The Dark Tower

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The Dark Tower

Postby dimnix on Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:40 am

I did a search, didnt find a DT thread, and as a huge fan felt an obligation to create one.

I dont wanna set a particular idea to follow here, it's just that I noticed a few other DT fans show up (mainly in "the mist" movie thread) and thought it'd be good to have a place to discuss the DT books.

Now obviously the books are all done at this point, but there is the upcoming comic to get excited about, and the idea of a DT movie or miniseries.

So anyway, ya ka-bastards, here 'tis. a Dark Tower thread.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:24 am

Aye cully that's sounds like a good idea.
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Postby John Smith on Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:48 am

I'm a fan of the the series and most of what Stephen King writes. While I enjoyed them all my favorite had to be Wizard and Glass. I feel the series ended in the only way it could have.
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Postby dimnix on Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:06 am

John Smith wrote:I'm a fan of the the series and most of what Stephen King writes. While I enjoyed them all my favorite had to be Wizard and Glass. I feel the series ended in the only way it could have.


I'm somewhat torn on the ending. at first I mostly didnt like it. But since, I've grown to kinda like it... adds a nice symetry, it does work, and the way it was written was great. And like King points out, it's the journey that's important, not the ending. Still, if a Dark Tower movie were ever made I'd like a different ending, something more conclusive at the top of the tower.

And Wizard & Glass is great, probably the book that works the best as a stand-alone story. Roland's tale with Susan is some of the best writing King's done, I reckon. Though as a Dark Tower book... not so much happens in the main story and the Wizard Of Oz stuff is maybe too weird.

I dont know if I could name a favourite book in the series.
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Postby John Smith on Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:25 am

dimnix wrote:
John Smith wrote:I'm a fan of the the series and most of what Stephen King writes. While I enjoyed them all my favorite had to be Wizard and Glass. I feel the series ended in the only way it could have.


Though as a Dark Tower book... not so much happens in the main story and the Wizard Of Oz stuff is maybe too weird.


You are right about the Oz stuff being weird. But then again half of the Dark Tower series was kinda weird. I like the fact you could see Rolands past. To see him happy for a bit while still know his life would turn into tradegy somehow.

The idea of a movie would be neat but, I'm not sure who would be a good Roland. As for the ending...I remember SK saying he never is much in control of the way the story went. He felt more like he Channeled the story then anything else. Much about how it turned out surprised him as it did his readers. Genius or too much LSD in the 60's?
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Postby Wolfpack on Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:28 am

Oy!
"Alright Shaggy - you and Scooby head over that way. The girls and I will go this way."
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:50 am

Wolfpack wrote:Oy!


Oy's dead, baby.
Oy's dead.

Wait... no, that was Zed.
Nevermind.
Could you imagine if Oy was in a Mel Brooks movie? Poor little bumbler would get so confused thinking people were calling his name all the time.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:28 pm

I've got a question for other fans of the series. Did you all read the rewritten Gunslinger or did you read the original version. I read through the entire series having only read the original version (not knowing there was a rewrite) and was rather confused toward the end. There seems to be a big difference between where the story was going and where it ended up.

I'd really like to talk this out if anyone else has read the original, or even both versions.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:37 pm

I refrained from reading the DT until all volumes were pubished. I started with the revised version of the Gunslinger.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:48 pm

I've only read the revised edition, so I have no first hand account of the differences. But here's some info about the changes.
-------------------------------------------------
From the DarkTower.net's Wiki:

Notable differences include:
-Roland has a feeling similar to todash in the beginning, foreshadowing the loop.
-The number '19' is introduced.
-Maeryln and the Beast are changed to Legion and the Crimson King
-Walter is really Marten (thus making him another form of Flagg)

A more comprehensive list can be found here.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:03 pm

POSSIBLE SPOILERS IF YOU HAVENT READ ALL THE BOOKS!!!




Yeah, those notable changes do more than just flip character around. In the original, Maeryln and the Beast are guardians of the Tower, as is Walter in a way. These guardians are the natural protectors of the Tower, keeping all from accessing it.

The Tower is still crumbling, though it's alluded that it's destruction is more natural...it's weakening under the weight of time. No one is trying to destroy it.

So basically, Roland is on a mission to save the Tower from crumbling. But to do it, he has to fight against the natural order of creation so he can do what no one is meant to...enter the Tower.

