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El Chuxter
05-26-2004, 05:49 PM
I've had Books 1-4 of this in my possession for years, but never got around to reading them. I've always thought of King's non-horror work (The Green Mile, The Stand, Eyes of the Dragon, etc) as vastly superior to his (still quite good) horror stuff. And yet I never actually cracked open my copies of the Dark Tower books, despite hearing they were among his best.

Until not that long ago, my wife--who previously dismissed King as a horror writer who happened to luck into masterpieces like Shawshank Redemption and a few others--was at home for the day, with the cable not yet turned on and with none of our books unpacked that she'd not read. Except for The Gunslinger.

Within two weeks, she'd zipped through all four, the story from the Legends anthology, and even The Wolves of Calla (Book 5, which she convinced me to buy in hardback). So I had to see what was so intriguing.

I'm currently about halfway through Book 4 (Wizards & Glass) and am completely hooked! I've only got 1.5 books to read (not counting Salem's Lot, which I understand is a prerequisite to reading The Wolves of Calla) before Book 6 comes out in a couple of weeks. (Book 7 is coming out this autumn.)

This series has completely demolished all my expectations and really elevated my opinion of King. These are captivating, unique works full of enough allegory and symbolism to provide a small army of English majors with graduate theses. I'd say they're at least on par with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or the Chronicles of Narnia as far as epic series go. (Of course, being by King, they're a bit less family-friendly.)

Without spoiling too much. . . well, I have no idea how to sum up even the basic concept without spoiling anything. It's a mesh of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, fantasy, western, and about everything else.

If you've read the series, post your thoughts here. (But be nice. I've still got a few hundred pages to go. :p)

If not, run, don't walk--or, better yet, drive--to the nearest bookstore and pick up the five available books, along with the four tie-ins:

1: The Gunslinger
2: The Drawing of the Three
3: The Waste Lands
4: Wizards and Glass
5: The Wolves of Calla
The Stand
The Eyes of the Dragon
Salem's Lot
Legends

"Go then, gunslinger. There are other worlds than these."

Bel-Cam Jos
05-26-2004, 06:07 PM
These are captivating, unique works full of enough allegory and symbolism to provide a small army of English majors with graduate theses. I'd say they're at least on par with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or the Chronicles of Narnia as far as epic series go. (Of course, being by King, they're a bit less family-friendly.)

If not, run, don't walk--or, better yet, drive--to the nearest bookstore and pick up the five available books, along with the four tie-ins:

1: The Gunslinger
2: The Drawing of the Three
3: The Waste Lands
4: Wizards and Glass
5: The Wolves of Calla
The Stand
The Eyes of the Dragon
Salem's Lot
Legends

"Go then, gunslinger. There are other worlds than these."
Well, I've read Eyes of the Dragon and The Running Man, so I must be a King expert, right? :rolleyes: Uh, no. On par with the LOTR? Wow. I love allegory and symbolism! When I get SEVENTY-FOUR FREE WEEKS I'll start on them! :frus: (Stupid life getting in the way of fun stuff...)

Dr Zoltar
05-26-2004, 11:12 PM
I'm in the process of getting through Wizard and Glass right now myself. I really enjoyed the first 3 books, but this fourth one is dragging in comparison. I don't know why, but I really couldn't care less about Roland's past. I just want more of the ka-tet's progression to the Dark Tower!

I've also read The Stand and Salem's Lot, but not the other two tie ins. I wonder what I'm missing by not having read the other two.

mrpauldeeds
05-27-2004, 12:48 AM
Im actually on "Wizard and Glass" now. I agree, this book has draged in comparison with the other 3. Its just that im not that interested in Rolands past, i wish it was just with Eddie and Jake and that setting that has become familiar. I do bet that the book gets better though. "The Gunslinger" was incredible. It is my favorite book. Who ever has not read "the gunslinger" do it! you wont be dissapionted. i read that book in 3 days, and ive never been a reader. and i read the other 2 during last summer. this seris is on par with LOTR and SW. ANd please...its better the Harry Potter by far. go out there and read this seris!!

El Chuxter
05-27-2004, 12:13 PM
Hmm. I was wondering if it was just me who had a slightly tougher time getting through part of W&G, though once the flashback really got going, it's going faster.

BCJ[3], this is indeed a massive series (and I think books 6 & 7 are supposed to be bigger than the other five combined), but I'd recommend tackling it sometime.

