Friday, 11 December 2009

Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

(Listening to - Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love)

This 'ere is my attempt at a review of the aforementioned series. I warn you now, reviews ain't my strong suit. Still reading? Masochist, eh? Fair enough, I don't judge.

(I also don't spoil plots - and abhor reviews that do - so don't worry if you haven't read them.)


Short version:

Wow.

Long version:

Woweee.

Considerably longer version, including descriptives and explanations:

On Christmas Day, I received a number of book shaped presents. Three of them turned out to be the first three of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Pleased as punch, I put them on my desk where I could see them to remind me to read them as soon as possible.

A couple of months ago (my "reminder" idea didn't work), I picked up the first book.

Wowzer.

I'll stop using that word and its derivatives now. Promise.

From the get go, this series wasn't what I expected (and continued to wee on my expectations throughout). The first book started as what appeared to be a fantasy western. I persevered with the occasionally strange dialogue (and grew to love it), and quickly devoured what turned out to be the shortest of the series in a very short space of time. By the time I reached the ending, I knew full well that I'd not only read the other two I already owned, but also buy the other four, despite my severe lack of money (praise indeed, I think you'll agree).

So, I picked up the second book with a rough idea in my head of what to expect. That lasted for the first few pages before Mr. King very kindly took my expectations in his hand and smushed 'em. This happened for the third, fourth and fifth book, and again for the seventh (the sixth wasn't exactly predictable either, but not quite in the same league of expectation-smushingness).

So, some of the things I loved, then:

  • The characterisation, especially that of The Gunslinger.
  • His choice of characters and their strengths/weaknesses (weaknesses especially, but I shan't spoil).
  • Mr. King's omniscient "storyteller" style.
  • The back-story. I'm a huge fan of back-story, and King doesn't disappoint. Some say that there's too much, especially in book four, but I disagree.
  • The world(s) building.
  • The uncountable number of twists, turns and flips.
  • The threads of plot that interweave the story, seemingly making little sense, then come together in big "oooooooh, I see!" moments.
  • The way that all his worlds (read: books) are interconnected. I won't go further into this, as it'll spoil some parts of the plot.

Stuff I didn't love:

  • Um...
  • Well...
  • Erm...
  • Ooh, got one!
  • It ended.
I know that sounds silly, but there was so much that I loved about this series that I honestly can't think of anything that I disliked. Some say that it started to go downhill after book four, and that the flashbacks in that book were far too long. Personally, I thought it took off in book four, and that, while the flashback was certainly long (I've read shorter novels), I wouldn't have had it one word shorter.

Stephen King doesn't just create a world with this series, he creates a living, breathing universe.

Ka is a wheel.


Ta ta for now,

Adam

11 comments:

bettielee said...

Didn't someone say King was a God? And the ending is perfect to me, because if you think about it (hint hint) it doesn't end. :) I wish I could say publicly what I think about that, but I dudn't wanta spoil it!!

Adam said...

You did indeed say that lol. ;-)

I agree with you about the ending. If you wish to blurt about it, you can always PM me. :)

Adam

Kaity Hall said...

I repeat: Mr. King is a god.

~KK~

Tara McClendon said...

Your short and long versions cracked me up. You're brave to take on a review.

Silver said...

I am a big fan of King! 2 Kings actually. The other one, BB King!

Now i am tempted to get myself these babies too!

~Silver
Reflections

Adam said...

Kaity - I agree. It's just a pity I don't like horror, or I'd read much more of his stuff. :-)

Tara - Thanks! I always preface my reviews with "this'll be awful", so as not to irritate people who take it seriously. ;-)

Silver - It's a great series, well recommended! :D
As for BB King, I only know Boom Boom. ;)

Adam

Adam said...

Or was that John Lee Hooker...

Kaity Hall said...

My favorite 3 King books (all decidedly UN-horror-ish) are as follows:

Firestarter
The Talisman
Dreamcatcher

Read them. Know them. Love them. This I command.

~KK~

Adam said...

*Adds them to the list.*

Yes'm.

;-)

Adam

Melanie Avila said...

I don't normally like book reviews (I don't know why) and I loved this. You even made me consider reading King. :P

Wowee.

Adam said...

Thanks! :D

I don't particularly like reviews either, Mel. I just REALLY liked this series, and felt the urge to tell people. ;-)

Adam