The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) The Gunslinger discussion


1183 views
Should I read Dark Tower? Why?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 88 (88 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Jason I love Stephen King but I am having a hard time reading the first Dark Tower... perhaps I should get his "updated" version (better writing?)
It sounds like it is really worth reading the series but the first one is...


Richard the first one is dull. i read it when it first came out and only finished it as i was a king completist. when part 2 came out it was much better, much more old school barrell along andvent and part 3 is peerless for balls to the wall exhilleration........then part 4 happens

some of the books are worth reading and if you get past book one you may as well read it, if you like king you'll enjoy playing Spot The Reference as pretty much every book he has ever read gets a mention

it'd be kinda wise to break them up though -

read 1 - 3
then read Insomnia, Long Men in Yellow Coates and the excerable Black House as they feature in the Tower storyline pretty heavily
then part 4
it's your call if you read part 4.5 - The Wing Through the Keyhole
then chew the last three up just to get the bugger finished


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Read it or don't read it. Life's too short to spend on books that aren't making you happy. There are literally billions of novels you could be reading if you don't like The Gunslinger. For me, I loved it. The first two books are stellar.


Gianluca I personally loved the first book, but it's definitely the slowest one in the series. The others are much better, in my opinion. Though, I think that The Gunslinger is a great introduction to the story.
Please note that Stephen King wrote this when he was really young, and his writing style changes considerably with every book, each written years after the previous one.
I really think it's worth reading.


Matt I think the first one is great. The original is much better than the "updated" version. The series goes to crap after the 4th book though.


Steve Ignore the haters. Each book has its strengths and weaknesses (personally I like Book 3 the least). The Wind Through The Keyhole is a mild diversion, read it last. But, yeah, if The Gunslinger is a hard slog, try Drawing of The Three. King offers a handy synopsis at the start.


Ayesha Jason wrote: "I love Stephen King but I am having a hard time reading the first Dark Tower... perhaps I should get his "updated" version (better writing?)
It sounds like it is really worth reading the series but..."


I had almost given up on DT when someone suggested I skip to the Drawing of the Three. I've since read everybook in the series as well as most of the related books.
I'd highly suggest skipping to DOTT rather than lemming the whole series.

As far as the revised version of the Gunslinger, I completely agree with Matt; the original is better. If you're hoping for better writing, don't bother: Mr King added a few passages, clarified a few muddled sentences, but the majority of the book is completely unchanged.


message 8: by Bud (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bud Cobb I enjoyed Gunslinger, it was more of a grind-along pace to set up characters and plot. I enjoyed the scenes in the town very much, can't wait to see how it is translated to the screen. I began Drawing of the Three and was very intrigued by it but I put it down due to other commitments distractions. Once I finish the Game of Thrones series I am going to go on a KING reading binge


Chris This is my favourite series, period. I've read all seven books twice now, and the first four, twice that.

I hear a lot of grumbling about the way the series changed after this book or that book, and especially in the last 3 (not counting book 4.5 TWTTK) For me, the story has carried me through each. The characters resonate with me more deeply than with most books I've read, "even" with book I. (I can concur with the above though, that the rewrite of the first book doesn't add too much.)

The "action" really gets going in book 2 - no mistake, but the first book really gives the reader a solid foot in the Gunslinger's world, and has some scenes in it that rank among the best in the series (e.g. The Battle of Tull).

(and I liked the ending, too.)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Jason wrote: "I love Stephen King but I am having a hard time reading the first Dark Tower... perhaps I should get his "updated" version (better writing?)
It sounds like it is really worth reading the series but..."


The updated verson is a lot better. its a smooth read. With respect to the king, the earlier edition is more amaturist. King himself acknowleges it.


message 11: by Leona (new)

Leona I'm a huge Stephen King fan but I just couldn't get into this book. I didn't know there was an updated version - maybe I'll try that one and see how I make out.


