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View Full Version : The Official Dark Tower Discussion & Questions Thread [SPOILERS!]


auto
07-07-04, 11:50 AM
http://thedarktower.net/images/DTVIIcoverimage.jpg?SSImageQuality=Full

Well, I just finished Song of Susannah and I can't believe we will have the final chapter of the Dark Tower saga in a month and a half.

I know there are a few King threads out there that discuss the books but I thought we could have just one thread where ideas, thoughts, feelings, are discussed as we await the final story.

Also, lets just assume that everybody reading this thread is current through DT6:SoS. If you haven't read the sixth book yet do not keep reading!!! This way we don't have to put spoiler tags on everything. Only use spoiler tags if you are discussing book 7 (for those who may have had the chance to see/read any of it).

So, what does everybody think? Is King crazy throwing himself in the middle of his book? Did people like/dislike this plot twist? Is the series living up to your expectations? Will King screw it up with the last chapter?

I loved SoS. I thought it was stronger than Wolves which seemed like an awful lot of build-up for the payoff at the end. I also felt like it was a story that didn't really further their quest for the tower. You could almost take that whole chapter out of the story and it would not be missed. Aside from Susannah's growing "predicament". And I hated the references to Harry Potter. King can be a cheese-ball sometimes.

What does everyone else think?

Tsar Chasm
07-07-04, 12:02 PM
Six topics on King on the first page of Book Talk. Here I thought he was a hack that couldn't write his way out of a paper bag. Or so Mr. Columbia English Professor would lead us to believe.

I started reading the Dark Tower as soon as Gunslinger came out in an affordable version. This was more than 20 years ago. I read each as they came out and re-read the first 4 in the revised paperbacks just before Wolves of Calla came out. I benefited from the refresh.

I read a lot. Typically a new book every other day. I don't save fiction books, I pass them on to others but I feel compelled to get the rare first editions of the Dark Tower for display.



side note: my mother was born in Ypsi and I recently decided to drive through while I was on a business trip. Yuck. :)

zutroy
07-07-04, 12:12 PM
I also loved SoS - liked it much more than WoTC, which was lackluster IMO. I was initially terrified of the idea of King being in the book.. I feared in this book he would be revealed to be the Crimson King, but the way he featured himself, wasn't bad. I never imagined the story going in this direction but... it's not my story. The chapter with the low-men (I think it was them) in the Dixie Pig was awesome! I even liked the art, which I've heard people didn't like.

My fav is still Wizard and Glass, but this one is up there. Really looking forward to the final chapter in the sagea... and I hope it's long and with thinner pages... Was it me or were the pages thicker than normal?

Geofferson
07-07-04, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by zutroy
Was it me or were the pages thicker than normal?
They were because it was a shorter installment than the last two and the next one which will be about twice as long.

Anyway, I loved SoS (more so than WotC, but I liked that one quite a bit as well). I felt the way King included himself in the story was nothing short of pure brilliance. The talk of the walk-ins and the low-men...great stuff!

Michael Corvin
07-07-04, 04:09 PM
I'm not sure if I read it here or elsewhere, but long before WotC came out there was speculation that these were characters in Kings mind. I wish I hadn't read that because the climax in SoS would have been much cooler. It was well done. Felt it could have gone another 100 pages or so.

So, if King is dead, then the characters haven't crossed into the real world like they thought. Since we all know King lived from the incident.

PalmerJoss
07-07-04, 05:37 PM
FWIW, I don't believe that King is dead in the story; I say he just pasted a cutout of a story that proclaimed him dead in his journal. If I remember correctly when he had his accident back in '99 multiple sources reported that he had died, so it wouldn't surprise me if the story we see at the end of SoS is just that.

Michael Corvin
07-07-04, 10:25 PM
Palmer, true. I forgot all about that. Good thinking. As I said in another thread, I took it as a metaphor as the "wordslinger" is dead, not the man himself. Since King has basically said he hasn't been able to write the same since the accident.

auto
07-08-04, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by PalmerJoss
FWIW, I don't believe that King is dead in the story; I say he just pasted a cutout of a story that proclaimed him dead in his journal. If I remember correctly when he had his accident back in '99 multiple sources reported that he had died, so it wouldn't surprise me if the story we see at the end of SoS is just that.

Good call. I hadn't thought of that. This seems like a likely plot twist for book 7.

BTW, Tsar Chasm, next time your in Ypsi drop me a line and I'll give you a real tour. Ypsilanti has a lot of nice parts they're just hidden. :)

Tom Banjo
07-08-04, 10:08 AM
Looks like I'm in the minority, but SoS was probably my least favorite so far. I just don't get into the story as much if it's not in Roland's world. Plus, all the other books take place a much longer time span than this one. Wasn't SoS just a couple of days? I felt like I was reading the DT equivalent of one of the later Left Behind novels, when they started to milk it and drag out the story.
Having said that, I was very hesitant about King's intentions when I'd heard he'd be a character, but it worked really well for me. The chapter when SK and Roland meet is just priceless. It's easily the highlight of the book for me.
Can't wait for DT7.

btw- I read somewhere (maybe here but I doubt it) that King has started writing a new book.

auto
07-08-04, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Tom Banjo

btw- I read somewhere (maybe here but I doubt it) that King has started writing a new book.

Heard the same thing. :up:

Geofferson
07-08-04, 12:24 PM
Yeah, it was mentioned in a small EW article recently. Awesome news! :up:

Ginwen
07-12-04, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Michael Corvin
So, if King is dead, then the characters haven't crossed into the real world like they thought. Since we all know King lived from the incident.
Who says this is the real world?

Michael Corvin
07-13-04, 02:02 PM
<---- swallows red pill...

Geofferson
07-13-04, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Tom Banjo
btw- I read somewhere (maybe here but I doubt it) that King has started writing a new book.

O/T, but this might be the new book...


Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, lifelong Red Sox addicts, will chronicle the 2004 Red Sox season from spring training and Opening Day through to the highly anticipated events of the fall, in a hardcover book that Scribner will publish in late '04. They'll go to some games together and each will keep a diary. They'll argue or agree about plays and trades, and the result will be a fan's notes for the ages.


www.stephenking.com

cultshock
07-14-04, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by PalmerJoss
FWIW, I don't believe that King is dead in the story; I say he just pasted a cutout of a story that proclaimed him dead in his journal. If I remember correctly when he had his accident back in '99 multiple sources reported that he had died, so it wouldn't surprise me if the story we see at the end of SoS is just that

I never thought of that either, but it's certainly possible. Good point.

I thought that King putting himself in the book was a cool idea, and he handled it well, IMO. I love the fact that King disliked Roland. :lol:

Originally posted by TsarChasm
I started reading the Dark Tower as soon as Gunslinger came out in an affordable version. This was more than 20 years ago.

Me too. I can't believe that I have been reading this one story for so long. And it's actually almost over. :eek:

auto
07-15-04, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by Geofferson
Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, lifelong Red Sox addicts, will chronicle the 2004 Red Sox season from spring training and Opening Day through to the highly anticipated events of the fall, in a hardcover book that Scribner will publish in late '04. They'll go to some games together and each will keep a diary. They'll argue or agree about plays and trades, and the result will be a fan's notes for the ages.


I hope this isn't the book they are talking about. I was hoping for some old school, spine-tinglin', page-turnin', lights-out, up-all-night readin' King.

Michael Corvin
07-15-04, 10:28 AM
What I really want to have cleared up in book seven is the whole 19 thing. What is the significance? Why did the lady(name?) at the way station go insane just at the mention of it?

Tom Banjo
07-16-04, 08:52 AM
I just thought of something... Black House left off with a lot of unresolved issues that King and Straub promised would be taken care of in the third book. Assuming they still plan to write that and not merge it the plotlines into DT7, we're still not gonna have the entire story once DT7 has been read.

RaraFemina
07-16-04, 12:33 PM
I think that once DT7 comes out there will be a lot of things resolved that were in Black House and a lot of other stories. They have that list of Dark Tower related books at the beginning of the last two books, so I think all that might come into play in the final installment.