I'm not sure how Eyes of the Dragon ties in yet, but here's a guess. They're currently (in W&G) in the world of The Stand. The villain in The Stand is Randall Flagg, and the villain in Eyes of the Dragon is a wizard named Flagg. I think they're the same, and somehow nastier than Walter dreamed of being.

The short story "The Lost Sisters of Eleuria" (or something like that) is apparently another flashback that takes place before The Gunslinger. It's in an anthology called Legends, which also contains the worst, most inaccurate summary of the Dark Tower series imaginable. :)

Ji'dai
05-29-2004, 10:52 PM
Although not a big fan of fantasy, I was going to start in on this series this week, but the library was out of The Gunslinger.

I've read most of King's horror novels in the last year or two. He makes a lot of references to the Dark Tower series in many of them, including The Talisman, Black House, and even Insomnia, so that's piqued my interest.

To hear that he has tied the Dark Tower series into The Stand and 'Salem's Lot is interesting. Another favorite of mine is The Shining. The Overlook Hotel in that novel would make a haunting locale for Dark Tower action too.

I thought Song of Susannah was the last book of the series, but I guess another is due this Fall.

Lman316
05-30-2004, 08:00 AM
The short story "The Lost Sisters of Eleuria" (or something like that) is apparently another flashback that takes place before The Gunslinger. It's in an anthology called Legends... :)

It's the "Little Sisters of Eleuria," El Chuxter :D

And that work is also in a book called Everything Eventual: 14 Dark Tales. It's a collection of short stories all written by King. I think Legends has other authors, doesn't it? So, if anyone wanted to read just King stuff, Everthing's Eventual might be the one to get.

I was really enjoying this series (The Dark Tower series, I mean). I loved how all those other stories King has written have somehow tied in with it (all those previously mentioned, and then there's Hearts in Atlantis, apparently the Regulators - which I haven't read yet - and for some reason, I really believe From a Buick Eight). That's what made it epic for me.
But something in Wolves of the Calla - and I won't say what, for those that are still reading it - has taken a little of that away. I still like the series, and Wolves was a great story, but I'm sorry to say that (for me at least), it lost something.
Now... that might just be until I read Song of Susannah. King has surprised me before, so I really can't wait until the 8th (which is apparently the date of release). I really want to see where he's taking it.

I'm glad someone started this thread. Thanks, El Chuxter.

End...

Bel-Cam Jos
05-30-2004, 09:23 AM
For those who have read the series, or most of it, is there a required or suggested order to reading the tie-in books? Or does it matter? If I am to "run, don't walk--or, better yet, drive--to the nearest bookstore and pick up the five available books, along with the four tie-ins:" then I must know. I must, I must, I must increase my... literary experience. :rolleyes:

preacher
05-30-2004, 10:24 PM
I have a friend that is an avid fan of Stephen King. She swears that she saw an interview where King has stated that after he finished the Dark Tower series he plans to retire from writing altogther. Yeah I know - a lot of celebs say that (Cher's final tour has yet to complete - and Oh joy Barabara Streisand gives "special invitation" shows) so it could be bunk. I quit reading this series after book 3 mainly cause the time between books has been very annoying. I have enjoyed them though. But having said that, if King is tying in all these other books into his tower series it seems to reinforce that he really is wrapping things up. I seem to recall the tower was mentioned in Insomnia as well.

jjreason
05-31-2004, 03:37 PM
I've read the first 3 books (and for some reason feel like I might have read the fourth one - I'll have to look at it and see) along with most of King's other books. Stupid internet has really diminished the time I spend reading "real" books, though I still find time to paw through the month in comics. Intellectual, that's me alright. :rolleyes:

I really enjoyed the Gunslinger, and would go so far as saying it contains maybe the most intriguing "mano y mano" showdown I've ever read. The problem for me (as someone else posted above) is that I read the Gunslinger when it came out. I can't recall the details of yesterday well enough half the time - how the heck am I supposed to recall what's happened in 2000 pages of story for 2 years so that I can pick it up again? I think what I'll likely do is just wait for the whole thing to be in my possession, heave a huge sigh, and read it all again from the beginning.

Ji'dai
05-31-2004, 10:23 PM
I think the story arcs that span and connect King's books have always been there. His success has just enabled him to further tighten them so they adhere to his ever-evolving good/evil mythology in his books.