Andreana Keep reading!!!!! This is just the set up for a phenomenal series. You will not regret it.


Sarah Yes you should so read it :) It's really good to get you started on the series and I think you need to read it to get some parts later on in the series. It gets alot better as you go on through the books. Hope this was a help ^^


message 14: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Maybe it's just me, but the updated version of The Gunslinger was like George Lucas adding CGI to Star Wars. I liked the "rough-around-the-edges" quality of the original book. He didn't know the rules of his world at the time he wrote it and to me it made the world more mysterious. Also, I didn't much care for the last three books and he changed the first to bring it in line with the ending books so...


Vicki G Spoiler Alert: Don't go past this sentence if you don't want to spoil your reading experience.

If it were me, and I knew I was going to waste time reading 6 books, most of which were HUGE, and then get to the seventh and be told off in the Author's Afterward - AFTER his making a joke that was neither a joke nor funny - I could have saved myself all those words on a different book. Like War & Remembrance. Or Citizen Kane. Or Gone with the Wind. Anything's better than wasting your time going through an entire series of books and arriving at the destination being greeted by a monster and then eaten alive for a reason you didn't understand then and still DON'T.
And to make it come full circle, so that it ends the exact same way it began...well I'm sorry to sound judgmental about it, but I don't understand the point of it, especially in THIS book.
Why would someone devote almost half a million words to a project and then have it end the same as it began?
I'm really asking, not just being sarcastic. It seemed like a let-down in this case. I suppose there are scenarios that could work in but this one IMHO (and not a professional viewpoint either) doesn't work to start where it ends and end where it starts.
I may be missing some subtle piece of the literary puzzle. Misery was wonderful and, if he could do that then, I suppose he can still do it now.
My reason for saying no is personal. I don't believe I can tell someone else "Don't read it." The first 6 were okay. It's just that the seventh was a letdown. IMO.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Vicki wrote: "Spoiler Alert: Don't go past this sentence if you don't want to spoil your reading experience.

If it were me, and I knew I was going to waste time reading 6 books, most of which were HUGE, and the..."


The simplest answer is that all stories are cyclical, like The Hero's Journey.



The long answer is that King is smart enough to know that after writing a singular (but branching) story over 30 years, readers will be disappointed by any ending he concocts. Nobody likes endings. The beginnings are always filled with hope (for a good story) but an ending is a death. This is why stories are often cyclical, as to represent the cycle of life and death. Since King is smart enough to know how basic stories function (eg Danse Macabre) he structured The Dark Tower as an Ouroboros:



Which is to say that the story folds upon itself. This shouldn't have been a surprise considering that King himself folds into the story.

The Dark Tower, as a series, is already heavily obsessed with the idea of other stories being folded in. We have the Oz stuff, Clint Eastwood, Dying Earth stories, Harry Potter, Doombots, Seven Samurai, and even his own fictions (eg. Father Callahan).

In the logic of King's oeuvre, in which all things are cyclical (The Cycle of the Werewolf, IT, Dreamcatcher, Insomnia, etc), there is literally no other ending the Dark Tower could have had.

I wasn't disappointed with the ending because you're not reading the series for the ending; you're reading the series for the journey. While that sounds pithy and aphoristic, there's a greater truth hidden in that didactic simple thing.

A person's death doesn't define who they are as a person. It's what that person did in their life. The death is inevitable as all things are finite, but what makes them a person is not just their genes but their actions.

If a person's genes can be King's influences (Lord of the Rings, The Song of Rolande) then a person's actions can be the act of writing the story. This is reflected in King's appearance in the series. Ultimately, King's character has little or no control over the story. In truth, neither did King the writer. Stories have a life of their own, a life of birth, death and rebirth, over and over.

Oral literature is often characterized by its spiral or circular shape to the story. King's style is often compared to oral literature in its conversational looping way. It only makes sense that King would draw on the cyclical nature of stories.

