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The Drawing of Stonemaybe [Dark Tower spoilers]
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: The Drawing of Stonemaybe [Dark Tower spoilers] Reply with quote

My journey got off to a slow start.

Eyes of The Dragon
I'm glad I read King's intro to Eyes of The Dragon, saying that he'd written the story for his 13yo daughter. Though, I expect if I'd read it at 13, I still would have found it too simplistic. Iirc I was getting into Covenant at 13. Flagg could have been much better developed (I mean, King's known for his horror isn't he? He should be able to make a more original bad guy, even for a 13yo) King Roland and the periphery characters I didn't mind so much, but again I thought Peter and Thomas were a bit too formulaic. Peter could have been Peter from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, without any stretch of the imagination at all, and Thomas not far from Edward. The finale to the Needle I found a bit jarring - both Flagg with a battleaxe and one husky pulling enough napkins to cushion the fall. Regarding the banishment of Flagg, I felt the arrow was a bit of a deus ex machina, though the locket was a good touch. There were plenty of scenes in King Roland's chambers, where it was generally cold except by the fire - so how come this arrow that retained the heat of the dragon it had slain, wasn't mentioned before the end?
Overall rating: 2/10

The Gunslinger
What a strange book! I think maybe that this book is just a scene setter - well, I hope it is because as a book in itself I thought it was poor. Maybe I'll change my mind as I get further into the series. I enjoyed the descriptiveness of the bleak setting. It reminded me of my first Cormac McCarthy read, Blood Meridian, a book that I didn't actually enjoy, but that I appreciated very much for its style.
Roland - what a c**t!
The mentions of Hey Jude, and Jake's backstory, did have me intrigued. Also, I'm dying to find out the connection between Roland's dream of Jake with a nail through his forehead, and Allie's scar.
The final scene with the man in black didn't fit, at all. It seemed to me that he'd written this bit as the ending because he hadn't got a clue how the story would end, and just wanted to get it finished before moving on to the other books.
One thing that annoyed me (that I've noticed once already in The Drawing of The Three), is a casual mention of something in passing, the chapter before that something comes into the story - in this case the Slow Mutants encounter. It felt too contrived. (In this case, during a reminisce about going back to Hax's ruined kitchen after the revolution, there were Slow Mutants there in the corner. Then hey presto! next chapter, there's an attack by them)
Roland's coming of age scene, also lacked backstory. We had one mention of David the hawk earlier, then all of a sudden he's using hawk as a weapon and claiming his 'friendship' with the hawk as the reason for his victory. No explanation of this friendship, and let's face it, Roland's character so far doesn't seem to be the type to make friends with an animal. Though I suppose maybe the whole 'sacrifice of a friend' thing may be a recurring theme....? Still, the point stands that we don't see any of this particular friendship growing.
Overall rating 4/10


The Drawing of The Three
I haven't been able to put this down! From the first couple of pages - the attack of the lobstrocity - it has me completely gripped! Looking at it dispassionately, I don't like the unoriginality of the idea of the Prisoner story (stepping through a door into someone's mind), I don't like the storyline itself about drugdealers and mafiosa, but I got so caught up in it, that that didn't matter at all. So far, The Prisoner gets a 9/10.
I'm only a few pages into Lady Of Shadows, but that has me delighted with disbelief and dying to see how it will turn out.
I was mulling over it in bed last night, and a big fear is that the book will be spoiled by another jarring moment - he's down to his last couple of bullets, and as a gunslinger I assume he's gonna need more. I hope if/when the opportunity to resupply comes along, it's in complete context of the story.

More soon Thumbs Up
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: The Drawing of Stonemaybe [Dark Tower spoilers] Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:

Roland - what a c**t!


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Drawing is my favourite of the series.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: The Drawing of Stonemaybe [Dark Tower spoilers] Reply with quote

Warmark wrote:
Stonemaybe wrote:

Roland - what a c**t!


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Drawing is my favourite of the series.
I find it so amusing that so many people say this. Drawing is my least favorite by far.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: The Drawing of Stonemaybe [Dark Tower spoilers] Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:
My journey got off to a slow start.


Enjoy your journey, Stone!

I agree with your assessments of all of the books so far. I was simply flabbergasted that King penned Eye of the Dragon. The Gunslinger has always left me cold. The Drawing of the Three finally drew me in, although I really didn't like Eddie at first.

But my favorite book of the series is a ways off yet.

Read on, my friend.
Read on.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Gunslinger makes you curious, but then The Drawing of the Three gets you hooked.

(The Wastelands keeps you around, and then Wizard and Glass touches your soul. And then ... well, I won't go on.)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, am I the only one that thinks The Gunslinger was one of the best? (If not the best.)

Still, maybe it's 'cause I was 13 when I read it first, and had been raised on a steady diet of Louis L'amour and JT Edson in addition to Tolkein and Asimov.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I've said before Av, I read the serialized version of The Gunslinger in TMoF&SF as it was published, and it didn't grab me then. What would that have been, 1978? At least for the first installment? So, I would have been 18; still young enough to be impressionable. But, I had never liked westerns; perhaps that had something to do with it...
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly finished The Drawing of The Three - he's just entered The Pusher (that was a nice twist, well, it is on the fourth or so page). Love the difference between Odetta and Detta. There's got to be scope for a racism discussion there, isn't there? Thinking of the Lovecraft discussion in Gen Lit. Is how HPL wrote, worse than King's portrayal of Detta? Loving Eddie's character and his struggles too. Opinion on Roland hasn't changed since Gunslinger.