The settings for many of King's novels are fictional towns in Maine (Derry, Castle Rock, Jerusalem's Lot) so many of the storylines and characters are connected in some way. Some characters are even related; and events in one book may be recalled in another. So it's not surprising that in King's mythology the entities of good & evil in his stories are also related or at least derived from the same source.

There's a short scene in the resolution of Insomnia in which a small boy draws a picture of a black tower and cowboy asleep nearby (whom he calls Roland, though he doesn't no why). This represents that order has once again been restored and evil, although not conquered, has at the very least been checked. It seems to imply that the forces of good and evil in the Insomnia storyline were really just pawns of a higher source, maybe those in the Dark Tower series.

The Regulators, also mentioned above, has the same evil entity that King's novel Desperation has. Although set in different towns, the characters in both books are similar; some even share the same names! It's kinda weird, you'll just have to read them and see for yourself. Although The Regulators isn't really a sequel, I would recommend reading Desperation before tackling The Regulators.

El Chuxter
06-07-2004, 02:35 PM
It's the "Little Sisters of Eleuria," El Chuxter :D

D'oh! At least I got the "Eleuria" part. That's gotta count for something. :D I'll be reading that one next and then Salem's Lot (which I'm told must be read prior to Wolves), then on to Book V. Which should leave me ready to start Book VI just after my wife finishes it.

To whoever mentioned King's retiring (preacher? sorry, I forgot), he said The Dark Tower VII will be his final book in an interview several months back in Entertainment Weekly. I don't recall for sure, but I think a large part of it was the great deal of pain sitting and writing causes him following his accident a few years ago.

I finished up Wizards & Glass last night. It was a tad slower up until about the last 200 pages, at which point it became impossible to put down. I also read the intro to Wolves of Calla, and there seemed to be a good amount of info about what's happened that I don't think actually popped up in previous books (like the identity of the driver on that New York day in 1977--I think most of us know what event I'm referring to).

I'm going to post a couple of spoilers here in gray text, so highlight if you want to read. Since everyone seems to be at different points in the series, it's probably a good idea to use the tags [ color=gray] and [ /color] (removing the spaces) and throwing in a warning if you're dealing with any spoiler info.





SPOILERS
Enrico Balazar was driving the car?!? Wha???? I musta missed that.

John Farson = Marten = Maerlyn = Richard Fanin = Flagg = Randall Flagg? I could figure most of that equation, but King stating that Marten was the same person as John Farson (and, likely, the Crimson King) threw me off.

How did Sheb get from Mejis to Tull, and why didn't he recognize the "Will Dearborn" who caused so much trouble? Also, I wonder if there is or will be any significance to the reference to Sylvia Pittston in Tull.

I must worry for everyone's favorite billy-bumbler following Roland's initial vision of the Tower in Maerlyn's Glass. An impaled bumbler who clearly says "Oy" doesn't bode well. I would be most saddened if something happened to dear lil' Oy. :(

If King doesn't answer what happened to Alain, Cuthbert, Sheemie, and civilization in Gilead, I will personally drive up to Bangor, knock on his door, and yell, "Your mama!"

El Chuxter
06-09-2004, 02:30 PM
Finished "The Little Sisters of Eluria" and am through the first few chapters of Salem's Lot (which reads more like any of King's other early horror work--not bad, but a completely different feel). Sisters was pretty okay, but it seems more like someone asked him to write a story about Roland for the anthology than anything that will have any real bearing on future events. Might be interesting to see him somehow run across the family of James and John at some point, though.

And here, for Bel-Cam Jos and anyone else who's interested, I bring you. . . .

The complete list of Dark Tower-related books, taken directly from [i]Song of Susannah
and omitting the Dark Tower books themselves, which should be pretty obvious

Novels:
'Salem's Lot
The Stand
The Talisman
It (Whaaaaaa??? I saw the movie but they must've cut out the Tower stuff.)
The Eyes of the Dragon
Insomnia
Rose Madder
Desperation
The Regulators (as "Richard Bachman," even though everyone knew who he was by that point, so I don't know why he bothered using the pseudonym again)
Black House (the sequel to The Talisman)
From a Buick 8

Collections:
Skeleton Crew
Hearts in Atlantis (Well. I thought this one was a novel.)
Everything's Eventual

Looks like I'll have some non-SW reading to catch up on. :D I've skipped most of King's stuff since the 70s, because for a while a lot of the stuff seemed to lose that special something (except for Pet Sematary and The Green Mile), but I'll have to eventually find out how they tie in.

