The seventh and final installment of Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga is perhaps the most anticipated book in the author's long career. King began this epic tale about the last gunslinger in the world more than 20 years ago; now he draws its suspenseful story to a close, snapping together the last pieces of his action puzzle and drawing Roland Deschain ever closer to his ultimate goal.
Alternate cover edition for ISBN-10: 1416524525; ISBN-13: 9781416524526
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.
Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.
He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.
Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.
In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.
*sniff* Oh, you surprised me. Is it time for the review? Just a second. What? Crying? Me? Don’t be ridiculous. I was just ….uh…chopping some onions…..and I’ve got a cold….then somebody broke into my kitchen and pepper sprayed me….I certainly wouldn’t be shedding a few manly tears over a Stephen King novel, would I? Oh, fine. You spend almost twenty years reading this series and tell me you got through the conclusion without a lump in your throat. Liar.
Roland and his posse of gunslingers have to wrap up their business on Earth so they can get back to Mid-World. In our world, they’ll have to safeguard the rose in New York by founding a corporation dedicated to its protection, some of them will have to battle a very nasty nest of vampires and low men, and Susannah has to give birth to something that is supposed to be the end of all of them. The ones who can make it back to Mid-World will have to launch a desperate attack against overwhelming odds to stop the Crimson King’s breakers from destroying one of the last Beams holding the Tower and all of reality in place, and if they survive that, there’s a Very Important Person who still needs saving.
The Dark Tower series was written in fits and starts by King from the time he was in college to wrapping up the whole thing in a three book burst following his close encounter with a minivan. He didn’t always know where it was going, he littered many of his other books with DT tie-in stories, and he famously claimed for years not to know how it would end. So the series as whole isn’t the most tightly plotted thing you’ll ever read, and at the end King focused on delivering on the emotional journey rather than trying to wrap up every loose end he had hanging out there.
He chose wisely.
I consider this King’s flawed masterpiece. Some have focused on the ‘flawed’ part of that. I decided to dwell on the ‘masterpiece’ side of the equation. I’ll go a little more in depth on that in this spoiler section, but for any newbies not reading that, I’ll just say that all the years waiting between books turned out to be worth it.
So, I loved the Dark Tower series. It's one of the best works of fantasy I've read. If you haven't started it:
a) do so b) don't read the spoilers here
The Dark Tower series is an incredibly varied set of books, written over the course of more than 30 years - written by a young man starting out on a wholly uncertain writing future - written by an old man looking back on a glittering career - and punctuated by all his experiences, discoveries, epiphanies. King brings all his talents to these pages ... and some of his weaknesses. You should read it, it is (forgive the pun) a towering work of imagination and characterization.
This last volume is a curious mix for me, containing some great writing, an amazingly good idea for ending what must have been a very difficult tale to end well, and in some places some bewilderingly disappointing execution. This mix of brilliance and weakness has resulted in the 3* up top.
Below I venture into the deepest realms of spoiler-land, pontificating on the ending. Don't go there if you've not read the book, really.
It´s not just that one understands the whole inner logic much better after finishing this, it´s a feeling of having experienced something so unique in its special quality that I would call it incomparable to any other series so far. But make sure you reach the end in one piece,
Ah Mordred, what a cool little fellow, he shows Kings´ talent for introspections, thoughts, monologues, and dialogues, something I can´t get enough of. Dialogues and these inner voices in cursive or something are extremely tricky to write, because of the inherent danger of losing the attention and grip around the readers' mind, but this can´t happen with the King. No matter how evil, sick, and demented the mentality of whatever beast may be, one can understand her/his/its/altogether mixed up motivations. You will always remember him when you wake up from the noise of your panicky screams. Runnin gag pun intended.
Many criticized King for, against his habit of writing like haunted by the demons he creates, needing decades for finishing his series, but I think that constructing something interconnected with his other works, himself, and many symbols and hidden treasures, just takes its time. It´s instead pure luck for all readers that it took him so long, that he invested the time, and that we are privileged to see how he grew and changed as a writer, evolving newer and different Kings than the one that wrote the first novel.
King could instead be criticized for producing some of his other, loveless, one could even say unmotivated novels written without lifeblood, but certainly not for the work he himself things is crucial and of the highest priority to himself. Imagine how it must be to construct a fantasy world over the course of adult life, reminiscing about yourself, integrating parts of yourself and your other works, reflecting what you´ve done, just watching it grow. Something like this, on top of that by one of the greatest writers of all time, is much more precious than a disposable fantasy-, horror-, or sci-fi series without any unique characteristics. It may be well written, but just a clone among many.
I am so looking forward to rereading the whole series after hopefully forgetting all I´ve remembered while writing this reviews that hooked me on, I should probably get wasted to delete my memory, but I don´t like brain damage so much. Hm, memory deleting tech is still not there yet and I don´t really trust the pharmaceutical option or self psychotherapy and hypnosis because of the monsters hiding in my mind, so I fear I will have to read it with all the foreknowledge.
And it will be great, bombastic, epic, so much to rediscover, the only disadvantage is that I fear that I could enter a both wonderful and horrible rereading phase of many of my favorite authors, leading to a stagnation in exploring new genres and authors, but heck, that´s totally worth it and at least better as degeneration.
Thirty-four years in the writing, personally taking me over twenty years to finish (twice), and what have I learnt? Though I consider myself a Constant Reader, I've got used to the idea that Sai King is not that good at ending his longer-form stories (his short story and novella writing are great). For a story that winds its away across so much of the King Multiverse, passing by Spaghetti Westerns, Hogwarts, Oz, the Seven Samurai and so much more, a story so huge, so immense, and at times so brilliant, I was never going to be truly satisfied with how it ended; but on this second reading of the entire series, I feel like I have better understanding of how I feel.
The Dark Tower is all about the journey, and I feel that the way this book ends supplements that idea; the idea that The Dark Tower is always about the journey; about friendship, and what happens when it's broken. About destiny and drive. About training and vigilance. About fighting the good fight for yourselves and others. And also ultimately about sacrifice.
It feels like (to me), that the final book in this amazing series was rushed - sorry, but that's how it feels. It's nothing like the huge calamity of the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones, but still feels like a disservice to Constant Readers - on the other hand, at the time it felt like King was looking to get the series finished for the Constant readers - so I suppose we can't have it both ways?
Despite the superb metafiction around the issue of deus ex machina, it felt like the overlying theme of the whole book was... oops sticky situation, let's just throw this in to solve it. Compared to the superb plotting of The Drawing of the Three and Wizard and Glass it felt like a different series. It was still a wondrous journey, but at times I was just simply bored. I can see why I wasn't happy with my first reading of this. But as I said, I was never expecting a satisfying ending ; the story held and made sense, and the series overall is great. 7 out of 12.
WARNING! THIS REVIEW IS FULL OF SPOILERS, ONCE YOU GET PAST THE PART "THE ENDING:". DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU WANT IT SPOILED FOR YOU! YOU WERE WARNED!
