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Stephen King The Dark Tower series, and other writings

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Old 22nd May 2011, 07:35 PM   #181 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I just finished yesterday and found the ending very satisfying.

What I like about the ending is that it makes you wonder, it's all about causality in the end, which is why the Horn of Eld is an important item, relating it to chaos theory, one variable leads to the ultimate ending with no actualy randomness involved. But it also makes you wonder what happened in the infinity of other times he reached the tower. Did all of his Ka-Tet die? Did he show them love, did he care when they died, a major point is that he needed to learn the value of love (cheesy though it may be).

Regarding the deaths of Randall Flagg, the Crimson King, and Mordred. Is there any point in the story where there is a truly epic battle (besides maybe the dixie pig) that ended with a death or battle that was long and drawn out. If you'll recall the main villain of Wizard and Glass died was laid out in less than a sentence (eldred jonas), most deaths are depicted as quick and to a certain extent ignominious. regarding flagg, his pride got the better of him and killed him ultimately, people seem to be irritated by Mordred getting his due so quickly, but if one reads the story, Mordred has been severely weakened by malnutrition and sickness, so he wasn't at full strength as he was when he killed Flagg.

And finally the crimson king, the crimson king was made too strong, too powerful and basically unbeatable, so whatever way he died was going to be ultimately unsatisfying. Also, in line with the world moving on, the villains powers have all waned, so this would be another justification for the unsatisfying ends.

my only complaint was that the story (like the Ka-tet after breaking) started to lose dramatic momentum about 300 pages before the end. But that is a minor complaint (for me at least)

It may just be me, but I found the entire series highly satisfying. And the ending will leave me pondering for if nothing else, days on what will happen to him during his journey again.


Si Vales Valeo
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Old 3rd June 2011, 02:46 PM   #182 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Hi,
I'm new on here and have just finished the series. My first instinct to the ending was "oh" but the more and more I think about it the more that "oh" turns to "wow" and ponderings of what it all means.

I am very surprised at th number of people that did not liek the ending or even enjoy the last few books. Everyone kept me hooked and woud probabaly say thats the best series Ive read in a long time!

I have a few interpretatons to the ending - could it be that Roland will redo teh cycle NINETEEN times perhaps?

And although often seen as a punishment an a way to learn perhaps being able to redo his jouney numerous times is actuallya reward or a gift - being able to go back and put things right that went wrong?

I also interpreted the cycle to not restart at the desert but that he restarts his whole life again (hint him being able to have the horn)....another chance at life? To prevent many deaths and perhaps even a chance to save his one true love susan...

The possibilities are endless but regardless of what it means - I thought it was an amazing series with a fab ending
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Old 28th July 2011, 07:10 AM   #183 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

People dislike this ending because they don't understand it and because it wasn't a cookie-cutter triumph over evil ending. They don't understand that it wasn't a convenient coincidence that he returned to the Mohaine Desert where Stephen King happened to start writing his story. He returned to the Mohaine Desert BECAUSE it's where Stephen King started his story. He's stuck within those pages. Roland of Gilead can never do another action beyond those that Stephen King orchestrates.

The ending was mind blowing. Can you imagine the frustration in Roland's head? Moments later, he starts again. The cycle would be eternal and our great hero would never fail to reach the Dark Tower, but never truly finish his quest. I find this ending to be the single most unique and breathtaking ending to any story I have ever read. Actually, my only hangup is on the horn. The point that the horn will make his next journey different makes me wonder if the cycle will end and how things will occur if it does. This gives me something to ponder over, but that element of ambiguity only makes the ending more incredible. As for those who absolutely require the typical and simple closure and warm fuzzy feeling, just don't look to Roland. Look to the rest of his ka-tet who were allowed to come together and live out the rest of their days.
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Old 11th October 2011, 04:05 PM   #184 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

so WOW just finished the DT a few days ago and to be honest I absolutely loved just about every second of it, and yes I thought the ending was awesome.

I have read through this entire thread and while I do like the ending I can see why some people have gripes, but overall I do agree that there really would not have been a better suited ending, one that was so hopeless yet still left a sliver of hope.

Never have I been left so emotionally attached to characters in my whole life be it reading or something seen on tv. I almost feel a hole left in my chest as this point that the story is over.

Very much looking forward to the next book as I am sure most of you are also, which got me thinking.

Supposidely the book is just kind of a filler story between books 4-5, something about some terrible storm and Jamie DeCurry. And to be honest at first I was not quite as excited when I found out the book was a filler and not a continuation of the end.........Or is it?

Nothing would make me happier than if King started off the first sentence to this book with a line like this (keep in mind I am not a writer lol but you will get the point).

