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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. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    BTW, can anyone explain, without spoiling too much of the story, why the last three books seem to be such a letdown to so many people? I've finished the first four, and once I'm done with 'Salem's Lot, I right back into the series, starting with Wolves of the Calla.
     
  2. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 18, 2002
    Huh.

    I'll try to be as vague as possible.

    I like Wolves of the Calla, but quite frankly, not a whole lot of epicness happens. It's a fairly self-contained story, and a good one, and I think part of the problem was that Wizard and Glass mostly dealt with the past and Wolves doesn't really advance the plot either.

    Song of Susannah is my least favorite of the 7 novels.

    For Song and The Dark Tower, Books 6 & 7, the story gets increasingly weird and gets to the point of metafiction. I'll leave it at that. It definitely starts to stray from the relatively "traditional" fantasy written in Books I-V.

    And of course the ending to the series, many people didn't like. Everyone's got their own way to finish it, I suppose. I'm sure we'll see the same thing happen with The Wheel of Time. I thought the ending was fine.

    There is one part in The Dark Tower that is a letdown, and we'll discuss it after you've read it. :p
     
  3. Sniper_Wolf

    Sniper_Wolf Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Nov 26, 2002
    Thematically the final three are quite different than the first four. It should be noted the final three were written at the same time, and all three were released within a year. I disagree on King saying the series is a single long novel cut into seven pieces, but Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susanna, and The Dark Tower are very much a single long book.

    As G_M said, the metafictional aspect is much higher in the conclusion. In essence, the traveling through different worlds is explored in far greater detail. Some people disliked this, some people enjoyed it (me). The response to the end of the series is a literary Rorschach test. You'll have to read it yourself.

    Personally, I consider the first three DT novels to be amongst my favorite pop fiction novels, if not my favorite. The final three, while weaker, are enjoyable. I am in the minority that did not like Wizard and Glass. Susan, gag :oops:.
     
  4. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 23, 2003
    I loved all seven books, but I consider The Gunslinger (even the new version) to be quite a bit weaker then the others. Book 6 and 7 is pretty much one book split into two parts (what is obviously the climax of 6 is strangely the first 150 pages of 7), but book 5 is just as much its own book as the previous 4.

    My list from best to worst: 7,5,4,2,6,3,1


     
  5. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    The original Gunslinger is a bit weaker than the others, if only because the major elements (Eddie, Susannah, flipping between worlds) haven't come into the story yet. For me (and I'm sure King would approve of the analogy), it was rather like reading the first two Harry Potter books, which give us Harry and Voldemort but haven't yet introduced other recurring characters like Sirius and Wormtail.
     
  6. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 23, 2003
    "For me (and I'm sure King would approve of the analogy), it was rather like reading the first two Harry Potter books..."

    [face_laugh]
     
  7. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    "For me (and I'm sure King would approve of the analogy), it was rather like reading the first two Harry Potter books..."


    What, you take issue with that? This is a man who included "Golden Sneetches" in the fifth Dark Tower book, and actually writes review of Rowling's books for Entertainment Weekly.
     
  8. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 23, 2003
  9. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    "Sneetches, Harry Potter model."

     
  10. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 23, 2003
    I laughed so hard when I read that in the book, what other models are there? Voldemort XII?
     
  11. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    I laughed so hard when I read that in the book, what other models are there? Voldemort XII?

    Well clearly there's a Luke Skywalker model and a C-3PO (or just generic Protocol Droid) model, and whole Stan Lee Special series.
     
  12. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    Ugh, once again I've killed a thread.
     
  13. Darksama

    Darksama Jedi Knight star 1

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    Dec 16, 2007
    For those who want to see more of Roland and his original Ka-tet for the last 2 years Marvel has been published a handful of mini series detailing Roland's adventures from the time he became a gunslinger to the Battle of Jericho Hill were he was the only survivor of his group. Besides the current mini series all the others have been collected into various volumes and should be easily found in any bookstore.
     
  14. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    Yes, I've read The Gunslinger Born, which is essentially adapted from Wizard and Glass, and found it to be quite good. I've collected The Long Road Home, but haven't read it yet. I'll probably save that till after I finish the books, which I'm close to doing, I've just started book 7.
     
  15. Obi-Ewan

    Obi-Ewan Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 24, 2000
    Okay, in an attempt to reinvigorate this thread, but hopefully without spoiling too much:

    I'm reading the final book, The Dark Tower. I'll just say that so far, I am a little disappointed with the way they've handled Randall Flagg. Given that we learn more about his own personal history, and what we've learned about his history with Roland (under the guises of Marten and Walter), it seemes that everything was pointing towards a confrontation between these two.