I finished the Dark Tower last night. I hadn't plannet to, I really needed to get to bed, but once I got so close, I had to continue.
Wow ... hard to find the words, really. (This email will likely be longish)
THE SERIES: I think the Dark Tower series is King's crowning achievement as a writer. He has created a world as rich as any other fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror epic, replete with a fasincating history and characters that make you aching for more. In Roland Deschain, he's created I think his greatest and most dynamic character. He is dark, brooding, yet classicly heroic all at once, full of, like all real people, many contradictions and inner turmoils. His quest for the Dark Tower I feel is not only a holy one, not just his destiny, but something of his own personal validation, an obsession, the only way he could justify the deaths of so many loved ones and companions over the years.
The series clearly has taken on a different life from the one it started with, as most series probably do. I think King switched gears a number of times which makes for slightly shaking continuity, but I think he did his best at finding ways to weave it together. A lesser writer wouldn't have been able to do so. He has said he plans or at least would like to rewrite them, and I think that is interesting and would love to read them again. I probably will whether he does so or not.
THE ENDING: The part you're waiting for. The part we all read seven big books for.
I realized at least two or three books ago that there would be no way he could end it that would please everybody. And as I read on, I had no idea how he'd end it and decided to have no preconceived notions or hopes.
But boy, I sure didn't expect that!
I have to say, that upon reading the intro to the final chapter from the Storyteller himself, the warning to not read on and leave the story as it is, I was tempted to do so. I know many wouldn't agree with me, but I think Roland entering the Dark Tower and the doors shutting behind him wouldn't be a bad way to end the book. It would leave it to your imagination, what he would find there. I really almost put it down to sleep on it. But then I thought no, I have to go on. I've come this far!
Yes, in a way, the ending is tragic, sad, and extremely unfair. We have read now thousands of pages worth of Roland Deschain's torments and struggles he's gone through to get this far, and then only to have been blasted back to the beginning? It's horrible. It makes you angry. Or at least shocked. A knee jerk reaction might be to say that it was a cop out, that King didn't know how to end the book at went this route at the last minute.
I don't really believe that.
In a way, yes, I find the ending bittering. My heart really is broken for Roland. I don't think I've ever read a book with an ending that has left me so effected. I even reread the very end of it again this morning over breakfast. Yes, the ending is bittering, and yet, I love it in a lot of ways too. Not love it as in this is the way I think it should have ended, but love it because it knocked me on my backside, love it in the way that you can love a bad thing at times. In a way, to me at least, the ending just might make a little sense.
It you really think about it ... what did you expect to happen to Roland once he reached the top of the Tower? Would he pass into a sort of Heaven, rejoined with his love Susan and his former Ka mates? That is probably the ending some people wanted. And if that's what happened, I would have been fine with that too. Would he have confronted God himself? And if so, what would Roland have done before such a God? Roland, one of the things that makes him so wonderful, is kind of a jerk. After all that trouble, all that sacrifice, if said God said something Roland didn't like, I think, much like Conan, he'd tell his Maker to take a flying leap, maybe even draw his gun on him and get blasted into nothingness.
But why this? Why the torture? I think the answer is in Roland himself. I think it's a sort of punishment for Roland's arrogance and pride. I think Roland's destiny was to save the Beam, save the Dark Tower. He did that. But he insisted on moving on. He insisted on going to the top of the Dark Tower, something that is perhaps forbidden by Gan or the Powers That Be. He saved the Dark Tower, saved the Beam, and yet it was not enough. As always (and as echoed by the voices he hears at the end of the book) he has to have it His way. And for that, I think, like something out of Greek myth, he has to pay a price.
And as King himself says in the Afterword, there is a bit of hope. In the next incarnation, he has the Horn of Eld. Something he didn't have in the previous. Perhaps, just perhaps, with some more trial and error, once the Beam and the Tower saved (perhaps stilling getting all the way, so as to kill the Crimson King), Roland may just turn around and go back to the Callas, and live out the rest of his days quiet and peacefully, maybe as a sort of Sheriff, then going to the Clearing at the End of the Path, and THEN be united withi Susan, Cuthbert, Alain, and the rest.
Maybe I'm just grateful that King didn't end it the way I feared. The more I read on, and the more sai King appeared, I was terrified and more and more certain that once Roland met face to face with the Crimson King, that it would be Stephen King himself. I even started to fear that the name, the Crimson KING was a clue. Thankfully, I was wrong. And then, I feared even worse, that once he got to the top of the tower, that there he'd find Stephen King, sitting in a pseudo office of sorts, surrounded by old books and manuscripts, as mad as the Hatter, banging away at an old typewriter and tossing the crumpled up pages over his shoulder making a big pile. That's what I feared, and compared to that, I like this ending just fine.
The 2011 re-read The quest for the Dark Tower comes to a brutal conclusion. Can Roland and his friends stop the Breakers of Algul Siento, safeguard the Beam, protect the Rose, stop Stephen King from being run down and killed, and reach the Dark Tower?
This is the end of my favorite epic of all time. I'm just going to mark the rest of the review as spoilers. Read at your own risk.
I don't really have much else to say. It was my favorite epic when I was 19 and will probably be my favorite epic when I'm 99. It's not for everyone but few really good books are. I'll be reading it again in the future. Hopefully sooner than another seven years.
The 2019 re-read Well, it took eight years, not seven, and a baby on the way to get me to re-read The Dark Tower. Since the last time, I've gotten married and both my grandmother and my dog went to the Clearing at the end of the Path.
I still love the Dark Tower as a whole but some of the shine has worn off this penny in the last eight years. Part of the difference is that I was gung ho to read it the last two times. This time felt more like an obligation to get to the Tower before my son was born so I put a more critical eye to it.
Stephen King never met a long ass sentence he didn't like. There is so much rambling and unnecessary stuff in this. For a book when the universe could be destroyed at any moment, there's a lot of sitting around and talking in it. Too many things hinge on coincidences. Some things happening because of fate is cool. Too many and it just feels lazy.
I have arrived at the Dark Tower once again and now it will remain closed for the foreseeable future. I'll read it again once my son is Jake's age.
“It'll be your damnation, boy. You'll wear out a hundred pairs of boots on your way to hell.”
How does one even begin to review the conclusion to what I believe is one of the greatest series of all time? I simply cannot put into words what this series means to me and how much of an emotional rollercoaster this final book is. It’s also really freakin’ hard to review any book in a series!
If you’re in any way invested in this series, the last book is pretty much 800+ pages of saying goodbye, which is incredibly heartbreaking. And King makes a decision in this book which I will honestly never forgive him for. If you’ve read the series, you’ll know. I’m talking in code here, of course, but I just feel it was totally unnecessary. I’m already crushed, why you gotta pummel my heart even more?!!
There are so many parts I love in here that I want to fangirl over, but I’m trying to remain as spoiler-free as possible. However, there are also some anti-climactic moments too. And I got a little impatient reading a particular character’s backstory early on in the novel. I feel a little disappointed with those parts, but I still thoroughly love this book.