Honestly, I liked that set-up much more than the Crimson King. Fighting against nature to save nature was just so much more epic and original. The CK was just so....normal. Just a villain.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:16 pm

The Ginger Man wrote: The Tower is still crumbling, though it's alluded that it's destruction is more natural...it's weakening under the weight of time. No one is trying to destroy it.


Isn't that how it's pretty much pointed to through the first 4 (pre-accident) books? I think Insomnia was the first mention of the Crimson King, and then books 5-7, which were all written at the same time, went about it that way. I wonder how, if at all, the books would have changed if King would have put more time between releasing the last three - meaning a year or two between each book.

Black House (one of my all-time favorites) also mentions the Crimson King and the Breakers. I think they may even hint towards either Ted Brautigan or Dinky Earnshaw in that one, too. I'm still a little disappointed that Jack Sawyer never made an appearance or even a mention in the DT books after all the tie-ins of Black House.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:26 pm

Keep in mind that no one knows why the Tower is crumbling aside from the constant "the world has moved on" concept. I don't think you can really say that the Tower was naturally crumbling because Roland simply thinks/believes/guesses/assumes as much.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:40 pm

Fievel wrote:Isn't that how it's pretty much pointed to through the first 4 (pre-accident) books? I think Insomnia was the first mention of the Crimson King, and then books 5-7, which were all written at the same time, went about it that way. I wonder how, if at all, the books would have changed if King would have put more time between releasing the last three - meaning a year or two between each book.


See, I haven't read the revised Gunslinger, so I didn't know if the "natural destruction" thing had been retconned in that book. When you said the CK was brought up in Gunslinger, I assumed that might have been the case. I also didn't read any DT connecting books (at least I didn't read them as DT books...just Stephen King books).

I don't know if putting more time between the last three would have helped at all. Reading King's personal writings, he talks about how it kept getting harder to write each new book...to "return to Roland's world." He also seems to write from the gut...or the hip, if you will. He starts writing and lets the story carry his pen. If something turns out one way, it's b/c the story wanted it to, not him.

I think King had to finish those books as quickly as he did, or he never would have finished them. It was his final effort to complete what he started. Unfortunately, I feel it creates almost two different "worlds." The 1st, not taking the revised Gunslinger into account, is Books 1-3. This is a darker, dusty trail, road trip quest. While connected by plot and character, each book is almost it's own book. More like additions rather than pure continuations.

The 2nd world is Books 5-7. It is still dark, but by spreading the story into other books, King actually made the story more self-contained. The constant literary referencing was like a wink to the reader. Like the actors in a play constantly pointing out the stage rather than what's happening on it. These three books are also very connected. The demon pregnancy being a large arc of all three makes them feel like the continuation of one book rather than three separate additions to a series. The character vocabulary was also very self-contained in this world. Wolves of the Calla introduced a whole dialect of slang that permeated the last 3 books, separating them from the first 3.

And book 4, Wizard and Glass, was like a transition book. It connects the two "worlds" by having similar traits to both. Like the 1st world, it is it's own book. But like the 2nd world, it moved the character stories forward w/o moving the quest forward.

-----------

Anyway, that turned out to be much longer than I expected. Didn't mean to write a graduate thesis on the series. I don't even know what the point of all that was.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:53 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:Keep in mind that no one knows why the Tower is crumbling aside from the constant "the world has moved on" concept. I don't think you can really say that the Tower was naturally crumbling because Roland simply thinks/believes/guesses/assumes as much.


True. But look at it from my view point. Not reading the revised Gunslinger, I had invested four books with the idea that Tower is crumbling b/c "the world had moved on." Then, w/o a beat, everyone starts talking about the Crimson King as if he's always been. And the Tower is now being pulled down by the bad guys with no better explanation than "that's what bad guys do."

Roland is the reader's gateway into the story. He also is shown to have extensive knowledge of things and stories we never hear. He is shown again and again to know more than the reader does. So if he tells me for 4 books that the tower is crumbling naturally, than I damn sure am going to believe the tower is crumbling naturally.