Which means I'll have to then find out everything about Derry and Castle Rock, so I'll have to read everything. D'oh!

Bel-Cam Jos
06-09-2004, 07:17 PM
And here, for Bel-Cam Jos [III] and anyone else who's interested, I bring you. . . .

The Regulators (as "Richard Bachman," even though everyone knew who he was by that point, so I don't know why he bothered using the pseudonym again)

I seem to recall that there were two covers for the novel, one was "clean" with normal scenes, and another that was weird and, well, Stephen King-like. I believe that the Bachman cover was "clean," and King had the "weird" one.

Dr Zoltar
06-12-2004, 01:29 AM
Just picked up a copy of "Everything's Eventual" for $6.98 at Barnes and Noble in their clearance section. Seems like a good price for those of you who want it. Of course, I only got it for the Roland story. :D

jjreason
06-13-2004, 03:35 AM
I seem to recall that there were two covers for the novel, one was "clean" with normal scenes, and another that was weird and, well, Stephen King-like. I believe that the Bachman cover was "clean," and King had the "weird" one.

That's true. The 2 books came out at the same time, and have covers that are very similar. They're obviously a set. The books are (from what I understand, I haven't read them) 2 accounts of the same story - hence the fact they're written by the 2 Stephen Kings.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-14-2004, 06:27 AM
That's true. The 2 books came out at the same time, and have covers that are very similar. They're obviously a set. The books are (from what I understand, I haven't read them) 2 accounts of the same story - hence the fact they're written by the 2 Stephen Kings.
So they're actually two different versions/points of view of the same tale? Interesting. I always thought it was just two covers of the exact same story. So, we have King to blame for the late '80s "get all 17 limited edition covers" comic book craze? :rolleyes:

jjreason
06-14-2004, 11:35 AM
No, I think we'll have to attribute that slap in the face to Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld. :rolleyes: Thank God I never fell into the Image trap. :whew:

Oh, and a word of advice to those trying to track down the Dark Tower references in the other King books on that long list: be wary. In a few cases these are minor, really minor references that don't progress that story at all. I've read quite a few of them, and for the life of me can't remeber any references to the Dark Tower, other than that the protaganists may see a vision of a Dark Tower during a dream or some such thing. If reading 1000 pages of "IT" is worth it to you for that single passage, then great. If not, find a website that breaks down how the books relate and decide for yourself what's worth reading and what's not.

By the way, "IT" is the best book Stephen King has ever written. If you haven't read "IT", drop the damned Dark Tower books and get your priorities in line, Bub. :D

El Chuxter
07-01-2004, 12:18 PM
Okay, I finished Wolves of the Calla last night, and there were four Star Wars references! :D

I did some digging, and here's some notes on how a lot of the books connect (with very minor spoilers):

Everything's Eventual: Reprints "The Little Sisters of Eleuria" from Legends.

Insomnia, Hearts in Atlantis [one story], & Black House (the sequel to The Talisman): Apparently very important tie-ins about the Crimson King, who we learn in Book IV is sort of Roland's antithesis.

'Salem's Lot: Father Callahan shows up as a character starting in Book V.

The Stand & The Eyes of the Dragon: The Ageless Stranger appears under the name Roland Flagg in both these books.

Desperation & The Regulators: Both deal with the Low Men, who are servants of the Crimson King.

Rose Madder: Minor world-hopping going on here.
From a Buick 8 & Skeleton Crew: Not sure.

It: I think a vision Eddie has in Wolves of the Calla is taken from It, but no idea if there's anything else.

Most of his other novels are linked indirectly (such as It takes place in Derry, so any other Derry story is a tangent).

This series just went from 3,000 pages to 30,000! :eek:

greengoblin3825
07-03-2004, 11:18 PM
The Stand & The Eyes of the Dragon: The Ageless Stranger appears under the name Roland Flagg in both these books.


Rose Madder: Minor world-hopping going on here.
From a Buick 8 & Skeleton Crew: Not sure.

It: I think a vision Eddie has in Wolves of the Calla is taken from It, but no idea if there's anything else.

Most of his other novels are linked indirectly (such as It takes place in Derry, so any other Derry story is a tangent).

