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The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (King,…
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The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (King, Stephen) (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Stephen King, Michael Whelan (Illustrator)

Series: The Dark Tower (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,557169610 (4.12)307
All good things must come to an end, Constant Reader, and not even Stephen King can make a story that goes on forever. The tale of Roland Deschain's relentless quest for the Dark Tower has, the author fears, sorely tried the patience of those who have followed it from its earliest chapters. But attend to it a while longer, if it pleases you, for this volume is the last, and often the last things are best. Roland's ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens. Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig (in the summer of 1999) to a birthing room -- really a chamber of horrors -- in Thunderclap's Fedic; Jake and Father Callahan, with Oy between them, have entered the restaurant on Lex and Sixty-first with weapons drawn, little knowing how numerous and noxious are their foes. Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where "walk-ins" have been often seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters. Thus the book opens, like a door to the uttermost reaches of Stephen King's imagination. You've come this far. Come a little farther. Come all the way. The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower.… (more)
Member:craptastic
Title:The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (King, Stephen)
Authors:Stephen King
Other authors:Michael Whelan (Illustrator)
Info:Donald M. Grant/Scribner (2004), Edition: 1st Trade Ed, Hardcover, 864 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Dark Tower by Stephen King (Author) (2004)

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» See also 307 mentions

English (158)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (169)
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
Esta saga tiene en muchos momentos una calidad increible, funcionan muchas de las situaciones a las que se enfrentan los muy buenos personajes que King creo, en este libro en especial se siente que se hace demasiado largo, no pone situaciones muy originales, apresura algunos echos pese a ser una conclusion que satisface ( )
  Enzokolis | Jan 17, 2022 |
I LOVED this series of books. I may even read all 7 again at some point. Probably one of my favorite endings of a book :) ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
And so at last we come to The Dark Tower, the final book in Stephen King’s series of the same name (the long tale he’s said is his Lord of the Rings).

The first act is fast-paced—more so than anything else in this saga of Roland the gunslinger and his “ka-tet” of misfit warriors. After the birth of Mordred, his horrifying son by a demon mother, Roland and his companions are reunited and set about trying to save the remaining Beams that support the multiverse. Doing so involves defeating the Breakers (psychics who are destroying the Beams) and preventing King (yes, the author himself) from being killed in an automobile accident. The cost is high: several characters die, both major and minor. But Roland and the survivors succeed.

Then the pace falters. The second act becomes a drawn-out trek to the Dark Tower, the lynchpin of the multiverse and Roland’s ultimate goal. He eventually reaches it, but not before King takes us on some unnecessary tangents, including an extended session on how to make hide clothing. “I’m not ready to be there yet,” Roland says at one point about the Dark Tower (perhaps speaking for King; I got the sense he didn’t want to end the story before he absolutely had to). “Not quite ready … I need a little more time to prepare my mind and my heart. Mayhap even my soul.”

Things pick up in the last act, which features Roland defeating Mordred and the Crimson King—as close as the series has to a big baddie—and finally entering the Dark Tower. I won’t spoil what he finds inside, but I think it serves as a fitting ending, even if it wasn’t as satisfying as I’d hoped.

So what do we make of all this?

My biggest takeaway was that, as much I appreciate how creative King is, I wish he’d followed a more traditional story structure. For Book 7, he could have clustered the big events—saving the universe and reaching the Dark Tower—for greater emotional impact. For the series as a whole, King could have given Roland a clearer goal and a more-involved antagonist. Getting to the Dark Tower isn’t that compelling; we never know what he’s supposed to do there. And the fight with the Crimson King isn’t as meaningful as it could be, because this is the first time we’re seeing the mad ruler. (Roland also defeats him with a cheap trick. I wish he’d used something he’d learned along the way, rather than resorting to an option King only introduced in the final hundred pages or so.)

I’m also still mixed about King injecting himself into the story. He does this in several ways: by creating a multiverse within his own works, by making himself a character in this one, and by commenting on the narrative as it goes along.