I hope this answers your question and assuages your disappointment.


Meran Wow. Excellent post! ^^

I agree with macgregor.
Yes, the first book is light, but it's history for the series.

I had The Dark Tower recommended to me for years, and pooh-poohed it. Many times. Then I had foot surgery and needed to be bed-bound for several months. So, I bought them all, figuring I'd wade through them, just to see what the fuss was all about.

I got hooked. Hard. The earlier books were lighter on content; it was there, but almost like King himself was not fully invested. Then he was nearly killed. IRL. That changed the author, not surprisingly. He dove deeply into the series and finished it in just a few years, adding another book of stories about midway, recently published. The books also explain his universe: Many of his other books, like Talisman, now make sense. There's a list online of how many books are actually consided "part" of this same universe, and yes, The Stand is one of them.

I highly recommend reading them.

I'm now reading the comics too. It's a more linear telling of the tale of Roland, and mant times, more deeply. Pricey, once they're all done, comparatively, but worth it too.


Craig Nickerson You should definately read it. It is still fairly hot property and when an HBO series or franchise of movies are FINALLY produced and become all the rage you will be ahead of the game. It is important to stay current. If this means rocking out to One Direction while reading 50 Shades of Gray then so be it.
Seriously it is a good series, while I really liked the first one it is atypical and the rest read more like...Stephen King novels. I've made it up to the fifth book so far and plan on finishing the rest at some point.


message 19: by Derek (last edited Sep 12, 2012 06:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Derek Sorry macgregor, but I have to go with Vicki on this one. I have been a longtime King fan, and read the first three Tower books as they came out, and then lost interest after waste lands.

Last year, I went through the series again, and enjoyed it a lot more, loved it even. Until I got to the Coda in the last book. For those who haven't made it through yet, King even tells you that you can walk away and be satisfied without reading it. And he's right. The Coda completely ruins the entire series, the point of the series, the pain that the characters go through, the sacrifices made, etc. Cyclical or not, Wheel of Ka or not, that ending SUCKED. Sorry, but nothing is going to assuage that level of disappointment, short of someone going back in time and telling me to take King's advice. So take my advice, and don't read the Coda in the last book. It will make for a much more satisfying ending.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Derek wrote: "Sorry macgregor, but I have to go with Vicki on this one. I have been a longtime King fan, and read the first three Tower books as they came out, and then lost interest after waste lands.

Last ye..."


OH I totally forgot about the Wheel of Ka and the fact that the world itself is round (Beams, etc). That totally strengthens my argument. Thanks for that.


message 21: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden Add my voice to the "Great series, horrid ending" chorus. I started the series when the first book hit trade paperback in '89, and that ending was a huge "F*** you!!!" to those of us patient enough to gut it out to the end.

Do the math on that one... book 7 came out in '04: that's 15 years for 7 books that were barely big enough to fill up a week of my time (I don't know what "huge" is to that one reader: none of the books were in The Stand territory page-count-wise). To add insult to injury, the middle finger that was book 7 was a birthday present... yeah, Happy Birthday, your (no longer) favorite author hates you.

Anyone trying to justify that s*** ending may as well just stop now: it's a waste of time defending that insult. It was intended as one, clear as day.

To answer the OP: no, go read a better fantasy series instead. If you want the tortured anti-hero route, go find Moorcock's Elric novels instead. At least THAT ending made sense.


message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 12, 2012 08:32AM) (new)

Bill wrote: "Add my voice to the "Great series, horrid ending" chorus. I started the series when the first book hit trade paperback in '89, and that ending was a huge "F*** you!!!" to those of us patient enough..."

So you think that Stephen King knew that you were getting the last book as a birthday present and he purposefully wanted to make you angry? The ending was devised to irritate? King, after making his millions off his Constant Reader, of whom he has great affection, decides to insult his Constant Reader? To what aim? To what purpose?