I firmly believe King started writing one story and ended writing another. Why do I believe that? B/C everything Roland thinks/believes/guesses/assumes in the 2nd half is presented as pure fact and is never proven otherwise. These "guesses" were not learned over the course of the series. He knew them instantly in Wolves of the Calla. Much like how he instantly knew his unaltered knowledge in the 1st half of the series.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:59 pm

CK is mentioned a number of times in the 4th book and I believe once in the 3rd as well. I'm sorry but nothing in the first four books indicated to me that Roland knew definitely why the Tower was crumbling. He even states his ignorance by stating "something" has gone wrong with the Tower. If he knew exactly what it was wouldn't he have stated as much?
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:22 pm

CK wasn't brought up until the 4th book, and Roland had no idea who he was. His knowledge of him seems forced through the last 3 books. I used the DT Concordance for that info. I need to read the books again. Such a fun time it is.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:34 pm

You will have to forgive any rustiness on my part. I read the series over the course of a decade, not all at once. I didn't remember Ck being introduced in book 4. But I am glad that someone else acknowldges that Roland's knowledge seemed forced in the last 3 books. Even if Roland didn't know for sure what was bringing down the tower in the 1st half, I can't recall a moment in the 2nd half where he "learned" the truth. He just kinda knew everything.

And I think the fact that King had to go back and rewrite Gunslinger to fit the end of his story proves that he ended up writing a different story.

King even calls himself out for this in the DT series. CK originally appeared in Insomnia, 3 yrs before Wizard and Glass. He was described as a godlike being of immense power locked at the top of the Dark Tower. But in Book 7, CK is a crazy old man lobbing grenades from a balcony. How is this explained? The Stephen King in the story says the "story song" was muddled and what he wrote in Insomnia was wrong. I don't know how much more blatant a retcon can be.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:42 pm

CK's "introduction" in Book 4 was simply seeing a sign that said "All Hail The Crimson King" as they were walking in Kansas. It was next to a sign that warned of "The Walkin' Dude" (Flagg/The Stand).

The worst part about Roland's forced knowledge is that although he is a badass Gunslinger and not necessarily an idiot, he's not made out to be the brightest candle in the Calla either (just had to be cute with a reference there).

I think King has said that he'd even like to revise books 2-4 to an extent to make them fit the overal arc better, but I don't have the energy to find references on that. Perhaps he'll use the DT comics as a way to do this.
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Postby dimnix on Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:24 pm

Just thought I'd add my thoughts on this.

Roland didn't know what was wrong with the tower in books 1-4. He knew it was weakened, yes, but not why. And I never got the feeling that the tower's weakness was caused by the world 'moving on', but more the other way around - that because the Tower is, for some reason, failing - the world is moving on.

So we never had the answer of what was wrong with it. In book 4 I think it's even mentioned as some kind of supposed sickness.


As for Roland's knowledge of the Crimson King - no, he didnt know anything about his involvement until book 4. After that, Roland just sort of put the pieces together quite well. Roland's out of his element in our world - but in his world he's fucking sharp, and with all the info about the twins being taken, the crimson king being over the horizon, and finally the blatant exposition given to him by side characters - I dont think it's far fetched that he figured out the plan pretty quickly.


As for the other DT connected books, like Insomnia - I've gotta confess I havent read them. Though like it's been pointed out, in DT7 King points out that Insomnia's only vaguely connected.




By the way, I really didnt like that part of the story, King involving himself as a character and all these un-needed parts (like bringing up Insomnia) that just added too much complexity to the story.

I think books 5-7 have alot of studly in them that's not necessary. But the thing is, remove that studly, and the core story is still fantastic and the books contain some of my favourite parts of the tale. So I cant complain.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:51 pm

I don't see how CK is "just a crazy old man lobing grenades". Sure he appears that way but how many other things in the DT and the other branching stories are more than they seem? Every other description put him as something more than just a man.....Hell almost everything Roland and Susannah run into in book VII is somehow veiled/illusory.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:54 pm

While I enjoy the series, I still feel it was weakened by the inclusion of a main villain. The idea of a man undertaking a forbidden journey out of bloodied, tarnished honor in the hopes of saving a universe that doesn't know it's dying...even now that screams originality to me. And it made the 1st four DT books my favorite series ever. Though I seem to be the only one who read it this way, I can't help but think it was stronger.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:58 pm

For connected books, I'll always recommend Black House, but for that you'll want to read The Talisman first. Both are excellent and Talisman has the same sense of journey that the DT books has. Black House has the actual connections.