I'm p*ssed off. I ordered The Wastelands on Amazon on Wednesday, before I started Drawing. I'll always order secondhand if possible rather than full price new, even though it can take considerably longer to come. I thought I'd be safe as it'd taken me a few days to plough through EOTD and TG, and DOTT was longer - thought I'd have the time to wait for Wastelands. But no, Drawing will be finished by end of second day reading (tonight) and I DON'T HAVE WASTELANDS YET! grrrrrrrr
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...
there's always the library while you await your own copy, Stone.
...just sayin'
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wizard and Glass was my favorite. Smile

I actually read The Drawing of the Three first, before The Gunslinger. It was tossed in a box of books that a relative owned. I found it when I was probably 14 or so. I later went back and read The Gunslinger but thought it to be out of obligation.

It's sad that the first book is so hard to get through because the series itself is so rewarding.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's The Drawing of The Three finished. I'll stick with my first mark 9/10. Loved it!

It's hard to say why, though. When a book grips me like that one did, I whizz along and absorb the story, and the hows and whys don't matter. Or at least, I can't explain them very well. Maybe I'm a romantic or something, but I like it when strong characters take messed up situations and make them right (kind of sums up most fantasy doesn't it?). It's got to keep me guessing though, keep it interesting, and this book did that well. It might've been more interesting for future stories if John Mort had come back - a confrontation between him and Detta would have been dramatic! But at the same time, he got what he deserved so I can't complain.

As an aside, I have to say that Stephen King must know a pharmacist quite well. The scene in the drugstore, when Mr Katz is on the phone to the woman wanting valium - that's real true life. I love my job, but the bit I can't stand, the stressy bit, the bit that spoils a good day, is that bloody woman phoning up and demanding her drugs, giving you the bullshit about being a loyal customer, demanding her drugs despite not having a prescription. It'll happen two or three times on a really bad day, on a good week it'll only happen three times. You have to be polite, but inside you're thinking, if only I could breathe poison down this phone! Rant over Laughing

The Wastelands BETTER arrive tomorrow morning, or I'm stuck without a fix for the weekend!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't feel bad, there was an 8-year gap between The Wastelands and Wizard & Glass for me. And then another bunch of years 'till the next one.

W&G is (arguably) the best book King's written in my opinion.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. ^
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:
Love the difference between Odetta and Detta. There's got to be scope for a racism discussion there, isn't there? Thinking of the Lovecraft discussion in Gen Lit. Is how HPL wrote, worse than King's portrayal of Detta?


Interesting. I always thought Detta as an intentional caricature. As an alternate personality she embodies all that is primal in Odetta. Yes her dialogue is primitive and stereotyped, but thats because shes a creation of Odettas. Also HPLs writing was intentionally racist, and he never had black characters in leading roles. However the time period he's writing in goes some way towards explaining his attitude, whereas King is writing in the late 80's.

My answer would be yes, HPL is much worse. In reading The Dark Tower, I never felt the same repulsion to King as I do to racist references in HPL. King isn't being racist by using Dettas language. Odetta is clearly intelligent and the Detta personality is a clear plot device.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, can't even remember how long the gaps were for me...16 or 17 years from reading the first to the last. And considering it takes me about a day to read one of them... Laughing

(And damn you all. The Gunslinger was the best. Laughing ) (Closely followed by W&G.)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stone Magnet wrote:
Stonemaybe wrote:
Love the difference between Odetta and Detta. There's got to be scope for a racism discussion there, isn't there? Thinking of the Lovecraft discussion in Gen Lit. Is how HPL wrote, worse than King's portrayal of Detta?


Interesting. I always thought Detta as an intentional caricature. As an alternate personality she embodies all that is primal in Odetta. Yes her dialogue is primitive and stereotyped, but thats because shes a creation of Odettas. Also HPLs writing was intentionally racist, and he never had black characters in leading roles. However the time period he's writing in goes some way towards explaining his attitude, whereas King is writing in the late 80's.

My answer would be yes, HPL is much worse. In reading The Dark Tower, I never felt the same repulsion to King as I do to racist references in HPL. King isn't being racist by using Dettas language. Odetta is clearly intelligent and the Detta personality is a clear plot device.


Big Grin I'm just 'stirring really.

Where does a plot device end and racism begin? I agree that Detta is an intentional caricature and plot device. So how does that excuse Mr King? He's taken every peculiarity of behaviour and language of a racial type and exaggerated it, exactly the same as someone would in telling one of those 'big lips' jokes. That's not necessarily the issue - after all, authors should be allowed to have racist characters and describe how they act and speak, without being accused of racism themselves. But the issue is, this caricatured character is without doubt the enemy in the plot. She's the one that has to be overcome/outwitted by the two white guys and the 'socially acceptable' black girl. HPL may have scorned the non-white races, but he didn't have Cthulhu calling people honky mahfahs before driving them insane.

Over to you Stone Magnet Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double post - sorry, but back to the series! Laughing

Watelands didn't arrive, but I do have Wizards and Glass sitting on my bookshelf, picked up from a local charity shop. If W&G goes back in time, does that mean I can read it out of turn, or will there be spoilers for Wastelands?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, the first chapter or two directly relates to events that begin in The Wastelands. I wouldn't read it out of order.

And there's stuff in W&G that you won't appreciate without reading The Wastelands first.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Cail. I'll wait then Hit Head
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ what Cail said ^

Hit the library, Stone...
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