I just can't wait to get my hands on it and finish this story.

silentbob007
07-21-04, 12:14 AM
It was interested to read King's new preface to the older volumes "On being nineteen" ....

auto
08-04-04, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by Geofferson
O/T, but this might be the new book...

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, lifelong Red Sox addicts, will chronicle the 2004 Red Sox season from spring training and Opening Day through to the highly anticipated events of the fall, in a hardcover book that Scribner will publish in late '04. They'll go to some games together and each will keep a diary. They'll argue or agree about plays and trades, and the result will be a fan's notes for the ages.



I read in another thread that he is planning this book as well as a new fiction book.

They also posted a link to an excerpt from the last book. I'm not going to read it but here it is:

prologue (http://www.stephenking.com/pages/wo...II/prologue.php)

44 days to go...

ceeece
08-19-04, 10:50 PM
What I really want to have cleared up in book seven is the whole 19 thing. What is the significance? Why did the lady(name?) at the way station go insane just at the mention of it?

I think SK was hit by the van on June 19, 1999. Father's Day. The Coda at the end of SoS has the newspaper entry of King's death written June 20, 1999, the day after the accident.

I really like SoS. I read it quicker than any of the DT books so far. I just ate it up. Very fast paced. Wolves was so slow. "Telling Tales" chapters just made the thing drag. And then of course in typical King style, spend 600 pages on character development and 100 pages or less on actual action. I think the actual fight with the wolves might have been like 25 pages.

It intrigued me that King put himself in the story but also bugged me. First thing I thought of when he comes around the corner of his house and says "Tabby is that you darlin'?" was "Man, King is even a bad 'actor' in his own story".

Michael Corvin
08-19-04, 11:32 PM
I bet he really talks like that though.

As for WotC. Definitely slow. About 200 pages too long. Song of Susannah on the other hand, was too short. I could have gone another couple hundred on that one.

33 days!

as for King being in the story,
He isn't really in the story if all of this is happening in his head. The story is in him. Just some characters he conjured up and never wrote about, floating around in his head. Popping up in various other novels and interaction between characters of the other novels, as well as Harry Potter, and Spiderman.

Just an idea anyway.

auto
08-26-04, 01:05 PM
Saw this in another thread (http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=380911&highlight=stephen+king)

Spoiler for book 7:
The spider from the end of IT makes an appearance in DT7!!!

26 Days and Counting...

Abob Teff
08-28-04, 02:07 PM
Well, I just finished SoS, so I'll wander about these threads a little aimlessly . . .

. . . I am still ambivalent about King putting himself in the book (although I saw it coming from a mile away) . . . at least we now know that the opening of the Tower won't reveal him inside writing away . . . maybe . . . (Could it be Richard Bachman up there instead?)

. . . one thing that I have immensely enjoyed through the series is the subtext that has given a look into the mind of a writer. I haven't written anything in a good many years, but I always maintained that my writing style was what King describes: I would almost never map anything out, instead I brought the characters to life and allowed the events to unfold, including the death of a character that I never saw coming. In fact, this has kind of inspired me to go back and pick up the old pen and paper . . .

. . . so think back to when you first read "It." And the whole thing with the turtle popped up and you (at least I) said "What the fuck is he talking about and where did this come from?" (As I have with several of his novels.) Was this planned or merely a convenience (to inspire us to go back and read his older novels)?

wmansir
08-30-04, 12:41 AM
Just finished SoS moments ago. Well an hour maybe. My thoughts:

Definitely stronger than tWoC, which did tend to drag. I wish a bit more of the story had been told. The entire book only covers about 24 hours. Considering the previous 2 books each covered several weeks, if not months, it's a stark contrast in pacing. If the next book keeps up this pace the ending will feel very very rushed.

Man, King is even a bad 'actor' in his own story

I didn't think that, but only because I've blocked out all memories of King as actor. His dialog (and the journal entries too) felt as phoney as $5 bill with Andrew Jackson on them. Although I would never say dialog was king's strong point to begin with.

Overall, it was handled better than I thought it would be, at least until the last 20 pages. I didn't like the 'journal' ending, especially with such a damn cliffhanger ending on 2 of the three threads of the book. But what really bothers me about the whole idea is that it removes me from the fantasy when reading. It's hard to live in Roland's world when King keeps reminding you it's only a book.


What did you guys think about his inclusion of the World Trade Center? To me it seemed rather crass and awkwardly handled, especially when Jake asks "What if the building collapses?".

Abob Teff
08-30-04, 12:26 PM
Agreed and agreed . . . while this isn't the first time that King has dealt with characters or stories "coming to life" I think that the twist undoes much of what he was striving for (creating the new Lord of the Rings if you will). Building up this whole mythology (which he has done very well) only to scrap it for a stereotypical King ending is not seting well (so far, I guess we have one last shot at finding out exactly how it all wraps together).

The World Trade Center reference was a bit lame, but I suppose it was an effort to tie up a loose end without spending much time on it (assuming that Black 13 was still there). Or the other interpretation I guess is that Black 13 caused the WTC attacks, but I didn't read it that way.

Of course, I seem to be the only person who was thouroughly enthralled by "The Gunslinger" and thinks that it is the best of the series (With "Wizard and Glass" a close second).

Off beat question about the journal part though . . . I visited Conway, NH just a few months ago so my interest was piqued . . . does anybody know if the bit about the walk-ins around North Conway are really an urban legend up there, or is it just something he made up for the book. A web search only turns up a story in North Conway about a UFO encounter.

ceeece
08-31-04, 02:32 PM
But what really bothers me about the whole idea is that it removes me from the fantasy when reading. It's hard to live in Roland's world when King keeps reminding you it's only a book.

I concur COMPLETELY with this statement! It cheapens the whole Dark Tower story.

Josh-da-man
09-03-04, 03:39 AM
Quint has a review of Book 7 "The Dark Tower" up at AICN.

Minor spoilers...

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=18268

Generally positivie, but this part of the review, in particular, makes me horribly nervous:

[NO SPECIFIC SPOILERS, ONLY A VAGUE REACTION TO THE FINAL PAGES OF THE BOOK]
That brings us to the Tower itself. The reveal is perfect. I won't say anymore than that, but I would like to touch on the ending a bit, without getting specific enough to spoil anything, of course. About 10 pages from the end, King actually stops as the writer and suggests to the reader that we may not want to read any further because we might not like what we see. In many ways I wish I had taken his advice because what is found in the Tower is... well, let's just say that it almost makes you ask if it was worth the losses and the crazy emotional roller-coaster ride we've been on.

This is going to be driving me batshit nuts over the next week or two.

RaraFemina
09-03-04, 08:20 AM
18 more days

Michael Corvin
09-03-04, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by ceeece
But what really bothers me about the whole idea is that it removes me from the fantasy when reading. It's hard to live in Roland's world when King keeps reminding you it's only a book.

I concur COMPLETELY with this statement! It cheapens the whole Dark Tower story.

But that is the whole point. It isn't Roland's world, it is King's.

Tscott
09-04-04, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by RaraFemina
18 more days You missed being super-cool by a day. You should've posted this at 19 days.;)

kcbrett5
09-08-04, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by ceeece
But what really bothers me about the whole idea is that it removes me from the fantasy when reading. It's hard to live in Roland's world when King keeps reminding you it's only a book.

I concur COMPLETELY with this statement! It cheapens the whole Dark Tower story.

This is my feeling exactly. The whole enjoyment of this for me was the escape from reality. I have always enjoyed Roland's world a lot more than the portions that take place in the real world.

Plus, the way King has added so many of his other books to the Dark Tower universe screams of shameless self promotion to me. It just seems like a way to sell more copies of his older books.

I am a huge fan and I will read the last book but I will never read King again after that. I really think he sold out his fans with the cheapening of this series.

Cusm
09-08-04, 10:48 AM
I just finished The Gunslinger. Do I jump right into The Drawing of Three or, as mentioned from another thread, read Eyes of the Dragon before TDoT?