I’ve already talked a lot about the multiverse concept in my reviews of earlier entries in the series. In his afterword, King clarifies that, “My idea was to use the Dark Tower stories as a kind of summation, a way of unifying as many of my previous stories as possible beneath the arch of some über-tale. I never meant that to be pretentious (and I hope it isn’t), but only as a way of showing how life influences art (and vice versa).” It’s a neat idea. But for it to really sing, I would have liked the events in non-Dark Tower books to have more impact on Roland’s larger story (beyond running back favorite characters).

In my Book 6 review, I also pondered the perils of writing yourself into your story. On balance, I think it worked here, and it was fun when the characters ragged on their creator. (Roland and co. call King various forms of “lazy” and “cowardly,” and at one point an old villain dismisses him as a “shoddy quick-sketch artist.”) But having a Stephen King character in a Stephen King book makes certain scenes a bit absurd.

I haven’t said much about how King frequently breaks out his author voice, though. He mostly does this to foreshadow coming events. For example, before a major character dies, King writes, “He slipped the .40 into his docker’s clutch almost without thinking, moving us a step closer to what you will not want to hear and I will not want to tell.” Most authors couldn’t get away with this, but King knows how to set your expectations in a way that builds tension rather than sapping it. (The asides also reinforce the conceit that King-the-character met his protagonists; if the fictional King sees them as real people he created, it would certainly pain him to kill them.)

Final verdict: for all the criticisms I made above, I’m still glad I read the Dark Tower books. They’re inventive, surprising, and original, and I won’t forget them.

But The Lord of the Rings remains my standard for epic tales.

(For more reviews like this one, see www.nickwisseman.com) ( )
  nickwisseman | Jul 30, 2021 |
Criando uma trama fantástica a cada reviravolta, Stephen King supera todas as expectativas neste maravilhoso final da série A Torre Negra, uma saga épica de sete volumes, que foi publicada ao longo de mais de vinte anos. Entremeando histórias, mundos e panos de fundo vastos e complexos, esta conclusão muito esperada pelos leitores é criativa, de tirar o fôlego, corajosa, visionária e vale cada segundo de espera e de leitura. Roland Deschain e seu ka-tet viajaram juntos e separados, espalhados e distantes, em mundos paralelos, em diferentes tempos e espaços. Agora o destino de Roland, Susannah, Jake, padre Callaham, Oi e Eddie são unidos na própria Torre Negra, que os atrai para cada vez mais perto de seus próprios fins. Neste capítulo final, o grupo acompanha o último Pistoleiro na missão para encontrar – e salvar – a Torre das mãos do Rei Rubro e seus aliados, e o desfecho da missão implacável de Roland e seu ka-tet finalmente é revelado.
  helders | Jul 17, 2021 |
I'm so happy it's over. Stephen King is not a writer for me.

Well, reading this added another experience. And the lesson is that don't read series or books where it's obvious that the author doesn't have a plan himself for the book series. These books were at places good but mostly just a sequence of word with no content, no message and no entertaining value. The common theme seemed to be "steal something form a book, song or movie" rather than an intrinsic red thread. That the books are based on a poem "Child Roland to the Dark Tower came" is repeated so many times without it being true in anything but the most weak way.

Anything good with this book? The absence of the ridiculous repetitions of "19" present in the previous book, and it's not good when the absence of something is a book's main quality. ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 158 (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 (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, StephenAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergner, WulfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

All good things must come to an end, Constant Reader, and not even Stephen King can make a story that goes on forever. The tale of Roland Deschain's relentless quest for the Dark Tower has, the author fears, sorely tried the patience of those who have followed it from its earliest chapters. But attend to it a while longer, if it pleases you, for this volume is the last, and often the last things are best. Roland's ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens. Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig (in the summer of 1999) to a birthing room -- really a chamber of horrors -- in Thunderclap's Fedic; Jake and Father Callahan, with Oy between them, have entered the restaurant on Lex and Sixty-first with weapons drawn, little knowing how numerous and noxious are their foes. Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where "walk-ins" have been often seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters. Thus the book opens, like a door to the uttermost reaches of Stephen King's imagination. You've come this far. Come a little farther. Come all the way. The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower.

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