Meran The ending was foreshadowed all through. "This turn of the wheel..." See? It happens over and over, differently, sometimes better; everyone gets a chance to live again, fight a better fight, etc. what's wrong with that? No Heaven? A nice angels strumming harps paradise?

Geez. Sorry for the snark, but I'm beginning to see why many authors (and readers) don't like Goodreads.

I came for the discussions, not the recriminations...


message 24: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt I have no problem with the coda. It is perfectly fitting with Roland's character. Roland is a perfect example of a tragic hero. He is ultimately undone by his flaws. Roland's flaw being his obsession with reaching the Tower. His one chance of redemption is his friends and they're right in front of him the entire time. Still, he throws them all away and suffers the pain of their loss for the sake of his quest, and he is damned to repeat this for all eternity (My little pet theory is that the Crimson King is Roland himself, driven insane by having to repeat the quest again and again and again). So, in my opinion the ending works.

The stuff leading up to it however...

So the last couple of books have been developing Mordred as some kind of "ultimate threat" to Roland (He even kills Randall Flagg for chrissakes!) yet what impact does he have on the course of the story? Oh, he kills Oy. I know we all love Oy, but come on. Shouldn't he have a little bit of an impact on the course of Roland's quest? And then there's the ultimate ultimate baddie, the Crimson King himself. When we finally get to him he's nothing but a lunatic who screams and throws Harry Potter bombs at Roland! Then he gets destroyed, not by Roland, but by some weirdo we meet just a hundred pages before who has, get this, MAGIC ERASER POWERS!! Give me a break. Compared to this, the Coda is a work of literary genius.


Steve If you talk about an author who gives his readers the Finger, look at Chuck Pahluniak. Or dont, maybe. :)


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Leona wrote: "I'm a huge Stephen King fan but I just couldn't get into this book. I didn't know there was an updated version - maybe I'll try that one and see how I make out."

Yes. Go with the updated version. Then go with the series you won't regret it.


message 27: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "So you think that Stephen King knew that you were getting the last book as a birthday present and he purposefully wanted to make you angry? The ending was devised to irritate? King, after making his millions off his Constant Reader, of whom he has great affection, decides to insult his Constant Reader? To what aim? To what purpose? "

Yeah, I'm egotistical enough to believe that King wrote that ending solely to irritate me so close to my birthday... that's all I got out of it.

/end sarcasm

As far as the rest... he "retired" after DT 7 was published, with a ton of cash and a bibliography roughly the size of the Library of Congress. On top of that, he expressed his frustration several times with the volume of mail asking/pleading/threatening him to finish the series, for ****'s sake.

It was a clear insult, pure and simple, and no fancy pictures or over-long explanations will make it anything but a big "F*** you!!!" to those of us who stuck it out to the end.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

So your reaction to the ending is somehow mediated by King's personal life? The very fact that he made a copious amount of money mitigates your acceptance or lack thereof of the ending?

I don't think it's an insult, "pure and simple" and certainly to think it's an insult is so amazingly self-centered as to be ludicrous.

I'm not the biggest fan of King anymore, despite reading most of his oeuvre (I blame my teenage self), but I've always found the violent reaction against the ending to be somewhat short-sighted and childish.

It makes me want to defend the ending more, even though textual evidence seems to support my assertions.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Bill wrote: "macgregor wrote: "So you think that Stephen King knew that you were getting the last book as a birthday present and he purposefully wanted to make you angry? The ending was devised to irritate? Kin..."

Fancy pictures? You're adorable.


message 30: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "It makes me want to defend the ending more..."

You can go right ahead and defend it to your heart's content... but you're wrong, and denying that DT7's ending was anything other than a literary middle-finger won't change it.


Chris Bill wrote: "macgregor wrote: "It makes me want to defend the ending more..."

You can go right ahead and defend it to your heart's content... but you're wrong, and denying that DT7's ending was anything other ..."


So if I swear up and down that you're wrong, too - that would be just as valid, right?