In terms of the ending itself - whether you love it or hate it, I can’t think of a more perfect ending for this series. And for the record I am firmly in the love camp! Even though it depresses the heck outta me.
I’m so glad I made another trip to the Dark Tower in 2019. I’ve loved every single page and am already looking forward to my next reread. This little ka-tet feels like family and Mid-World feels like home.
Say thank ya. 5 stars.
"And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live."
Learned a valuable lesson with this book....never recommend a series to friends until it is finished.
I am one of Stephen King's 'constant readers.' Usually I am a big fan, and I've bought enough of his expensive hardcovers over the years that I'm perfectly comfortable throwing in my two cents about the dreadful way he ended The Dark Tower.
I'm applying that two stars rating to the last three books of the series, Wolves of the Calla, Song Of Susannah (UGH!) and this, The Dark Tower. They all seem to have been written in a rush after King's brush with mortality when he was hit by that van. What a waste of all the great material he had to work with. If I was rating the first four books, my review would have been five stars. Unfortunately......
Hated the way the vast world of the gunslinger kept getting smaller, with constant trips back to good old New York, to dabble in real estate and investing in Microsoft. Real friggin' epic. Oh, and ANOTHER personality for Susannah.
All the metafiction King attempted by writing himself into the story falls flat, and I think breaks the contract he made with readers in earlier books, to play it straight with us and deliver something majestic. All the lame Harry Potter references begs for comparisons between this series and Rowling's, which just wrapped up. I hope King read Deathly Hollows and saw the way a writer can end their story with a satisfying bang, instead of this muddled, poorly plotted disappointment.
I could go on and on, but it is getting late.
Gotta say, though- I'm surprised by all the five star ratings.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
All the weary miles, endless deaths, heroic stands, and lost loved ones is finally coming to an end for Roland Deschain of Gilead and his ka-tet.
And the weary but dedicated fan can finally savor that ending. An ending that will somehow, someway tie up all the loose plots and cause all their frustration about the years between novels, the endless lore changes, the confusing multiverse, and even Stephen King writing himself into the story to disappear from their minds
For the end of the Dark Tower Saga will be a wonderful, dramatic, earth-shattering ending. The same kind of ending Tolkien provided fantasy fans with in The Return of the King, where a reader watched breathlessly as Frodo and Sam slunk across the desolate plains of Mordor, striving to reach Mount Doom and destroy the One Ring; only to discover to their sheer wonder and delight that the tale was still not done, but that Tolkien would allow them to follow along behind the hobbits for just a little longer - until the true ending at the Grey Havens.
That is the type of finale The Dark Tower must have, because every reader of King’s saga knows that a tale as massive and epic as this deserves that Lord of the Rings type of closure. The kind of ending where a reader closes the novel and sits there, stunned into silent contemplation at the stupendous journey that they have finally COMPLETED!
And as a reader begins The Dark Tower Book VII, he/she will begin to see his/her deeply held hope coming to fruition as dangling plots begin to be completed. Immediately, Roland and his friends set forth to stop the Breakers of Algul Siento and save the Beam, protect the Rose (whatever it really is) in New York, and stop Stephen King from being run down by a real life automobile and killed. Everything begins to take shape for the final push to the Dark Tower.
So it seems obvious that finally Stephen King is going to reveal the “5 Ws and H” of the grand saga. Who the hell is this Crimson King, who has orchestrated the destruction of world after world in the multiverse, and who the hell is Marten Broadcloak/Randall Flagg really? What caused the Crimson King to go insane and begin to attack the Tower? Why was it so damn important for Roland to get to the tower in the first place? How did Roland’s quest kept the Dark Tower multiverse from continuing to move on? When did the old ones die out and leave their machines, or when did the worlds first start moving on? And finally - after all else has been completed - where is the Dark Tower, and what will happen when Roland finally enters it?
But then something unprecedented happens in this grand finale of a sweeping epic.
That is right. You won’t find any of those questions answered. In fact, you won’t even find a dramatic ending like Lord of the Rings.
Nope. It is not going to happen.
As Stephen King himself writes at the end of the Quest for the Dark Tower:
I’ve told my tale all the way to the end, and am satisfied. It was (I set my watch and warrant on it) the kind only a good God would save for last, full of monsters and marvels and voyaging here and there. I can stop now, put my pen down, and rest my weary hand . . . Yet some of you who have provided the ears without which no tale can survive a single day are likely not so willing. You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination no matter how many times it has been proven o you. You are the unfortunate ones who still get the lovemaking all confused with the paltry squirt that comes to end the lovemaking . . . You are the cruel ones who deny the Grey Havens, where tired characters go to rest. You say you want to know how it all comes out. You say you want to follow Roland into the Tower; you say that is what you paid your money for, the show you came to see.
I hope most of you know better. Want better. I hope you came to hear the tale, and not just munch your way through the pages to the ending. For an ending, you only have to turn to the last page and see what is there writ upon. But endings are heartless. An ending is a closed door no man (or Manni) can open. I’ve written many, but most only for the same reason that I pull on my pants in the morning before leaving the bedroom - because it is the custom of the country.
And so, my dear Constant Reader, I tell you this: You can stop here. . .
Should you go on, you will surely be disappointed, perhaps even heartbroken . . . There is no such thing as a happy ending. I never met a single one to equal “Once upon a time.”
Endings are heartless.
Ending is just another word for goodbye.
And so after reading 4500 pages about Roland the Gunslinger, a reader is given a choice: stop the book without knowing what happens to Roland once he actually gets to the Dark Tower or read the ending and be disappointed.
Who knew Stephen King was writing a Choose Your Own Adventure Book?
Or that he was an attorney, because he just put a disclaimer in his book; a disclaimer that basically admits the ending sucks.
But in any event, it doesn’t matter which “ending” a reader picks, because they both are horrid in different ways. One is the hollywood “And they all live happily ever after ending,” and the other is the “You wanted an ending, I’ll show you how clever I can be while I’m not giving you what you asked for” ending. And they both leave a reader wondering “Why did I read this series again?”
The awful truth about The Dark Tower Book VII is that it is a dud.
A clever buildup to a nothing happens.
A Dallas “Get out of the shower it’s all been a dream.”
Another Matrix sequel were our number today boys and girls is 101, and you are the sixth Chosen One, which means your dramatic victories are not anything new.
Not a “flawed masterpiece” at all but a cleverly disguised fake.
A huge belly flop into the abyss of bad endings.
A book that just stinks.
In fact, this “supposed” finale of the Dark Tower series makes such a mess of the story that Roland’s whole quest is rendered meaningless. A useless exercise in futility that is very similar to a hamster running as fast as he can on his exercise wheel.
What King does to Roland in this novel is like Tolkien writing that Frodo reached Mount Doom only to discover that Sauron is really Father Christmas on psychotropic medications; the One Ring Frodo has been carrying is really a fake that Sauron allowed Gandalf and the Elves to believe was the real thing; and now - just to be a vindictive bastard (because there doesn’t seem to be any other logical reason) - Frodo and the Fellowship gets to relive the whole bloody quest in an endless loop.