This series just went from 3,000 pages to 30,000! :eek:


Actually in"The Stand" his name is Randall Flagg not Roland and memory server in "The Eyes of the Dragon" he just goes by Flagg the court magician.
"It" deals directly with the portal of the Turtle the kids meet up with him about halfway through. Most of the characters that play the bad guy have no lines on their palms or fingerprints they are completely smooth Starting From Randall Flagg all the way down to Leland Gaunt in "Needful Things" There is generally some variation of Flagg in almost all the books with the exception of "Misery" which is slightly connected via the story within the story. I have a thought in "IT" that the spider thing with the "deadlights" may be another portal. Cujo makes an appearance in Salem's Lot. I finished Song of Susannah last week and other than a couple of spots it was pretty good. I could have dealt without a certain part near the end of the novel and once you read it you'll understand why I say that. One book you may want to pick up is "The Talisman" King teams with Peter Straub. Unfortunately you almost spot where Straub starts and stops. It is a slow read but a good story nonetheless. THe best line in that book is " I don't want any urine on the popping corn Jack" referring to the butter they use in the movie theater. I think they pop between this world and rolands worls or at least they alude to it. I am dying for the last book as I have been following the series since junior high. Anyhow just had to point out a couple of corrections. Let me know when you pick up the new one and what you think

El Chuxter
07-06-2004, 12:14 PM
D'oh! I meant Randall, not Roland. :crazed:

I didn't catch Cujo in 'Salem's Lot. What mean you?

greengoblin3825
07-07-2004, 12:32 AM
just a minor scene where a guy in a pickup truck says "come on Cujo, up boy" and it's a St. Bernard

El Chuxter
08-30-2004, 02:35 PM
Okay, I'm resurrecting this thread because the end is near!

Twenty-two days until Stephen King's last novel and the conclusion of The Dark Tower.

What is the Tower?

Who will survive?

What is the Crimson King?

What is the true significance of Mordred Deschain?

Is the world of the Tower the true world, and we live in one of the mirror worlds in which Stephen King wasn't killed by a bad driver in 1999?

My thoughts are that the Tower is Heaven, since this is based loosely upon "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" by Browning, and that seems to be what the Tower is in that poem.

Everyone of the ka-tet has lost someone who they will be reunited with at the Tower. Roland will see Susan, Cuthbert, and Alain; Eddie will find his brother; Susannah her father; and Father Callahan will see Jose. (I think I got his name right.)

Everyone except Jake, that is.

Roland will not allow Jake to die. But (based upon Roland's vision from Wizards and Glass), I think Oy will sacrifice himself to allow the others to reach the Tower, and will be reunited with Jake in the end.

There is definitely more to Oy than meets the eye. There is real intelligence in his furry noggin, and I wonder if he could even be the reincarnation of Arthur Eld.

Roland might sacrifice himself, Moses-like, to allow the others to reach the Tower, but I wouldn't put money on it.

We know that somehow Eddie and Cuthbert will travel back into time and save young Stephen King from the Crimson King. But how?

Truth be told, I'm actually looking forward to this more than the SW DVDs that come out the same day.

Ji'dai
08-30-2004, 09:20 PM
Truth be told, I'm actually looking forward to this more than the SW DVDs that come out the same day.Yer bugger! You speak true, and I say thankya. Hear me, I beg-

Stop with the spoilers! :D

I'm in the middle of Part III of Wolves of the Calla and have just put a hold on Song of Susannah. Hopefully by the time I get and finish Song, book VII will be out. I've read most of King's other novels, but this my first time through his Dark Tower series. I'm hooked though, I don't know why I put off reading the books. Well I know why, I tend to steer clear of 'fantasy.' But I'm eager to see how he wraps it up.

Lman316
08-31-2004, 11:11 AM
I can't wait either. I'm really looking forward The Dark Tower.

I've been trying to read all the books I missed having to deal with the Dark Tower series. Lately, though I haven't had a chance to read the last remaining few (I only have three left... Insomnia, Bag of Bones and Skeleton crew, and I've already got a few pages on Insomnia). Hey, somebody motivate me, would ya?! :p

It is my understanding that if you have read Black House, you already know what the Tower is. I've known what it was/is (at least what I recall) for a few years. But I will not say it here because I wouldn't want to spoil anything... and heck, I might be wrong, anyway.

Countin' the days...

End...

