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The Dark Tower by Stephen King
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's review
Mar 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: audio-books
Read from May 04, 2014 to September 01, 2015 , read count: 3

I come to this review both sad and satisfied. I have so much to say about this book - this series - but not nearly enough words to say it. This is by far the longest epic saga I've ever read. Well, not by far. I guess the Academy series by Jack McDevitt was six books. But King is known for his tomes. This seven-book series is more like ten in terms of the thickness of the volumes.

Anyway, it was good. It was great, even. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will definitely be revisiting it in the future. I have each of these seven books in ebook format as well, and would love to read them by word for my next endeavor. Though the journey has been made exceptional by the voices of George Guidall and Frank Muller. I also decided not to engage The Wind Through the Keyhole in audiobook format, for I don't think Stephen King's voice would do the story much justice. I will be reading it by word though.

So, down to The Dark Tower. This book was better than Song of Susannah, I think. But I do have some serious complaints. If you're going to write yourself into the story, making yourself a character in your own book, need you talk to the audience throughout? I mean, it seems to me that Stephen King writing himself as a character in the story is already breaking some rule of storytelling. But also backing up and saying, "Our characters have now journeyed here and there, so let's take a look at Susannah again..." and other such nonsense is just absolutely against the law. Hell, King himself even says not to do that in his book On Writing - which was written before this one! Don't ever talk to me! When you, Stephen King, talk to me during the telling of the story, it forces me out of the story. It reminds me I'm listening to your tale instead of being involved in it.

Aside from that, the story itself was good. Obviously, King didn't know how to end it - though he did a better job than usual. At the end he sort of attacks the readers saying we don't know when to quit, and that we're going to bitch about the end, and boo hoo hoo... I lost a lot of respect for him as a writer at that point. One one hand, he's really in touch with his readers, and this is proof he reads some of our letters. But on the other, I think he should just write the stories and not worry whether we're happy with the end or not. After all, people have made him rich beyond belief on half-baked endings for many years.

He then goes on to give us the option of stopping there. He says, "You can stop here and be satisfied. Be happy with the last image I just gave you. But if you insist on carrying on, you will probably be unhappy." Whatever. And then the actual ending?

I loved it. (view spoiler)

I hated it. (view spoiler)

Sigh. So yes, I really did love it, and I really did hate it. And I really did love the series. I will be re-reading it again in the future. And listening again. Probably many times. So that speaks volumes for it. Let's break it down:

Writing: 4
Storyline: 2.5
Storytelling: 3
Total Score: 3
Performance: 4
Series Rating: 4

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Reading Progress

10.0% "Off to a good start. Initial impressions: seems like it's going to be better than Song of Susannah. And we're rid of that annoying Mia. I'm not terribly excited about the story of Mordred, but the book is moving along nicely."
56.0% "Disappointing. Let-down. Don't like this "Stephen King" character."

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