Maybe King never knew where Roland’s story was going. Maybe it was just a great idea, which he never really plotted out to guarantee that it ended correctly. I get all that, but if that is true, he should have used this last book to fix all those problems, not tell the reader “I hope you came to hear the tale, and not just munch your way through the pages to the ending.”
Who the hell has ever went to a movie and been pleased when it stopped playing before the ending?
Or worked all week just to be told “No pay check for you. Try to think back to all the fun you had here.”
No one. And no one is going to like this ending. You might love the series or the characters and not want to admit how horrid this last book was, but deep down you realize it. And you cope by telling yourself how great the overall story was or that King focused on Roland’s spiritual journey in this book or whatever, but the fact of the matter is this novel continued the downward spiral of Roland’s story and left all of us scratching our heads thinking “Really, this is the end.”
Mr. King, I’ve read epic, fantasy series.
I’ve read grand finales with breathtaking endings.
J.R.R. Tolkien took me to the Grey Havens once upon a time.
Mr. King, you’re no J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Dark Tower was not The Return of the King.
It's not just the non-ending. Its the way he spends two books essentially stripping the series of everything good about it and replacing it with trite, poorly done, nudge nudge wink wink garbage.
I waited years to find out how this would all end and to get a hastily done, sloppily written, poorly thought out book, capped with a lecture on how endings suck, swiftly followed by a non-ending is in a lot of ways insulting. I understand King didn't have a lot of desire to finish the series and was tired of people bugging him about it. But this book and the previous one feel very much like King giving his readership the old one finger salute.
The Dark Tower is a series of eight books and two short stories written by American author Stephen King. Incorporating themes from multiple genres, including dark fantasy, science fantasy, horror, and Western, it describes a "gunslinger" and his quest toward a tower, the nature of which is both physical and metaphorical. The series, and its use of the Dark Tower, expands upon Stephen King's multiverse and in doing so, links together many of his other novels.
Beginning where book six left off, Jake Chambers and Father Callahan battle the evil infestation within the Dixie Pig, a vampire lounge in New York City featuring roast human flesh and doors to other worlds.
After fighting off and destroying numerous "Low-Men" and Type One Vampires, Callahan sacrifices himself to let Jake survive. In the other world—Fedic—Mia, her body now physically separated from Susannah Dean, gives birth to Mordred Deschain, the biological son of Roland Deschain and Susannah.
The Crimson King is also a "co-father" of this prophetic child, so it is not surprising when "baby" Mordred's first act is to shapeshift into a spider-creature and feast on his birth-mother. Susannah shoots but fails to kill Mordred, eliminates other agents of the Crimson King, and escapes to meet up with Jake at the cross-dimensional door beneath the Dixie Pig which connects to Fedic.
Maturing at an accelerated rate, Mordred later stalks Roland and the other gunslingers throughout this adventure, shifting from human to spider as the need arises, seething with an instinctive rage toward Roland, his "white daddy." ...
تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و یکم ماه فوریه سال 2016میلادی
عنوان برج تاریک کتاب هفتم؛ نویسنده: استیفن کینگ؛
سری برج تاریک دارای هشت کتاب و دو داستان کوتاه است؛ داستان این سری با تعقیب و گریز هفت تیر کش و مرد سیاه پوش آغاز میشود؛ «رولند (هفتتیرکش)»، آخرین بازمانده از نسل هفت تیر کشها، ��رای انتقام، و پی بردن به ماهیت «برج تاریک» به دنبال «مرد سیاه پوش» است، که در گذشته و حال و آینده اش، رخنه کرده است؛ مردی مرموز و شیطانی، و از خادمان «برج تاریک»، که بر سر راه خود، همه چیز را به هلاکت میرساند، و تمام اینها به خاطر این است، که «رولند» را، طی سفری طاقت فرسا، به دنبال خود؛ یا شاید «رولند» را، به «برج تاریک» بکشاند؛ «برج تاریک» مرکز جهان، دستگاهی برای اداره ی هستی و نیستی است؛ برجی مسلط بر هر چیز؛ برجی که در سرنوشت «رولند» همانند هیولایی متجاوز رخنه کرده است؛
برج تاریک کتاب هفتم: کتابی خیال انگیز از این سری، و از نویسنده آمریکایی «استیون کینگ» است؛ این کتاب هفتمین کتاب از سری «برج تاریک» است؛ که توسط انتشارات «گرانت» در روز بیست و یکم ماه سپتامبر سال 2004میلادی (روز تولد کینگ) منتشر شده است؛ و شامل ماجراهای «مایکل ویلان» است؛ این رمان دارای چهار عنوان فرعی است: «تولید مثل»، «مکاشفه»، «رستگاری» و «توسل» - همه این عناوین به جز عنوان دوم، به عنوان زیر عنوان، برای رمانهای پیشین این مجموعه، استفاده شده اند؛ کتاب هفتم از آنجایی آغاز میشود که کتاب ششم پایان یافته است؛ «جیک چمبرز» و پدر «کالاهان» با نیروهای مهاجم شر، و خون آشامها درگیر هستند؛
کتابهای این سری، کتاب نخست با عنوان هفت تیر کش (با عنوان تفنگدار نیز به فارسی ترجمه شده)؛ کتاب دوم با عنوان انتخاب سوم؛ کتاب سوم با عنوان سرزمین (سرزمینهای) متروک؛ کتاب چهارم جادوگر و گوی شیشه ای (جام)؛ به فارسی ترجمه و منشر شده اند؛ کتاب پنجم با عنوان گرگهای کالا؛ کتاب ششم با عنوان ترانه ی سوزانا؛ کتاب هفتم با عنوان برج تاریک؛ کتاب هشتم با عنوان نسیمی از میان سوراخ کلید، البته این عنوان قطعی نیست؛
تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 03/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
2.5 stars. This just fizzled out for me. It wasn't so much the ending itself - the wheel of ka seemed quite apt -so much as the let down of so many loose ends of the story. How events and characters had played such a large part in the story, only to come to almost nothing. I didn't like Stephen King's inclusion in the story. In the previous volume I thought it was quite clever, but in this volume it really read like he'd just run out of ideas and was prepared to throw in any old nonsense in order to just get the series finished.
Comentaba en la reseña del primer libro: "Novela introductoria hacia algo que promete ser tan grande y épico que me da miedo seguir por que no cumpla las expectativas." Y termino el viaje de Roland a la Torre Oscura con la sensación de no ser lo que había esperado pero de no poder imaginarme un viaje mejor o distinto.
Cuando comienzas el primer volumen, escrito a finales de los 70, te encuentras con una mezcla de fantasía épica y western. Pero con el paso de las décadas King ha ido creando algo mucho más grande que transciende los géneros y entra de lleno en la meta-ficción. La propia realidad se cruza con los personajes y puedes ver cómo el autor aporta mucho de sí mismo en la historia. Creo que más que en ninguna otra obra de King.