I don't disagree that Roland isn't sharp, but I'll say that his sharpness is more of an instinct than intelligence (again, not saying he's riding Sheemie's Shortbus, but just not the smartest out there). I can't remember if it was Cort or Roland's father who flat out said that Roland wasn't really that smart, but he made up for it with his instinct (or something to that effect). I remember reading that line and thinking "Thanks... you just said the hero of the story is dumb." Pretty sure it was Cort.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:00 pm

I think it was more that Roland lacked imagination so it seemed he was less sharp then ther others.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:01 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:I don't see how CK is "just a crazy old man lobing grenades". Sure he appears that way but how many other things in the DT and the other branching stories are more than they seem? Every other description put him as something more than just a man.....Hell almost everything Roland and Susannah run into in book VII is somehow veiled/illusory.


B/C when he is physically revealed, he's described as a crazy looking old man in red robes who stands on a balcony and lobs grenades. He barely even talks. He just screams EEEEEEEEEEE most of the time.

But I will humor you for a moment. Lets say the CK is not what he seems. He is, in fact, the most powerful being to ever exist. It still doesn't matter, b/c when he is finally revealed, he stands on a balcony, lobbing grenades, and squealing until his body gets erased by a kid. Having all the power in the multiverse doesn't mean shit if all you do with it is stand on a balcony, scream EEEEEEEE, and lob grenades.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:03 pm

The Ginger Man wrote:While I enjoy the series, I still feel it was weakened by the inclusion of a main villain. The idea of a man undertaking a forbidden journey out of bloodied, tarnished honor in the hopes of saving a universe that doesn't know it's dying...even now that screams originality to me. And it made the 1st four DT books my favorite series ever. Though I seem to be the only one who read it this way, I can't help but think it was stronger.


I fully agree. Sure there was Walter/Flagg/etc., but it was known that he wasn't the big baddie of the story. And for me, every appearance from him was just awesome. His death was pathetic though, and a travesty to the character.
Actually personifying the main villain to the old coot that screams "Eeeeeeeeeee!" was a real letdown. Vader's "Nooooooo!" doesn't look so bad now... ahh hell, yes it does. But yeah, there were so many dangerous villains throughout the whole story.... even Mordred was a better bad guy than the Crimson King.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:04 pm

Who said he was the most powerful being in the Universe? Where are you coming up with this? No one describes CK as such. It seems like you desperately wanted CK to somehow amount to the ultimate cosmic evil when no place was he/it ever depicted as such.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:14 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:Who said he was the most powerful being in the Universe? Where are you coming up with this? No one describes CK as such. It seems like you desperately wanted CK to somehow amount to the ultimate cosmic evil when no place was he/it ever depicted as such.


No, no, no. I know no one said that. I was making the point that even if the CK is not what he appears to be (which we all agree, in the book, he is presented as an old man, lobbing grenades, and screaming EEEEEEE), it doesnt matter, b/c we never learn or hear this is the case. And then CK is erased. He could have been the most powerful being ever, the greatest Ramen cook in the world, AND Bob fucking Dylan. But it doesn't matter, b/c he appeared as grenade throwing crazy man, he died as a grenade throwing crazy man and NO ONE IN THE FUCKING BOOKS SAID HE WAS ANYTHING BUT A GRENADE THROWING CRAZY MAN.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:18 pm

I'm sorry it hurt you so much Ginger I just don't see your why you are disapponted.
You complain you don't want a villian at all then you complain CK isn't a good enough villian (the implication being if he was somehow a better villian you suddenly wouldn't mind). Makeup your mind :P.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:27 pm

I'm assuming by your smiley face that you are being sarcastic. Which would mean that you are obviously smart enough to go back and reread my posts, knowing that when I referred to CK as blah blah blah, it was only as an example of retconning, used to back up my point that the story changed while King was writing it. In no way did I bring it up regarding the weakness of the character. You are the one who started down the road of "well what if he's not what he seems." I simply argued that even if it were so, would it matter? The answer being of course, no.
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Postby dimnix on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:27 pm

CK isnt really the main, ultimate villian.

I actually kind of like the idea of this terrible, godlike villian being built up - only to find that he's trapped on a balcony and he's gone completely insane.

It adds a twist to what you might expect. Like alot of what happens in the series.


In book 7, the villians that are really worth fearing are Mordred and Dandelo. And they're both pretty great.

It would've been nice for Flagg/Man In Black to stick around till the end, he was a great villian.

Though Mordred has that freak-of-nature thing going on, and made for a pretty interesting villian, especially with his childlike view of things.


And Dandelo fucking rules. One of the best parts of any of the DT books.




