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Re-Reading The Dark Tower
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Avatar wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
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.

(Did you skip Wolves?)

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

See, now I love the introduction of Father Callahan in Wolves, especially right after reading 'Salem's Lot, as Av suggests in the reading order he suggested when I started the series.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quite like Wolves myself...sorta fits after W&G...another western story.

Cambo wrote:
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


No maybe about it.

As for your spoiler, it may have been in the "revised" editions, but not in the originals.

Quote:


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.


That was the GF's big problem with them, and for the same reason.

It annoyed the hell out of me at first, but it started to make sense once I'd reread a couple of times. I can live with it. It's not ideal, but I think he had the right to. Of all the worlds the Tower intersects, surely it intersects none so much as King's.

And as soon as I figured out that he wasn't the actual author of what was happening, only it's chronicler, it bugged me a bit less too.

--A
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So assuming my spoiler was just a fantasy of mine, where did the 19 thing end up? Just nowhere?

Spoiler:
19 is very important somehow, let's figure it out...oh, shit everyone's dead, forget it.


Laughing

It's been too long since I read the books, can't remember. Which in itself speaks volumes really. I could recite The Holy Grail verbatim for years.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh, actually, yeah. Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last book was awful.

If only King hadn't been hit by that van. Before that, he was putting out an excellent Dark Tower book about every 5 years. Afterwards...rush job, rush job, rush job, finished.

but yeah..IMO the series ended with an enormous thud.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
The last book was awful.

If only King hadn't been hit by that van. Before that, he was putting out an excellent Dark Tower book about every 5 years. Afterwards...rush job, rush job, rush job, finished.

but yeah..IMO the series ended with an enormous thud.


okay now i'm starting to think yer just not satisfyable!! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My re-read got stalled after book 6. For the simple reason I can't find book 7.

I, too, felt that the quality started going down after WaG. WotC a little bit. SoS more markedly. And, yes, DT:DT dropped like a turd. The reason I'm rereading those last books at all is to give them another chance.

My opinion has changed somewhat. Rather than think that King got all whacky after that van incident, I now wonder if his ambition exceeded his capabilities. And perhaps his audience. (Who can take seven books of allegory?) And that the van and visions of mortality got him rushing right where he most needed the greatest care.

All of which has me worrying about The Last Dark.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
My re-read got stalled after book 6. For the simple reason I can't find book 7.

I, too, felt that the quality started going down after WaG. WotC a little bit. SoS more markedly. And, yes, DT:DT dropped like a turd. The reason I'm rereading those last books at all is to give them another chance.

My opinion has changed somewhat. Rather than think that King got all whacky after that van incident, I now wonder if his ambition exceeded his capabilities. And perhaps his audience. (Who can take seven books of allegory?) And that the van and visions of mortality got him rushing right where he most needed the greatest care.

All of which has me worrying about The Last Dark.


Yeah, but King IS capable of DT books as good as The Waste Lands. I love that book, one of his all-time best. He could have relaxed, taken his time, and we'd be waiting for book 7 to appear next year. Instead we're looking back at a very disappointing series.

SRD won't make SK's mistakes for several reasons. He plans more in advance, he has a more meticulous writing style, and I just don't believe he'd allow himself to make that kind of mistake.

I wish King would retroactively fix the last 3 books a la George Lucas. Big Grin
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
I wish King would retroactively fix the last 3 books a la George Lucas. Big Grin

I don't think they can be. The series, as I see it anyway, is an allegory. Fans were sold on the initial books, which had the rich gunslinger mythos and little of the allegory. However, the story can't really end until it addresses the allegory and so needfully wanders away from the mythos . Dissapointment is assured.

The graphic novel series, and the potential new book, seem to be going back to where the fans want to take it, which is the mythos. Which points to monetary, rather than artistic, motivations, and as such, doesn't hold out much promise.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Horrim Carabal wrote:
I wish King would retroactively fix the last 3 books a la George Lucas. Big Grin

I don't think they can be. The series, as I see it anyway, is an allegory. Fans were sold on the initial books, which had the rich gunslinger mythos and little of the allegory. However, the story can't really end until it addresses the allegory and so needfully wanders away from the mythos . Dissapointment is assured.

