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The Dark Tower VII (The Dark Tower #7) by…

The Dark Tower VII (The Dark Tower #7) (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Stephen King, George Guidall (Reader)

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7,345124478 (4.13)218
Title:The Dark Tower VII (The Dark Tower #7)
Authors:Stephen King
Other authors:George Guidall (Reader)
Info:Simon & Schuster Audio (2004), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Tags:audio book

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The Dark Tower by Stephen King (2004)



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Some thoughts on the series... aiming to be spoiler free.

If an author's story is predictable it is foreseeable that the end product could end up being somwhat boring. King is an avid avoider of the predictable. His charactersheroes suffer things I would not have had my character suffer were I the author. Some of his character choices were odd and unexpected as they did not resemble the type of characters that you would usually see setting out on a quest type adventure. But he made it work.

I really liked the first book. While it was written early in his career for me it was the one that best captured the feeling of dread and horror as a background emotion in the story. It acted to introduce us to the main character and one other we would see as part of the group later.

The second book (The Drawing of the Three) was about the creation of the group that we would follow thru the rest of the 7 books. And how they set upon their quest. I wasn't impressed with 2 of the four (Eddie and Susannah) main characters in this book though they grew on me in later books.

The third and fourth were probably my favorites as they move thru a desolate post apocolyptic world and then the main character relates an adventure from his younger gunslinging days that fills most of a book.

The fifth book moves the story along and was fairly well done though some of the pop culture references were a little odd and I am not sure how well they will age.

The last two books really run together as the 6th book has a cliff hanger ending that is resolved early in the 7th book. I felt the author rambled a bit and I didn't care much for his inclusion of himself as a character. Sucess as an author and of his other books probably granted him some leeway in the editing department.

The way it was all ended was unexpected. But after spending a day letting it digest, it fit.

I would recommend to people that enjoy fantasy or Stephen King's other books.

Please note, there was an 8th book published last year that I have yet to read that comes somewhere in the middle. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
On its own, THE DARK TOWER is a train wreck. Much like SONG OF SUSANNAH, it's all over the place, and meta-as-fuck. Because of this, my review of book seven will cover the series as a whole. Say sorry. Say thankee, sai.

I read the first three books (THE GUNSLINGER, THE DRAWING OF THE THREE, and THE WASTE LANDS) when I was thirteen. When WIZARD AND GLASS came out, I read that one, and hated it. I still hate it, even after three reads. In 2003, I reread the first four books in anticipation of the release of the final three, which King announced early that year. Then, when it came out, I read WOLVES OF THE CALLA, and in 2004 I raced through SONG OF SUSANNAH (which I hated only slightly less than WIZARD AND GLASS) and, eventually, the seventh and final book, THE DARK TOWER. Ten years later, King released THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE, I blew through that one and found it a pleasant bit of storytelling. That's the history. Now onto the 2014 reread.

In April, Dan of Dantastic Reviews, posted on Booklikes that he would be rereading the series, one book a month, and asked if anyone wanted to join him. Since it'd been a decade since I finished Roland's quest, I jumped at the chance, hoping that this time I'd enjoy it more. Overall, I did. WOLVES was far better the second time around, as was TOWER, but I actually hated WIZARD AND GLASS even more this go around, and found my feelings hadn't changed whatsoever where SONG OF SUSANNAH was concerned. I also reread THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE between WIZARD AND GLASS and WOLVES OF THE CALLA, as King intended. In the end, I laughed, I cried, I mourned the loss of close friends, and would still recommend the series to anyone who enjoys epic quests, crazy-original monsters, meta-fiction, and amazing world building.

With the Dark Tower series, King does here what King does best: character development. You come to love every member of Roland's ka-tet, and, even when the series starts going down hill at the rate of a cinderblock dropped from the tippy-top of the Empire State Building, you're compelled to continue reading because you have to know how everything character's story ends. In fact, their fates are the best part of the entire series, and the most touching material King has ever written. Come the halfway mark of THE DARK TOWER, the tears begin, and do not let up until the final page. Strangely enough, the last sentence of the final book makes me want to start reading the entire thing all over again, but I won't, at least not for another decade, probably when my daughter's old enough to enjoy reading through it with her old man.

