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The Drawing of Stonemaybe [Dark Tower spoilers]
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stonemaybe
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Library closed at 1pm today afaik, and I was working til then Sad

(feeling much better btw, menolly!)
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:

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


^ Maybe so Razz. Lovecraft did however make up most of his "nameless cults" from "degenerate racial stock" and so as far as the human element of Lovecrafts "enemies" go, they're often of mixed (read *tainted*) blood. The threat of miscegenation is key here. "Racially inferior" characters (often in league with Cthulhu etc) had plenty of primitive dialogue and 1920's "honky mahfah" type vernacular in Lovecrafts fiction.

Being familiar with the larger body of Kings work, I can't remember finding anything similar (King often has vehemently anti-racist themes in his writing), whereas Lovecrafts racialisms appear in every second story! So in the context of the authors this is the exception for King and the rule for Lovecraft.

The fact King is writing in the Reagan era 80's goes a wee way towards supporting your point, though. That sort of "white guys and "socially acceptable" black girl triumph" vibe reeks of that era, when Reagan was repealing affirmative action and generally getting people to fend for themselves. It COULD be seen as some sort of allegory for the "new ways" replacing the old. (Spoiler if you haven't read The Drawing of the Three)Spoiler:
However, Detta is not replaced, merely merged into a new personality: "Susannah". So the "socially acceptable" Odetta is not "triumphing" over the primitive Detta, rather King is intentionally avoiding this loaded metaphor by creating a new character with equal parts of both.


Don't be too quick to judge Kings treatment of Detta (now half of Susannah) before you finish the series however! You may find she has her uses...and is perhaps not as caricatured as she might seem at first glance. Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need for spoilers up to the end of Drawing. I've replied in the HPL thread, Stone Magnet, as far as HPL goes.

It's interesting what you say about the Reagan era though. My US history is poor, and I had no idea that there were affirmative action laws, nor that they'd been repealed. (I assume by affirmative action, you mean that big companies for example had to have x% non-white employees, that sort of thing?)

I acknowledge your point that Detta isn't 'defeated', and that all along Roland wants her strength and fighting spirit for the quest. I conveniently ignored that point Wink in my 'argument'.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:

It's interesting what you say about the Reagan era though. My US history is poor, and I had no idea that there were affirmative action laws, nor that they'd been repealed. (I assume by affirmative action, you mean that big companies for example had to have x% non-white employees, that sort of thing?)


Yea thats the one. I'm by no means an expert in the subject, and its probably a misnomer to lump it all under "Affirmative Action Laws", but thats whats been done. Also "repeal" was too strong a word there, Affirmitive Action policies continued, however Reagans new policies certainly made him alot less popular with African-Americans than previous presidents. Other conservative presidents (Johnson, Nixon) supported Affirmative Action but Reagan cut back funding (in line with "Reagonomics", heh, love that). In general the Reagan 80's can be seen as a decade in which the gains of the civil rights movement in the 60's and 70's reach a high water mark, and white conservatism (more and more influenced by the neo-cons) begins its reign. Spoiler:
History lesson ends here! Sorry just had to clear up my previous post :-p


So considering TDotT was first printed in '87 it lends certain credence to your arguement. Razz Back on topic heh.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelands arrived today woohoo! Big Grin

I was thinking about TDotT today, and it occured to me - where the hell did the doors appear from? Yeah I know Mr Cash did the tarot in Gunslinger and it foretold the three - or at least, he pointed Rowland onto that track. But still, it's a bit of a tacky plot line. I hope it's explained further into the series, in a satisfying way!

See, obvious things like that just don't cross my mind when I'm in the middle of a riveting read! Feed me the excitement and to hell with logic!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are more things in heaven and earth, Stonemaybe, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. All will become clear.

Go then, there are other worlds than these...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woot! I love both of those lines. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Well I'm about a third of the way through Wastelands, and again, though I am enjoying it, I can't think of much to write.

Nuclear cyborg giant bear, hmmm! Not sure about that one(esp the convenient radar dish on its head to kill it)! Nor the 'beam' for that matter. Everything just seems a bit too 'pat'(contrived), when I think about it. Roland's madness, Jake's madness.... seem a bit like desperate attempts to provoke sympathy, make the characters (esp Roland) more human. But not hugely believable. And the key thing helping silence the voices, why? Hey! Eddie can 'see' things he'd like to carve - why? Eddie sees the key and rose when Cash's jawbone is chucked in the fire - why? Why did Roland chuck it in the fire anyway? Jake's 'feeling' that he was going the right way - why? Eddie 'knows' that Jake will break through at the stone circle - why?

I'm sure most of these questions will be answered as the book/series progresses, but you know what? I'm 99% convinced that they won't be answered to my satisfaction!

That said, I repeat that I am really really enjoying the book (I'm dying to finish this post so I can get back to it!). Susannah's character hasn't developed as much as I'd've liked it to (though I notice with anticipation a later book is called 'song of susannah') (oh, but she's developed a knack of pulling herself along unaided, soundlessly! Hmmmm again) but I am glad Jake's back in the mix. I like the way Henry is Eddie's imaginary bogeyman.

