last set of cds are all you really need to listen to to get the gist of it and be able to move on to the rest of the books. I think you also need to have started these books when they first came out and have the desire to see the tale through to the end. Had I not had the experience with the books in the past I never would have made it through the first set of cds. I skipped through a lot of chapters as the repetativeness made me insane. I liked the narration - and I think I listened to more of the book because of it.

Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla

Written by Deborah Daughter of Earl from Grand Blanc, MI on September 22nd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I am only half way though this but I love the story line so far. However, I am not too crazy about the narrator, he’s dry and he doesn’t add depth to the character like the narrator of Dark Tower 2, 3, 4. He also, mispronounces some of the characters names, it’s so hard to LOVE this book the way I know I would if it had been read by a different narrator. My hopes are that 6 & 7 are not read by the same person. Happy Reading

Author Details

Author Details

King, Stephen

American novelist and short-story writer, whose enormously popular books revived the interest in horror fiction from the 1970s. King's place in the modern horror fiction can be compared to that of J.R.R. Tolkien's who created the modern genre of fantasy. Like Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens or Balzac in his La Comédie humaine, King has expressed the fundamental concerns of his era, and used the horror genre as his own branch of artistic expression. King has underlined, that even in the world of cynicism, despair, and cruelties, it remains possible for individuals to find love and discover unexpected resources in themselves. His characters often conquer their own problems and malevolent powers that would suppress or destroy them.

"I wish I could get away from horror for a while, and I do - or I think I do, and then suddenly I discover that I'm like the guy in the poem by Auden who runs and runs and finally ends up in a cheap, one-night hotel. He goes down a hallway and opens a door, and there he meets himself sitting under a naked light bulb, writing." (King in Faces of Fear by Douglas E. Winter, 1990)

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine. His father, a merchant seaman, deserted the family in 1950. The young Stephen and his brother David were raised in Durham, Maine, by their mother who worked in odd jobs to support her children. At the age of six, he had his eardrum punctured several times - a painful experience which he never forgot. King attended a grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High school, where he started to write short stories and played in an amateur rock band. In 1960 he submitted his first story for publication - it was rejected. He edited the school newspaper, The Drum, and also wrote for the local newspaper, Lisbon Weekly Enterprise. His first story, entitled 'In a Half-World of Terror', King published in a horror fanzine. In 1970 King graduated from the University of Maine. Next year he married Tabitha Spruce, who has also gained fame as a writer. "My wife is the person in my life who's most likely to say I'm working too hard, it's time to slow down, stay away from that damn PowerBook for a little while, Steve, give it a rest." (from On Writing, 2000) Most of his career King has lived in Bangor, Maine. Many of his books are set in the imaginary town of Castle Rock, Maine, which is totally destroyed by greed in Needful Things (1993).

From 1971 to 1974 King was an instructor at the Hampden Academy, earning $6,400 a year. His first novel, Carrie (1974), was a tale of a girl with telekinetic powers. King had thrown the first pages of the story in a garbage pail, but his wife rescued them and urged him to finish the work. Carrie had first only a moderate success and sold 13 000 copies in hardcover. However, Signet paid $400,000 for its paperback rights. Carrie's film version was launched in 1976 and after the breakthrough novel Salem's Lot (1976), King established quickly his reputation as a major horror writer. In the late summer of 1974 King moved with his family to Colorado for an extended holiday. He visited the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, and set there his next novel, The Shining. Stanley Kubrick's film version of the book, from 1977, did not satisfy the author, and he King himself turned his novel into a television miniseries in 1997.

In the late 1970s King published his first paperbacks under the name of Richard Bachman. The Talisman (1984) and its sequel, The Black House (2001), were written with Peter Staub. King has also published non-fiction. In his collection of essays, Danse Macabre (1981), King described the writing process as a kind of "dance" in which the author searches out the private fears of each reader. In the textbook of macabre he goes through the horror genre, from film monsters to books, focusing mostly on the post-war era. "It's not a dance of death at all, not really. There is a third lever here, as well. It is, at bottom, a dance of dreams. It's a way of awakening the child inside, who never dies but only sleeps ever more deeply. If the horror story is rehearsal for death, then its strict moralities make it also a reaffirmation of life and good will and simple imagination - just one more pipeline to the infinite." (from Dance Macabre)

