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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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7,499133460 (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 125 (next | show all)
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 |
I struggled with whether this deserved four or five stars or not. The ending is bittersweet – after all, isn’t it about the ending since the journey is over? – so why not mention it upfront? The series is one epic, long, torturous journey. Rarely have I read a quest type novel, and this is certainly the longest series I’ve experienced. No matter how complicated King incorporated a blend of genres, (fantasy, science fiction, mystery, even a small amount of romance), it still remains ultimately a seek and find quest.

As said, the ending is bittersweet and makes one a bit angry but it also makes sense. I think there is definite hope when the horn is raised next. Being careful not to leak spoilers here, hopefully those who’ve read the books know what I’m talking about.

I didn’t expect all hearts and roses – it’s King, for one thing, and the man has the tendency to hammer brutality into his words. This isn’t a happy ever after story and was never promised or meant to be one, but damn, depressing stuff. I cry at the drop of a hat when it comes to books anyway, and this one made me positively weep.

Characters got to shine to finish off the tale. Mordred fascinated me, although I could have done without the stomach issues (ew). He’s a villain who stands out as tragic, truly evil, and twisted. Despite gripping villains, showdown scenes kind of sucked. Randall Flagg is especially a letdown. Also King is back into the books, literally, and it feels a little off this time. Maybe part of this is a catharsis from the accident and finishing the series so quickly as a result.

King saturates the pages with grim tones and shattering loss. The price of reward is expensive. The ending, as I’ve said, actually makes sense and is an ironic filled touch. I don’t like the very end wrap up for some of the characters though as it feels unreal and forced.
When the journey ends Roland is a changed man, nothing else would make sense. If he has changed enough is an answer up to the reader.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
The end of it! a surprise!
The series is my preferred work from S King. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
The Dark Tower series coming to a close is both a relief and depressing. The entire arc of the series jumps around in such haphazard fashion that I never really got connected with the quest to the Dark Tower. During this book, I actually felt the excitement return that was lost in the previous books, due to the fact it was more plot driven and coming to a close. I really liked the end, as it is was a reminder that it is all about the journey and not the destination. What I am going to miss are the characters. Stephen King does a great job of making unique, but believable characters that you both love and adore. Mainly due to the characters, amazing prose, the sporadic weirdness, and the incredible attention to detail, I really enjoyed this series. ( )
  renbedell | Mar 11, 2016 |
Beginning where book six left off, Jake Chambers and Father Callahan battle the evil infestation within the Dixie Pig, a vampire lounge in New York City featuring roasted human flesh and doors to other worlds; Callahan sacrifices himself so Jake can survive. In the other world, in Fedic, Mia, her body now physically separated from Susannah Dean, gives birth to Mordred Deschain, the biological son of Roland Deschain and Susannah. The Crimson King is also a "co-father" of this prophetic child, so it is not surprising when "baby" Mordred's first act is to shapeshift into a spider-creature and feast on his birth-mother. Susannah grabs a gun, wounds but fails to kill Mordred, eliminates other agents of the Crimson King, and escapes to meet up with Jake. Aging at an accelerated rate, Mordred later stalks Roland and the other gunslingers throughout this adventure, shifting from human to spider as the need arises, seething with an instinctive rage toward Roland, his "white daddy".

In Maine, Roland and Eddie recruit John Cullum, and then make their way back to Fedic, where the ka-tet is now reunited. Walter (alias Randall Flagg) has dreams of grandeur in which he plans to slay Mordred and use the birthmark on Mordred's heel to gain access to the Tower, but he is easily slain by the infant when Mordred sees through his lies.

Roland and his ka-tet travel to Thunderclap, then to the nearby Devar-Toi, to stop a group of psychics known as Breakers who use their telepathic abilities to break away at the beams that support the Tower. Ted Brautigan and Dinky Earnshaw assist the gunslingers with information and weapons, and reunite Roland with his old friend Sheemie Ruiz from Mejis. The Gunslingers free the Breakers from their captors, but Eddie is mortally wounded in the battle and dies a short while later. Roland and Jake pause to mourn and then jump to Maine of 1999 along with Oy in order to save the life of Stephen King (who is a secondary character in the book). The ka-tet come to believe that the success of their quest depends on King's surviving to write about it through the story.

Jake pushes King out of the way of a speeding van, but is killed in the process. Roland, heartbroken with the loss of the person he considers his true son, buries Jake and returns to Susannah in Fedic with Oy, where they depart and travel for weeks across freezing badlands toward the Tower.

On the way they find Patrick Danville, a young man imprisoned by a someone who calls himself Joe Collins but is really a psychic vampire named Dandelo. Roland and Susannah are alerted to the danger by Stephen King, who drops clues directly into the book, enabling them to defeat the vampire. Patrick is freed and soon his special talent becomes evident: his drawings and paintings have the strange tendency to become reality. He draws a magic door for Susannah; once it appears, she says goodbye to Roland and crosses over to another world. Mordred, who easily manipulated and killed Walter, finally reaches and attacks Roland. Oy viciously defends his dinh, providing Roland the extra seconds needed to exterminate the were-spider. Unfortunately, Oy is impaled on a tree branch and dies. Roland continues on to his ultimate goal and reaches the Dark Tower, only to find it occupied by the Crimson King. They face off for a few hours, till Roland uses Patrick's special abilities to draw a picture of the Crimson King and then erase it, thus wiping him out of existence. Roland gains entry into the Tower while Patrick turns back home. The last scene is that of Roland crying out the names of his loved ones and fallen comrades as he had vowed to do. The door of the Dark Tower closes shut as Patrick watches from a distance.

The story then shifts to Susannah coming through the magic door in an alternate 1980s New York where Gary Hart is President. Susannah throws away Roland's gun (no longer functioning on this side of the door), rejecting the life of a gunslinger, and starts a new life with alternate versions of Eddie and Jake, who are brothers with the last name of Toren in this world. It is also implied that an alternate version of Oy, a dog with a long neck whose barks sometimes sound like words, will also join them in this world.

At this point, Stephen King inserts an "Afterword" which warns readers to close the book at this point, consider the story finished with a happy ending, and not venture inside the Tower with Roland. For those who do not heed the warning, the story resumes with Roland climbing to the top of the Dark Tower. He encounters various rooms with siguls or signs of his past life. When he reaches the top of the Tower, he finds a door marked "ROLAND." and to his horror, he realizes he has reached the Tower countless times before. As well as saving the multiverse, Roland must also save himself, something he never considered important. The sins that Roland committed in order to get to the Tower (both physical and spiritual),damn him to repeat the past until he learns that it is not the most important thing in all existence. He is sucked through the door only to be teleported back in time to the Mohaine desert, with no memories of what had just occurred, ending the series where it began in the first line of book one: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." The only difference is that Roland now possesses the Horn of Eld, gifted back to him for partially realizing the value of love and life (such as not seeing people as tools to be expended on his quest) on his previous pilgrimage to the Tower. With the Horn, it is now possible (but still not certain) for Roland to finally end his quest once and for all. And so, Roland sets out to catch the Man in Black once again.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (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.
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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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