"The gunslinger reaches into his gunna and can feel the ancient power held within the horn of eld"

For me I would be jumping out of my seat. Does this make any sense to you guys/girls, and would you all be just as excited as I? And do you think King will take it there?

ON his website when commenting about the book he says "Its not going to change anybodys life but God I had fun".......hmmmmm is this King being sneaky trying to temper expectations just to give us all whatt we want afterall, to find out more about what should be Rolands last trip to the Tower?
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Old 22nd November 2011, 06:10 PM   #185 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I also wanted to share my toughts on the ending of the Dark Tower series. First , i read it in dutch so i can use other words in english, which is not my first language so please forgive my english.

I just finished reading all 7 books, which took a few months. And after thinking over it for a day, i think i'm starting to get a lot of wat King is trying to say. Its a huge story with a lot of information, so my head hurts wright now from all my thoughts i have about the story. So forgive my randomness. I read this thread and think posters like: Dustinzgirl, Goldenforce, Darkness, Happyfood and Marvile also seem to get a lot from the story like i do.

– First spoiler: The ending is a happy ending, you just have to see it.

Like people already explained. The Dark Tower is Roland and Roland is the Dark Tower. Its his live. The whole story is about life, real life. About the perception on the meaning of life and finding true happiness, which nowaday's is what we are all looking for.
The first lessons you can draw form the story is: The meaning of life is life itself, its not where youre going, its the journey itself like King says.
The second lesson: Finding true happines is a big and hard journey, you will loose many friends on the way and come across a lot of evil, but in the end, you can only find happines from within.

Finding happines means conquering your demons. Like already said in this thread, Eddie had to conquer his addiction and the relationship with his brother, susanne her split personality (should you leave something behind Roland asks when she leaves for new york) and Jake the betreyal of his father , his real one and Roland. They all had their own quest. They all finish their quest and go home. Their death is not a ending of a character, it was for all a new beginning, because they really accepted who they are and their lives they lived. (which roland has not yet done).

People who dont like the ending also are not going to like what i'm writing about the ending :-) For me and a lot of other readers the story ends with Suz going to new york and meeting up with eddie en jake and Roland entering the tower. Thats the ending. When you read the story you already know their's nothing in the Tower. I didn't see it coming that Roland had to start over again, that was a surprise for me also. But i did know there was nothing in the Tower to end the story.

I think the Coda was not adressed to the reader, it was adressed to Roland, because i think the ending was a happy ending, also for Roland. Yes he has done this quest many times (suz smeld the 1000 years when she kissed Roland on the lips) but we are reading about the beginning of the end.

Like already posted, when he starts his quest at the end with the Horn of Eld, the instrument he needs to end the cirkel. The tower rewards him with the Horn of Eld and says: “this time their can be salvation, just stand strong” at the beginnen of what can be his last journey. Rolands quest is also to accept his life and his loss. Last time he lost the Horn of Eld on the batllefields when he lost a good friend. But this time he had hold on to it. Why did he deserve this ?

It came to me when i was thinking about Jake. Through most of the book , i thought Jake was the key for getting to the Tower, so when he was killed i thought i was wrong there and o well, just had to read on to get the story.
But the first time he sacrifies Jake for his quest to the Tower, a mistake he makes in life, at that point he is to scared to really love someone again. But he learnes from it and when they try to save King he was willing to sacrifise himself and his quest to the Dark Tower to save Jake. This is the moment i think when he earned the Horn of Eld on his next travel to the Dark Tower. He then can ends his journey and that of course is a happy ending :-)

Why couldn't he save Jake ? Because in real life you cant save others, you can only save yourself. You can help (each)others on their quest, like a ka-tet, but thats as far as it goes. Everybody has to conquer his own demons and then salvation will come. (in this case escaping from the story through death or a door)
The burdon Roland was carrying because King stopped writing, he was scared, to lazy (the journey to happines is a tough one) cost him lots of pain. This is also in real life. When you stop living your life and try to avoid it, there is a big chance you will get sick, get pain. Most pains and deceaces are because of emotional blokcades in life. (just watch docter Phil for that ;-) So when King nearly dies and Roland was willing to sacrafise his quest for Jake, the pain whent away, the blokcade for both Roland and King was lifted.

Then there are a lot of methafors in the book about life and explains why things ended they way they ended.

