Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Dark Tower

I just finished Book 7 of The Dark Tower, called The Dark Tower, by Stephen King. It’s been a long time since I’ve been as blown away by a book as I was by this one. I’m still trying to process it. I enjoyed the rest of the series. It’s really good, it’s really well-written. This one was miles above those. There are some who would say that the ending is a little schlocky, probably that they saw it coming, that it’s a cheesy cop-out.

I didn’t see it coming. It’s appropriate given Roland’s character. It’s appropriately miserable for the tone that King sets throughout the series. It’s heart-breaking and yet I was left with a tiny spark of hope for Roland. Hope that brighter days are ahead.

I’m writing this as vague as I can because, while I don’t claim to have a very large readership, and those that I know read In The Now either have read the series or don’t plan on it anytime soon, I know that I’ve given the URL to my brother and he’s very much intent on finishing the series without having it spoiled prematurely.

I think that the series is worth reading. It’s one of the few that I’ve actually finished (given how few of the series that I read are done being written) and I’d put the end of this series above most of them. I’d say it’s equivalent in quality to the ending of the Narnia Chronicles and it makes me very hungry and impatient for the end of The Wheel of Time series, A Song of Ice and Fire and The Sword of Truth series (although I sort of dread the end of that one with the direction the series has taken lately).

There are all kinds of holes that people could pick at in The Dark Tower – just as there are in every book – plot moves too slow for some, inconsistencies, I’m sure, that I haven’t picked up, too many coincidences… I don’t care. I don’t read a story to find the holes (unless they’re big and get in the way of the story – see The Sword of Truth) and what I got out of The Dark Tower surpasses any quibbling I might do about the fine points.

I can definitely see why it took Stephen King so long to write the series. He’s distracted himself throughout, by writing other books, making a name for himself (Richard Bachman, to be exact). Despite the disparity between publishing, productivity, quality of writing, all that kind of thing, I’ve struggled in the same way to get a story out of my head. It’s nothing on the level of The Dark Tower – it’s not fit to wipe Roland’s ass. Regardless, I can’t help but feel kindred to Stephen King. And I’ll guarantee that I’m not the only one. I just hope that I don’t have to nearly get killed and write myself into the story as an apology to the readers in order to get my own story out.

45 books to go!

Minigoal update: Life happens, and it laughs at the goals, mini or otherwise, of mortal men and women. I’ve broken the 400-page barrier on Memories of Ice but I’m still not at the halfway point in the 892-page behemoth. It’s a great story – everything’s coming together in Capustan and all Hell’s about to break loose – but between rediscovering my long-term non-sexual yet time-consuming love for John Madden, coupled with a bad week for Kim, a bad night or two for Nick, and the always-hard-on-reading work, I believe I will have to revise my minigoal yet again. I don’t mind this, since I’m looking at being done 8 books by the end of January, if all goes according to plan, which is way ahead of schedule, and I knew that I would need to factor in real life when I started this thing. Depending on how far I am by the end of the weekend, I will either post a new minigoal or revise my current one of Memories of Ice finished by the end of the weekend.

Blog atcha then!


Sean Woods said...

I really enjoyed the Dark Tower series - except for the ending.

Not so much what happened to Roland...I had no problem with that (I thought it was cool). The way the Crimson King was dealt with at the end of the book bothered me. However, I won't go into any more detail (as it would contain "spoilers."

Liam J. said...

Bah! The Crimson King was a pussy!
Bango Skank awaits the Crimson King.

KimProbable said...

Blog about the car. The car!

Baron Von Cliff said...

The Crimson King stole it. Liam must have pissed him off.