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Stephen King The Dark Tower series, and other writings

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Old 12th June 2007, 05:37 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I honestly don't understand the complaints about the last three books. The let down book for me was Wastelands. I really didn't enjoy that as much as the others, especially 2, 4, and 7. The Wolves was ok and Song of Susanna was too short, but 7 was amazing.

*********SPOILERS*********




The death of Flagg, Master of the Multiverse was just how it should've been: him destroyed by his own ambitions and desire. Him being killed by Roland's demon child made perfect sense. The demise of the King was a little harder to swallow but cool all the same.

The Tower Series ended the way it needed to be. Roland needed to reach the Tower, for King's sanity and yours. As King wrote himself, Roland was all that was best in him. If Roland never reached his Tower, King's obituary would've come out a day after publishing.
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Old 17th July 2007, 07:41 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

It's amazing how many people are able to be negatively critical over King's conclusion to the series yet alot of those people are hardly able to post a comment without making twenty grammatical errors themselves, so please people, leave the man be.He's entertained some of you-if not many of you-for years on end and after he completes the finest work(probably) of his career, you lot go and tell him that he's let somebody down?No, he didn't leave anyone down really.The Tower books were his quest, nobody else's.It was his choice to do what he did with them.And anyway, he said at the end in his note that the stories helped him keep his sanity.Can anyone even question the man's honesty here?Ican't really understand how people feel they were cheated at all with an ending like that.You go through seven books which deal with the idea of parallel worlds continuously, and then finally when it turns out that he just has to go and repeat the quest in another universe again......AND OH DEAR LORD I CAN'T BELIEVE HE DID THAT?No, permission to feel like you were cheated is denied.Surprised?Maybe.I certainly was.But let down?Not a chance.I thought that was a great ending, although I thought there might have been something more said about the whole Crimson King ordeal.But I'll take it in any shape or form.Most of the bokks' readers should really do the same.And I have no idea if the last few comments before mine were supportive or critical of the series because I'm only writing this reply because I decided to read the first few comments and thought that the people who were complaining are really only being dramatic.So please, if you're going to criticize him like that, then go read some James Patterson or something.
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Old 17th July 2007, 09:48 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I, as I've said previously in this thread, thought that the ending of the Dark Tower was apt and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest (apart for Roland himself and the despair that he felt when he realised he had to go through it all again). It was a surprise, certainly, but then if you had asked me when I was reading the books how I thought it would end, I couldn't have given you an answer because I didn't have a clue. I knew that it wasn't likely to be a happy ending because this is King we're reading, he gives you a real ending, as it were. (Although the rest of the Ka-Tet achieved a happy ending at least, now that was more surprising I feel, because as I said, it's not often characters get a reprieve from Stephen King. But then we had got to know these characters to a much greater extent than any of his others and I think a happy ending was owed to them).

I don't think, IW, that you can quite equate someone's grammatical skills and their being disappointed with an ending to a book. I don't quite see how the two link, as a conclusion is more about plot and a person's reaction towards it rather than any grammatical ability that they might have...

I do understand how this is clearly King's own journey (especially seen how he includes himself in the series and the focus on the time when he was suffering from too much alcohol and drug abuse, and also the focus on his car accident). And ultimately authors are writing for themselves and that the story is their own, what they chose to write about -- but I think that authors, especially best-selling, popular ones like King, have to keep their fans and followers in mind. I mean, without them an author is nothing, they need people to buy their books, otherwise they really are just writing for themselves in all senses of the word.

And the fact is that some people can't help but feel disappointed...The Gunslinger was written quite a few years ago now, so for those who read it when it was first published, they have had a long, long wait for the series to finish...and, understandably, if you've had such a wait and then the ending isn't quite what you've expected, some disappointment is inevitable, no matter how much they tell themselves that, yes, this is King's story.
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Old 17th July 2007, 10:42 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I use the errors just as an example.I mean some of the people here are seemingly well able to criticize a man who has sold hundreds of millions of his books and yet some simple minded people here are perfectly capable of saying his ending wasn't satisfactory when yet,ha-ha, their own literacy isn't even correct.So I think it's a little unfair to a person who-speaking in literary terms, is probably one of the closest things we have to a god-is being criticized by people who can't spell correctly.It's just severely unfair and annoying.The ending was fabulous.If you were a true fan and not just a person trying to sap the slightest bit of selfish grandeur from the situation then you'd be perfectly okay to say whatever it is you feel.But no I think it's just a tad degrading to the man is all.And I'm not launching a personal vendetta against people here-Hoopy,for instance,I respect totally because he can actually write things coherently-and so I'm replying accordingly to his own reply simply because he deserves one.And that is like The Dark Tower series,in that it deserved an ending,and by god we got one, so please(people that are just unnecessary, in critical terms),save the pointless comments.
But as for the books, some things were a little confusing.If King hadn't of gotten knocked down by that van, then a lot of the things in the concluding books could have been different.Like all those nineteens popping up all over the place.So if you think about that situation for just a second, you realize that if that hadn't of happened, then there would have been an alternate outcome to the books,or maybe not, but at least the whole nineteen thing wouldn't have been as excessive as it was,or maybe not there at all;and thus a totally different world in a sense,which is basically the whole idea of the last book(and included as a universal idea between the whole books.So no, the fact that the ending just created another world(where he did have the horn,people) wasn't an unfair one.As King said himself,it was the only ending there could have been.
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Old 17th July 2007, 11:06 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Yes, I think people do need to remember that this time around, Roland has the Horn of Eld and so there is hope for him. It's not all doom and gloom for him (at least, we can hope so, when he learns that it's not the tower that matters but his journey -- at least, that's my interpretation of it).

