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Re-Reading The Dark Tower
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:34 am    Post subject: Re-Reading The Dark Tower Reply with quote

Well, I started re-reading the DT books on Friday. About to start The Wastelands. I'll be using this thread to mention things that strike me as I go along.

Something I noticed right at the beginning of The Gunslinger, and which I always thought was interesting, was the mention of the "levels" of Khef through which he has progressed. He says that if he had reached the 7th or 8th level, he wouldn't have been thirsty, but he'd only reached the 5th, so he was thirsty, but didn't care. But as far as I remember, it's never mentioned again in the whole series.

(This was the original Gunslinger...my contempt for his reworking of it cannot be expressed.)

I noticed something incongruous in bk 2 as well, but I suddenly can't remember what it was.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished The Wastelands last night. Was interested to note that the concept of khef was raised again, but this time, meaning something completely different...relating to thought, consciousness, and the sharing of same.

In DotT, I was once again particularly struck by the scene where Roland stills his shaking hand to cut the packages off Eddie.

Anyway, proceeding with W&G now.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm onto Wolves of the Calla now.

Seems like this thread is becoming a place for me to complain about inconsistencies...the books are full of them.

In TW, Roland says he learned to hypnotise people from Marten. In W&G, he says he learned in school, from Cort and Vannay.

In DotT, he calls a spring clip a "dockers clutch," but from The Wastelands on, he calls a shoulder holster one.

And in TW, he tells Susannah that for speaking to a man, it's the breastbone one taps, but in W&G everybody taps their throats, no matter who they're speaking to.

And finally, since I'm on WotC, where the hell did 19 spring from? It's not mentioned at all from 1-4, but in bk 5, he mentions it 100 times in the first 100 pages. It's like he suddenly went on a huge...whaddaya call it? Numeracy? trip.

Also, the Susannah-Mia story isn't sitting so well with me. Seemed both sudden and contrived.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
And finally, since I'm on WotC, where the hell did 19 spring from? It's not mentioned at all from 1-4, but in bk 5, he mentions it 100 times in the first 100 pages. It's like he suddenly went on a huge...whaddaya call it? Numeracy? trip.


Was the mention of "19" in the letter from Walter to Allie given to her by Nort not in the original edition of The Gunslinger, Av? I would have to dig out my dad's Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction collection to see if it was included in the serialized version.

We discussed this in the A Fresh Journey to the Tower thread when I was reading The Dark Tower itself. I quoted the letter in that post.

Have all the books been revised then? I seem to remember it throughout the series. But I could be wrong...
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's definitely not in the original. There's no letter to Allie in it. (Bloody rewriting...) And no, it doesn't appear in the other books with any significance (or at all) that I remember until the start of Wolves. It's on the first page of that, and practically every page thereafter.

Anyway, read Song of Susannah yesterday, and am just starting on The Dark Tower.

There was one flat out mistake I spotted in SoS, but I suddenly can't remember. And of course, Kings foreshadowing of Eddie's death was a sore point, although admittedly he manages it ore subtly than most of his hints. (Which pretty much started getting rife in bk 4.)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, I'm rereading it again. Laughing

Just started The Gunslinger.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been re-reading the Dark Tower. It's my second read-through, and my first read-through where I am reading the books back-to-back.

So now I am in the middle of Wizard and Glass. This is really my favorite part.

The first and foremost thing I notice is that Steven King throws in a LOT of things .... which go no where. You mention the levels of khef. I could add, for instance, the whole Wizards Rainbow thing. These are things which you expect to be important later on, but instead they just get dropped.

I probably won't keep reading after WAG anyway. The rest is rather dreary and uninspired King.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm onto The Drawing of the Three now. Yes, agreed, although I must say I thought the rainbow thing was satisfactorily concluded. I never much thought of it again after WaG.

Still, you can't quit if you're doing a back to back reread. Very Happy You gotta read them all. And I must say, (I've read them all multiple times now) that there are some aspects which make more sense (in the later books) once you've read them more than once.

The first read through is too fraught with expectation (especially if, like me, you'd been waiting for these books for 20 years or so) to really get a good feel for it.

In my opinion anyway.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you reread the tie-in books you suggested I follow when I made my journey to the Tower, Av?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, no.

