A Truly Towerful Book!

In Books on September 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Recently I finished the 7 part, Sweet Jesus soon to be 8 part, Dark Tower  series. First published in 1982 by Stephen King, the Dark Tower series tells the story of Eddie Dean, Susannah Detta Dean, Jake Chambers, Oy, a billy-bumbler,  and Roland Deschain as they make their way to the Dark Tower, the tower that holds all of the universes together, the Tower that is responsible for Ka, destiny, and guides people  throughout their entire life. Roland encounters his Ka-tet,  a group of individuals bound together by fate, throughout various parts of this epic chronicle and teaches them to become gunslingers. In Roland’s world, guns hardly work but the guns of a gunslinger always do and they are just as powerful as the sword from the stone and are viewed as such. Roland teaches his group to be strong, fast, courageous, and thoughtful during the time he spends with them.

This 7 part series is elegantly told without getting too boring. The characters are great and the roads they take are astounding, traveling through time and cities to help each other and reach the Tower. If you like westerns, epics, medieval stories, or The Stand you’ll love this book.

Alright so in order to truly review this book, I’m going to break it down into the things I liked and disliked. *Spoiler Alert*

I enjoyed the language that Stephen King created within this book and his use of language as well. He used the word palaver constantly which means to have a conversation but is so much more of an authentic western way to say it. He also used such words as Ka and ka-tet, which I utilized before, but they are just such interesting words. And such phrases as “Say thank-ye” rather then “thank you” and “Long days and pleasant nights”, meaning have a wonderful day, were used throughout this book and added an extra layer of integrity to this story, like he actually encountered the characters himself.

The characters seemed true to form, like they did actually exist. I could see Eddie Dean saying some of the snide comments that he sprinkled his conversations with. And Roland, GAH, Roland just seemed like every western character I ever wanted to meet. He knew nearly everything and when he didn’t know something he wasn’t afraid to say it, he just said he didn’t understand it.

I loved the post apocalyptic setting that the majority of the books took place in, and I may be speaking for everyone when I say this, but I think you will too. The reader doesn’t find out whether Roland’s world is the future but the story takes place after the fall of a regime and the use of atomic weapons, I can tell you that much. I just loved reading about what used to be and the machines and buildings that were falling apart.

I did not like the sixth book, Song of Susannah, at all. I didn’t like the story line, I didn’t like the verses of the song of Susannah that were printed at the end of each chapter. I most especially, did not like how meta it was. Stephen King wrote about himself interacting with the characters. He included himself in the book and it just seemed out-of-place and somewhat narcissistic because every time after that someone would mention a book he wrote and how good it was.  It seemed a bit out-of-place. He also included other characters within this book and that too seemed a bit much. Like cameos that didn’t really need to be there.

After awhile, you get used to the parts of the paragraphs you can skip in order to get to the actual point of the paragraph. Like I said, this collection consists, currently, of 7 books, and a lot of them are filled with useless description and redundancies. I didn’t need to know the entire train of thought for Eddie Dean and how he figured out how to beat Blaine the Mono, I just needed to know what he used to do so. My friend JJ has a hatred for the Harry Potter series because he believes that J.K. Rowling took a simple story and stretched out to a ridiculous amount of books all for profit. Whether or not this is true, the world may never know BUT I think King suffers a bit from Rowling-ism within this series. He adds a lot of ideas, thoughts, conversations, that just don’t need to be in there. They didn’t need to interact with King but for some reason, King thought it was great to have his characters judge him for how much he used to drink. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy these books but it is to say that once you get into it, you’ll know the parts to skip when you see em.

That being said, if you like King and figure yourself an aficionado, then give these books a try. They are lengthy but he makes them fast paced enough so you don’t find yourself getting bored and, well, if you do find yourself getting bored, then just move one.


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