Este séptimo libro está lejos de ser perfecto, pero una cosa que he aprendido con esta saga es que lo importante es el camino y no el destino por lo que cobra totalmente sentido ese final si lo lees desde esta óptica. Las 5 estrellas por lo tanto es una valoración general de la saga y del viaje que he compartido con esos personajes que me han parecido tan reales: Roland es el ejemplo perfecto de héroe trágico, lleno de defectos y que sacrifica todo por la causa. Susannah me parece el verdadero centro de la historia y sería muy distinto sin ella. Eddie es el contrapunto perfecto para el tono tan serio y épico de la obra. Y a Jake le quieres desde el primer momento y es al que más me ha costado despedir.
Después aparecen multitud de personajes de otras novelas que se mezclan en esta historia tejiendo una especie de multiverso de Stephen King donde el que es fan del autor lo va a disfrutar.
Y a la persona que todavía no ha empezado la saga solo me queda decir que no se obsesione por la Torre Oscura y disfrute del camino. El Ka es una rueda. Días largos y noches placenteras, amigos.
WARNING!! Although it’s a non-review review, it’s still spoiler-y.
This spoiler-laden review was brought to you by the number 19!
With Special Guest Star: The Eraser
Hi kids! I’m the Eraser. Remember stay in school and don’t do drugs!
The gunslinger waved to his pal, The Eraser, and thanked him for his help in dispatching the Kooky Krazy King of Krimson.
“Thank you, Mr. Eraser!
“That’s The Eraser, you twit!”
“Sorry, Mr. The Eraserhead.”
“Bah. I’ve got the holiday fever. I wonder if there’s an interdimensional door to an alternate universe Festivus celebration or maybe I can return to Batman continuity.”
And he was gone.
The gunslinger, now alone, turned towards the tower which not coincidentally towered into the clouds. From a loud speaker at the tippy-top of the tower, he heard, faintly, Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”.
He hated that song.
“Good golly, that tower sure is tall. And dark. Ish”
He had to turn the song off, so he lumbered into the doorway of the tower looking for an elevator but only found a winding stair case. On the first floor he encountered Musty, the six-legged smelly mutant cat.
“Gee Musty, you’ve grown a pace. Now get along and let me up those stairs.”
Musty, now big enough and mean enough to block the stairwell, wouldn’t budge.
“I reckon I ain’t goin’ nowhere until I gives ya a tongue bath.”
Two hours later as the gun slinger, slipped past a sleeping Musty, he was pulling strands of cat hair from his mouth.
The next level of the tower offered a buffet of cheese and mayo sandwiches and a case of Nozz-A-La Cola to wash it down, but all the gunslinger could think of was pound cake.
Pulling more even longer threads of cat hair from his mouth, the Gunslinger grew queasy, but strains of that horrible song put him back on track and he climbed upward.
The next few floors offered nothing more than a few lobstrosities here and some slow muties there. After he completed the painful climb through those floors the gun slinger reckoned he could get along without a few less fingers and toes. Dad-a-chim.
Reaching the twelfth (or was it the eighth floor, it could have been the fourteenth floor) the gunslinger saw the big Gan, Stephen King himself all trussed up, just like the gunslinger left him back in Jeff’s last review of this series.
“Oh, Mr. Gan, you got to help me turn this furshlinger song off!”
“But I love this song. I wrote into the series and I won’t help you.”
“Well then I reckon I’m just gonna have to leave ya tied up.”
As Stephen King’s curses echoed in the stairwell and the gunslingers ears, he felt fatigued from his climb but knew instinctively that he was getting closer to the top of the tower.
Cackling laughter floated down from the next floor. He knew it was the legendary gunslinger, Quick Draw.
“Get up here, graymeat! I got somethin’ for ya.”
He was scared, but terror and curiosity compelled him further up the steps.
Quick Draw greeted him with a huge grin. Behind her was the door to the off switch.
“I’ll let ya through this door, but first ya have to listen to a long-assed tale, I got to tell ya. It’ll only take me a couple a days and it will have little or nothin’ to do with this here adventure, so if ya have to use the can, hold it in.” She cackled. “And ya better listen to this story like ya mean it!!!”
He felt himself drift off after a few minutes but a swift kick in the head woke the gunslinger up and he was pointed towards the door. He opened it, only to be greeted by a familiar bright light and a hot desert sun.
As the door was slammed behind him and his brain swirled inside his head, he felt something in his pocket. He pulled it out to reveal – curiously - a magic wand…
I want to thank my Goodreads Buddy Readers for an incredibly epic journey that spanned years, and especially our din, Sai Stepheny, who always makes buddy reads an enriching and fun experience. Thankee and long days and pleasant nights, ya crazy Mah Fah!!.
So. I've been sitting here staring at this screen for about 2 hours after finishing The Dark Tower. It was pretty touch-and-go for a bit.
I couldn't see much through the tears.
But I'm back now. It's not like this is the first time I read the book. I had a book hangover then, also, but I think I'm recovering slightly better than that last time.
I'm afraid I can't say ANYTHING about this book without going into spoiler territory. It's brilliant and it's epic, of course, and it keeps blowing my mind over and over and over again right before it tears out my heart and stamps all over it again and again and again... but by the end, I'm saying to myself,
"Go then, there are other worlds than these..."
And with that, I beg your pardon. That I do.
I needed to say something REAL about this book that affected me soooo damn much. Still affects me. It's one of the most brilliant works I've ever read, together with the rest of the cycle.
Sure, there are some things that aren't all that good, but EVERYTHING SERVES THE BEAM. And the beam, the Dark Tower itself, is GOOD. For all the things I could complain about, the really awesome aspects FAR OUTWEIGH the bad... and so much so that I'm left giddy and lost in tears.
Say what you will, but these books are something truly memorable.
My first thought was, he lied in every word... Isn’t it funny? So, you read 7 books (8, if you count The Wind Through The Keyhole), you’re at the end of the last one and you’re wondering how the heck will it end. It’s not about the journey anymore. The journey is over. It’s 110% about the destination. You have no predictions, no clues, no nothing. You can’t even try to guess because your mind is completely empty and all you have are the words you’re reading, page after page after page. It’s like you held your breath for the last 300 pages or so. And then you’re finally there, standing beside Roland, crying the names of your friends and loved ones and ka-mates; those names carried clear in that strange air, as if they would echo forever. You enter the Dark Tower. You begin to climb the stairs and soon enough you find yourself at the top of the Dark Tower, watching your name carved on the last door. You open it. And you understand...
Reseña de la saga completa* ¿Porque deberías leerla? Sin spoilers
Por fin lo he terminado y debo decir que valió la pena. Después de 8 libros directos relacionado con la historia y de otros que la complementan he llegado al tan ansiado final y debo decir que me ha encantado. No pudo haber uno mejor.