Ji'dai
09-04-2004, 06:13 PM
It is my understanding that if you have read Black House, you already know what the Tower is. I've known what it was/is (at least what I recall) for a few years. But I will not say it here because I wouldn't want to spoil anything... and heck, I might be wrong, anyway.
Yep, I read The Talisman and Black House earlier this year. The plot in Black House relates to the Beams, so King does explain what they and the Tower's purpose are.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-05-2004, 10:13 AM
"And now, for something completely different." Well, not completely; but it's definitely different. Okay.

Does anyone know what book/anthology/collection/etc. that "The Shawshank Redemption" appears? Is it a Richard Bachman one, or Mr. King himself? I heard it's a short story that was adapted to the big screen, but I can't seem to find its written version. Anyone read it? Is it good? Good is such a weak word; is it groin-grabbingly good? (Simpsons allusion) ;)

Ji'dai
09-05-2004, 11:02 PM
Does anyone know what book/anthology/collection/etc. that "The Shawshank Redemption" appears? Is it a Richard Bachman one, or Mr. King himself? I heard it's a short story that was adapted to the big screen, but I can't seem to find its written version. Anyone read it? Is it good? Good is such a weak word; is it groin-grabbingly good? (Simpsons allusion) ;)The full title is "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." It appears in the collection Different Seasons, which has two other stories that have been made into movies - Apt Pupil and The Body (Stand by Me). I think all of the short story collections have been published under King's name.

I haven't read Shawshank and have only seen the last part of the film so I can't give a review. It looked interesting though. According to one of the title pages in Song of Susannah, the tales in Different Seasons aren't related to the Dark Tower series, but I may check them out after I finish this series.

Bel-Cam Jos
09-06-2004, 09:20 AM
Originally published as Stephen King, ur, Ji'dai:
The full title is "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." It appears in the collection Different Seasons, which has two other stories that have been made into movies - Apt Pupil and The Body (Stand by Me). I think all of the short story collections have been published under King's name. Ooh, that full title is great; great! When you know the story, that is. No wonder I hadn't found it. Well, back to the dusty card catalog. Thanks, Ji'dai.

greengoblin3825
09-06-2004, 01:25 PM
I must say that different seasons is quite awesome . Shawshank is by far the best followed shortly by "The Body" which is what the movie "Stand By Me" is based on. The breathing method which is another novella in there was pretty good too

El Chuxter
10-05-2004, 11:09 AM
It is 10/5/04, and I am about 2/3 through The Dark Tower.

I must apologize to anyone who has picked up this series on my recommendation, as this final book has turned into one of the most self-indulgent drekfests I've ever read. We'd be better off if Danielle Steele had finished the story.

I don't want to spoil things (yet), but had Tolkien written Return of the King the same way that this is written, he would've shown up on the slopes of Mount Doom (having already killed Sauron offscreen), kicked Samwise off the mountain where he would die in a mere sentence, and then given Frodo a copy of The Silmarillion.

I've read SW books that are far worse, and I've invested something like 6,827,935 pages in this already, so I'll finish it, but right now it's making The Phantom Menace look like Citizen Kane.

El Chuxter
10-06-2004, 12:10 PM
Okay, I've read a bit further, and I'm changing my mind. There's a scene shortly after the one that irked me where King (the character) has just written that part and is completely confused, wondering why it happened. I'm at least going to give him the benefit of the doubt until I get to the end, where I hope the Tower will finally be found by everyone who is left.

Ji'dai
11-26-2004, 08:28 PM
I finally got my copy of the Dark Tower from the library last week and finished the book Wednesday night. I'm sorry to see the journey end, but ka is a wheel, and what has transpired once will come back around again. So the ending didn't bother me too much. "Everything's eventual," as Dinky Earnshaw would say. (I liked the short story where that character first appeared, in a tale with the same name as the quote above).

I picked up Hearts in Atlantis today to read more about Dinky's friend Ted Brautigan. I think that's the last Dark Tower tie-in that I haven't yet read. I'll probably re-read The Gunslinger again to learn more about the Horn of Eld; and I'd like to take another look at IT - I really thought spider-creature in that novel reminded me of Mordred. I'm not sure if they are the same thing or not.

Ji'dai
06-07-2006, 10:43 AM
Marvel is doing a comic adaptation of King's The Dark Tower series. Marvel's website (http://www.marvel.com/publishing/stories/showstory.htm?id=51) has an article about the project (due for release in 2007) and have also posted some artwork of the Gunslinger himself.