When it comes to the end with the dark tower and the showdown with the CK, yeah - it is a bit of a letdown, but everything else is good enough that it doesnt bother me too much. Still, it would've been nice to have more of a standoff at the tower, some sort of epic gun battle on the field of roses, maybe have CK have a small army prepared for Roland's arrival.

Have Roland just go nuts, do the best shooting of his life and take them all out, but not before getting hit himself - making his walking up the dark tower a bit more dramatic too, with a bleeding wound.



Oh well. I cant complain with what we got.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:43 pm

dimnix wrote: And Dandelo fucking rules. One of the best parts of any of the DT books.


Oh man, TRUE THAT!!! I love how he was set up as a nice resting point... a place for the characters and reader to stop and catch their breath... and then BAM!! He's really evil!

dimnix wrote:Oh well. I cant complain with what we got.


Again, I agree. Although complaints may be made, it's only to discuss and debate a series that is thoroughly enjoyed.

And who knows. Maybe the next time, when Roland reaches The Tower, the Crimson King is really David Hasslehoff sporting a Guttenpackage!
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Postby so sorry on Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:59 pm

hey guys, I never read the DT series, but I have a question for you all:
I am a major fan of The Stand, and in reading your posts I keep noticing the mention of a 'villian' named Flagg.

Is that Flagg and my Flagg the same Flagg?
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Postby Fievel on Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:03 pm

so sorry wrote:Is that Flagg and my Flagg the same Flagg?


YES!!!
If you're a major fan of The Stand, I can't even begin to suggest you read these books. You'll love Book 4.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:05 pm

Yup. Same Flagg. His real name is Walter O'Dim. He's a magician that travels through worlds, stirring shit up and the such. Here's a link to the wiki page about him. Be warned of spoilers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randall_Flagg
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Postby RezE11even on Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:38 am

The Ginger Man wrote:While I enjoy the series, I still feel it was weakened by the inclusion of a main villain. The idea of a man undertaking a forbidden journey out of bloodied, tarnished honor in the hopes of saving a universe that doesn't know it's dying...even now that screams originality to me. And it made the 1st four DT books my favorite series ever. Though I seem to be the only one who read it this way, I can't help but think it was stronger.


No, I agree with you completely.

I am a huge fan of the original four books, and think 1 & 4 are the two best things King has ever written.

The Man in Black made a fantastic foil for Roland, and nothing else "grander" was needed. That being said, Mordred and the CK were both massive letdowns, and ultimately completely pointless(How does Mordred change the story? He does not. He literally kills Flagg and takes his place as the main obstacle between Roland and the tower- but without any of the flair or depth that Flagg possesed. We were traded one of King's most vibrant characters for a shitting spiderboy.)

Much, if not all of the final 3 books seems extremely forced. I admit I never thought of Susannah being pregnant after her time in the speaking ring upon first reading- but after going online and seeing many diehard King fans discuss it, it was obviously a possibility and something very "King"-like in nature. But the concept of making the demon child both evil and extremely important was extremely cliche and forced. I can only wonder what it would have been like if the demon pregnacy was handled as a dramatic time bomb- Eddie slowly going insane over his wife's demise. And then finally, the birth killing her, or her killing herself, or something. And then even keeping the demon child alive could have opened up realms of possibilities. Would it be an evil demon working against them? What if it faced identity issues? What if it was, in fact, good? All could have been great.

Unfortunately we were treated to a forced plot-driven birth that made the baby far more of a focus than it ever should have been- and gave us some crap about it being Roland's child and the heir to the Crimson King to boot. He positioned the child as the ultimate villian- and it was completely pointless, and worse, done in a shoddy manner.

There are many other flaws that I could go on about in the latter books, but I don't much see the point.

Simply said, the magic was gone. When I read the first four, I felt as transported to the world as King sounds when he discussed writing them. The only bit of emotion I felt at all in the entirety of the last three books was Roland walking up to the tower- and even then, it wasn't much. Not nearly as much as say, Susan's death. And you and I both know, the walk to the tower should have been gorgeous. The magic was gone. It may sound cynical, but in many ways I wish he had never finished the books.

At least then, I could have imagined a world that had moved on, rather than being spoon fed standard literature fair.
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Postby dimnix on Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:22 am

RezE11even, fair opinion there.

Though I wonder... was there a big gap between your reading of books 1-4 and books 5-7? for alot of people that seemed to be the case, and I think that factors into their feelings on books 5-7.

