Song of Susannah

Page 120


LOVELL, ME. (Exclusive) Maine’s most popular author was struck and killed by a van while walking near his summer home yesterday afternoon. The van was driven by Bryan Smith of Fryeburg. According to sources close to the case, Smith has admitted that he "took his eyes off the road" when one of his Rottweilers got out of the back of the van and began nosing into a cooler behind the driver’s seat.

"I never even saw him," Smith is reported to have said shortly after the collision, which took place on what locals call Slab City Hill.

King, author of such popular novels asIt, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, andThe Stand, was taken to Northern Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Bridgton, where he was pronounced dead at 6:02 PM Saturday evening. He was 52 years old.

A hospital source said the cause of death was extensive head injuries. King’s family, which had gathered in part to celebrate Father’s Day, is in seclusion tonight…

Commala-come-come,

The battle’s now begun!

And all the foes of men and rose

Rise with the setting sun.

*Constant Readers

Wordslinger’s Note

I’d once more like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Robin Furth, who read this novel in manuscript – and those preceding it – with great and sympathetic attention to detail. If this increasingly complex tale hangs together, Robin should get most of the credit. And if you don’t believe it, check out herDark Tower concordance, which makes fascinating reading in and of itself.

Thanks are also due to Chuck Verrill, who has edited the final five novels in the Tower cycle, and to the three publishers, two large and one small, who cooperated to make this massive project a reality: Robert Wiener (Donald M. Grant, Publisher), Susan Petersen Kennedy and Pamela Dorman (Viking), Susan Moldow and Nan Graham (Scribner). Special thanks to Agent Moldow, whose irony and bravery have saved many a bleak day. There are others, plenty of them, but I’m not going to annoy you with the whole list. After all, this ain’t the f**king Academy Awards, is it?

Certain geographical details in this book and in the concluding novel of the Tower cycle have been fictionalized. The real people mentioned in these pages have been used in a fictional way. And to the best of my knowledge, there were never coin-op storage lockers in the World Trade Center.

As for you, Constant Reader…

One more turn of the path, and then we reach the clearing.

Come along with me, will ya not?

Stephen King

May 28, 2003

(Tell God thank ya.)


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