Highlights of the series include: All the fantastic set pieces throughout the series, the battle of Tull, Jakes fall (only because it's so well done), the incomparable originality of THE DRAWING OF THE THREE, the shoot out at Balazar's place, the end of Jack Mort, Shardik's attack, every bit of the mad dash through Lud, Blaine's riddling (even though I'm one of the few who loved that insane train), the end of WIZARD AND GLASS (because, you know, it does finally end, and that's a great feeling, the fact that it's over), the titular part of THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE, the return of Father Donald Callahan (the disgraced priest from the tragic town of `Salem's Lot), the slaughter of the Wolves, the return of Sheemie (the only good part of WIZARD), Roland, Susannah, and Oy's time on Odd Lane, the thing under Castle Discordia, the final fates of Eddie Dean, Jake Chambers, Oy, and Roland, the circle completed.

Low points of the series include: the lackluster ending of THE GUNSLINGER, the insta-love between Eddie and Susannah, WIZARD AND GLASS (the entire book, plus the plagiarism of THE WIZARD OF OZ), the bloated nature of WOLVES OF THE CALLA (seriously, that book could have been at least two hundred pages shorter, but that can be said of all King's book since FIRESTARTER), Stephen King writing himself into the series, 95% of SONG OF SUSANNAH, Walter/Flagg's disappointing death, part one of THE DARK TOWER (which should have been the end of SONG, and I still have no idea why it wasn't), the anti-climactic fate of Mordred, the description of the Crimson King (Santa Claus... fucking really!?), the dickhead move of complaining about how readers don't understand that storytelling should be about the journey and not the destination, and how King basically says he only wrote about what Roland finds inside the dark tower because he didn't want to hear people's shit, and, finally, the fact that the series is over, that Roland's quest is finished... kind of.

Important bits that are missing from the series: Roland and the last of the gunslingers' final fight against Farson's army (my rage boner throbs epically because we get every single boring detail of Susan and Roland's bullshit love story, but King only mentions the fight with the Good Man in a brief flashback in WOLVES), the period of time when Jake becomes a complete and utter badass (he goes from being a scared kid in THE WASTE LANDS to taking on the Wolves as if his spine were made of iron and his sack roughly the size of a bowling ball, the fate of Ted Brautigan (he of HEARTS IN ATLANTIS).