The ending was perfect - but I will concede (as above) that the Crimson King was a total letdown.

Mordred, though - makes sense to me, and actually foreshadows the ending (view spoiler)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Bill wrote: "You can go right ahead and defend it to your heart's content... but you're wrong, and denying that DT7's ending was anything other than a literary middle-finger won't change it. "

One of my most repeated phrases on Goodreads is stating an opinion like a fact does not make it a fact.


Orkney Dean It's the start of an addiction,I say read it then read the rest of the series,you will love the characters and the hero wont necessarily be you favourite!


message 34: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "One of my most repeated phrases on Goodreads is stating an opinion like a fact does not make it a fact. "

It is your opinion that the ending is defensible.

It is a fact that it was written as a big middle finger.

I know the difference. Trust me.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, Bill, you've totally convinced me with logic and rhetoric. I'm a changed person. I will give up my totally irrational position and adopt your resolutely dispassionate and ordered demonstration of reason.


message 36: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "Well, Bill, you've totally convinced me with logic and rhetoric. I'm a changed person. I will give up my totally irrational position and adopt your resolutely dispassionate and ordered demonstratio..."

Be snarky all you want... you singled me out.

I stated fact. Period. I may still be pissed that I waited 15 years for what amounted to a big "F*** YOU!!!" from what was once a favorite author, but I'm not alone in stating that fact in this very discussion... you simply picked me to screw around with.

You stated a bunch of fancy conjecture to disprove that fact. Period. Nowhere else is any of that BS written down. Nowhere. That's opinion.

You can keep attacking me over and over again, but I do not back down when I'm right.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, I loved The Gunslinger, and I was so glad that there were a whole 6 books more to read, and I felt that way until Wizard and Glass, at which point the sheer size of the books begins to drag them down, I think. But they're definitely worth reading, if only because there isn't that much fantasy out there that isn't just a repeat of Lord of the Rings. And, by the way, I thought the ending was perfect: I can't think of any other way it could have ended while keeping the integrity and originality of the story.


Chris ... So there you have it Jason - two sets of readers: people that hate the ending, and people that love the ending. If you expect to get total culmination and satisfaction after 7 books and more than 2,000 pages, you will not be happy.

Otherwise - read this. The ending doesn't even matter that much - there are so many freaking cool moments in the adventure (and I will state my opinion that there are many such moments in the last three books as well), that the journey is well worth taking.


Caroline Kim wrote: "I always hear that the first one has to be tolerated to get on to the better material. Try reading the second book before you give up on the series."

Well, maybe I should try again then. I never got through the first one and I'm a huge King fan.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Bill wrote: "I stated fact. Period. I may still be pissed that I waited 15 years for what amounted to a big "F*** YOU!!!" from what was once a favorite author, but I'm not alone in stating that fact in this very discussion... you simply picked me to screw around with."

Serious question, Bill.... Did the ending of the Dark Tower series change your opinion of King's entire corpus? You say that he was once a favorite author. Am I correcting in assuming that it was due to the Dark Tower, or are there more factors involved? Also, did it change your opinion of the man himself? You seem to have implied something along those lines earlier.

Again, serious question.


message 41: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "Bill wrote: "I stated fact. Period. I may still be pissed that I waited 15 years for what amounted to a big "F*** YOU!!!" from what was once a favorite author, but I'm not alone in stating that fac..."

I'll tell you what... I have to get up early for a physics discussion class at 8 AM tomorrow, and a quiz at the end of it. I have a programming lab later on in the morning. I'll answer after I'm done with that, because what you have asked may seem to be a simple question, but it has far from a simple answer.


message 42: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden Here we go...

The Shining was the first serious-length book I ever read. Before then, I read mostly Hardy Boys and some shorter sci-fi novels... nothing much longer than 150 pages. It took a couple of months to finish it, mostly because I couldn't bring it to school with me (they kind of frowned on SK in 6th grade), but when I did finish I needed to find other King novels ASAP.

