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Old 06-02-16, 08:30 PM   #1
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Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

So...I bought the entire saga for a little less than $25 at used book store a few years ago. I read the first two books, but never could get around to the rest. I have some questions before I re-embark:

1) Do I need to re-read Gunslinger in its newer/updated version?

2) Is there any website I can look to for a synopsis of the first two books that doesn't give away spoilers for future books?

Any advice/warnings will be appreciated . Thanks!
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Old 06-02-16, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

1) Nope
2) Wikipedia?
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Old 06-03-16, 06:55 PM   #3
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

1) No. The changes are trivial at best. Changing descriptions so the geography flows better, making Roland black ...

2) There are several sites out there dedicated to the Dark Tower series, but I can't think of any of their names off the top of my head.

Prepare for a roller coaster my friend. High highs and low lows. I'm jealous you found the set that cheap! Been a long time since I read them. I really should revisit those other worlds along the Beam.
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Old 06-03-16, 09:35 PM   #4
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

http://stephenking.com/darktower/boo...(revised).html

Additional links can be found from there.
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Old 06-29-16, 11:29 PM   #5
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

Be sure to read Hearts In Atlantis ("Low Men in Yellow Coats"), Insomnia and Black House too.
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Old 07-01-16, 12:27 AM   #6
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

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Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
Be sure to read Hearts In Atlantis ("Low Men in Yellow Coats"), Insomnia and Black House too.
It should be noted that Insomnia is a semi-sequel to IT and Black House is a direct sequel to The Talisman. I would recommend both if you want the "full" Dark Tower experience.
Also, I would recommend reading Eyes of the Dragon prior to DT3, and although Wind in the Keyhole is technically DT 4.5, it doesn't contribute to the overall story and could be read after DT7.
The trouble is, at the end of the day, almost all his shit is linked. For instance, 11/22/63 has characters from IT in it. While you won't be lost if you read it and haven't read IT, it adds to the overall experience. Rose Madder, while IMO a shit book, has direct links as well. Then there's the short story Little Sisters of Eluria which is a tale is of Roland that takes place prior to DT1 but after the long flashback that composes most of DT4.
Salem's Lot has a character that ends up playing a major role from book 5 onward.
Anyway, you could just read the main 7 books, but if you want a fuller experience, be prepared to throw in a LOT of extra books. If you choose to do so, it is worth it, IMO.
If I think of further crucial connections, I'll comment again. In the meantime, if you want the full King experience, start with Carrie and just keep trucking along with publication order.

Last edited by Tom Banjo; 07-01-16 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 07-01-16, 02:19 AM   #7
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

Yeah, pretty much everything King has written is linked together in one way or another.

He's worse than Moorcock.
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Old 07-01-16, 03:33 PM   #8
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

I've read IT, 11/22, and Eyes of the Dragon was my first Stephen King book back when I was 10. I'm well aware of the connections in King's universe. I want to read Dr. Sleep , but have only seen the Kubrick Shining, and my understanding is that the sequel is to the book, which was apparently very different.
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Old 07-31-16, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

I thought that the revised Gunslinger was a much easier read. I don't think the revisions make it a must read, but they definitely make it an easier read.
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Old 08-02-16, 12:17 AM   #10
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

I read the first four books back in high school. I remember getting lost by book four, but I really loved book two. I'm pondering revisiting the series again and finishing it, since I wanted to read part 5 onward, but never got around to it.
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Old 08-02-16, 03:51 PM   #11
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

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Originally Posted by silentbob007 View Post
I thought that the revised Gunslinger was a much easier read. I don't think the revisions make it a must read, but they definitely make it an easier read.
Yeah, I remember the original version was kind of tough, the revised version flows much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Walker View Post
I read the first four books back in high school. I remember getting lost by book four, but I really loved book two. I'm pondering revisiting the series again and finishing it, since I wanted to read part 5 onward, but never got around to it.
Book two is still my favorite of the bunch, what a great book. Unfortunately the series kind of declines after that, especially the last couple books that King rushed out at the end because he was worried of dying before finishing them. Forcing them out like that really hurt the story IMO.
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Old 08-02-16, 04:16 PM   #12
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

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Originally Posted by Julie Walker View Post
I read the first four books back in high school. I remember getting lost by book four, but I really loved book two. I'm pondering revisiting the series again and finishing it, since I wanted to read part 5 onward, but never got around to it.
I was just like you a couple of years ago. The long delay after book three (which ended on a cliffhanger, no less ) really derailed me from following the series. I read book 4 when it came out, but it was hard for me to get into it (especially considering its mostly a gigantic flashback). And I didn't bother with any of the later books until well after the whole series was done (when I re-read from the start).

The changes in King's style over the years is really evident when reading the whole series now. I agree with you in book 2 being my favorite, followed by book 3 (despite the awful cliffhanger) and book 1 (which I read first when published as short stories). No surprise ... Drawing of the Three (book 2) was written when King was at his peak powers in the mid 80's (released in between It and Misery).

Despite the problems, if you're a fan of King and liked the earlier books, I highly encourage you to do as I did and finish the series. And it's probably for the better than you can have reasonably lowered expectations. And remember, it's the journey and not so much the ending that should be valued.
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Old 08-08-16, 08:30 PM   #13
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Re: Stephen King's Dark Tower-reading advice

I've read "It" a million years ago and insomnia so long ago and only watched Hearts the movie.

Just finished 11/22/63 and loved it.

Was thinking of re-reading Talisman and then Black House but might start the
DT books instead.

When I read Insomnia I never imagined it connected with any others and have barely any memory
of it at all.
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