The Dark Tower Thread : Part I

Discussion in 'Community' started by Skandranon, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. Skandranon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #1
    Alright, gang. I'm not much of a thread creator, but after finishing up the new revised and expanded version of Stephen King's The Gunslinger, I wanted to start up a DT discussion with the few of you who even know what the Dark Tower is...

    While I'll stray from spoilers, I must say that Stephen King took some surprising liberties with the revision, some for the worse, some for the better.

    If anyone out there shares my fervor for SK's shining epic, speak now!

    (I'll likely start another thread in the Fall in anticipation of Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla)

    To SK fans who have not had any experience yet with the Dark Tower series: I strongly suggest picking up a copy of The Gunslinger the next time you want to hit a King novel... it's hands-down his finest, most ambitious work. (his magnum opus, if you will)

    I've been reading this series since DT3 released when I was a wee kid and have been patiently waiting its epic conclusion. Hard to believe we're only 15 months shy of that reality...

    (alright, I'll shut up and let you talk now. take it light.)
     
  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    Hmmm, didn't even know King had revised it, being as it ranks amongst my favorite of his works, I guess I've got some reading to do:D

    Back in a bit.
     
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #3
    *points to his location and 'tar*

    i need to go read the revised gunslinger, but i plan on reading the entire series right before volume 5 comes out-- So i'm waiting a bit. In the mean time, the only book that ties in that I have not read is Eyes of the Dragon, so I'm reading that one-- Then I'll reread the Talisman and Black House, just to have that info fresh.

    Can you give me an idea of what he changed in the new Gunslinger? I loved it as it was, so I doubt i'll appreciate a re-working, but my partner has only managed to get halfway through the desert-- it's just too monotinous... Does he fix this, give the plot more focus and add character development? Or does he change absolutely everything? What's the mood of the book like?

    I'm a huge DT junkie, but i like to get into it on a big scale-- not just how they relate to the other DT books, but also all the other tie-ins... Some of my favorite conversations on the subject have been how the Dreamcatcher aliens relate to IT (and how IT arrived on Earth), and how IT relates to the turtle that vomited up the universe whole, and the Turtle that is a guardian of the Beam...

    What a tremendous world SK has created. I hope Dark Tower itself is long in coming, because SK said it will be his last book- but it will tie in every other SK book ever written...

    Personally I'm waiting for Leiland Gaunt to surface in the DT universe... Maybe next book :D

    pnw
     
  4. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Damn, I knew I recognised your 'tar Paul, but it dropped right now, Eddie fighting naked in the apartment, Roland respected him for that didn't he?

    I think Randy Flagg, Leland Gaunt and Alexis Machine could cause Rolands little crew a few problems, specially if they've got to deal with the creatures from The Mist AND the bloody langoliers as well, could get messy.:D :D ;)

    I think King is going to kill Roland, I think Eddie and Susannah will finish it..

    King has rediscovered his touch to an extent, Black House, From a Buick 8 and Dreamcatcher were as good as anything he's written bar the Stand and DT, I really hope he doesn't quit.:(
     
  5. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    I'm up-to-date with his current stuff, so I really need to go back and read the DT books I've missed.

    I've really enjoyed his last few: Bag of Bones, Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Desperation (and The Regulators as Richard Bachman), Dreamcatcher and From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual and Hearts in Atlantis - ok, not a few but his most recent ones. :p
     
  6. Skandranon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    [my beef]

    Alright, my main beef with DT1: The Gunslinger (Revised & Expanded) ...

    Stephen King pares down the language and dreamlike tone of the entire narrative's voice... while there are hardly any plot changes whatsoever, the writing falls much more along the lines of the other books in the Dark Tower series. Combining the feel of good pulp fiction and Western spaghetti epic, SK successfully ties The Gunslinger closer to its successors, but in the process he loses the mystique and sheer scope that the original version hinted at.

    When he began penning that novel at the age of 22, SK was unsure of how this entire story would play out and so the first installment reads in that same uncertain, blurry-eyed voice. But I feel that SK hints WAY too much at future novels and incidences with his Revised & Expanded edition, and thus the first installment loses it's timelessness and grandeur; it becomes another stepping stone in the path to the Tower.

    I think for those of you who have read the original Gunslinger will find the alterations to be more underwhelming than rewarding... SK begins to tie up loose ends very quickly and obviously does so as to maintain consistency with the minor changes he makes in writing installments 2 through 4. Sadly, those inconsistencies were DT1's greatest strength: they were consistent with the post-apocalyptic world where time and history become fuzzy and nebulous.

    Overall, I'm excited to see the DT series come to a close. But I'll never replace the original vision for The Gunslinger with its new, revised (aka commercialized) successor.

    Hit this thread back once you've give the new book a read. I don't discourage any DT fan to read the book, however.... it provides great insight into what lies just ahead in books 5-7. (and also prevents any possibility of being misled by hints dropped in the original version of the Gunslinger than SK promptly eliminates with his new edition.)
     
  7. Jerry Spoon macrumors 6502a

    Jerry Spoon

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Historic St. Charles
    #7
    Wish I could participate, but my head's so hazy with the plots of the first four b/c it's been so long since I've read them. Along with his novella The Long Walk, the Gunslinger series is my favorite work of SK's. I'm glad he's finishing it. This sounds bad, but when I heard he got hit by that car a few years back my first thought was, "Oh no! He won't be able to finish the Gunslinger series!
     
  8. Skandranon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    Well...

    Quite honestly, you weren't the only one. I think there were thousands of people who thought that very same thing. SK even acknowledges his renewed sense of urgency to finish the epic in the new Foreword found in all of the new reissues of the first four DT installments as a result of the near-fatal accident. He even mentions the countless letters of relief he's received after the minivan episode... "Thank God you can still finish the Dark Tower!"

    "So the import of this series has to do with the length of it and realizing that I'm not getting any younger and not wanting the series to wind up in the unfinished books like The Mystery of Edwin Drood or The Canterbury Tales or something like that. The other thing was that it had this big ambition. It was actually supposed to be a novel about everything: that explains existence itself."

    - S.King in a telling WaldenBooks interview.

    I let out a great sigh of relief when it was reported that he finally finished penning the last of over 3,500 pages in the combined Dark Tower saga.

    Side note: Apparently SK has also mentioned wanting to revise the entire 7-book series now that he's finished the tale on paper, to tidy up loose ends as he begins to do with the revised & expanded version of DT1 I've been complaining about.
     

Share This Page