Mordred
09-08-04, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by Cusm
I just finished The Gunslinger. Do I jump right into The Drawing of Three or, as mentioned from another thread, read Eyes of the Dragon before TDoT? I've never read EotD but it's my understanding the events are very loosely related to the Dark Tower.

According to the road map at thedarktower.net: http://www.thedarktower.net/connections/roadmap.php it looks like one line in TDotT references EotD but thats it. I think there are other connections in similar names (i.e. a Roland in EotD) but the characters are different.

I haven't read all of King's books, but this is the order I'd recommend:

Gunslinger
Drawing of the Three
Wastelands
The Stand
Wizard and Glass
Salem's Lot
Wolves of the Calla
Insomnia
Hearts In Atlantis
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower

It sounds like Talisman-Black House features prominently somewhere around Wolves and Susannah, but I'm starting the Talisman today and hope to be done with Black House around the time #7 comes out, so I can't say for sure where I'd put it.

ceeece
09-08-04, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by Cusm
I just finished The Gunslinger. Do I jump right into The Drawing of Three or, as mentioned from another thread, read Eyes of the Dragon before TDoT?

I would say start on DotT. It has been awhile since I read EotD but all I know is that the baddy in it is one of the baddies in DT. I don't think it really has that much bearing on the DT books. But then again it has been awhile since I read it. And I loved it too.

Tom Banjo
09-08-04, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Mordred

I haven't read all of King's books, but this is the order I'd recommend:

Gunslinger
Drawing of the Three
Wastelands
The Stand
Wizard and Glass
Salem's Lot
Wolves of the Calla
Insomnia
Hearts In Atlantis
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower

It sounds like Talisman-Black House features prominently somewhere around Wolves and Susannah, but I'm starting the Talisman today and hope to be done with Black House around the time #7 comes out, so I can't say for sure where I'd put it.


My personal order would be something like this:
DT1
EOTD
The Talisman
DT2
It
Insomnia
DT3
The Stand
DT4
Hearts in Atlantis
Little Sisters of Eluria (short story, available in Everything's Eventual)
Black House
Salem's Lot
DT5
DT6
Everything's Eventual (short story available in book of the same name)
DT7

EDIT: I went ahead and included Eyes of the Dragon and Everything's Eventual because of the possibility of seeing some of the characters from these stories in DT7.

RaraFemina
09-10-04, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Tscott
You missed being super-cool by a day. You should've posted this at 19 days.;)

Yeah....I wasn't thinking. I'm always a day late and a dollar short ;)

silentbob007
09-12-04, 10:16 AM
I loved Eyes of the Dragon as a fun, easy story, but I really don't think it is worth reading just for continuity sake in Drawing of the Three. The EotD reference is literally only a sentence or two.

Abob Teff
09-13-04, 12:12 AM
Personally, NONE of the books are needed for any kind of continuity. I feel that this is really just a shameless plug for King to try and draw all of his books together (and tie up loose ends and errors that readers caught 20+ years ago).

The relations between the books are absolutely nothing to do with the stories themselves. The ties only come in the form of passing references to names/characters/places/concepts. Regulators and (crap, what is the other one?) are listed as connections . . . but only because they deal with the whole "alternate universe" concept.

Abob Teff
09-13-04, 12:13 AM
Oh yeah, 9 days!

Tscott
09-13-04, 02:08 AM
Originally posted by Abob Teff
Regulators and (crap, what is the other one?) Desperation.

I don't see it as a shameless plug. Stephen King isn't saying you HAVE to read The Regulators and Desperation to enjoy the Dark Tower series. All that's been done is point out that they're somehow related.

Other people are making the "guides" and putting them "in order", but the truth is all the books stand on their own (well, with the exception of the Dark Tower books themselves which should be read in order). Plus it's really not that uncommon for an author of many books eventually have characters that crossover from one book to another (PD James and Tom Clancy come to my mind, there are others). It's the fans that notice that then try to piece together the 'mythology' that's been created and make sense out of it all.

And speaking of make sense of it all... One thing I was wondering about when looking over the booklists in the recent Tower books, was what determined if a book was related to the Dark Tower. Dreamcatcher (which I just recently read) is not related, according to the bolded listings in the most recent Tower books, but that takes place in part in Derry and some events of 'It' are referred to, and 'It' is related to the Tower. Also the question is brought up "What is the significance of 19, other than a prime number?" - in Dreamcatcher it refers to a baseball jersey, but that's a question Stephen King fans really want to know the answer to, and the occurance of that question in the book can't be a coincidence. So it is sort of connected, even though it's not officially listed as being so. I'm sure if I went back and reread some of the other 'unrelated' works I could find similar connections, making most just a leap away from the Tower books.

jmj713
09-15-04, 06:59 PM
Well, I got my copy from Grant today, and this book is NIIICE... this is probably the heaviest volume of them all. great artwork, I especially like the very last one (hopefully we could be able to download a hi-res version online somewhere later, I'd love that). I did a bad thing and read the afterword right away, I couldn't help it. No real spoilers in it. Then I got braver and peek at the end of the novel. MY GOD is it awesome. I felt actual goosebumps. Well now to read... :)

Xander
09-16-04, 09:22 AM
It just seems weird that in 5 days (!!!) the series will be all over. I've been reading these books for like 15 years. Crazy. Anyway, only 5 days to go. Woo-hoo!

X

auto
09-16-04, 01:33 PM
Does anyone know hao many pages DT7 is?

movielib
09-16-04, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by jay77
Does anyone know hao many pages DT7 is?
864

Abob Teff
09-16-04, 03:01 PM
Ouch!

Tscott -- you actually made my point. What exactly signifies a book as "related" to the Dark Tower? Does it have to be a significant charcter or place, a specifically mentioned person or area? Or could we just say that ALL books are related to the Dark Tower because they have a Page 19 (which is where we are leaning toward)?

wmansir
09-17-04, 09:26 AM
If you plan on reading Salem's Lot definitely do it before The Wolves of Calla. A major character from SL becomes a major character in the WoC and his entire back story is give, including what happens to him in SL and a major spoiler for one of the most climatic moments from the book.

jmj713
09-17-04, 10:01 AM
There are many lists out there that compile King works that are explicitly connected to the Dark Tower series. For example, according to TheDarkTower.net, only three novels actually add to the mythology of the series, and they're Insomnia, Hearts in Atlantis, and The Black House. I would also definitely add 'Salem's Lot here, and of course, Little Sisters of Eluria. The other books, like The Stand, have lesser ties to the Dark Tower. Here's a good page: http://thedarktower.net/connections/index.php

auto
09-20-04, 09:29 AM
So, um, what's everybody reading tomorrow? ;)

DaveNinja
09-20-04, 01:53 PM
I just finished SoS and looks to be just in time. Hoepfully the library gets the last book in the series soon.
One question: in SoS Jake and Callahan go through a metal detecter when they want to place Black 13 in a locker. King mentions that the plates jacks carrying dont set off the alarm. But what about the Ruger?

wmansir
09-20-04, 02:27 PM
I'm not sure about that. As long as we are nitpicking I have another one: In SoS the gang is very worried about stuff from Roland's world going to NY. Oy is one thing, but they spend most of the discussion on whether Roland's guns will make it. Did they forget that Eddie brought one of Roland's guns with him to the bookstore the last time he went through?

Mordred
09-20-04, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by wmansir
I'm not sure about that. As long as we are nitpicking I have another one: In SoS the gang is very worried about stuff from Roland's world going to NY. Oy is one thing, but they spend most of the discussion on whether Roland's guns will make it. Did they forget that Eddie brought one of Roland's guns with him to the bookstore the last time he went through? Maybe because they went through the door instead of going todash?

auto
09-21-04, 09:27 AM
Ok, kids. The big day is here. Picked up my copy this morning at Sam's Club (~$19). I'm gonna tear into it tonight after work.

How about we hide any spoilers for a week or so and let the slower readers (myself included) catch up before we discuss in detail.

Or maybe I should quit my job and start reading now! ;)

Mordred
09-21-04, 02:55 PM
A week doesn't seem like enough... a month or even longer seems more appropriate for the slower readers in the bunch. I know I can't start on this one just yet, and it's killing me.

auto
09-21-04, 03:08 PM
Maybe your right. Let's just use spoilers whenever discussing plot points for the next couple of weeks.