One thing I think is missing is some sort of overall 'bad guy' that could perhaps be used to justify some of the things that happen.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:
One thing I think is missing is some sort of overall 'bad guy' that could perhaps be used to justify some of the things that happen.


That's kinda where The Stand comes in, IMO...
...and then the rug is pulled out from under you later.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Big Grin At last Mr King makes use of his horror writing skills! Just finished the bit where Jake escapes from The Mansion - I LIKE it!

Reminded me of a mural that a friend did on the wall of our six form centre at school - like a cross between the It clown and an old gothic style house. Good times! Though that particular mural wasn't very good for the digestion! (I'd always thought it was a cover of one of King's books, but a google image search doesn't show anything like it - maybe it was just inspired by King)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I've commented before on the difference in perception of those of us who followed the series, waiting years between books, rereading them over and over, compared to those who have everything all ready to read, with no waiting. I'm sure it made a difference. I must have read Bk 1 & 2 5 times each before Wastelands ever came out. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearing the end of Wastelands now, and I think I'm enjoying it just as much as TDotT, though not much seems to happen. Well, until a few pages ago when they were crossing the bridge, Oy fell off (ouch for Jake), then Jake got kidnapped by the grays. He's now being taken through the rubbish maze.

Oy is sniffing his trail, Roland's set off in pursuit, and I'm anticipating him winning the day in spectacular style! Also suspect that Eddie and Susannah will probably need rescuing from the Pubes.

Roland's treatment by the old folk at River Crossing (was that the name?) has intrigued me - looking forward to Wizards and Glass where I assume we'll find out he's a Lancelot type.

Also looking forward to finding out what the riddles are all about - I'm guessing that the fact that the answer section of the book has been torn out, will have repercussions soon.

The conscious, evil train idea is kind of corny - but kind of disturbing too! I'm hoping we'll get another burst of horror-writing there! (I remember the film of the car - was it Christine?- scared the hell out of me when I was a kid)

A question: when they're approaching these places and Eddie is deluding himself about finding 'wise old elves' - is this a dig at LOTR do you think? Or perhaps Feist's Magician (what's the dates?)? Or the whole fantasy genre?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tolkein and fantasy I'm pretty sure...Eddie was from '87, and while Magician was published in '83, I doubt it had such widespread appeal. (Could be wrong, but it was pretty obscure here until the last few years.)

I love the whole River crossing scene...

Quote:
You have lived to see the return of the White, and the wheel of Ka begin to turn once more...


--A
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exclamation Roland's outside the Grays' door, Blaine's just asked Eddie and Susannah for a question (riddle game, i assume?)

Couple of interesting developments that have got me excited - Susannah thinks she's pregnant, but Eddie's had a vasectomy. Demon-child perhaps? I hope it's nothing as prosaic as vasectomies get reversed when you change worlds!

Can't remember the other one now Rolling Eyes

It's interesting that if you're right, Av, about the wise old elves being a dig at Tolkien and fantasy, that King has included (well, I'm still assuming this) a riddle game, as JRRT did in The Hobbit. (As for Magician, me and role-playing friends were discovering the Riftwar in about 1988)

I'm wondering if Eddie will stump Blaine with the 'why did the dead baby cross the road' joke, just like Bilbo stumped Gollum with the 'what have I got in my pockets', or whether Blaine will take it as a cheat the way Roland seemed to, and get nasty!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly done with Wastelands. I'm a bit shocked that the 'ageless stranger' guy showed up to recruit tick-tock.

also surprised that Jake rescued himself, more or less.

Blaine the Pain, I like! I want a pet train like that! Not sure about Detta showing up to solve the mathematical riddle though - where did that come from?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have finished The Stand and started on Wizards and Glass.

The Stand. (Why's it called that by the way? ) I really enjoyed some bits at the start and some of the characters, but the story didn't impress alot. Nick and the Trashcan Man were my favourite characters, the rest seemed a bit flat. I suspect Mr King was having a hard time with Mrs King when he came up with the Frannie character. There were certain scenes where the tension really built up (tunnel one springs to mind) but the overall plotline didn't, imo. At the end, I didn't really give a crap what happened to any of them, apart from maybe Tom Cullen. Oh, and Flagg didn't give me the impression, as all good megalomaniac baddies should, of invulnerability. The story didn't spend long enough from his perspective before things started falling apart on him, i think.

It's nice to get back to Roland et al in Wizards!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just thinking of asking how your journey was going, Stone.

We'll have to disagree on The Stand. I found it engrossing the two times I've read it; both the original when it was first released and the "uncut" version. But perhaps that is because the original is more concise, and when I read the uncut version I was actively seeking more detail...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonemaybe wrote:

The Stand. (Why's it called that by the way? )


Always assumed it had something to do with the first quote in the book...the Springsteen one...

Quote:
And in the quick of the night
They reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded
Not even dead
Tonight in Jungle Land.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

something I've meant to investigate but can't remember the proper bit - what's the difference between 'HIGH speech' and low?
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