The graphic novel series, and the potential new book, seem to be going back to where the fans want to take it, which is the mythos. Which points to monetary, rather than artistic, motivations, and as such, doesn't hold out much promise.


I disagree with your basic premise. There was no "need" to take the story in the direction King chose to take it. Tipping the scales from mythos to allegory was his choice, not a necessity. It's my whole point that the balance between them was way off from about the time of his accident on. The story didn't "wander" away from the mythos so much as it clambered aboard a Blaine-like monorail and flew away from it at supersonic speeds.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, gotta say I liked the mythos more than anything else...the world that had moved on, the gunslingers as last guardians of the White...When we started to lose that, it started to go down.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
There was no "need" to take the story in the direction King chose to take it.

I think that the direction, the allegory, was the primary fundamental basic primordial purpose of the whole thing in the first place. It's not like it's not present in The Gunslinger; it's just disconnected from a larger picture and easy to overlook. So as I see it, King created early on a set of expectations that didn't match where he wanted to take the story. Perhaps he trusted the reader to enjoy the transformation.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
So as I see it, King created early on a set of expectations that didn't match where he wanted to take the story. Perhaps he trusted the reader to enjoy the transformation.


You could have something there.

On a side note, that whole thing about the mythos is why I'll be happy to read any other DT story he writes...hoping for a return to it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally finished my second reading of the DT series. Wish I could have read it end-to-end, but I had a break before books 5 and 7.

I guess I have to take back my earlier comments about introducing things and then forgetting about them. The wizard glasses, the arthritis, etc. I guess were actually wrapped up, I had just forgotten. (Which is a form of criticism.)

It was book 6 that was the waste of time.

Someone earlier had remarked that the final ending for Roland was foreshadowed throughout the series. Well, I really looked for that specific thing, and didn't find it anywhere.

I still think it's sort of a cop-out ending. In books, as in movies, its a lot easier to portray something more horrible than reality, but no one seems able to portray well something more wonderful than reality. (I wonder if this is because it is easier to destroy than it is to create?) DT doesn't set any triends here. The titular Dark Tower is a meh.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that was me or at least i am one of those who felt it was foreshadowed.

i would like to point to specific things in the story that made me feel that way but i can't. it was a gut feeling that i experienced about halfway through The Drawing of the Three. also i think Low Men in Yellow Coats and Insomnia had a lot to do with me feeling that way. also, was it at the end of The Wastelands or at the beginning of W&G where the ka-tet was looking at the cars and the newspaper headlines about Captain Tripps...
the beams, the wheel, the turtle...karma...ka
i dunno, all of it.
i knew what roland would find, i can't tell you how i knew, but i did.
and it made perfect sense to me.
i was neither surprised nor disappointed.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, with any literary work (or movie, or TV episode, or whatever) there will always be the following segments:

-Those who loved it.

-Those who liked it.

-Those who disliked it.

-Those who hated it.

It's only the percentages that change. There are people who loved and weren't disappointed by The Phantom Menace.

Over time, by judging the percentages of each group, an unbiased anaysis of the book/movie/TV show/whatever can be made.

Judging by the percentages of the groups on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, for example, leads an unbiased observer to conclude that The Phantom Menace is a bad movie that disappointed an inordinate number of Star Wars fans.

Similarly, judging by reviews on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, it's safe to say that The Dark Tower series (esp the later books) disappointed an inordinate number of Stephen King fans. Putting our own personal opinions aside, it was a dissappointing book for a greater-than-usual segment of the fanbase.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, who the hell cares about their opinions? Wink

I wasn't disappointed...I just didn't love it. It was perhaps inevitable.

Afterall, how would you have ended it if it had been you?


What other fate could Roland have?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
What other fate could Roland have?

That's a failure of imagination right there. And what I was referring to when I said it's hard to portray something more wonderful than our reality, while easy to portray something more horrible.

- - - - - -

This may be more relevant to those of us who watch TV in the US ...

So, there I was, re-reading DT7. TV happened to be on nearby. I was just reading the part where Spoiler:
Eddie dies
, and while I am reading that, which is bad enough, that commercial comes on where Sarah McLaughlin sings about angels and all the dogs and cats look sadly at you. I can't see it, I just hear it while I am reading.

All I can say is, you don't ever want to read that part while she sings that song.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You didn't answer my question though.

What more fitting end?

--A
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