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The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7) by…
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The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7) (original 2004; edition 2006)

by Stephen King

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7,639137445 (4.14)235
Member:sarah.fabulous
Title:The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Pocket Books (2006), Edition: Mass Paperback Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 1072 pages
Collections:Re-reading, Stephen King, Your library, To read, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Dark Tower, gunslinger, western, science fiction, fantasy, post apocalyptic

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The Dark Tower by Stephen King (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
I have read this book twice, but this was the first time I’ve listened to it. And, for some strange reason, I remembered most of the ending completely wrong.

There are a few spoilers are you go along, impossible to avoid unless I leave my review to “I liked it” so read at your own risk.

I have always loved the dark and sinister, but somehow still likable Roland Deschain. Eddie and Jake and Oy are all well-loved as well, and even Susannah grows on me. This book sees the addition of a few characters, and a farewell to many. But it is Roland, ultimately, whose heartbeat thrums in tune with the Tower, and he who drives the story. He is raw, Eastwood-esque, and perfect in his setting. All of King’s characters in this story are perfectly placed… except himself. I have a difficult time getting past how narcissistic it is for King to make himself a central player in this world. However, the story plays out well and the character is important, although insufferable.

I can all but feel the radiation in the air as Susannah and Roland travel through the badlands. Unlike many fantasy authors, King does not wax on poetically about his setting, but his world comes to life anyway in the nuances. The Tower, at last in its final glory, is a breathtaking image in my mind.

It’s far too easy to spend most of this book crying.

King kills off his characters with the cold indifference that George R. R. Martin does, and you want to be angry at him for it, but yet… somehow you know the deaths were inevitable. Your heart breaks for each and every loss – for me, Jake and Oy were the worst of all – and even the first one comes so suddenly it shocks you. For some reason, I had remembered these deaths in a different way and in a different order. I think perhaps my mind was rewriting the story in a way it preferred to remember. They make sense the way they are written, and they are perfectly heartbreaking.

As for the very, very end? The end is perfect.

I have always appreciated the way King writes this series. It is raw, uncompromising. At no point could it be mistaken as pretty or flowery. But it is right. The world has moved on and everything is jagged, emaciated, broken. The perspectives shift seamlessly and the story is as vibrant as J. R. R. Tolkien’s illustrious descriptions. All in all, it’s just a different type of world.

As for the narration, I do like this narrator. The Dark Tower series as a whole has two different narrators, and they are both excellent. Guidall does Roland better, or so I think. There is more of a drawl to him that fits the character. The three books narrated by Frank Muller are fine as well, so don’t let the switch in narrators drive you away from the series.

Now that I’ve finished this series for the third time all the way through, and with the film coming out in July, I still find myself disappointed it is over. It’s a gritty, ruthless tale, but it’s definitely re-readable. For myself, I think the writing in the Dark Tower series is much stronger than his fantasy books, although nobody can claim that King isn’t a prolific writer.

All in all, the first book in the series is one of my desert island books, but to truly appreciate Roland Deschain and his ka-tet, you must read all seven. They are long, but absolutely worth the time to go on the adventure.
  Morteana | Mar 22, 2017 |
I was determined to finish this series before the film is released and I did. It's a chunkster but I enjoyed the conclusion though there were a few shocks along the way. I thought the end worked because as Star Trek The Final Frontier found out, if you search for God (or the Dark Tower), you can't actually find it without losing your audience. So I didn't expect a big reveal at the end. I enjoyed the Dark Tower series but I didn't fall in love with it. Glad I have read it but it won't be a favourite. ( )
  infjsarah | Feb 23, 2017 |
Disappointing. The story dragged on and on. Stephen King then said he was done with the tale, but said that his readers wouldn't appreciate that ending, so then included an ending "for his readers." A good author doesn't need to explain or defend his endings, and he should have ended it how he wanted, but I think he actually wanted to include the ending, and his ego caused him to excuse his ending making him feel more clever than he was. ( )
  flyboysgu | Jan 13, 2017 |
I don't know that, having finally finished all 5000 pages or so of the Dark Tower series, I really am impressed as much as I think I maybe should be.

An odd statement, no?

I definitely liked this series. At times more, at times less. Coming to the end after several months of reading, on-again-off-again, the conclusion seems both appropriate... and disappointing. I do feel like I've missed out on some key insight, some key "Ah-ha!" I was supposed to get, given all I've heard about this series over the years.

And yet I am impressed. I did like it. There is a certain kind of satisfaction in the incompleteness of the ending, the... dare I say it... fallback... to the infinite regress. Perhaps. After all, the first book, written, what 35 years earlier, did start abruptly. You just dropped into the story.

I don't know, the more I think about it, the more tied together it all does in fact feel.

And yet... :)

I wish I could give this 4.5 stars. But I think, perhaps for a change, I will round up. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Well, thank Bog that's over.

I'll tell you what: for a while there, I was going to let that sentence be my whole review. The Dark Tower, also known as last 1050 pages of the enormous Dark Tower saga was pretty rough going for me. Mostly in terms of sheer annoyance.

Unlike most of the series' true fans and Constant Readers -- and I know a lot of them, online and in meatspace -- I never really bonded with the characters, mostly because, as I've complained of in all of my other posts about these books, these characters never really came to life for me.* Oh, they came close, every single one of them. But it always seemed like just as soon as they were doing so, the author yanked hard on their puppet strings and made them dance to his tune instead of their own. I've come to expect that from King, but after watching him do that for hundreds and thousands of pages, to the same five main characters and a host of secondaries, I'm punchy and exhausted and annoyed as hell and want to punch the man in the crotch.

But then there's the ending. And let me tell you this: I dug the ending. Oh, not the wish fulfillment happy ending in Central Park, but what we learn in the coda. Seriously: after wading through all the muck of these last several books, that was really the only ending that would have earned my respect. It brought this from two stars up to three, that coda. Well done, Mr. King. I might even call you Sai King. Just this once.

*So no, I didn't cry or anything when anybody died. In large part this is probably because not a single death in this book is a surprise (well, except for one, and that one, that was just cheap. Hundreds of thousands of pages of shit-eating grins and traps and henchmen attacks and BOOM, a brand new player pulled off the bench in the last book gits him? UGH). I've complained of my ribs being sore from all the digging references to other elements of pop culture (Harry Potter. UGH); now my head is sore from its having been beaten over the head in advance of every death. Kate. Yeah. Hey, Kate. Kate. So and so is going to die. Are you read for so and so to die, Kate? Because so and so is gonna die. And it's really going to be tragic. And it's going to make you sad. Hey, Kate, do you get it yet? So and so is gonna die. STOP STOP STOP. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
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.
 

» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergner, WulfÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:51 -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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