Amph The Dark Tower series

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by son_of_skywalker03, Dec 1, 2009.

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  1. DRHJ9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2003
    star 4

    The world in which The Stand takes place.....is the same world they were walking through when Roland tells the story of his past in book Four....IIRC.
  2. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    The writing in that shootout scene is incredible...I could picture everything happening.

    Trying to remember what happens in Drawing compared to the Waste Lands, which is my favorite.

    I'd rank them thusly:


    Waste Lands
    Drawing of the Three
    Wizard & Glass
    The Gunslinger
    Wolves of the Calla
    The Dark Tower




    Song of Susannah
  3. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Oh dear, what happened to this thread?

  4. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    OK, in the hopes of getting discussion started here again:

    I just finished Insomnia, which features several references to The Dark Tower (not to mention Lord of the Rings).

    However, I found the connections to be rather weak. It features the first reference in King's work to the Crimson King, and we're told that Ralph must save Patrick Danville, but neither is developed in much detail. Danville, in particular, is only a child, and despite his importance later on, his is an extremely small part in Insomnia.

    Should this thread include works related to The Dark Tower, or only the Dark Tower novels themselves? As I'm currently in the process of reading both, this would be a great place to be able to discuss them all.
  5. DRHJ9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2003
    star 4
    If you read Dark Tower: A Concordance....I think it's called....

    It lists all books connected to The Dark Tower series. It also has character description of all who appear.

    I think the books that are connected most are:

    Salem's Lot
    It
    Insomnia
    The Stand
    Eye of the Dragon

    This is off the top of my head, there are probably more...the world of the Dark Tower is mentioned in a lot of his works....an example is when he mentions Gilead in Lisey's Story.
  6. TheModFavorite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2007
    star 4
    i could have sworn that he'd stated that all of his books were connected via the dark tower series?
  7. DRHJ9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2003
    star 4
    He probably did say that...and it's probably true...

    I was just listing books that play a major role in the series, and have the most influence on the main "Dark Tower" series.
  8. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Eye of the Dragon was a good Tower Spin. I had always hoped that the Prince in exile chasing after Flagg would turn up at some point in the main DT novels but sadly not.
  9. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
  10. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    IT has some of the same metaphysical elements (the turtle), I don't see any directly related elements, except by way of Insomnia, which has Mike Hanlon and a mention of "deadlights."

    I just finished the first half of The Waste Lands, in which Jake is re-drawn into Mid-World. Though it doesn't exactly involve time-travel in the traditional science fiction sense, I thought it did a fairly good job of handling the potential complication of a paradox: if you change your own past, would you remember the way things "originally" happened? Having that mental schism, in which you remember two different series of events, was an original way of handling it, IMHO.

    I read The Stand and Eyes of the Dragon before starting Dark Tower, since I knew in advance to expect Flagg. The only mention EOTD seems to get though, is a passing reference to Dennis and Thomas, whom Roland briefly remembers having met.

    Having gotten through 2.5 Dark Tower books, and three related works, (not to mention having read IT nearly 10 years ago), I'm beginning to notice more and more that King likes making reference to Tolkien. When he's not having some character be reminded of something in LOTR, then they're re-enacting a scene from it. TWL, for example, has Jake go into a bookstore selling The Hobbit, only to immediately afterwards begin a riddle game of his own with the shop owner. On the one hand, being an LOTR fan, it's nice to see that it has some influence on modern authors as well. On the other hand, I picked up a few similiarities to Tolkien just by reading the stories, and I think it show a certain lack of subtlety to wave it in the reader's face, just in case they missed it.

    BTW, what's our spoiler policy going to be on this thread? There are those who have gotten further than I have, and others who are father behind.
  11. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Im still trying to figure out what exactly the Deadlights even are. Other then Pennywise's hypono trick.
  12. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    When you figure that one out, let me know. I'm not even sure King understands it, he's just good at describing it in just enough detail that you understand that it's beyond what people can normally perceive--and therefore drives them insane. I rather got the feeling that nobody got a good look at Randall Flagg in The Stand, either.
  13. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    I think "deadlights" will never be adequately explained.

    Imagine "unbeing" and that's what I get out of it.
  14. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    I had a dream that I was rereading DT last night. I guess I know what books I will be reading after I finish up Knife of Dreams and The Gathering Storm.........
  15. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I think the books that are connected most are:

    Salem's Lot
    It
    Insomnia
    The Stand
    Eye of the Dragon


    Also, Hearts in Atlantis, The Talisman/Black House, and the short stories Everything's Eventual and Little Sisters of Eluria.

    While The Dark Tower holds much of his work together, the rest is held together by the fact that the stories take place in or near the neighboring towns of Derry (It, Insomnia, Dreamcatcher) and Castle Rock (Carrie, The Body, The Dead Zone, Cujo, The Dark Half, Needful Things), and as such have some overlapping characters as well. Plus, references to Shawshank Prison.