The Crimson King for example. It stands for al the evil and pain in your life. You should not battle youre biggest evils in life. On his journey Roland never had to fight him, because the Crimson Kind was already taken care of and harmless in prison in the Tower. Life will teach you, that you cannot kill the evil in youre life, (like the King) but you can make it harmless (he had no other weapons Roland learns when he climbs the Tower) by giving it a place inside you where it can do no harm. (the tower is roland, so the king is inside roland).
Trying to erase youre bad memories and pain in youre life will stop you from reaching happines, you cant kill it, so let it life and give it a place outside on the balkony of youre life. Trying to erase all your pain in life will let you make the same mistakes over and over again.
For a while his greatist enemy could have been his salvation ;-)

So how will the happy ending will be on his next quest ? In this journey he was giving a choise to get to the tower by car in a day in stead of walking. On this journey he wasn't ready for it, so he walked and met Patrick. Next time with the Horn of Eld he is ready and will go by car and thus he will not meet Patrick and the Crimson King cannot be erased. But that is not necessery, because he is already harmless and shouldn't be killed at all. So the Crimson King will have his place on the balkony forever and Roland accepts his live and pain and is able to love again (Jake, and also the rest) he blows the Horn when he reaches the Tower and honers the friends he lost on his journey. (not sacrificed) Because whe can already read that ending: There was a sound of a Horn and you hear the closing of a door fore-ever. The door in top closes fore-ever.
He also tells that he cannot see how Patrick ends up, that is because on the final yourney he will not be there !

In recap, if you dont get the ending, you probabley dont get life and you are also caught in a cirkel. That's way King says you wont like the ending. But if you do get it, you will get it because you made the same journey and learned from it and are starting to get life just a little better. Thats when you see this is a story with a true happy ending :-)
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Old 22nd November 2011, 09:06 PM   #186 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Another methafore i think there was, was about the breakers. They are the one destroying the beams that hold up the Tower. I think the breakers are a methafore for youre thoughts. Because all they where doing was sitting and thinking in the library. Like Roland you shouldn't kill of all youre thoughts, you should set them free. If you set them free they can no longer trie to destroy you. To say youre worthless, not capable of handling life etc etc. Its teachus us that it are our own thoughts that can destroy us. If the beams where gone the Tower would have fallen, and thus Roland. So dont prison your thoughts, but set them free and the Tower will stand firm and will recover. It are youre thoughts of the past, of the pain, of the loss, that are destroying you, set them free.

The reason why Stephen King himself was in the book ,was to let us know this book is about real life, about his life, about what he has learned. It was his quest, he was the maker. It was his alcohlism, the accident etc in his life who where responsible for why he learned what the book tells us. I think a big chance is that his drinking was his cirkel. He stated that he wrote stories to escape life. He couldn't handle life. Maybey after the accident he was able to change that and take life head on, to come in acceptance with his pain and the life he lived and start loving people agian ? It may have set him free ?

The one thing i noticed but cant place yet is mordred. When mordred was following him, Roland wanted to kill him. But they left their food/leftovers behind for him to servive on. In other words they let him stay alive. The only thing they had to do was to take everything with them and leave nothing behind (like the russions did when germany (or napeleon) inveted them) , mordred would have died from starvation. By letting him live, he lost also Oy, who was still there to help him on his quest. At the moment i still dont know what that means. Maybey i havent experienced something like that in real live ? Anybody has any ideas ?

So in short:
-The goal of life is life itself. The journey, not where youre going.
–Finding luck is a long and tough journey with a lot of pain and loss which will lead to finding happines within.(the only place where it can be found)
-Dont try to erase al the pain and evil in your life, give it a nice place inside you where it can no longer do any harm.
-Dont inprison youre thoughts, set them free and you will not fall.
–The only thing to fear is fear itself.
–If you at first dont succeed, try, try and try again.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 02:04 PM   #187 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I was also thinking about mordred. In the book he is the sun of 2 fathers, but of course the crimson king is also Roland, like the Tower. So really it is his son. (The Crimson King is just his pain and suffering he indured during life which destroyed his world). Maybey it represents him getting rid of some of the evil in his body , it of course is no coincendince that he was made the at the time Jake re-enters the story, at that moment Roland has a change to complete the quest.
At the end al he has to do is stop feeding mordred (he's always hungry) for Roland to kill it.
The evil spirit who enduced mordred with suz probaley also represents something, but when i was reading that part i didn't pick up on anything like that, that wasn't until i finished the last book. So i will have to read the story again if i want to try and understand those parts of the story as well. I probaley will in the future, but not now. My head still hurts from the sudden insight i got what the whole story represents and means. Normally i never get stuff like that, so that is a good suprise for me :-).
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Old 23rd January 2012, 08:41 PM   #188 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Like lots of people here, when I finished the Dark Tower series yesterday, I just had to see what other people think about it, because something doesn't feel right. And I would like to say something about this feeling, because I think it's making people miss the point in their complains.