In summation: Yes, there are a lot of craptastic parts about this series, and plenty of unanswered questions, but, other than THE LORD OF THE RINGS, this is the only fantasy series I've ever been able to finish. I've attempted A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, THE WHEEL OF TIME doorstops, Moorcock's Elric Saga, and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (a.k.a The Bible featuring Greek Mythology) and couldn't finish more than two books of each. If nothing else, read the first three books in the Dark Tower series and skip the rest. WIZARD is a complete bore, SONG is incomplete, TOWER is a rushed train wreck, and WOLVES is filled with loads of superfluous information, yet the Dark Tower tale as a whole is a definite five-star read, if for no other reason than my unfaltering love for every character. Some of the best friends I've ever known in life live between the pages of these books, and I miss them already. Say thankya, sai King. ( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
Musta Torni -sarjan viimeinen osa ei ehkä ole sarjan vahvin kirja, ja sen loppu ensimmäisellä kerralla aiheuttaa "mitä juuri luin??" -reaktion. Toisella kerralla tarinaan pääsee paremmin kiinni ja tarinan monet asiat selittyvät. Suosittelen Mustaa tornia kaikille, jotka yleensä eivät lue Stephen Kingiä. Hieman erilaisempaa materiaalia. ( )
  marintala | Dec 7, 2014 |
Why so low a rating compare to the other books in the Dark Tower series?
Well because I was bitterly disappointed by the last 2 chapters. It did not go in the direction I had hoped.
And after devoting so many years to following Roland, my grief at the pointless demise of his companions could not forgive how it all ended. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 30, 2014 |
Why so low a rating compare to the other books in the Dark Tower series?
Well because I was bitterly disappointed by the last 2 chapters. It did not go in the direction I had hoped.
And after devoting so many years to following Roland, my grief at the pointless demise of his companions could not forgive how it all ended. ( )
  Urthwild | Nov 30, 2014 |
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N 1970, when he was 22, Stephen King wrote a sentence he liked: ''The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.'' It's an innocent sentence -- pulpy and suggestive -- but it grew to become a monster. As the first line in the ''Dark Tower'' series, it begins a story King intended to be the longest popular novel in history. With the publication of ''The Dark Tower VII,'' the series has topped the 4,000-page mark and, mercifully, reached its conclusion.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Michael Agger (Oct 17, 2004)
King's "The Dark Tower" is the culmination of a saga that spans 3,000 pages, seven primary volumes, at least 15 ancillary ones and more than three decades of effort on the part of its author.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Not hear? When noise was everywhere! it tolled / Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears / Of all the lost adventurers, my peers -- / How such a one was strong, and such was bold, / And such was fortunate, yet each of old / Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years. // There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met / To view the last of me, a living frame / For one more picture! In a sheet of flame / I saw them and I knew them all. And yet / Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, / And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.' -- Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"
I was born / Six-gun in my hand, / behind a gun/ I'll make my final stand. -- Bad Company
What have I become? / My sweetest friend / Everyone I know / Goes away in the end / You could have it all / My empire of dirt / I will let you down / I will make you hurt. -- Trent Reznor
He who speaks without an attentive ear is mute. Therefore, Constant Reader, this final book in the Dark Tower cycle is dedicated to you. Long days and pleasant nights.
First words
Pere Don Callahan had once been the Catholic priest of a town, 'Salem's Lot had been it's name, that no longer existed on any map.
He was aware that his hands had rolled themselves into fists, but only because he could feel his carefully cared-for nails biting into his palms.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743254562, Paperback)

At one point in this final book of the Dark Tower series, the character Stephen King (added to the plot in Song of Susannah) looks back at the preceding pages and says "when this last book is published, the readers are going to be just wild." And he's not kidding.

After a journey through seven books and over 20 years, King's Constant Readers finally have the conclusion they've been both eagerly awaiting and silently dreading. The tension in the Dark Tower series has built steadily from the beginning and, like in the best of King's novels, explodes into a violent, heart-tugging climax as Roland and his ka-tet finally near their goal. The body count in The Dark Tower is high. The gunslingers come out shooting and face a host of enemies, including low men, mutants, vampires, Roland's hideous quasi-offspring Mordred, and the fearsome Crimson King himself. King pushes the gross-out factor at times--Roland's lesson on tanning (no, not sun tanning) is brutal--but the magic of the series remains strong and readers will feel the pull of the Tower as strongly as ever as the story draws to a close. During this sentimental journey, King ties up loose ends left hanging from the 15 non-series novels and stories that are deeply entwined in the fabric of Mid-World through characters like Randall Flagg (The Stand and others) or Father Callahan ('Salem's Lot). When it finally arrives, the long awaited conclusion will leave King's myriad fans satisfied but wishing there were still more to come.

In King's memoir On Writing, he tells of an old woman who wrote him after reading the early books in the Dark Tower series. She was dying, she said, and didn't expect to see the end of Roland's quest. Could King tell her? Does he reach the Tower? Does he save it? Sadly, King said he did not know himself, that the story was creating itself as it went along. Wherever that woman is now (the clearing at the end of the path, perhaps?), let's hope she has a copy of The Dark Tower. Surely she would agree it's been worth the wait. --Benjamin Reese

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:35 -0400)

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The last in the series wherein Roland Deschain embarks upon his final quest in the search for the Dark Tower.

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