Aside from that, we should all just be careful in this thread. That was the reason I put SPOILERS! right in the thread title.

So, ahem:

Spoiler from first few pages of the book:
R.I.P. Father Callaghan, R.I.P.

JM
09-21-04, 04:21 PM
Just got DT7. The end is finally within my reach (literally). As best I can remember, I started reading this saga around 1988 or 1989. It has been a long 15 years! It will be bittersweet turning that last page to close this long chapter of my life as the Constant Reader. I'm sure SK must have had similar feelings as he typed the final words of a story he once wrote that he didn't believe he would live long enough to finish. All things serve the Beam...

silentbob007
09-21-04, 04:34 PM
Stupid Walmart ... all kinds of Star Wars, but no one stocked the book section. Priorities! ;)

Momiji
09-21-04, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by jay77
Maybe your right. Let's just use spoilers whenever discussing plot points for the next couple of weeks.

Aside from that, we should all just be careful in this thread. That was the reason I put SPOILERS! right in the thread title.

So, ahem:

Spoiler from first few pages of the book:
R.I.P. Father Callaghan, R.I.P.

I just got past there myself. :(

But at least he went out like a hero!

slop101
09-22-04, 12:00 PM
Does anyone know if they're going to release all 7 DT books in one box-set/collection anytime soon? I read the first 2 WAY back when, and never got around to reading the rest... a collection would be an ideal way to get back into it.

Tom Banjo
09-22-04, 04:04 PM
I hope you guys are excited as I was when I got to page 218. :) (spoilerized for those not wanting to expect a surprise at a certain page)

Geofferson
09-23-04, 09:31 AM
I just got my copy of DT7 in the mail yesterday...damn this book is massive! -eek-

Tom Banjo
09-23-04, 11:45 AM
I'm about 500 pages in, and must say that SO FAR this has been to me the best DT book he's ever written. We'll see what the consensus is once I'm done with the last page, though, since I couldn't resist the temptation and peeked at the last page (AND TRUST ME, YOU DON'T WANT TO DO THAT!!!) and have a pretty good idea where's he's going with this.

Samuel
09-23-04, 09:24 PM
Spoiler-free interview: http://video.msn.com/video/p.htm?t=1&i=9de52c71-4c25-45b1-bb36-6da858b633c2

Geofferson
09-24-04, 09:41 AM
Great interview clip. thanks Samuel :up:

auto
09-24-04, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Tom Banjo
I hope you guys are excited as I was when I got to page 218. :) (spoilerized for those not wanting to expect a surprise at a certain page)

Got there last night. Didn't see it coming. Great surprise!

silentbob007
09-24-04, 02:50 PM
I finished the novel with both eagerness and regret.

Roland finishes his quest alone, as he must, but for their part, all our heros stand and are true.

Abob Teff
09-26-04, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by slop101
Does anyone know if they're going to release all 7 DT books in one box-set/collection anytime soon? I read the first 2 WAY back when, and never got around to reading the rest... a collection would be an ideal way to get back into it.

Can't say for sure, but the interview with King in USA Today said that he plans on going back and re-writing (or touching up) at least books 2 and 3 in the next couple of years (like he did with with The Gunslinger) . . . he kind of alludes to the whole thing being one book . . . would that be physically possible?!

Speaking of the touch-ups on The Gunslinger, what exactly was done/changed? I thought it was the best of the series so far and want to know if the changes are signififcant to warrant a re-read.

silentbob007
09-26-04, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by Abob Teff
Can't say for sure, but the interview with King in USA Today said that he plans on going back and re-writing (or touching up) at least books 2 and 3 in the next couple of years (like he did with with The Gunslinger) . . . he kind of alludes to the whole thing being one book . . . would that be physically possible?!

Speaking of the touch-ups on The Gunslinger, what exactly was done/changed? I thought it was the best of the series so far and want to know if the changes are signififcant to warrant a re-read.

It has been a while since I read the revised Gunslinger, but I seem to remember that the writing was a bit clearer/easier, and there were more specific allusions to the future novels, especially with Sheb.

silentbob007
09-26-04, 10:37 PM
After reflecting on the novel for a few days, my general reiview (major spoilers):

I was really into the book up until Eddie is killed, then it started to slide, in my opinion. I was a bit disappointed in how easily Walter is killed by Mordred ... it seemed to be a really lousy way to kill off such a wily/major character. The Odd's Lane part seemed very tacked on and served as only a device to team Roland up with Patrick. As for the showdown with the Crimson King, I always thought he was more supernatural, and I really expected more of a battle with him, not just having him stand on a balcony throwing sneetches. I actually liked the conclusion in the tower.

I guess all of my above complaints can be summed up in the difference between expectations and realities. All in all, I liked the book, but it ranks towards the bottom of the series in my opinion.

The Antipodean
09-27-04, 12:43 PM
I tore through the final 500 pages of this yesterday, and I'm still working out my feelings about it. Overall, I think it was pretty darned great, but it definitely doesn't play into reader expectations.
The breaking of the ka-tet was really tragic, but also inevitable, and that final twist at the end is heartbreaking. I'm still trying to figure out how I felt about it, but man, I feel for the gunslinger.

Tom Banjo
09-27-04, 04:22 PM
A quick comment on the book in general...
Heartbreaking. I had mixed emotions about the ending, but I think that with the horn Roland will soon reach the end of his quest. Or maybe by deciding not to go to the Tower once the beams are saved is what it will take to break the loop. Who knows? SK left it open enough for me to be able to tell myself Roland will eventually break the loop. The hardest part for me in the book was Oy. Not only his brutal death (which to me was reminiscent of Anya's death in the last episode of Buffy), but the way the character changed after Jake's death. Maybe it's the animal lover in me, but I took Oy's depression harder than the death of Jake or Eddie.
I hate that this book has created even more questions I'll never know the answer to. One paragragh says that the Crimson King is a descendent of Arthur Eld, which completely threw me for a loop. And then there's the prophecy made about Patrick in Insomnia, that he'll die saving the lives of two men who must live if the Tower is to remain standing. Nothing even remotely close to that happened in DT7. Plus, there was theory that Patrick was actually Roland's son with Susan, who died in the fire but ended up in a womb in another world ("There are other worlds than these."). I was disappointed to see that theory turn out to be false.
My only other complaint was the lack of Travelin' Jack and Speedy Parker/Parkus. I wasn't really expecting it, but it would have been a nice surspise.
Overall, I liked the book. It was a worthy finale. I hate that the trip is finally over. My only hope now is for a sequel to Black House one of these days.
btw- anyone want to speculate on whether there was a connection between Stuttering Bill the robot versus the Stuttering Bill from It? I personally think the name was just an homage, a head-nod to the fans, but you never know.

JM
09-27-04, 06:58 PM
Well, having just finished reading the DT7, it is both wonderful and sad to have completed a journey I began some 15 years ago. A few thoughts:

I thought it was great, especially the ending that SK didn't want us to read. Some time ago, in my own quasi-religious quest to find meaning in this life, I began to wonder if perhaps we are each here to do one certain thing, to make the correct decision at a defining moment in life. Perhaps, like Roland, we are stuck in an endless loop until we do. Though I'm sure that isn't a novel concept, I find it to be an interesting one. I am glad to see that SK thinks so too, enough so to incorporate it into what I can only imagine will be another bestseller (though probably a controversial one among many of his Constant Readers).

PalmerJoss
09-28-04, 12:29 PM
I loved this book tremendously. Throughout there was an impending sense of sadness and doom, and the book truly was. Jake's death was especially startling to me, and I believe that I took it rather hard(when I read it my wife even asked me if something was wrong). I do believe that with Roland having picked up the horn from Jericho Hill he may finally break his loop and thus meet his end. I believe that I may just go back and reread volumes 1-7 now...

collven
10-01-04, 02:19 AM
After finishing it a couple of hours ago, I just don't know how I feel about this book yet. The last half of it was so unrelentingly sad. I was worn out by the time I finished it. I agree with one of the earlier posters in that Oy's death probably hit me the hardest. Plus, I also felt King was getting a little carried away with his spoilers. I found myself just waiting for the next character to die instead of just enjoying the story.