To be honest, the series was a great experience for me, and the ending was shocking, but good. The problem is: I don't feel satisfied. I understand perfectly when someone say that feels like have been cheated by SK, 'cause I could say I feel something close, but not because he made a lame job in the end, but because I feel kinda cheated by the story itself.

So, ka is a wheel, ka is calling Roland in a irresistible way, ka will do what it wants. We learned that you should have faith in ka, that you should not fight against it, that ka is a unevitable destiny and that it's controlled by the Tower. Fine, the Tower has chosen a hero to hear its call, one that will sacrifice everything to save the Tower from who is trying to destroy it, and he will succeed in the end because that's the will of the ka, or the will of Tower itself in other words.

Now here's the problem with the end: how can Roland learn anything if he forgets everything, and how is Roland supposed to act in any different way than the path ka has decided? It's a major conflict between a destiny that has already been decided and a strange kind of free will that don't give a hint about how you should act to do things right.

The only possible answer for me is that the Tower is like a cruel god, torturing Roland in his never ending cicle until the Tower itself decides it's time to make Roland change in some way (maybe learning something) and then making things different. The Tower can do whatever it wants, there's no "keyworld" for it, everything is under her power and the "rules" are for it's pawns.

The mistake SK may have commited is just not have realized he was writing another horror story, and leaving the readers with the feeling that it was a standard adventure, with the message of "enjoy the ride and have hope" in the end don't fitting in either case. I think that Susannah didn't have a good ending btw, those versions of her dead friends were never part of her life, were never there in the events that made the bonds of their group, and she would forget about them eventually, along with the reason to consider them much more than just a friend and a husband.

Basically, it tries to teach a lesson about things you should do, or understand, in a horror story with a fatalistic view of destiny that leaves no space for that kind of thing, unless destiny itself has already decided, leaving no reason to someone worry about that. Maybe SK was more confused about his story in the end of his book than any of us.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 08:48 PM   #189 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Except this time, he has the horn of Deschain (Gilead?) with him, which he didn't before. In a karmic wheel, each time he will get more until he learns his lesson, and can be allowed on, rather than back... I kinda hope he saves Susan one time, using one of them infernal doors.

ps: the ending gobsmacked me... completely - one of the best endings of a book I've ever read - a finish but no finish. Brilliant!

Last edited by Boneman; 23rd January 2012 at 08:50 PM. Reason: added ps
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Old 19th March 2012, 08:37 PM   #190 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

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Originally Posted by Boneman View Post
ps: the ending gobsmacked me... completely - one of the best endings of a book I've ever read - a finish but no finish. Brilliant!
And in perfect keeping with one of the major themes of the work.

Ka is, after all, a wheel.
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Old 29th March 2012, 10:59 AM   #191 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

What I found interesting was that the book had a happy ending, a fairy tale Hollywood ending.
A word where the tet was reunited in a world of Christmas, Hot Chocolate and new beginnings.
Roland could have gone through the door with Susan and been reunited with the rest of his "Family".
Some will say he had no choice, he had to finish his mission.

Maybe he did have a choice.

Roland's curse is that he seeks to reach the tower at all cost. It costs him everything he cares about and that Roland turns out being a hero and savior is only incidental. Roland does everything with one goal, to achieve the Tower.

Maybe every time Roland reaches the tower it starts again.

Maybe the only way Roland can ever win is by stopping.

He does his quest, he saves the world and then realizing he has a chance at something more important that the Tower he turns his back on it and thus his endless trial is ended.

Or Maybe not.

The other thing I considered is that maybe this is but another meta layer of abstraction and that maybe Roland's doom is our fault.

This is a story of a group of Heroes on a Quest.
This a story of a writer writing those Heroes on their Quest.
Maybe the story is also of you, the reader, bringing Roland's world and journey into existence through the act of reading it. After all, without you, Roland and his Tet are nothing but words on paper.

Maybe each time one of you open the first page of "The Gunslinger" a new world is created and Roland is destined to once again begin his Journey.

After all, have we not all taken our own individual journeys with Roland.

Bonolio...
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Old 10th April 2012, 11:35 AM   #192 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

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Originally Posted by Boneman View Post
Except this time, he has the horn of Deschain (Gilead?) with him, which he didn't before. In a karmic wheel, each time he will get more until he learns his lesson, and can be allowed on, rather than back... I kinda hope he saves Susan one time, using one of them infernal doors.

ps: the ending gobsmacked me... completely - one of the best endings of a book I've ever read - a finish but no finish. Brilliant!
This.