After writing The Pet Sematary King considered he don't need to publish his "thebmost wretched, awful thing" he made, Bag of Bones (1998). The story dealt with the grief process in an uncompromising way. In Bag of Bones King returned to the theme of loss of a family member, and added into it the classical haunted house idea and familiar elements from his previous works: a small town where people know more than they tell, the collective guilty, and a hero who can't avoid confrontation with the evil powers. Old crimes, sins and secrets, hidden deep, are gradually revealed in an analysis of the conscious and unconscious like on a Freud's sofa. Playing with fire, King plunges into the mind of Mike Noonan, an author who suffers from the writer's block. Noonan's wife has died unexpectedly and he retreats to Sara Laughs, their happy home during summers. There he meets a young mother, Mattie, and her daughter, whom he helps in an custody struggle. - Mattie is one of the liveliest characters in King's works. Her sudden death, a logical twist of the plot, comes like electric shock. In the last pages of the novel Noonan/King returns to it and states correctly that 'to think I might have written such a hellishly convenient death in a book, ever, sickens me.' Bag of Bones continues the series where King explorers the writing process and the work of an author. The Shining, Misery, The Dark Half and now Bag of Bones are among his most revealing and personal works. - King is not among those writers who claim that they don't have time to read. Bag of Bones offers a delightful analysis of Herman Melville's story Bartleby, and comments about books and authors. Among them is Thomas Hardy, who stopped writing novels at the peak of his career and changed into poetry. Hardy supposedly said, that the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones.

A number of King's stories have been adapted into screen, among others Carrie (1976), The Shining (1980), Misery (1990), The Shawshank Redemption (1995), and The Green Mile (1999). His novels are richly textured with multitudinous references to films, television, rock music, literature, popular culture, and in his own books. Several of early King's novels explored the agonies of childhood, parental neglect and abuse (Carrie; Firestarter, 1980). In the 1980s his perspective shifted into the various pains of adulthood, the loneliness of older people (It, 1986; Insomnia, 1994). He has also provided fully-realized women characters in such novels as Gerald's Game (1992), Dolores Clairborne (1993), and Rose Madder (1995).

'"Michela reads all your books," the fat woman said. "Where in the world do you get all those crazy ideas?"
"I don't know," Kinnell said, smiling more widely than ever. "They just come to me. Isn't that amazing?"'
(from 'The Road Virus Heads North', 1999)

King's Dark Tower series, which started in 1982 with The Gunslinger, has combined Tolkien's sense of wonder with a horror and Sergio-Leone influenced Western. Partly the novel is based on Robert Browning's narrative poem, 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'. The world of Roland has many intertextual relationships with King's other books and maps the boundaries of his imagination or universe. Occasionally characters cross over from one genre to another, from fantasy to realism. Roland and his friends, other gunslingers, are helped by the Old Fella, Father Callahan from Salem's Lot.

King confesses in On Writing that he had problems with alcohol as early as in 1975, when he wrote The Shining, and he also developed in the 1980s a drung addiction. In June 1999 King was struck by a van and seriously injured. Soon after the accident, in July, King began publishing a serial novel, entitled The Plant, at his website, stephenking.com. In the story a supernatural vine starts to grow in a paperback publishing house. It brings success and riches and all it wants in return is a little drop of blood, a little flesh. King also announced that he will not continue with the story if payments for downloading the work fall off. "What made The Plant such a hilarious Internet natural (at least to my admittedly twisted mind) was that publishers and media people seem to see exactly this sort of monster whenever they contemplate the Net in general and e-lit in particular: a troublesome strangler fig that just might have a bit o' the old profit in it. If, that is, it's handled with gloves." (King in Time, January 8, 2001)

While convalescing from the accident, King returned to his early career as a writer in On Writing (2000), but most of all, the book gives down-to-earth advises for aspiring writers. "Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex and work. Especially work. People love to read about work. God knows why, but they do." In February 2002 King revealed to the Los Angeles Times that he has decided to stop publishing at year's end after finishing the last three novels in his "Dark Tower" series, and some other works. In 2003 King received the National Book Award. Its previous recipients include John Updike, Arthur Miller, Philip Roth and Toni Morrison. From Lisey's Story (2006) onwards, King's stories seems to have taken a new turn, in which the horror is not only a genre manifestation but the feelings of angst and fear are a definition of the whole human existence.

From the beginning of his career, King has examined the demons that are hidden behind the work of an author. In Misery a monstrous muse forces the writer into a slavery in front of typewriter. The writer is addicted to his work, but at the same time he is haunted by the demands of his fans. Although King is respected as a major force in popular fiction, his books blend the line between high art and pulp culture. In The Shining the writer, Jack Torrance, a former alcoholic, attacks his own family, and in The Dark Half (1898) he must fight against the demon of his own imagination. This self-conscious way to approach the art of fiction is also seen in King's controlled use of images that are meant to scare the reader. In Hearts in Atlantis (1999) typical horror elements are reduced as a metaphor of lost innocence. In the story King pointedly refers to William Golding's modern classic, Lord of the Flies.