Darth Jax
06-07-2006, 07:51 PM
i recently finished the gunslinger. i'd had people telling me i needed to read the dark tower series for quite some time (even long before it had an end in sight). i don't see where people think it's great. it took me 3 years and multiple attempts to read tolkien which i thought was pure drivel. the gunslinger makes the ring novels look like high prose indeed. thankfully the second book was mostly great. i'm beginning the 3rd book now, along with the continued quest to read star wars novels and finding time to read the newest terry brooks books.

El Chuxter
06-07-2006, 09:26 PM
The Gunslinger, in and of itself, is rather mediocre. About halfway through The Drawing of the Three (book 2), it gets incredible. And it keeps getting better though book 5 (The Wolves of the Calla).

Unfortunately, it coasts through Song of Susannah (book 6), and falls facefirst into a huge pile of doodie in The Dark Tower. :(

LusiferSam
06-15-2006, 11:05 AM
The Gunslinger, in and of itself, is rather mediocre. About halfway through The Drawing of the Three (book 2), it gets incredible. And it keeps getting better though book 5 (The Wolves of the Calla).
I just started these a few weeks ago. I totally agree with you on the Gunslinger being mediocre. It's only at the end does it pick up. If I only had this to go on I would keep reading the series. But my uncle lent my all seven books, so that' not a problem. I thought the Drawing of the Three was a great book. I couldn't put it down. The Waste Lands' first half was also great, but the second half drag a bit to much. I just started the Wizard and Glass last night. At 30 pages in it to early for me to tell how it is.


Unfortunately, it coasts through Song of Susannah (book 6), and falls facefirst into a huge pile of doodie in The Dark Tower. :(
I was very afraid of that. There's pretty healthy gap between all the other books. But with the last three coming so close together, I've wondered about the quality. Oh, well I'll have to wait until I get there.

El Chuxter
06-15-2006, 12:29 PM
It's not so much the quality as it is King basically throwing out everything he's foreshadowed in favor of making this whole series a half-baked allegory for the creative process.

jjreason
06-18-2006, 07:54 PM
Did you read "Black House" in there somewhere, Chux? I'm still way back, but I have decided I'm going to finish the rest of his "pre-tower conclusion" books before I finish Dark Tower so that I can catch as many references as possible. The problem is I've been reading Stephen King since grade 7, and to go back and freshen up on everything I've ingested is just not feasible.... to say my working knowledge of "The Tommyknockers", for example, is shoddy would be right on the money.

LusiferSam
07-31-2006, 01:06 AM
Well I finished the Dark Tower a couple of hours ago and have mostly been reflecting on since. As I said early I thought the Gunslinger was mediocre, the Drawing of the Three was great, and the first half of the Waste Lands was great with the second half being ok. I loved the Wizard and Glass. I really enjoyed learning of Roland's past. I thought there might be more on Roland's companion's then there was. The Wolves of the Calla was also pretty darn good. It felt like the Song of Susannah was half baked and a real effort on Steven King's part to make the story fit into 7 books. The Dark Tower (book VII) was great. A bit of slow at the start, but by the end I couldn't put it down. I think I've read over 500 pages in the last 48 hours. From here on out there will be spoilers, so if you don't want to know what the top of the Tower holds stop reading.























SPOILERS:

First off the deaths of the major characters really didn't come as much a surprised to me. After reading the table of contents I knew all the major characters but Roland and Susannah would die before the end. Father Callahan's death first thing was a bit of shock. I knew he'd go down but not that fast. Eddie's and Jake's pretty see to coming, but not the how. Susannah's exit from the story was very easy to guess once we meet Patrick. Oy was the one I was never 100% sure on. I knew Roland would be on his own when he finally came to the Tower. I also saw two options, leave with Susannah or be killed by Mordred. Of all the deaths I think Oy's was the hardest for me.

As for the villains, all were lame. Walter's death was a cop out (I have a lot more to say about this piece of work). Mordred's was lame and easily seen coming. The Crimson King's defeat (he was already die by his own hand) was very easy to see, but I thought was a really cool way of dealing with him.

Now as for what was at the top of the Tower, I really liked that. With a title of Coda I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But not the details. What I really like was how the story when it starts again is a little different. The fact that he now has the horn that was previously lost means the whole story is different. Which for me raise more questions than what were answered. Like does Roland draw a different set of three?