I think, and I might be wrong, that there isn't much of a sense of starting again so much as a sense that Roland's contentment is the quest. Can anybody imagien Roland having a hot cup of cocoa with the others? No. Roland is a man driven by destiny to a cause greater than himself. Perhaps the horn, symbolising the friends he has made, is the gift of memory. Perhaps the...

It can go on and on, and that's why it's such a great ending. I love it when things aren't resolved and tied with a pretty ribbon.
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Old 1st May 2013, 06:24 PM   #193 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Greetings Sais.
I finished the DT-Series just yesterday. I'm still stunned but thanks to this thread I'm understanding a lot.

So Roland has to do this horrobly journey until he's not following the way of discordia and be a true avatar of Arthur Eld, a true agent of the White.

Yet I'm still confused by reading you Sai's writing that Roland is the Tower. I kinda understand what that means, nevertheless I would be happy if someone can explain it to me briefly.
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Old 21st May 2013, 11:34 AM   #194 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

The only way you can understand the methafores of this story is if you really understands what it means that life is about finding yourself. the peace within.

Lots op people go on trips and do stuff, take sabbaticals etc trying to find themselves. But only few people really understand what it means. Most people just try to escape life on their quests. (constantley setting new goals to reach for)

(reading a book to want to go to the end, to read the ending. the reason to read, is set bij the goal to read the ending. But their are no real goals in life, only enjoying the journey itself. That what king tries to tell us in the end, with his ending of no ending)

Its about how people go on many quests to find the meaning of their life. Whats the goal of life ? The Tower represents Rolands goal in life and his quest is nothing more then the lessons learned needed to understand the goal of life is to find peace within. (trough acceptence for example, setting your toughts free (breakers) etc etc)

The world is only a reflection of your thoughts. The suffering is only about fighting against what is, instead of accepting. Thats why the world is Roland. That why the tower is Roland. Thats why the quest is finding himself. Thats why there is no big fight with his enemies, there are none. The enemies are not seperate, but also a part of Roland, just his demons he has to conquer, but not by fighting them, but learning to love (Jake) and acceptance of los (horn of eld).
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Old 30th September 2013, 08:49 AM   #195 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

The ending of the Dark Tower is the most disappointing I've ever read.

Now I'm not talking about the actual part where Roland has to do the last leg of his journey again, that part is actually fine. But the whole of the last three books reads like a "how to guide" on how to mess up a story. And here are my specific problems.

1) Shoving as much of his other works into the narrative.

King really only has himself to blame for this part, he made it a point to make literary illusions to The Dark Tower in so many of his other works, when it came time to figure out how to actually put these all into the story it kid of just came back and bit him on the butt. When he wrote the characters of Patrick Danville he knew he would have to figure out a way to use him sometime, and when time came short he had to think of a very important role very quickly. Which is more than Thomas from Eyes of the Dragon got. This comes off like a child trying to shove everything he likes into drawing. In the end the drawing comes out as being about nothing instead of something the child enjoys.

2) Ret-conning a bunch of things in order to make this monstrosity workable.

Stephan King himself once said something along the lines that good story doesn't have to be plausible, it just has to be believable. When a writer changes these things in such a way that it is neither plausible or believable than the story is in trouble. examples of this include, but are not limited to

a) Making Randall Flagg and Walter O'Dim the same person. This entirely changes the tone of the first book and gives nothing back in return. As it is established many times earlier that they are two different people. I don't know why this was done and it does nothing but frustrate me.

b) Making it very clear that the world of Eddie, Jake and Susan is our world. Even going so far as to point worlds CLOSE to ours and say those are not our worlds. Then at the witching our say, "nope it is just another one close to our's BUT really close, and if they fail our world will be in trouble too.". It seems like a lame cop-out. Like the kind of thing someone who writes bad detective fiction would do.

c) King making himself an important character in the story. Now I realize this part of his coping mechanism for almost being killed, but once again it seems like the type of thing a first year English graduate does in a novel his is writing, or terrible fan fiction, whichever. And once again this does not add to the overall narrative in anyway, it doesn't really help further the story. Especially the long part where he actually describes writing the novels.

d) the decision to change the entire tone of the story from situation epic, to character driven almost soap opera. Also I realize writing styles change with age. And I also understand books 2 and 3 were writing during when King was making that transition in the types of stories he writes. But this is supposed to be an epic, not a soap.


I feel that the series didn't let fans down so much in the ending, but in the delivery of that ending. There are no good vs. evil showdowns. No callback even really worth the time to write about. The last two books just seemed like complete filler. And all the things we really do want to know about are left out.
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