    I have just come to the end of The Waste Lands. The appearance of Richard Fannin brought a great sense of recognition, especially with the reference to Trashcan Man. Once again there are overt references to Tolkien, not to mention the obsession with riddles. At the end, I couldn't help thinking of Bilbo and Gollum.
  16. DRHJ9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2003
    star 4

    Absolutely....I can't believe I forgot Hearts in Atlantis.

    Have any of you been following the comic series? It is pretty awsome, but kind of short....from the standpoint of the main story, but always included are an appendix type information at the end that is pretty interesting.
  17. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    If I read the comics at all, I'll be saving them for after the series. The reason for this is, that as I understand it, the comics tell of Roland's life before the main story told in the book. While some might argue that this story should be read first, I find it more interesting to discover more about Roland as the main story unfolds, not have his past all laid out on a silver platter beforehand. In particular, Wizard and Glass has a flashback in it that is the basis for one of those comics. I think King had a good reason to wait until such a late point to reveal so much about Roland's past. Plus, by reading the books first, I have the luxury of being able to picture the story in my own mind, rather than being bound by what an artist has decided everything should look like. For someone who's only gotten back into reading for pleasure in the past year or so, that's both a great challenge and an enjoyable experience.
  18. DRHJ9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2003
    star 4
    Yeah, i would wait too...or

    You can read them right after book 4 (WaG). The events in the first couple of series take place right when Roland begins his tale, or flashback of the events in Hambry, and Gilead.


  19. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    You can read them right after book 4 (WaG). The events in the first couple of series take place right when Roland begins his tale, or flashback of the events in Hambry, and Gilead.

    Maybe, but I've got quite a queue already: now I'm on The Talisman, then DT4, then Little Sisters of Eluria, then Salem's Lot, then DT5, then Black House, then DT6, then Hearts in Atlantis and Everything's Eventual, then DT7. Then again, I'm reading Little Sisters right after DT4 since it's supposed to follow directly after the flashback, so that would make a good time to read them, provided that it doesn't spoil anything else that's revealed down the line.

    On the other hand, aren't they still coming out with new books? I wouldn't want to start something that isn't finished yet unless it gets done at a J.K. Rowling pace, rather than the regular Stephen King pace that characterized the main series.
  20. Duragizer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2009
    star 3
    I haven't read many of his novels, but I have read a fair number of his short stories and have liked most of them.

    And yes, I do like the Dark Tower novels (the last three, not so much). :p
  21. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    I just finished Wizard and Glass, and thought it departs from the main story of Roland with his current ka-tet, I was delighted to Roland in a story that actually resembles a western. Some of it, though, makes me want to go back and re-read the first book already. 2 and 3 gave us many references to how much Eddie reminds Roland of Cuthbert, and it was nice to have a long story that actually involved him. But now I'm racking my brain trying to remember how much the first book told us of Alain and Susan. Also I must admit I'm thoroughly confused regarding the identity of Walter/Marten. The original version of The Gunslinger establishes them as two different people, but the revised version says they are one and the same. When Roland meets Flagg, he instantly recognizes him as having been Marten. Earlier, though, as Walter, (The Man in Black), he seemed to be helping Roland, giving him the guidance he needed to draw his followers into Mid-World. Why did he do that if he is now in the way?

    Also, did anyone pass through Kansas in The Stand? I'm trying to figure out who left that note under the windshield wiper about Abigail being in Nebraska. Sounds like something either Fran or Harold might have done. Then again, it could have been Nick, since he meets Tom in Oklahoma, IIRC.
  22. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    That was fav book of the series! Alot of people hate it because it really doesn't advance the plot, and we had to wait a few yrs. for Wolves of the Calla to come out.
  23. Garth Maul Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 6
    Pretty sure the Kansas thing is from The Stand. Mid-World something something. Almost positive but I can't give you the exact reference.

    IIRC, there's not a whole lot on Alain and Susan at all in The Gunslinger.

    Also, there's a revised version of The Gunslinger? I thought Walter was a servant of Marten (or vice-versa, I can never remember).
  24. JEDI-SOLO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah he did a rewrite of book 1 a few years ago and added some pages. I haven't read it yet.


    I thought Marten and Walter where all the one named Flagg?
  25. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Also, there's a revised version of The Gunslinger? I thought Walter was a servant of Marten (or vice-versa, I can never remember).

    In the original version, that's what it said. In the 2003 rewrite, Walter claims to have actually been Marten, and is later revealed to also be Flagg. (Roland sees and recognizes Marten, who is dressed in his "Walkin' Dude" persona.) There is a Walter seen briefly in Wizard and Glass, but he is not explicitly identified with Marten or Flagg.
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