Also, did anyone else notice King slipping up a couple of times regarding Susannah. Here is a part of one line, "... Susannah leaped to her feet and began to scream again." And a few paragraphs later, "...and once more slipped to her knees...". I'm suprised the editor didn't catch that. It jumped out at me when I read it.

Tom Banjo
10-01-04, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by collven

Also, did anyone else notice King slipping up a couple of times regarding Susannah. Here is a part of one line, "... Susannah leaped to her feet and began to scream again." And a few paragraphs later, "...and once more slipped to her knees...". I'm suprised the editor didn't catch that. It jumped out at me when I read it.

I didn't notice that, but yeah, it's a pretty major flaw!
Did anyone else think at the end that when Susannah told Patrick she wanted him to create something, that she'd ask him to add legs on to her picture? That would have been a perfect thing to add to the ending, IMHO.

plasmar
10-05-04, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by collven

Also, did anyone else notice King slipping up a couple of times regarding Susannah. Here is a part of one line, "... Susannah leaped to her feet and began to scream again." And a few paragraphs later, "...and once more slipped to her knees...". I'm suprised the editor didn't catch that. It jumped out at me when I read it.

I think this was intentional, and was used to illustrate Susannah's grief at discovering that Eddie had been shot.

collven
10-06-04, 03:05 AM
Originally posted by plasmar
I think this was intentional, and was used to illustrate Susannah's grief at discovering that Eddie had been shot.

I don't think so. He could have said she leaped up or something instead of specifically saying she leaped to her feet. I'm not positive, since I haven't read the whole series in a long time, but I think King slipped up in one of the earlier books, too, and mentioned something about Susannah standing up or having feet. Again, I'm really not sure though.

BVS
10-06-04, 08:47 PM
I finished this a few days ago, and now that I've had some time to reflect upon it, I'd like to share my thougts on a few things.

1. I REALLY liked this series ;)

2. I didn't like how everyone in novels 5, 6 and 7 picked up the Calla way of speaking. It jarred me out of the story. For the first four books I got used to a certain mid-world culture, dialect, and way of speaking, and all of the sudden I get a completly different version. I was fine while the ka-tet was in the Calla, but as soon as they left I don't get while everyone continued to speak with the "if it does ya" and "do ya ken" and I don't see any reason for some of the characters they met who had never been to the Callas to be speaking that way.

3. Concerning the ending: I have some mixed feelings about it. It's certainly not what I expected, but after letting it soak in I'm starting to think it's pretty cool. King actually set it up pretty well with the mentions of deja vu and the constant references to ka being a wheel and to 19. But it still caught me off guard. I believe that this is Roland's 19th trip up the tower. (hence the 19) King calls it a "curse" I'd like to know why he's cursed to do this, and what could break it... but I sort of think he's doomed to repeat the search for the tower until he doesn't let the quest totally consume him and he's able to attain the tower while still holding on to his humanity (and he came damn close this time) The fact that Roland has the horn when he starts out across the desert this time gives me hope that this is the time he'll make it. I actually think that maybe Browning's poem that inspired this story "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" is the story of Roland's 20th and final trip to the tower. (read it, you'll see) So all in all... I don't hate the ending. I think it has it's own merits... but I really question if this is the ending that King had in mind when he wrote that infamous first line, if he had one in mind that is.

4. I would have loved to see how this series had been different if King had never been in that accident. (I don't think he'd be in it for one)

5. Having King be a character in it was different, but I didn't really like it. I didn't see it as neccessary. *shrug*

6. The "Dues Ex Machina" moment made me cringe

7. I know I'm in the minority here, but I greatly prefered the style of the original (unedited) version of "The Gunslinger" I think the sparse style was a better fit for the Gunslingers world than King's normal style, which he wrote the final 6 books in.

wmansir
10-08-04, 06:46 AM
I just finished it about an hour ago and I'm still digesting it.

Here are some random thoughts, including some agreement with previous comments.

After reading what I wrote below, I should say I focused on the negative, but I liked much of the book, particularly the adventurous story telling, which has been King's strength. The faults I see are mostly plot related.

I was satisfied with the ending in the Tower and I would have been pissed if King had left it out. And believe me I was when I though he might have. It's true that the meat is in the journey, but King has been dangling the carrot of Roland reaching the tower for 20 years. To abandon the story there would be criminal.

The deaths were sad and hard to get thru. Eddie's was obscenely drawn out. Jake's was diminished because it came so close on Eddie's shadow, and partly because of the whole King as character plotline which overshadowed it too.

I still don't like how King made himself a character. I think it destroyed a hell of a lot of the atmosphere by being distracting and unnecessary. It also stunk of ego, even though he denies it in the afterward. (He also comes off as a bit of an ass in the afterward when he talks about keeping his life private, don't call me and I won't call you etc.)

On the subject of King as character I'm reminded of the Buffy:TVS line "The subtext is rapidly becoming...um, text." Only King goes ten steps beyond this and grabs hold of the reader with a funnel, a push rod, and a bucket full of text.

Not having read Insomnia I thought I may have missed some subtext or even potential plot. Does Roland ditching the book have any significance? Could it have derailed him from his endless task? Which leads to...

The introduction of Patrick felt forced and an obvious deus ex machina. King seems to think that he can excuse that with a wink at the reader. Maybe reading Insomnia first would have softened the blow. Regardless, it made the confrontation with the Crimson King a letdown, as was the CK himself. I was much more disappointed with this aspect of the story than anything inside the Tower itself.

Susan's ending was also disappointing. Not that she left the quest, or even how she left the quest (although slightly that too), but the epilogue. It seemed to remove much of the sorrow from Jake and Eddie's deaths. In a way I wanted the relief, but more so I didn't want that. The magical fairytale quality of it wasn't very satisfying. Again, I think King knew he was blowing it by saying "I would like to say the lived happily ever after, but..." He knows that's exactly what he is giving us, but thinks by saying it's not, it won't be so.

It seems to me on many front's King knew the story was weak, and so he tries to excuse them. "I don't like endings, but they are traditional so here's one you probably won't like...", "He's a note that says Deus Ex Machina. See it's so obvious that I admit it so we can move on..." "I know I said that death was final for Eddie and Jake, but guess what...THERE BACK!, oh and this isn't a fairy tale ending."

As a result of stuff like this, I really felt the story was just King's ramblings. As much as his character was suppose to be relaying a real world, I felt much of the plot was a paper thin story, spun in whatever direction King felt like going. King's character/afterward just reaffirmed that feeling of a wandering storyline. Which is kind of sad because there is an awful lot of meat there in terms of character and atmosphere. I just don't think it was focused well.

I know some of you might be thinking "but it is just his story/ramblings" and I know that, but I shouldn't think that when I'm reading. Not if the story is good. And I didn't get that feeling all the time, just much more often than I should have.


EDIT: I wrote "I should think that", but I meant "I shouldn't think that".

RaraFemina
10-08-04, 11:41 AM
I agree with a lot that's already been said, so I'll skip all of that and move to
Mordred. I was expecting him to be more of a challenge and a threat. SK made such a big deal about Susannah and Mia's "chap" and his White Daddy and Red Daddy, that I thought he was going to play a much bigger part. There were only two things that I can think of that even made him a relevant character...he killed Walter (RF) and Oy. Everything else was just him following Roland and Susannah, thinking of how great it was going to be to kill his White Daddy...but then he was killed with a billybumbler bite and a few bullets. I always assumed he was going to die, but I thought he would put up more of a fight.

auto
10-08-04, 04:45 PM
Just finished this morning. I loved book 7 and thought it was a fitting conclusion to the series. Bittesweet, but satisfying.

That being said, I agree with some of the other points made here:

Mordred & CK seemed like were due more epic battles and grandiose deaths. Mordred basically just spent his entire life (literally) chasing Roland until Roland turned around and killed him.) CK's death was not the grand battle we were due.