    That being said, I have rather enjoyed the rest of the developments in the last three books. Being a fan of both The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, I liked seeing King do his take on them in Wolves of the Calla. And the introduction of Stephen King as a character didn't come across as badly as it could have. They meet him well before he has written the current book, so while he is obviously important to getting the story told, it's not as though the events are completely slaves to his will. Events are still playing out beyond simply how he wants it written.
     
  16. Man-In-Black

    Man-In-Black Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 11, 2010
    First post on these boards in forever, and under a new Alias, MIB as a reference to DT as well as Lost.

    Im just part way through Drawing of Three, I loved the Eddie part. It has to be one of the best I have ever read. Part two however Im not liking and have put it down for a week or so.

    I like the general spoilers, I know how it ends, and the basic story of each book. I like it that way for some reason. As I read I can tell his influence from Tolkien. I can also see J.J. Abrams influence from King and these books.

    If you aren't already a fan, buy Lost and get watching! Dark Tower is a HUGE influence and you can see it. I believe in the first few posts someone asked about a film adaptation. King sold the rights to the Co-Creators of Lost for $19. He said The Dark Tower can't be made into film, but these guys can do it.

    I was talking about the idea with a friend and we agreed an HBO Mini series would be the best, episodes being 90 minutes, and a grand total of 19. I would only want the series if they remained true to it though. Thought?
     
  17. Asharak

    Asharak Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 23, 2003
    "so while he is obviously important to getting the story told, it's not as though the events are completely slaves to his will."


    Its been one and a half years since I read book 7, but doesn?t King admit to Roland that he doesn?t really control the story he writes(though he has some power to influence it), but rather Gan himself writes it through him? To be honest, when I read it I mostly focused on the fact that King, just like "The Rose", was the heart of a beam, and him writing about the heroes was a consequence of that rather than him actually controlling them. I definitely thought a lot about it at the time, but it?s written a bit vague. I definitely think the heroes had free will though.

    I must admit that I?m one of those that think the last three books are as good as any of the first four (DT7 being the best). I see the flaws (Randal Flagg?s resolution), but the good outweighs the bad by a mile.
     
  18. Cindrollic

    Cindrollic Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    May 6, 2007
    I'm only halfway through The Waste Lands, after finishing The Drawing Of The Three, so I'll give my best review without spoiling them.

    The Gunslinger is currently tied with On Writing as my favorite King book. It was the first book (besides the writing book, which is truly a book every aspiring and published writer should own, in my opinion) of his I'd read. Also, it was my first fantasy book. To me, it is a truly great novel. And I'm considering getting the new re-print of it (I read my dad's old copy from when it was first released), simply for the "Extended" material.

    The Drawing Of The Three is a book I finished very recently in fact. Literally I finished Drawing, put it on the shelf, then started reading Waste Lands. And while (to me) not quite as good as The Gunslinger. But it was still a great read. It took directions I never would have guessed, and the characters of Eddie and Susannah only improved the story.

    I wish I could give a better critique over these, but so far, this series hasn't failed for me. But of course, I'm only on book three . . .

     
  19. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 18, 2002
    The "battle" with the Crimson King was the lamest thing of all time, after the references to him not only in TDT series, but in Insomnia, etc.

    The actual ending I liked and thought it fitting.

    The overall "metanarrative", especially in DT6 & DT7, worked well - it was clear King was making his way there throughout the series, but his meeting Our Heroes was well done.

    He's not the first author I've read (Dan Simmons is another) that has touched on this idea that, because of the infinite parallel universes theory, all fictional characters are actually living beings in another parallel Earth, and authors are slightly crazy and somehow "tap into" these other worlds.
     
  20. Man-In-Black

    Man-In-Black Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 11, 2010
    I just finished The Drawing of the Three. The last part was probably my favorite of all books I've read. I loved it, I agree it hasn't advanced too much, but its done a great job introducing us to his ka-tet.

    I loved the final conversation at the end between Roland and Eddie. I catched on the reference to the ultimate end.
     
  21. TheGDBatman

    TheGDBatman Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2010
    I've started this in the weirdest way possible.

    The comic series Book 1+2, DT 1, CB 3+4, then I'll probably read DT 2 whilst waiting to pick up CB 5+6.
    Actually, it doesn't read so bad that way. ;)
     
  22. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Sounds good.
     
  23. DRHJ9

    DRHJ9 Jedi Master star 4

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    May 19, 2003
    That isn't a bad way to read the story...

    But, I liked the change of pace, and I liked not knowing the events of his past before reading book 4.
     
  24. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Book 4 was just straight up Epic! The best one out of the seven to me.
     
  25. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 18, 2002
    Waste Lands and Wizard & Glass are probably tied for me.

    I'd go: III, IV, II, I, VII, V, VI
     
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