Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series
First I should say that I have enjoyed reading all the posts, Pro and Con, there were a lot of great points and Ideas brought up. about the ending and this will be my first time posting to discuss any novel and I'm excited.
Like all of us I assume from the first book I was hooked on the series. I got the first novel shortly after Christmas this year and blew through the books(not because I was racing to a finish, but I was truly captivated by the tale). Through the first 4 books I felt like the books were steadily getting better and better.By the time I finished the 4th I was thinking OMG(lol) this is one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. And I guess I'll always have a special place for The Dark Tower in my heart. However I will say that from book 5(Wolves) on I slowly began developing a sour taste in my mouth.
Along time ago in my High School english class we had a discussion about Literary Criticism and Theory.Or who has final authority over what the meaning of the book. After talking about some of the major view points on the subject my Professor brought up one way of thinking on the issue that I particularly liked called reader response. The way reader response differs from the other forms of criticism is that it places the power to form conclusions in the hands of the reader. Which I feel is the way it should be, after all were the ones that fell in love with the characters (Oy has to be my favorite) and story and can't help feeling invested in it. To me who is Sai Stephen King? Just a man who clearly told me he did not want a visit from me( obviously I wasn't planning on making a trek to Maine, but after The Journey so many have talked about and shared to get to the DT, this little warning just felt ODD's lane and out of place, as well as SK telling me that If I wanted, after all this, to get a glimpse of what was in the Dark Tower I was some sort of dullard who believes sex is about the climax?)
Ok, where to begin about the last three novels. I guess to start out I should say that I'm glad to have read them for better or for worse. SK warns of being heart broken if we finish to the last page, but to be honest I began to feel heartbroken way earlier in the series than right at the end. The first for books to me were MAGIC. There's no other way to put it than that(especially number 4 Wizard and Glass). For some reason I felt that that book kinda encapsulated what I loved about the DT adventures and mythos. I would have gladly followed Roland, Cort, and Alain on many more of their adventures, but sadly after Wizard and Glass they never really come back on the page. This sort of leads to one of the main things that frustrated me about the last three books. I felt that in only two books(numbers 2 and 3) SK was ably to establish and attach us to the Characters of Susannah, Eddie, Jake, and Oy, and in only one novel (Wizard and Glass) he did the same with Cuthbert and Alain. However I felt that in the last three books, lost surely somewhere during the countless exploits of Pere Callahan and SK himself, the hearts and souls of the main characters disappeared. Especially Eddie Dean, and Susannah. There was a time in the story when if anything happened to either of them I may have even teared up , but come Eddie's death and Susannah's strange departure I was sad to feel that somehow King had lost a lot of my affection for them. It felt like in the last Eddie and Suze were there but not really. It was like he was too busy introducing new characters i.e. Callahan or talking about himself to worry about two of the most important ones.
Throughout the last three I slowly became annoyed with all the Stephen King self references and such. In my heart I just felt gipped. It was like all the awesome cool things we had to wonder about, when you finally got there it was some bland SK reference or loophole. For example all this time I had been wondering about the mystery of the CK's castle. What was there? What would happen when they got there? And what happens when they get there we don't get to go in and take a look around, but we meet three SK's. What? What happened was it to hard to think about what lurks in the castle or what it looks like inside? This is just one instance of being let down about the things that he made us wish to see on their adventures and didn't end up showing. Was anyone else curious as to what happened during the fall of Gilead. I would have been much more interested in reading that tale then hearing 1000 pages about Pere Callahan's endless travels on the highways.
Some Specific things that bothered me:
The end of the book summed up my disappointment throughout. I felt like (like the LOTR) this whole saga was resting on the fact that few stood against many against the destruction of all that was good. I felt like the whole quest was about them fixing the beams, and saving the multiverse. Don't get me wrong I love Roland, but I felt that the story was supposed to be about more than Roland, it had this sense of being bigger than them all. And I guess to find out that it's all about Roland's journey over and over just felt weak in context of the scope. I can't agree that it had to end this way, and feel a huge sense of hypocritical behavior coming from King. He tells us that it's Damning to race to the finish just to get to the end, but I feel that's exactly what he's done.