Another thing I really liked was how Steven King didn't feel the need to answer every question and tie up every loose thread. I hated it when authors do that. Stuff like what happened to John Farson, the details for what lead to Jericho Hill, and what happened between Jericho Hill and the start of the Gunslinger.

The biggest problems I've got are with two characters: Walter and Susannah. Susannah is the easiest to talk about. It's made clear at the end of the Drawing of the Three that Susannah is the fusion Odetta and Detta. Later on it's clear that's no longer the case. It's more like Susannah is Odetta who know now owns a gun. Walter is a huge problem. Now having read the whole series I see no reason for Walter to live past the end of the Gunslinger. It added nothing to the story to have Walter = Marten = Randall Flagg. It's very clear in the original version of the Gunslinger that Walter is not Marten and that Roland has dealt with Marten thanks to Walter. I think it's lazy story telling on Steven King's part and would fix a lot of problems with the story if this three characters were different.

It late and I've written a lot. Maybe I'll write more later, maybe not.

pegger
08-17-2006, 11:49 AM
I just noticed this thread - so I'm chiming in!!!!

Spoilers below.

I loved the series, but the last book was just to forced. What I liked about the Gunslinger books was the epic scope of it all. I would have been happy if he NEVER finished the story (although the ending of Dark Tower does give that to me. It was a perfect ending to the book)

My problem was he tried to close off too many things in the one book, and like most of his novels, the ending comes off rushed. (I consider the entire book the end of his "Gunslinger" novel. ) What he tried to accomplish in 1 book should have been done over 2, if not 3.

Mordred was a waste of a character. Mostly because of Mr. King's need to finish this book, so he can say he finished it. I would have enjoyed reading a full book on the development of this enemy. He had SO much potential, but it was just wasted. As was the death of Flagg. Again, an arch rival that was supposed to be almost "devil"-like in abilities....and gets killed off far too easy. (I don't know if anyone else mentioned, the bad-guy in The Stand was also Flagg)

The final battle was enjoyable to read. The Crimson King as a let down - especially after all the build up of the other 6 books. I was really looking forward to an epic final battle...instead we got what we got.

I actually enjoyed the self-pandering that King did. It could have been very cheesy, but I think he pulled it off well.

Susannah's ending was adequate. As was Jake's and Eddie's. Both adequate.

After such a great read (the 1st book is the hardest to read - W and G was fantastic, gives alot of insight into Roland, Drawing of 3 was what got me hooked, Wastelands was a bit meandering, but a fun book, Wolves of the Calla was the highlight of the series, and Song of Susannah was a bit dull, but OK) I was hoping for more. While the ending, in and of itslef was fine, the story was rushed to be finished...and it shows.

El Chuxter
08-17-2006, 01:12 PM
I have four huge problems with the final book of the series:

1) It was horribly rushed, as you said. He should've taken another thirty years and done the ending right.

2) It suddenly jumps, with very little warning, from fairly realistic to totally symbolic. While epic works that start as one thing and end as another aren't uncommon, and can be quite good (Don Quijote comes immediately to mind), the writer can only pull it off when it's a gradual, almost subconscious change. This seems like he got to Book 6 and said, "Hey! This can all be an allegory for the creative process!" And the throwaway character of The Artist was ridiculous and a total waste to hammer home the weak connection here.

3) The deaths of Jake and Eddie totally contradicted not only earlier foreshadowing, but also several instances in earlier books where King explicitly stated that they made it to the Tower. Kill them if you must, and I totally understand the reasoning behind only allowing Roland to reach the Tower, but don't contradict your own story. The death of Oy was the only one that fit what had come before, and I could almost see King sitting at his computer saying, "Man, he has to see a billybumbler speared on a branch. How can this happen?"

3) Susannah suddenly became a total parody of herself. She stepped so far out of character about halfway through, it was insulting to keep reading about this body snatcher that stole her name. And, sorry, I don't buy that she could love the Eddie from another world.

4) The villains were all tremendous letdowns. After spending all of Book 6 foreshadowing his birth, Mordred is hardly a villain at all. And the Crimson King and Walter/Randall Flagg have been the villains in every Stephen King book except for On Writing. Okay, I exaggerate, but not by much. One or both of them should have had the epic showdown with Roland or, better yet, with one another. But one is killed more or less off-camera, and the other is simply erased? Dude, no. That's a bigger cop-out than the entirety of Revenge of the Sith.