I've read them all enough that I know what happens, so it's just straight DT.

Busy on The Wastelands now. His little errors really annoy me. In the previous book, Roland buys 4 boxes of 50 .45 cartridges. For a total of 200, right? In the first 10 pages of TW, King says he brought back over 300 shells. WTF?

In the same scene as when he buys the cartridges is where he refers to the "dockers clutch" I mentioned above. In the first 10 pages of TW he calls the shoulder holster he made for Susanne that. Didn't he read his own damned book?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which editions do you have, Av? He very heavily revised the first two or three books over the years to match the later ones, I understand.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murrin wrote:
Which editions do you have, Av? He very heavily revised the first two or three books over the years to match the later ones, I understand.


yes, he did. with the help of Robin Furth who compiled the concordance.

ps... when the heck did i become moderator of this forum??? Laughing i have no recollection of this. i must be losing my marbles!!! Laughing damn i better get busy cleanin up around here!!!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Menolly wrote:
Do you reread the tie-in books you suggested I follow when I made my journey to the Tower, Av?

Hahaha, no.

I've read them all enough that I know what happens, so it's just straight DT.

Good to know. I'll keep that in mind if I ever get caught up in my other reading that I decide to make a new journey to the Tower.

lucimay wrote:
Murrin wrote:
Which editions do you have, Av? He very heavily revised the first two or three books over the years to match the later ones, I understand.

yes, he did. with the help of Robin Furth who compiled the concordance.

*nodding*

But I think Av has stated many times before that he shuns the later revised editions.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murrin wrote:
Which editions do you have, Av? He very heavily revised the first two or three books over the years to match the later ones, I understand.


Only the originals. I didn't even know about the revisions until somebody here mentioned them. And I didn't know until right now that he'd done it to more than 1 book.

Yeah, he'd have to do at least the first 3 to make them all "19." He could get away with not doing 4, and in 5 "19" starts anyway.

What a load of bullshit. Retconning the books to make it look like that was his idea the whole time? I think the whole series could have done without that concept.

Nearly done with TW.

WaG next, and that's always been one of my favourites.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, busy on DT7 now. Wolves of the Calla was still pretty good. I enjoyed it. SoS not so much, but I do seem to like it more than I originally did.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm done. Finishing DT7 always leaves me a little drained, and in an ambiguous frame of mind.

On the one hand, there are a few things I really hate. Our last look at Susannah should be her going through the door. And I hated his afterword too this time.

On the other...Roland.

I still enjoy them more than not. And I'll read anything else he sets in that universe.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stopped after W&G, because I wanted to read John Dies at the End. I don't think I intended to come back and finish. But started reading SoS after all.

Gosh, nothing happens in SoS for a long stretch.

I had forgotten about the black ball. So, okay, maybe the Rainbow wasn't just set aside. But set that on the scale against even more things that were. I did search, and Roland's arthritis is basically forgotten after SoS as far as I can tell.

I'm starting to believe it's intentional. There's some connectivity between the previous volumes, but it also seems like the story resets and a new story begins every so often. I have to wonder if this represents time slipping and things moving on. And I think I am catching on as to what the Dark Tower actually represents, which also ties in.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, we find out about Roland's arthritis too. Wink

(Actually, we eventually find out about what happened to all the surviving balls.)

(Did you skip Wolves?)

(And yes, SoS is my least favourite of the series.)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked the Dark Tower series overall, and the first four books are some of my favourite King stuff.

But I agree the last few get muddled and there's a lot of elements that don't really seem to serve much purpose. The 19 thing could maybe have been left out

Spoiler:
Am I right in remembering that 19 was the level of the Tower Roland's world was supposedly on? Or did I just make that up? If so, what good does it do us to know that?


And writing himself in as a character definitely could have been left out. I liked all the tie ins with his other books such as Insomnia, Eyes of the Dragon, and especially the Stand, but having himself in there just ruined my suspension of disbelief.

And I agree with you, Av, that retrospectively editing the previous books so the last few make some goddamned sense is lazy ass writing.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
(Did you skip Wolves?)

Oops. I said "SoS", which to me obviously means WolveS Of the Salla. Smile
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