I read them all in a row, one after the other.

What I'll say about books 5-7 is this - the magic isnt gone, but theres alot of studly. Wolves Of The Calla especially - theres a brilliant book in there, one that's a bit shorter. Some of the New York stuff was a bit much. Callahan's flashback story maybe could've been shortened. And I dont like the inclusion of King himself as a character.

But if I focus on whats good about it, theres a great book there.

Book 6, well... it was a missed opportunity. Gets off to a great start, with everyone split up and looking for Susannah, I love the ambush on Roland and Eddie at the gas station, and alot of the stuff in New York is really enjoyable and has a quick pace and sense of fun about it. But the book has no real conclusion, only really serves as a setup for the final book.

'The Dark Tower' is one of my favourites of the series. Again, like Wolves, it has some studly that I could've done without. But when it's on it's on. The stuff with the breakers, great. The shock of the deaths hit me hard. The chase through the dark tunnel, Roland and Susan's quest to the tower (those bits really reminded me of Roland and Jake, alone and travelling in the first book). Fucking DANDELO, man. Gotta love it.

And the moment the tower is revealed, I'm sorry man but I couldnt dig it more. The way it happens almost accidentaly, Roland reaches a rise in the road and almost doesnt see it. Fucking perfect.


Admittedly, The Man In Black would've made for a better villian in those final moments than Mordred.


As for the pregnancy - the first thing I thought of after the scene where they pull Jake through is that Susannah would be pregnant. I'm surprised you didnt pick up on that.
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Postby RezE11even on Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:09 pm

I started reading them sometime between the publication of Wizard & Glass and Wolves, but the gap was nothing major. A year at most, and I took several month breaks in between Gunslinger and Drawing, and again between Drawing and Wastelands. So I don't think the waiting was as much of an issue for me as it would be for people who started reading the series back when Gunslinger was first published.

It's pretty obvious that the accident changed King, but unfortunately the effect it had on his writing isn't something I would call positive.

Wolves is indeed a lot of fluff, and to this day I don't get it's purpose. I've heard many describe Wizard & Glass as a pit stop that didn't advance the story at all. This is unfounded, as it perhaps advances the story the most out of any single volume. No, Wolves is the true pit stop of the books- literally nothing happens or is accomplished. Susannah starts going nuts with the baby- but that was the entire focus of book 6. The main plotline has absolutely no bearing on anything else in the saga. It is a seperate story(and not a good one at that), much the way Eyes of the Dragon is a seperate story containing one of the main characters.

Song is my favourite of the last 3, as it contains the familiar urgency of the first 4 decidedly in 5 and 7. Indeed, the ambush at the Gas Station is one of my favourite sequences of the entire yarn.

And The Dark Tower. If Song restored my faith, it became apparent on the first page that that I was in for another "Wolves." The first third or perhaps even half of the book is spent undoing or leading up to events that have ALREADY HAPPENED in book 6(Namely, trying to prevent King's death). I was going to rant here, but I don't feel up to it.
Years later upon reflection of the book, one of the few things I remember being handled well was when Eddie was shot. The bit about the hug between Pimli and whoever- and that being what Roland would, upon thinking back to it, blame for Eddie's death- brilliant.

As for Dandelo, I must say I don't share your enthusiam. If anything this character was more of a slap in the face to me than Mordred, as the blatant connection King forced between him and The Dark Tower poem IN THE ACTUAL story was pathetic. It was like he was sitting behind the typewriter laughing at me and everyone else, cackling along with things like "AHAHA! And here you thought all along that FLAGG was the man with the malicious eye! WRONG! I killed him with a pooping spider baby, remember?! HERE'S the lying man from the poem!" It just seemed so.. forced. It was a parody of itself, and it pained me to see it so.


The ending was one of the very few things I liked. Still pissed I never got to see The Beast, though. Damn him and his edited Gunslinger!
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:14 am

How can you state Wolves does not progress the story? They meet Callahan, find Black Thirteen, learn of the "roont" kids and the breakers all of which are important points that play out in the next two books.
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Postby RezE11even on Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:03 pm

You can remove every single one of those things, and nothing changes much at all.

