Monday, October 10, 2005

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed

I have finally finished reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

Usually, finishing a novel wouldn't be a big deal. Nothing to blog about. However, this series of books has played a big role in my life. I read the first book, The Gunslinger, when I was in grade 8...I think that was 1991. My 11 year old mind probably barely understood it, but I remember it had an effect on me. The surreal world that King had started to create lodged itself in my mind and wouldn't leave. It still hasn't.

The first 3 books in the series were the first books I ever read more than once, when I reread all of them before reading the fourth book. When the revised edition of The Gunslinger was released, I rereread all of them again for the 3rd time. In between, I read all of the books which relate to the Dark Tower series, which is just about every other Stephen King book ever published. I have spent more time in this fictional world (or series of worlds, more accurately) than any other.

The seventh and final book took me many months to read. It's not that it was a bad book, or that I wasn't motivated to continue reading. I think I just wanted to prolong the experience, knowing that after I finished that book, the story was over. No more Dark Tower.

Now that it is over, I am conflicted over how to feel about it. King himself says that it's really about the journey, not the ending. Without giving anything away, the ending of The Dark Tower seems to embody this philosophy somewhat. It doesn't tie everything together or do a big reveal. What it does do is manage to feel like it makes sense, even if it doesn't when you think about it rationally. Not entirely.

In that sense, it is satisfying on an emotional level. And overall, the 14 years I have spent reading these books (off and on) have been very satisfying. Goodbye, Dark Tower series. It's been fun.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Not a single comment for so long. Well I'm glad you enjoyed it and the ending -was- a bit patchy. Nice to see other people loving the book.

Phronk said...

Haha, thank you for the comment. Better late than never. :)