Jake's death taking place so soon after Eddies made it seem like an afterthought. Roland seemed more upset over Eddie than Jake, his "true son". Did Jake really need to die again. He should have accompanied Roland to the Tower.

Cool to have Patrick from Insomnia but he should have been introduced earlier in the story. Perhaps an earlier book. It seemed odd that he walk the final miles with Roland after his entire ka-tet who had been with him forever were gone.

Damn, Oy dying and losing Jake were sad.

The "happy ending" in NY with Susannah was bittersweet. After all, even if she grows old with this Eddie and Jake, they ARE NOT the real Eddie and Jake. This is basically her just finding happiness with a new man that looks like her former love.

But all in all, I loved DT7. I can forgive the small things. Even King himself as a character. I really think just could have used another 500 pages.

I loved the ending. Roland will always be searching for his Dark Tower. But he is one step closer.

Oh yeah, good call to whoever above pointed out that this was perhaps Roland's 19th shot at the tower. Very interesting answer to the 19 question.

smokedragon
10-10-04, 04:42 AM
I finished the book and feel as if i have been anally raped. Jesus Christ! I could not believe that the Crimson King turned out to be so lame. That there was no duel between Flagg and Roland (same way I was pissed because there was no fight between Bruce Lee and Bolo in Enter The Dragon). That Mordred went out lamely. I mean WTF?!!
Since I didn't read Insomnia, I didn't know Patrick Danville and couldn't give two fucks about him. He erases the Crimson King('cept for his eyes)? That's it, that's all it took? Man, Ck was like a boss in the first level of a game.

The ending I didn't mind. Maybe(or, mayhaps) Roland will get it right the next time and just save the beams and forget about going into the Tower. Although someone in another thread theorised(sp?) that the poem the books were based on IS the actual ending.

Very emotinal when Eddie, and Oy were killed. Wasn't too teary eyed when Jake bought it.

I wonder how the books would have turned out if King didn't get run over?

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

wmansir
10-10-04, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by smokedragon
I wonder how the books would have turned out if King didn't get run over? Your not alone there. I doubt very much that he would have made himself a character if that were the case, but I'm not sure how much it would have effected the other aspects of the story. Based on the forshadowing of the pre-accident books I think the results would have been much the same, with Roland approaching the Tower without his Ka-tet, but beyond that I couldn't guess.

Of course, without the accident I don't know if we would have ever seen the end of the series. Surely it wouldn't be finished this soon.

smokedragon
10-11-04, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by wmansir


Of course, without the accident I don't know if we would have ever seen the end of the series. Surely it wouldn't be finished this soon.

And there's the rub. People say that King rushed the books because the accident made him hyper aware of his mortality. He had to finish the books before he died, and, that his demise just might be around the corner.

Maybe he already had the ending thought out. I mean, it's a good ending. But, to build up Flagg, and the Crimson King as the BIG BAD's and then have one taken down by a were-spider, and the other taken down by a character that King just sort of threw in there as if to point out that he just really, honestly did not know how the fuck Roland would kill the Crimson King and just came up with something on the fly.What's it called again?Deus Ex Machina?

A thought just occured to me.Why didn't Patrick just draw his tongue back in his head, or give Detta her legs back, or Roland his fingers back? I mean he had the gift. Man, if I had that gift, I'd draw me a bigger....

Well, enough of that, I'm sure I'll get over the disappointment. Truly it was a good series, but, I think that I was so pumped up for big battles with the big bads that it has dampened my enthusiasm.

Let's just hope that George R R Martin doen't get run over.Hear me George?Take your damn sweet time! :)

kcbrett5
10-11-04, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by jay77

Mordred & CK seemed like were due more epic battles and grandiose deaths. Mordred basically just spent his entire life (literally) chasing Roland until Roland turned around and killed him.) CK's death was not the grand battle we were due.



On the subject of Mordred, didn't he kill Walter by paralyzing him with some control of his mind? That's what I thought anyway. If so, why couldn't he do any of that against Roland?

I definitely think the series was cheapened by the introduction of King to the story and the introduction of Patrick Danville right at the end to save the day.

Also, too many times I felt like King was just trying to increase sales in his other books by talking about them as being important. Desparation and Insomnia in particular. This is really cheap. How rich is he already? If the back story of characters from those stories is going to be important, just summarize it here or introduce them sooner.

Finally, I loved the ending. I think there was no better way to end it than Roland having to begin again but the reader having a glimmer of hope that it would be different next time. The last 200 pages or so were mostly heartbreaking. I had to put it down several times, especially with Oy's demise.

Tommy Ceez
10-17-04, 08:14 PM
BTW...did anyone see King during Sat. Red Sox Yankee game? When asked what books he had out, he mentioned 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' pop-up version...is he embarassed about the Dark Tower, or is he such a schill that he pumped the book without the built in audience?

Geofferson
10-17-04, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Tommy Ceez
BTW...did anyone see King during Sat. Red Sox Yankee game? When asked what books he had out, he mentioned 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' pop-up version...is he embarassed about the Dark Tower, or is he such a schill that he pumped the book without the built in audience?
Yeah, I saw that. He talked about that book during his Good Morning America interview a few weeks back as well. Not sure why he didn't pump DT7 as it's his best work in years, IMO.

Geofferson
10-21-04, 12:55 PM
Has anyone read the short story, "The Little Sisters of Eluria" from King's Everything's Eventual?

RaraFemina
10-21-04, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Geofferson
Has anyone read the short story, "The Little Sisters of Eluria" from King's Everything's Eventual?

Yes, and I liked it a lot. It really has no impact on the Dark Tower series, but it's an interesting read.

JAA
10-24-04, 09:44 AM
I agree with many of the observations made here already, especially the rushed nature of this final trilogy. That said,

I enjoyed the ending very much. For me that was beautiful irony that the line that opens the series, in fact, ends it - sweet! The death of Oy truly broke me up. More so than any of the others. Everyone Roland loves must eventually die.

hardcore
10-26-04, 11:07 AM
Your not alone there. I doubt very much that he would have made himself a character if that were the case, but I'm not sure how much it would have effected the other aspects of the story. Based on the forshadowing of the pre-accident books I think the results would have been much the same, with Roland approaching the Tower without his Ka-tet, but beyond that I couldn't guess.

Of course, without the accident I don't know if we would have ever seen the end of the series. Surely it wouldn't be finished this soon.

I know I read somewhere (maybe the Wizard and Glass afterword?) that King said that there was going to be 3 more books and one of them would occur in the past. I think he originally intended (pre-accident) for one of the books to cover the events of Jericho Hill, and I was a bit disappointed that we never got the details of that.

As for the the Insomnia mindtrap, I think that was just his explanation to get himself out of having to fulfill the prophecy as written in Insomnia.

While there were some disappointing elements to this book (CK, Mordred, and Walter), I still found it to be an enjoyable read, and I just glad we finally got an ending... :)

kcbrett5
10-26-04, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by hardcore
I know I read somewhere (maybe the Wizard and Glass afterword?) that King said that there was going to be 3 more books and one of them would occur in the past. I think he originally intended (pre-accident) for one of the books to cover the events of Jericho Hill, and I was a bit disappointed that we never got the details of that.

As for the the Insomnia mindtrap, I think that was just his explanation to get himself out of having to fulfill the prophecy as written in Insomnia.

While there were some disappointing elements to this book (CK, Mordred, and Walter), I still found it to be an enjoyable read, and I just glad we finally got an ending... :)

I thought what he said in the wizard and glass afterward was that 2 books would be in Roland's World primarily and 1 book in our world primarily.

auto
10-26-04, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by kcbrett5
I thought what he said in the wizard and glass afterward was that 2 books would be in Roland's World primarily and 1 book in our world primarily.

I think this is correct, although, I too, would have liked to read more into Roland's backstory.

hardcore
10-27-04, 10:41 AM
Now that you mention it, that does sound familiar... Well even though he's finished, maybe he'll find time to go back a do a short story to cover those events. Something like "The Little Sisters of Eluria"... I'd much rather see that than a revised Drawing of the Three/The Wastelands.