Mucho autores hacen bosquejos y mapas mentales de sus sagas y antes de comenzar a escribir ya tienen todo completamente estructurado y bien planeado (El caso de Brandon Sanderson), eso es la forma como se hacen estas sagas, en historias épicas donde tanta información puede abrumar al autor fácilmente. En este caso SK no planificó ni bosquejó la historia, simplemente se dejó llevar. Sabía que la historia trataba de un viaje épico con universos paralelos, pero mas allá de eso simplemente se dejó llevar y esto es a mi opinión lo mas destacable. ¿Que la saga tiene libros malos? Si, es verdad. Sobretodo en lobos del calla en nivel de calidad bajó considerablemente. Sabemos que luego de ser atropellado en el año 99 la saga cambió para siempre, debido que SK utiliza sus experiencias personales para crear sus historias y la torre oscura no se salvó de esa experiencia de muerte.
En el pistolero vemos a un tipo despiadado con un único objetivo en mente, la torre oscura. Roland Deshain, una persona maldita con una convicción inamovible. Seguirá adelante y sacrificará lo que haga falta para alcanzar su objetivo. Y este es el punto de inflexión de la historia, a pesar que en recién en el libro 4 el pistolero es humanizado cuando conocemos su pasado, cuando conocemos que coño es la torre y porque va detrás del hombre de negro nos toma totalmente desprevenidos y nos sorprende a todos. ¿Pero que rayos es la torre? no se preocupen, a su debido tiempo se enterarán.
Deben leerlas amigos, en especial si alguna vez te gustó algún libro de SK, en esta saga pasamos del terror, a la ciencia ficción, a la fantasía y al drama. Hacer este viaje es una experiencia que de verdad te marca la vida. Te deja un montón de enseñanzas y te cambia la forma como ves el destino (ka) de como ves la vida. Y eso es de apreciar.
Gracias Stephen por tan excelente obra, ojalá te hubieses tomado tu tiempo para los ultimos 3 libros, pero ya lo hecho, hecho está.
El ka es una rueda, que gira y gira sin cesar.
¿Que deben tener en cuenta para leer la saga? ¿Es verdad que hay que leer mas de 30 libros para entenderla?
La verdad es que no es para tanto. Pueden comenzar a leer desde ya el pistolero hasta mago y cristal sin tener ninguna referencia de cualquier otro libro del autor. Para leer en 5,6 y 7 sí deberían tener referencia de otros libros del autor relacionado directamente con la torre oscura. Esto debido a que SK introduce nuevos persojanes y cambia el estilo de escritura sin aviso previo, mientras lees parece que se supone que deberias conocer determinados detalles que el autor no se detiene a explicar.
Insomnia, El misterio de salems lot, corazones de la atlandida (los hampones de chaquetas amarillas) y todo es eventual (Cuento de la colección todo es eventual). Estos libros y cuentos son parte de la saga prácticamente. En cuanto a los demás libros del autor, hay referencias a la torre, unas mas grandes que otros, pero no dejan de ser eso, referencias que pueden ser leídas luego de leer la saga completa.
La alegoría de la historia es la torre, todos tenemos una, todos tenemos eso que deseamos alcanzar, es lo que le da sentido a nuestras vida es lo que la da sentido a la vida de Roland y de su Katet. Anímense a leer la saga, no se arrepentirán.
”The roses of Can'-Ka No Rey opened before him in a path to the Dark Tower, the yellow suns deep in their cups seeming to regard him like eyes.”
Journey’s end approaches, and the last gunslinger at last sets his gaze upon the great shadowy column at the end of the road. Yet dangers still lie in the way, and secrets, and the greatest mystery of all: what lies beyond the gate? What can be found at the top of the Tower?
Reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series has now been a journey spanning years. It had its upsides and downsides. Sometimes it seemed like a pendulum spinning endlessly back and forth between tedious boredom and spectacular amazement.
This seventh volume was difficult to get through. Although the beginning kicked off with a continuation of the climactic part of Song of Susannah, this book as a whole was the most boring part of the Dark Tower series since the second book. I was wondering sometimes if it deserved to be simply abandoned. But I convinced myself that I had gotten this far. I had to see the ending. And it turned out to become one of my favourite series of all time.
Because the ending is fucking perfect.
Contrary to a lot of people, I found the final set of chapters to be an excellently fitting way of ending a Stephen King book, the perfect ending to the Dark Tower series, and one of the best endings I have ever read in speculative fiction.
"All right. I go. Long days and pleasant nights. May we meet in the clearing at the end of the path when all worlds end."
Yet even then he knew this would not happen, for the worlds would never end, not now, and for him there would be no clearing. For Roland Deschain of Gilead, last of Eld's line, the path ended at the Dark Tower. And that did him fine.
“If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed: neither pride Nor hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be.”
- Robert Browning
And so we come to the clearing at the end of the path.
Stephen King’s epic poetic prose inspired by Browning’s poem is a unique and troubling masterpiece of fantasy.
Looking back over the seven principle books, from The Gunslinger first published in 1982 to this last, first published in 2004, (as well as The Wind Through the Keyhole addendum published in 2012) and comprising well over 4,000 pages. King has woven a tapestry of magical realism and fantasy that blends a lyric quest with modern American cultural references into a whole that stands alone in literature. I can only think of Jack Vance’s The Complete Lyonesse trilogy that comes close to this kind of world building and King far surpasses the Grandmaster in breadth and scope of vision.
In this final chapter King ties up the loose ends (for the most part) and draws the story to an end (sort of). Roland is a protagonist drawn from many sources and as a King protagonist he is iconic. No doubt this was an epochal book for Stephen King, who actually thought of writing it years before he actually began the writing process, and who included himself in the narrative as a pseudo deus ex machina writer. King’s description of this multiverse, especially how he has drawn connections with his own work was impressive. His extensive use of symbolism, metaphor and allegory were brilliant.
Original Buddy Read Review:I almost forgot to include my chap Ryder in this epic buddy read!
He says: Saddle up, pards!
New and Excruciatingly Long-Winded and Passionate Review:
Well, here it is, folks. The end.
We have travelled long and hard. (That’s what she said.) We have had many ups and downs, backward flips, dips, dives, shucks and even a case of good old-fashioned demon rape, say thankya. Say thankya big-big. We’ve had fallen comrades, we’ve had tagalongs, we’ve had mysterious disappearances and we’ve had many move on.
"The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high... but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.”
The world has moved on, so it has. So I’m sad to say.
But our quest to reach the Dark Tower did not disappoint. No, I’d say it was one of the best reading experiences of my lifetime(s). I have travelled this path several times. Delah. I’ve picked up accents and speak the language of the people. Aye, hear me well, I beg! But this journey was different; forespecial. Why, you ask? Well, because of my companions. No matter how many were picked up or the ones who dropped off, the few that stuck with me until the very end made this reread unlike all the others. I would like to say thankya. Aye. Say thankya big-big.
