Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

I’ve finally finished Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (not including the graphic novels). I think I read the first book, The Gunslinger when I was thirteen, maybe fourteen. Let’s just say that was a very long time ago. How do I feel now? I don’t know. Happy to know how it ends, definitely. I’m not sure what I think of the ending. To those who have read the book: The horn makes it different, right?

At the end of The Dark Tower (and most of the others in the series) King includes an “Author’s Note”. In it, he asks that readers not send him angry letters; he won’t answer them. I could have been happy if he had just ended after the “Prologue,” but no, he writes something that could make a lot of readers angry. Before what he titles “Coda,” King includes an appeal of sorts, telling the readers they have a choice, they don’t have to read this part. They can enjoy the end as it is. Does he really think people won’t read the last few pages of the book? At least it’s an ending with a little glimmer of hope.

The Dark Tower is a long book. The copy I have is 845 pages. As much as I like this novel, I have the same problem with it that I’ve had with the last three in the series. The beginning starts great, but then it hits a chunk of story that’s too much talking, too much explaining of things that I don’t think matter. Then, when you get to the second half, it moves quickly and the story picks up an amazing flow. I think I might have said this with the last book of his I read, the book could have easily been a hundred pages shorter. Does this ever stop me from reading his books? No. They are exciting stories that I enjoy.

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