Michael Corvin
10-27-04, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by Geofferson
Yeah, I saw that. He talked about that book during his Good Morning America interview a few weeks back as well. Not sure why he didn't pump DT7 as it's his best work in years, IMO.

Probably due to the fact that DT7 is book 7 in a series. Kinda hard to push people to go buy book 7 when they haven't heard of or read the first 6. The DT book is for the fans of the series, they are already there, no need for promotion.

The Girl who loved Tom Gordon book is pretty sweet. Checked it out at Target. Doubt I will buy it though.

auto
10-27-04, 05:23 PM
Yeah. TGTLTG pop-up sounds cool but I probably wont pick it up either. Who did the art? Pics?

(Probably the first time anyone has ever asked for pics in the book forum) ;)

MScottM
10-28-04, 09:42 AM
I finished the 7th book earlier this week and was disappointed with the ending. After having spent this much time and waiting so long for this book, I thought that there would be an ending but there isn't. It has made me question alot of things concerning the intent of Stphen King and the Tower itself.

If I could ask Stephen King just one question about this book, the question would be, Why do you hate the character Roland so much? I haven't read all of Kings books but all of them I have read, do have endings except for this one. King has cursed Roland to an eternal task that will have no ending, ever. He is like the character in Greek??? mythology that has to spend eternity in Hades pushing the boulder to the top of a hill. He gets the rock almost to the top and then it slips out of his hands and rolls to the bottom so he has to start all over again. The only difference between his eternal punishment and Roland's is that the greek guy remembers all of the attempts and thinks that he may make it this time and Roland has no/little memory of the tries before the current one he is on. Roland is just screwed. He has an irrational desire to achieve his goal of reaching the Tower at any cost and when he fianlly achieves what he thinks is the goal. Suprise Sucker, game reset. King has really got a hardon hate for Roland.

Other questions that occured to me are these. Is the Dark Tower sentient? Is it aware like the Beams are? If so, is it a force of good are evil? It seems to be using Roland rather poorly and I would say that is is an evil entity.

Could it be like/one of the machines that the ancients made and has since gone insane and uses Roland for sport to amuse itsself?

Why does it only send him back to the dessert and not all of the way back to Gilead? What did Roland do around the time he entered the desert that was such a crucial turning point that this is where his journey has to restart over and over again?

And for those of you that think that Susannah continued to live happily ever after when she left Roland. Why do you think that? The way I see it, is that everything resets. He has to do everything the same this time as in every time before. There can be no changes in the script or dialog. So when he reached the top of the Tower, everything everywhere reset back to where it was at that time and location when Roland was in the desert.

Which brings up another question. We have been told throughout this story that time only runs in one direction in the Keystone world and in Roland's world but with this info, we know that is not right. When Roland starts over again, he has to still draw the Three, he has to stop Sombra and North Central Positronics, he has to set up the Tet Corp to help save the Rose. He has to stop the breakers. All of this has to happen in the past if time only flows in one direction, therefore this is the classic paradox. Which means that the info we were fed was wrong.

I think King needs to go back to the drawingboard and rewrite a real ending to this story.

Just my two cents. But here is one more bit of food for thought. If Roland were real and if he read this story and if he were to meet Stephen King afterward. Stephen King would be one sorry person at that meeting.

RaraFemina
10-29-04, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by MScottM
And for those of you that think that Susannah continued to live happily ever after when she left Roland. Why do you think that? The way I see it, is that everything resets. He has to do everything the same this time as in every time before. There can be no changes in the script or dialog. So when he reached the top of the Tower, everything everywhere reset back to where it was at that time and location when Roland was in the desert.


That's not true
When we are reading the story, Roland doesn't have his horn from Gericho Hill, but when he restarts his journey at the end of Book 7 he does have it. To me that means every time he has been to the Tower, he has realized something he has done wrong and somehow fixes it. He says something about it only would have taken a few seconds to have picked up the horn, and then he has it when he restarts.

MScottM
10-29-04, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by RaraFemina
That's not true
When we are reading the story, Roland doesn't have his horn from Gericho Hill, but when he restarts his journey at the end of Book 7 he does have it. To me that means every time he has been to the Tower, he has realized something he has done wrong and somehow fixes it. He says something about it only would have taken a few seconds to have picked up the horn, and then he has it when he restarts.

Okay, I see what you are saying but you don't seem to get what I am saying. Maybe it doesn't have to be exactly the same in that he can turn rigth to scratch his butt instead of turning left. But the idea is the same. He has to reach the Tower every time. The Tower is an evil entity that is just playing with him. If there is no set goal other that getting to the top of the tower, (which he has done many times already), then there can be no possible change in the course of events or the inevitable outcome.

He needs to do everything exactly the same to get to where he got to all of the other times. Could he make it without drawing the three to him? No. Could he do it without saving the beam first? No. Could he do it without saving Stephen King in the book? No. All of the events would have to transpire the same way for him to achieve the goal of reaching the Tower.

As far as I can tell, the only way for him to win this game (because that is what this story is, one big video game with only 2 positions, start and wherever he may happen to be at the time in the game) is for him to die or give up his quest. He will never give it up if he doesnt realize what happens to him every time he reaches the Tower. And the Tower wont let him die. So he has no chance of winning without some outside intervention i.e. Stephen King character showing up at the tower and telling him what will happen when he reaches the top again.

Right now it is like an evil version of Groundhog Day (which was a great movie that I highly recommend). But even in Groundhog day the main character (Bill Murray) knew that there was a time loop. Without that knowledge, there is no way he can escape it. And what is more, there is no desire on his part to do anythig differently.

Each person is only the sum of all of their experiences. If you block out those experiences that explain what will happen when you do a certain thing, then you are destined to repeat the process over and over and over again.

How could there possibly be a different outcome without an outside influence?

RaraFemina
10-30-04, 10:01 AM
I think eventually he will escape it. If he somehow in the back of his mind remembered to grab the horn this time, what makes you think he wouldn't do something else differently?
The drawing of the three doesn't really HAVE to be Susannah, Eddie, and Jake. There was nothing that made them each exactly who he needs. Susannah's family had money that helped make the Tet Corp. but anyone could have done that. As far as The Chap, it was Rolands sperm and Mia's egg that made him, Susannah was just an incubator. Any woman could have filled that spot. I just don't think there was anything that suggested that it HAS to be those three. Roland would have felt close to any three people that went thru the whole adventure with him.
I guess this is all just both of our opinions, though. King is the only one who can answer these questions, since it all came out of his head.

ViewAskewbian
10-31-04, 10:19 AM
I like to believe that King place the poem at the end of the novel is the END of Roland's loop. If you recall, the horn plays an important part when Roland finds himself back in the desert. He didn't have it before and now, with it, he must blow it at the Tower to end his loop. In the final line of the poem he does this and, IMO, enters the clearing at the end of the path.

RaraFemina
10-31-04, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by ViewAskewbian
I like to believe that King place the poem at the end of the novel is the END of Roland's loop. If you recall, the horn plays an important part when Roland finds himself back in the desert. He didn't have it before and now, with it, he must blow it at the Tower to end his loop. In the final line of the poem he does this and, IMO, enters the clearing at the end of the path.

Yes...I totally agree. It was the small change of the horn that made all the difference in his quest.

MScottM
11-01-04, 08:24 AM
I will have to re-read the poem. But let me get this straight. He blows the horn and then dies? This is the reward he will get for reaching the top of the tower 20 times? Some reward.

I still say that King has a real hatred for this character.

And by the way, I just noticed your location Rara. Are you in the USAF? I was stationed at MacDill from 1996-1999 as part of MarCent. Was my last duty station.

RaraFemina
11-01-04, 08:33 AM
Hubby is in the Air Force, not me. Did you hate it here, too? LOL I can't wait to get the hell out of here in April.

MScottM
11-01-04, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by RaraFemina
Hubby is in the Air Force, not me. Did you hate it here, too? LOL I can't wait to get the hell out of here in April.