From that point on, as soon as a new King novel hit the shelves I was all over it within a week of release. Right up until IT, I was convinced that he was the best horror writer on the planet.

IT was, in my opinion, where he started to run off of the rails. That book was, to put it bluntly, a confused mess.

Around that time, other authors started to appear that were much better than King (Clive Barker, Robert R. McCammon, John Skipp and Craig Spector, just to name a few). I stuck with King, however, because for the most part he was consistent and familiar and at least TRIED to scare without the resorting to the obvious gross-out (I'm looking at you, Clive).

My favorite novel to this day is The Stand. I love the epic length, the struggle of good and evil at its most basic level, and I can relate well with Stu Redman because he and I are very much alike.

When The Gunslinger hit the shelves, I jumped on it because it was Stephen King, and because I loved the mash-up of a dying world and a Western that he seemed to have devised. Roland was, to put it bluntly, a bad-ass of the highest caliber.

When the second book followed closely behind, I snatched that up, too. I was into it. I wanted more.

And then... the books came slower and slower. I had to re-read 1-3 when Wizard And Glass came out because I'd completely forgotten what happened at the end of The Wastelands.

At the same time, the non-Tower novels got more slipshod and arcane. What the hell was the point of The Regulators? I barely squeaked through Insomnia (I kept wanting to burn it because the cover kept tripping off migraines). Why does Dreamcatcher exist, and where the hell was the editor when King submitted it, because that book was especially abominable.

I soldiered on, though, because someday, he had to finish the f***ing Tower. Had to .

...so when he finally did finish it, and I read 7 for the first time, I was ecstatic. It was what I was hoping to read...

...right until that f***ing ending. It was like a kick to the balls! When he announced that he was retiring right after book 7 was released, it became clear that he just didn't give a damn about what we thought about the ending, he just wanted it OVER... and that pissed me off more than you can imagine.

Moorcock did a much better job ending Elric's saga (and he was much more black-hearted than Roland ever dreamed of being).

As far as King himself... I don't know. As a person, I have no real opinion of him. As an author... I think he just ran out of "give-a-f***" 25-or-so years ago, and has mostly been coasting on fumes since. I did read Cell and Under The Dome, and while they did seem to have some of the old "I will scare the s*** out of you" attitude, I really felt like I'd read or seen both somewhere before. After DT book 7, though, he's no longer a "go-to" author for me anymore.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Alright, that answers some questions. Here's another more complicated question. What is it exactly about the ending that disappointed you?

That is to say, is that there is nothing in the tower and that Roland's task is essentially Sisyphean? Or is that the Crimson King wasn't as scary as you'd imagined him to be? Why does the ending offend you so much? Because it doesn't satisfy after 20+ years of fiction or because King's ability to end his stories has decreased (if it was ever good in the first place - I think not)?

Or is it because of the sheer accumulation of expectations would inevitably result in disappointment?

The reason why I'm "picking on you" is because I want to understand why somebody could react so violently to a story. Considering, as I've asserted previously, it's totally within the logic of the story.


message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 14, 2012 01:45PM) (new)

I guess part of the problem here is this particular sentence:

I soldiered on, though, because someday, he had to finish the f***ing Tower. Had to .

I mean, really, he didn't have to. He chose to finish the story. He didn't owe anybody anything. He's an artist and he is creating art. Say what you will about pop fiction/horror/whatever, but he is creating art.

There's a dangerous sense of entitlement that has pervaded our consumer culture. We demand so much from artists, as if we were owed them something. Now, the crude economic way of looking at this would say, "well we pay them our hard-earned cash, we expect a certain quality of product."

This would appear, on the surface, to end the debate. But it's not. Art is commodity-based. This is not a new thing. However, our culture is also rejecting commodity-based art to a ridiculous degree. Look no further than the idea of authenticity in music. We're obsessed with getting "authentic-sounding" music (as if this was at all possible). It essentially comes down to subjective perception of the quality of product.