We are Ka-Tet. We are one from many. We have shared khef. Hear me well, I beg!
The fate of the rose must be secured. The fate of Stephen King must be secured. The man in black, Mordred and the Crimson King must be defeated. But most importantly, we must stop the breakers. For if the beam is broken, the tower will collapse and all worlds will fall into nothingness. Endless darkness for all of eternity. Or is it Todash space where things crawl and creep and slither through the blinding darkness? Our enemies are many. The deck is stacked heavily against us.
“Our time here is brief, our risk enormous. Don't waste the one or increase the other, if you please.”
But we have something on our side.
Ka, like the wind. And when that wind blows, you’d best be ready to sail. It matters not where it wants you to go, you must follow it at all costs. For Ka is a wheel, and it does turn. Does it not?
At the risk of sounding cliché, this book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you happy, it will make you angry, it will make you want to scream. But in this reader’s opinion, it’s what makes a good book a great book. Books that evoke emotions, that make me think, that make me feel what the character is feeling… those are the books that mean the most. They mean everything.
Roland is one of the greatest tragic anti-heroes I’ve ever encountered. He’s flawed nearly as much as he is scarred. He has sacrificed everything for the tower- friends, family- even his own mother. Will his current ka-tet be asked to surrender their lives for the sake of his quest?
This book may not be perfect- lord knows King does not impress all of his readers all the time. Certain parts are downright cheesy. But as King himself states in the Coda- the fun is in the journey.
I don’t think there was a more perfect way to end this series. Ka is a wheel, do you not see?
I have a spoiler-filled theory that I’m about to lay out here so if this is a series you haven’t read or plan on reading, I’d stop here if it does ya.
**MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD, PROCEED WITH CAUTION**
I read a blurb once where King said that his version of hell would be reliving the worst moments of your life over and over again for all of eternity. I think this is what is happening to Roland. He goes his quest over and over and over again, never remembering the time before and always slightly different than the time before. The signs are all there within the books! Open thine eyes and see!!
“Death, but not for you, gunslinger. Never for you. You darkle. You tinct. May I be brutally frank? You go on.”
The man in black tells Roland this very early on.
Cort tells him: “It'll be your damnation, boy. You'll wear out a hundred pairs of boots on your way to hell.”
Roland himself states that “You needn't die happy when your time comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from the beginning to the end and ka is always served.”
And has Roland been satisfied? No, he has not. He has been cursed from the beginning. He never learns. He continues to sacrifice all for the tower.
I remember when I first saw that last line. It made me shudder. It made me heartbroken for this tragic character. His penance was to continue an endless loop. All his time spent devoted to the same outcome; each time learning just enough to change some small factor of his new journey, but never enough to gain him entrance to something other than the hell he is facing.
This series means so much to me. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking and created endless possibilities for what lies beyond the veil of death. It comforts me in times of turmoil. It’s like an old friend. No matter how many times I’ve gone through it I find a new appreciation every time.
I would like to thank my ka-mates for going on this journey with me. I hope it did ya fine, so I do.
Long days and pleasant nights, friends. I love thee. Aye, say true, say every one of you.
It took me longer than every other book in the series and I think that’s because I really didn’t want to finish it. It was so nice to have this book to go back to. It was so nice to say I was still working on the dark tower. But it’s over now and I can never again read the dark tower series for the first time, which is fine I suppose since everyone who has read it before knows that once we complete the journey, restarting it is only natural.
I loved this series. I really did. If the point of books are to entertain and give readers an escape from reality this series exceeded all requirements. I was lost in all the worlds King strung together and I didn’t want to leave.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
I don't think a sentence has intrigued me more in the literary world. The italicized sentence started the long journey of Roland Deschain of Gilead, line of Eld. And, it finishes King's telling of Roland Deschain's, dan-dinh of the ka-tet, journey.
I'm sitting here, thinking, trying to formulate the right words to say what I need to in this review. It's almost 3 a.m., and I have to be quite honest: this journey has worn me out. Emotionally, I don't think I could handle another installment. I don't think I could handle another trip in Roland's life. I say this with praise, not disdain. A much lighter read will be taking place after this...
I was a little worried King would leave things unfinished in areas. With a story so involved, so many characters, and odds and ends to tie up, I was worried I would be left wondering, "What happened to...??" I wasn't. I know everything King wanted us to know about Roland, Eddie, Jake, Susannah, Oy, and every character in-between. I think that is a small part of what made this story so great.
Was this the ending I wanted? To be quite honest, I didn't know what I wanted, well, maybe to some degree. Was it what I expected? Absolutely not. Am I left feeling empty? YES. Am I feeling like I need emotional therapy because of how many times I have cried reading this book? Well, we won't go there...;)
Like I said, I didn't really know what kind of ending I wanted for Roland. All I really knew was.....I didn't want him to die. If you've read it, you know what happens. For future readers, I won't spoil it for you, like I had someone keep doing to me. (And it pissed me off beyond belief.) Also, I knew, I wanted him to make it to the Dark Tower, and then....I honestly didn't know what after that.
I have read some different reviews, and people wondering why King ended this book the way he did, and I think I get it. I think I understand...maybe.... I will have to think about it, though. Am I disappointed in the ending?...absolutely not.
Things really began to make sense for me in this book. Loose ends tied with their other half to close out the importance. And everything fit together so perfectly, so magically, and there were no loose ends for me.
I'm going to get into some spoilery junk, so if you haven't read it, do yourself a major solid, and don't cheat...
I say thank ya because, this whole time, throughout the entire journey, I never knew what to expect. I had someone spoil several things in the story for me before I started to read this journey, and it made me quite angry. Fortunately, I had a few people tell me the story was so much more than those few inklings of spoilers: Blaine the Train, the wolves of Calla Bryn Sturgis, the literary ties to other famous stories, Gasher, Pere Callahan and his story (I also really admired him), etc.... I am glad I took this journey with Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy, and everyone else they met along the path of the beam. It was definitely a wild ride. It had it's ups and downs, action-packed and dull or down moments, but all in all, the journey was definitely worth it.
Even though i did not expect this ending chapter of the journey to end the way it did,I can’t deny that over the years i have grown to love Roland and his crew like they are long time friends of mine, making their adventures so unique and i kept reminding myself that is not so much about the ending it’s also about the journey, and it has been a rollercoaster with it’s ups and downs and I’ll give it the five stars it deserves.
When I finished this book, I really appreciated the “epic-ness” of it. I felt satisfied at the end. Like every final volume in a series it had enough tragedy and triumph to have made it worth it even though at times it was lacking a good pace and made it look TOO long.
Also some of the characters felt like a missed opportunity as they could have ended up in better fate. (Walter/ Man in black, Mordred and eventually Crimson King)
But as for the Crimson King, who initially seemed as a cosmic menace, King previously commented in ‘Danse Macabre’ (a part i read) that unlike Lovecraft, he prefers to “show the monster” even if he fails to live up to readers’ expectations. So the Crimson King, at this very end, seems like a human. Even Roland has moved from the category of myth into humanity. I think there are layers to King’s writing that I didn’t totally appreciate before. That is really neat.