Wife loved Florida. We lived up Dale Mabry at a Carlton Arms complex in Lutz. She is Japanese and liked the climate. I didn't like the humidity all of the time. I like 29Palms Ca better. Dry heat, mmmmm.

Think I will move to the southwest one day.

RaraFemina
11-01-04, 01:42 PM
I'm moving to Illinois in April (family lives there) since my hubby will be in Korea for a year, then hopefully back to California. I loved it there!

Sorry to hijack the DT thread....shutting up now

jpcamb
11-14-04, 10:02 AM
I finished the Dark Tower some time ago and was willing to overlook the gratuitous references to King and really liked the ending of the book. I just re-read the revised Gunslinger and really liked that, borders on Genius, IMHO. If you haven' read the revised Gunslinger since finishing the last book I highly recommend it, at least the first and last portions. For comparisons sake I also read the original gun slinger and there is enough in the last chapter to warrant the ending of the series, but the revised version does it one better.

One very nice touch w/o giving too much away i hope is the single word "resumption" that opens the revised gunslinger. ;)

auto
11-17-04, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by jpcamb

One very nice touch w/o giving too much away i hope is the single word "resumption" that opens the revised gunslinger. ;)

That's really cool. I've gotta pick up the updated Gunslinger.

Geofferson
11-19-04, 04:18 PM
I finished DT7 earlier this week and am still reflecting on it. It's quite a lot to digest and the more I think about it, the more I think the ending was the right thing to do. At first I hated the ending. It all seemed so...pointless. But after digesting it for a few days, SK was right in that it was the only ending there was.

I am going to re-read the revised Gunslinger pretty soon here to see how everything eventually came full-circle.

Michael Corvin
11-21-04, 03:02 AM
Well, I finished earlier in the week too and have had time to digest.

Count me as one of the ones that enjoyed King as a character. As for DT7, even though it weighs in at 800+ pp. it seemed rushed. A quick, tie up all the loose storys. I could have used a few hundred more, or even split it into two books.

I'm going to end spoiler tags here, because if you are reading this thread, you should have already read the book... so...


I thought Flagg/Walter went out like a whore. What a pansy. He has been such an STRONG intrigal character thoughout many books and he is just wiped out just like that? No way. As a matter of fact I thought the whole Mordred thing was lame to begin with. Way back when Suze got preggers. Terrible. I was never on board with that plotline, but I let it slide. But the whole demonchild, spider-baby thing was dumb, dumb, dumb. And in the end served no purpose other than to kill one of the ka-tet, and Flagg. Crimson King was quite a pansy as well. But I DID like how he was killed. King introduced himself - the writer to the story, why not the artist as well, since all the DT books are peppered with art.

The ending... predictible. I figured this is the way it would end back when Roland was on the beach with the lobstrosities. BUT... since the introduction of King as a character, it had me thinking it might turn into a Neo & the Architect moment at the top of the tower with King & Roland. Having him choose, starting over or dying.

Overall, I loved it. But the first 4 are such masterpieces that the final three were kind of a let down. They all had there moments, but were missing something. Heart - maybe?

auto
11-21-04, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by Michael Corvin

Overall, I loved it. But the first 4 are such masterpieces that the final three were kind of a let down. They all had there moments, but were missing something. Heart - maybe?

I've gotta agree with this. They probably would have been better served with a few years in between each of the last three. But, overall, I'm just glad we got'em.

Dave Anderson
11-25-04, 02:56 AM
Finished the book weeks ago and am still disappointed with the ending and the whole rushed feel to it. Sorry, I wanted conclusion after reading so many books, not another loop started over again. THIS trip should have been his last trip to the tower.

Books 5 and 6 were very disappointing. I look at it like this: I read Books 1-4 several times each, literally. I'll never read Books 5 and 6 again, especially 6. They didn't have the magic and had I known this, I would have had no problem going right to Book 7.

Personally I feel that the only way Roland will break his loop is to reach the tower, kill the king, and not enter it. Leave it and live the remainder of his life elsewhere.

JAA
11-25-04, 10:26 AM
Dave,

I do disagree with your thoughts on the ending. That said, I feel your take on the missing magic of books 5 and 6 was dead-on. I too read the first four installments many times over. When the final chapters of the Dark Tower ride were announced, I purchased every release with hopes of doing the same. Alas, the final three books will probably sit on my shelf collecting dust.

auto
11-28-04, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by JAA
Alas, the final three books will probably sit on my shelf collecting dust.

Yep. I can't see reading them over and over again like I did the first four.

FM
01-26-05, 01:04 PM
I'm just now reading the book; I'm a new comer to the DT. Anyway, check out some of the articles on CNN.com today:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/01/26/lynn.anderson.ap/index.
html


http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/26/store.shooting.ap/index.html

Hmm. First article has a familiar city. The second has a familiar setting. 19 anyone?

darkside
03-21-05, 12:51 PM
Well, I'm definitely late to the party, but it took me awhile to catch up since I started at book 1 last year. The first four books just took a lot out of me and I really needed a break between each one by reading something else for awhile. However, that is a compliment to just how great those first four books were. Book 4 will forever stand as one of my favorite Stephen King books of all time.

Unfortunately that reinforced just how lackluster the last three books were. I have finally read through the thread and I agree with many of the things said by others. I don't regret for a minute reading the entire Dark Tower series and I absolutely loved the ending of the DT7. That just seemed to fit the series perfectly and in my mind showed that Roland had probably done something slightly different every time through the loop to make things more right and that he would probably get it right on the 20th try now that he has the horn and be a better person for finally letting the tower go.

That said King putting himself in the story was a mistake. I think his accident probably ended up hurting the story in many ways. I went from being in the world of the Dark Tower through the first 4 books the same way I was along for every step of the Talisman and Black House to getting tossed completely out of the story. Instead of living the story along with the characters I was simply watching a Twilight Zone episode just waiting for the hook or the cheap twist. It probably didn't ruin the story, but it definitely cheapened the experience.

The other problem was the ends of the major characters. What a sad and pointless end most of them met. No major battle or confrontations, but rather silly and meaningless events led to characters leaving the story. Oy was the only one the remotely pulled at my heartstrings. I wish he would have just left all the stuff with Susanna out of the story. She just leaves to live with other versions of her lost friends?

The reason I think things started bothering me in the last couple of books was King putting himself in the story. The story just stopped being real to me. Danville showing up was just because King put him there and everytime they were saved was just because the the author used some silly plot convience to save them.

Yes, this happens in every story, but we suspend disbelief when we read and become part of the story. The things that happen make sense to us and we don't question why the bowling bag with the Turtle was left there in the first place. However, my ability to suspend disbelief was hurt quite a bit by the writer showing up in the story.

Okay, enough of the complaining. Overall I was very happy with the experience. I loved the way the story crossed over to other books and don't care if its a way of selling other novels. I loved the journey for the most part and even thought the true ending of 7 was excellent. Getting to find out what happened to Ted and Father Callighan was a thrill for me and eventually I was able to put Stephen King out of my mind and enjoy the tale. Yes, I wish the major players had had more spectacular ends, but in reality sometimes the greatest people go out with a whimper instead of a bang.

So overall a thumbs up, but I hope other writers learn from this and keep themselves out of their own stories.

BrianYuen
03-31-05, 06:49 PM
yikes thats mess up!

Fok
12-23-05, 09:12 PM
Question, when Roland does start again, are the beams that he healed still healed? or will some of them break again?

jpcamb
01-01-06, 08:00 PM
I believe I read somewhere that SK planned to re-edit the other early books in the Dark Tower series (as he did with the Gunslinger.) Does anyone know if this is the case or not and when they might be released if this is the plan?
Thanks,
Jeff

benedict
01-02-06, 06:47 AM
From a snippet of an alleged interview posted to Google a while ago:"In the next 10 years, if I'm still alive," King says he wants to rewrite the other early books in the series and reissue them in two or three massive volumes. "It's really one big book."There is probably more online if one searches long enough.

jpcamb
01-02-06, 09:12 AM
Thanks! I thought there were more definitive plans than that as he had already done the gunslinger.