Do the film-makers of Transformers 3 owe you a good story? Do they owe you anything other than a commercial advertising shiny overpriced toys?

Is Stephen King analogous to Transformers 3? Of course he is. He's churning out schlock at an incredible rate, and yet somehow people think they're owed something more than what they've been given. I think pop is art, but that expression is rooted in a fundamental realism about the commodity-based industry of culture (see Adorno).

As a consumer, I am owed nothing, because in our late capitalist system, I have nothing but alternative (but similar) choices. We are not personally owed anything from the culture of industry other than the ability to purchase that very product. It's objective quality is frankly irrelevant.

You can quibble with the quality of the product ("I don't like it") but you can't quibble with the existence of the product. That is to say that it wasn't meant for you but for your money.

This a complicated idea and it's totally antithetical to the current cultural discourse, but it's the truth. King didn't HAVE TO finish the Dark Tower. He could have left it without an ending (which he kind of did already) and you still have no right to complain.


message 45: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "I guess part of the problem here is this particular sentence:

I soldiered on, though, because someday, he had to finish the f***ing Tower. Had to.

I mean, really, he didn't have to."


Oh, but he most certainly did need to finish it.

Imagine, if you will, that you are sitting at a campfire, listening to someone tell a very spooky story... when, suddenly, he gets up and walks away from the fire without finishing it. He steadfastly refuses to tell you the end of the story, no matter how nicely (or nastily) you ask (threaten).

The storyteller has just broken an implicit contract with his audience to finish his story. He took up valuable time (time you might have spent doing other things, such as sleeping) to start that story, and now he refuses to honor that contract with you and the others at that fire. I doubt you would remain friends with him after that, and I'm sure most(if not all) of the people at that fire would either.

In the same sense, King forged a similar contract when he published The Gunslinger. He could have chosen to let it sit in his "trunk" for eternity, never seeing the light of day, gathering dust. By sharing it with his audience, he implicitly said "I will finish this story!" By breaking such a contract, King would have lost sales and fans by a much larger degree than he did by publishing that awful ending.


message 46: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 14, 2012 08:59PM) (new)

Bill wrote: "By breaking such a contract, King would have lost sales and fans by a much larger degree than he did by publishing that awful ending."

So then, by your very own logic, you should be happy you received an ending. The objective quality of the ending is irrelevant in your own argument. The very fact that you received that ending fulfilled the contract that you perceived.


message 47: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Golden macgregor wrote: "Bill wrote: "By breaking such a contract, King would have lost sales and fans by a much larger degree than he did by publishing that awful ending."

So then, by your very own logic, you should be h..."


Basically, what you're saying is that I have no right to object to an insult... which patently isn't true.


message 48: by Roger (new) - added it

Roger Lawrence Provided you (the reader) understand that King obviously has no idea where these, as many of his novels, are going, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Christine is a case in point. If the car was possessed when it came off the production line, wouldn't the incumbent possessor have been a little miffed when Lebay suddenly took over? Enjoy them for what they are, a good story teller enjoying himself.


Jessica I think the Dark Tower series is an absolute must to read for any fan of Stephen King. To me the series reflects what King's writing style is all about, great in-depth stories which feature brilliantly written characters, and a real blend of various themes. I never tired at all reading the series, and could definitely appreciate the way in which King developed his skill as a writer over the amount of time that the series was published. Absolutely brilliant writing.


message 50: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 15, 2012 06:36AM) (new)

Bill wrote: "Basically, what you're saying is that I have no right to object to an insult... which patently isn't true. "

No, what I'm saying is that your sense of entitlement and childishness is stopping you from seeing that the ending of the Dark Tower works within the logic of the story and that the ending isn't an insult which you can't demonstrate is true.


« previous 1
back to top