The breakers are the most important thing you mentioned, and yet they are barely touched upon in the book. The breakers are the "why" the tower is crumbling(again, far less cool than just progression of time), and their true debut is in book 7. It's like bringing up the Crimson King in Wizard & Glass, like the removal of his name would have greatly changed the book. It wouldn't.
Callahan is a nice character to introduce I suppose, but he's fairly pointless. My opinions on the character aside- just having him around doesn't progress the story a damn. We were playing catch up after Salem's Lot- again, pretty useless.
Black 13? Who cares? It's a plot object, a way for them to go from one place to another. It'd be no different if they just found more magical doors and walked in them.
And the roont kids? I barely even remember them. Some impact they had. Something about the wolves stealing them and using their brains to make weapons out of fears and helping the breakers break the tower or something. Big deal. It had about as much importance as the crap in Hearts in Atlantis- not important at all.

Even if you like the book(and how, I don't know), it's insane to argue that it advances the chief characters or the quest- outside of Susannah being preggers and going nuts. But again, we had the entire next book for that to happen, so I wouldn't exactly put too much credit on that, either.
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Postby Fievel on Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:44 am

Books 1-4 are four completely different books.
Books 5-7 are one long book.

King is God.
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Postby DDMAN26 on Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:42 pm

I am reading the Drawing of the Three as am I finally making my way through the Dark Tower series.
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Postby Wolfpack on Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:25 pm

Eddie's story is great in that one. Pure King.
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Postby DDMAN26 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:23 pm

I'm still making my way in the Dark Tower series. I'm already on Wolves of the Calla(about 300 pages to go) So far I like but don't love the series. If I had to rank the first four books it would look like this:

1. The Wastelands
2. THe Drawing of the Three
3. The Gunslinger
4. Wizard and Glass
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Postby DDMAN26 on Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:15 pm

I'm on the final Dark Tower novel.
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:53 am

I'm not reading, but listening to The Gunslinger at the moment. It seems really good, hard to concentrate to as the guy who reads it has a voice like a sand grinder.... but I like it :)
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Postby Seppuku on Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:35 am

MonkeyM666 wrote:I'm not reading, but listening to The Gunslinger at the moment. It seems really good, hard to concentrate to as the guy who reads it has a voice like a sand grinder.... but I like it :)


Trust me, you're in the audio book Elysium Fields. I downloaded an audio book of True Grit where the narrator sounded like the squeeky-voiced chick from Police Academy. And he was a guy!
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:16 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:
MonkeyM666 wrote:I'm not reading, but listening to The Gunslinger at the moment. It seems really good, hard to concentrate to as the guy who reads it has a voice like a sand grinder.... but I like it :)


Trust me, you're in the audio book Elysium Fields. I downloaded an audio book of True Grit where the narrator sounded like the squeeky-voiced chick from Police Academy. And he was a guy!


Bloody hell... there are some bad one's around. I've grown to really like this guys voice (I can't find who the V/O artist is). It's dynamic and hypnotising with his low rusty tones...

Usually I listen to one of the multitude of Pratchett novels on Audio book. They're always very entertaining, but this is a nice change.
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:04 pm

I'm now onto The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, and one thing about the Towers universe is that it's evolving with the times King wrote the books in. The character of Blaine the Mono for one seems more rounded (if it could be) and King seems more informed on the whys and hows of it. Even the language he uses seems more refined. You can tell that the story was festering in his mind consistently for that 6 year break. A great series of books, and if your new to King well worth a look, as long as you can push through the gunslinger and the first half of The Drawing of the Three.I must say that from what I know now, it seems like it would translate well into film, but I am only halfway through.
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Postby Dee E. Goppstober on Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:24 pm

MonkeyM666 wrote:I'm now onto The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, and one thing about the Towers universe is that it's evolving with the times King wrote the books in. The character of Blaine the Mono for one seems more rounded (if it could be) and King seems more informed on the whys and hows of it. Even the language he uses seems more refined. You can tell that the story was festering in his mind consistently for that 6 year break. A great series of books, and if your new to King well worth a look, as long as you can push through the gunslinger and the first half of The Drawing of the Three.I must say that from what I know now, it seems like it would translate well into film, but I am only halfway through.


The Dark Tower Series is the best. I wouldn't start off with it though, because then you miss all the references to his other books.

It would make a great movie too (isn't there a thread about that somewhere?). I remember reading here somewhere the opinion that King's stories don't translate well into film - but I think that's not true at all. The Shining (both versions) is good - and Carrie isn't bad, and Hearts in Atlantis is a little soppy, but not really a bad film either. Anyways - diverging from this thread's theme.
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