SOME MORE SPOILERY NOTES/THOUGHTS :
Some found Stephen King’s inclusion here annoying and repetitive, but for me though i though the parts that he was in were some of the best and entertaining aspects of this book (and previous ones). Especially the events leading to the accident.
The whole series has a feeling in it’s storytelling of endless possibilities, enigmas and almost every character and sub-plot can create it’s own world and expand it’s story. (Mordred and Dandelo for example)
The ka-tet of Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy continue to follow The Beam in their lengthy quest for the Dark Tower. When all is said and done, their number will be fewer. Roland's relentless search for the Dark Tower is nearing its end and it comes at a price. Ahead, the Crimson King is in evidence, quite mad, crazed. Mordred, following, is full of hatred and he is a'hungry. A perfect rose, nineteen steps, a door. The ending? Sheer perfection, in my book.
This is by far my favorite series of any I have read. The first five volumes have been read any number of times, and the last two tomes thrice now. I may or may not reread this series again, but I have the books on my shelves here at home. And they tinct and darkle ....
An epic adventure like no other, told by a master storyteller. And now, I bid thee long days and pleasant nights.
So, the first time I read this book I rated it 3 stars, and that was probably a bit high for it, because I hated the ending. I hated it so much, left such a bad taste in my mouth, that it sort of spoiled my thoughts of the whole series. I wanted to reread it, been meaning to for awhile, since there were details that escaped my memory entirely, but I was afraid to - afraid that I would end up still hating it as much, if not more than before.
(Allow me to specify.
But this time I went in with a purpose, and I fanwanked. Oh, I wanked like nobody's business to make this thing make sense, and to make me not hate it so much.
And I did it with such aplomb that I ended up actually being quite at peace with the ending.
And I'm glad that I did because, honestly, it's a good series. Oh, there are some parts that aren't quite as good as others (Waste Lands and Song of Susannah, for instance), and there are parts within individual books which get a bit bogged down, or don't entirely make sense, or have some continuity issues - but, overall, I liked it, and I wanted to like it more. I liked the world(s), and the characters. I loved watching them develop as people and grow as a tet. I love the many sides of Roland. There was just so much to like about the series, that I didn't want it to end on such a bad note.
Besides, the start of this book is pretty damn awesome. I was caught up in the whole thing from the get-go, even though I was hesitant to pick it up and start it because of my fears of impending doom. The whole first third of the book is pretty much non-stop action and awesomeness... and we couldn't just let that all go because of King's inability to write an ending some crap at the end.
So - here's my wank.
There - now isn't everything ever so much better?
I'll do you one better. I'll tell you how the final loop could go, and how everyone could live happily ever after:
So, there you have it.
But, really, it's not that much fanwank. Some of it actually makes a lot of sense, all things considered. I still think some of the ending was weak, and I'm not going to say it was perfect - but maybe it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it was the first time.
(Sort of like how I liked 'Order of the Phoenix' much more on the second read, and 'Deathly Hallows', too, for that matter. Of course, I rationalized those a bit, too. I have a grand gift for it, it seems. LOL)
For our gunslinger, the journey is long. For his reader, even after eight books, the time feels short. Sorrow is tremendous, but the path is fulfilling. A beginning in the desert, three doorways from another world, five makes a ka-tet, and Browning poem. Ka is a wheel, but all things must have an ending. As the door closes gently behind, another opens before him. And so I would and will walk this road again with Roland again.
Five stars for this final book. Five stars for the series.
First off, I liked the final Coda chapter. A lot of readers are unhappy with the cyclical ending and the return to the desert, but that is the only thing I enjoyed about the The Dark Tower. It's a clever idea and I give King credit, but that is where my appreciation ends.
I genuinely do not understand how so many readers enjoyed this series. Many of the readers claim that The Gunslinger is the worst in the series, but that is the only book in the series that I actually enjoyed. The concepts that arise at the end of the first book seem so great, but as the series progresses it leads to disappointment after disappointment.
Stephen King had no idea what to do with The Dark Tower once he finished The Gunslinger. The plot, concepts, and characters are all over the place. Nothing is cohesive. There is so much deus ex machina and outright silliness that it becomes ridiculous. Characters randomly gain new powers, like telepathy in order to communicate between worlds, or characters appear in order to save other characters, e.g. Patrick at the very end of the very last book with his magic eraser. That is bad writing. And when King attempts to be meta and defends his use of deus ex machina within the book—thanks, but no.
The only character I care about is Oy and he gets the least airtime. The majority of the time it seems like King forgets Oy is even there until he becomes relevant. Jake and Eddie seem to be King's favorites, but I couldn't bring myself to care about them. I wanted Susannah to become my favorite, because I tend to root for the female underdogs, but her character is such a tool, and I mean that literally. Half the time she doesn't get to be herself. And the rest of the time she is pregnant and being chased around in order to move the plot. She never makes any of her own choices until the very end when she decides to leave Roland.
And that happy ending epilogue... Why kill everyone off, only to reunite them in another world? I think King wants to make the readers happy instead of telling a complete story.
There are so many holes and anti-climactic endings...
What was the point of Maerlyn's Rainbow, Black Thirteen, and Callahan? Black Thirteen was simply a plot device to move things along. In the end, Black Thirteen is left in the World Trade Center and King makes a reference that it is the possible cause for 9/11. That is an interesting idea, but what is the point of including it at all? It is brought in to move the plot and is then left behind. And the inclusion of Callahan is so silly and pointless. King needs a random character to fill a role for a minute and for whatever reason he chooses Callahan and his vampire enemies.
The death of Walter Padick/Randall Flagg/Whatever is beyond anti-climactic. Walter is supposed to be the big baddy of the series (and multiple other books) and is taken out nonchalantly by Mordred in the early chapters of the book without a single confrontation with Roland. What is the point of his character? He adds nothing to the story. Mordred barely even adds anything.
The Crimson King is supposed to be the true enemy of Roland, but nothing happens except a silly standoff with Harry Potter toys. And Patrick saves the day. The Crimson King is a weak enemy, which makes Roland appear as a weak hero.
The whole weird marketing strategy to include Harry Potter elements while that series was making it big at the time makes King seem like a sham. I hope his publisher made him do it. Including Harry Potter font is icing on the cake.
The reason I am giving the final book only two stars, while I have given all the other books three, is because ninety percent of this book reads like filler. King writes for word count and not for content.
I guess I have done enough complaining. I really wanted to enjoy this series, otherwise I wouldn't have read every single book. But it turned out to be a huge letdown. The concepts are great but it stops there. This should have been a trilogy at the most. The Dark Tower series is for hardcore King fans, not occasional King readers like myself.
I have concluded that I am not much of a Stephen King fan. He is a fine writer with interesting ideas, but his style drives me insane and he doesn't know when to stop. Goodbye for now, King. Long days and pleasant nights.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.