You say you're not launching a personal vendetta and I can see it's because you're clearly so passionate about King and his work...but I don't think you should mock people's literary skills or call them simple-minded. It's verging on personal insults and that's not how we do things at the Chronicles...informed and lively debate is what we like!

I am a big King fan, have been ever since I read The Eyes of The Dragon when I was a young'un (well...a younger'un) but as much as I love the guy and all his work, I know that people are going to disagree with things and raise differing opinions and in some ways, like I said earlier, I can see why something might irritate or annoy them. But then things would be very boring if we all liked the same things and said the same things. And I don't think everyone in the thread is claiming to be devout fans of King (he is a mainstream writer and appeals to a wide audience, if there's one thing the guy does well, it's entertain and engross) and I know that with books where I haven't been such a dedicated fan of the author, I've become annoyed with an ending or something in the plot. Overall, as much as it might grate against me, I'm always open to other people's opinions and can only hope that one day they'll see the light and love King

I do agree that people should pay some respect to any author and their writing. They put in a lot of hard work and dedication and just because they might not like a certain aspect of a story, they should not then rip into the author and insult them or their work just because of it. Constructive criticism about why they might disagree or feel disappointed is much better.

Oh, and to point out just a small detail...and I'm of the female variety
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Old 19th July 2007, 02:24 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Oh I'm so sorry about that,I just never bothered to check personal information to see whether I was talking to a girl or a boy.
Cry your pardon,sai?
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Old 19th July 2007, 05:41 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Thank'ee. And it's quite all right! But my profile wouldn't tell you any different, anyway (well, apart from my profile picture, I guess -- just remembered that!). And I've had this confusion around the site before...I must just have a manly style of writing.

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Old 19th July 2007, 06:22 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I don't know about that.It's just I think most people would assume that any person so zealous about sci-fi books and what not(I don't know whether you are,this is just an example) would most likely assume that the person was male.It sucks to live in a gender oriented world, doesn't it?
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Old 19th July 2007, 10:05 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Ah, it does indeed. It does indeed.

And yes, I am rather into science fiction, although it's only recently that I've started pursuing it to a greater extent. Fantasy I've always liked. But horror, in both books and films, has always been my favourite genre, ever since I was old enough to see! (From a very early age I have watched films that were...ah...not meant to be watched by someone as young as I was then...) Stephen King was probably the first 'adult' author that I read and I loved his work immediately and have done ever since!
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Old 23rd July 2007, 06:07 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

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Originally Posted by HoopyFrood View Post
Ah, it does indeed. It does indeed.

And yes, I am rather into science fiction, although it's only recently that I've started pursuing it to a greater extent. Fantasy I've always liked. But horror, in both books and films, has always been my favourite genre, ever since I was old enough to see! (From a very early age I have watched films that were...ah...not meant to be watched by someone as young as I was then...) Stephen King was probably the first 'adult' author that I read and I loved his work immediately and have done ever since!
Yeah, my parents were letting me read SK in the fourth and fifth grade. I look back now, especially considering I have children and think, "What the #$*&?"

They were also very easy going on my film experiences as well. In preschool I used to imitate the Predator from the movie of the same name taking off his mask, with complete sound effects for the hissing streams of air.

Childhood is funny when you look back on it. There are a lot of "They let me do that? Then? At that age?"

Don't take this to mean I had a bad or neglected childhood. But they let me make a lot of my own decisions.

Edit: But funny enough, they were EXTREMELY strict on music. Anything with the Parental Advisory: Explicit Language was banned outright. But it was OK for Detta to scream insanely racist things to Roland and Eddie on the beach with the Lobstrocities.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 06:52 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

Concerning books, my parents never really 'let me' read or not read anything. They aren't big readers themselves; indeed, in my family I'm the only one with such a passion about books. So I pretty much read whatever I wanted to. And I was quite ahead in my reading so I don't think I would have stuck with reading children's and young adult books all the time, although I still do read such books, but mingled with many adult books, and I think I would've been sensible enough to put down any book I might've been uncomfortable with -- not that I ever did come across such a book.

And yes, in primary school I'd also go around the playground enacting scenes from horror films and the like...and as I said around here recently, I even had a red haired doll that I called Chucky! I don't think I've been particularly affected by these films (apart from being a little bloodthirsty and ghoulish now...I'd rather watch a nice gory horror film than any silly rom coms or what have you and where some scenes make my friends turn away in disgust, I'm usually the one watching it and saying "oh, cooool!" ) I've certainly never been traumatised by anything I've watched and I have always known that the films are exactly that: just films (although sometimes my over-active imagination forgets that when I'm in a pitch black room by myself )
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Old 8th August 2007, 05:32 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I personally love the ending of The Dark Tower series, I think Roland is doomed to go through his journey over and over again, until he learns that the journey is more important, and he can put his ka-tet before his obsession for the tower. i like dustinzgirls suggestion that the tower is like a mirror for Roland, he sees himself in it, and doesn't like what he sees, but cannot let go of his obsession, and so has to got through it again and again until he realises that he must.
I also think that now that he has been given the horn, he has a chance of succeeding, as the poem at the end suggests. Perhaps with the horn, he can finally defeat the Tower, and be at rest. The question I have though, is, if this is the case, why had he been given the horn this time round? Did he do something important in his last run(the one we read about) that made him worthy of finally getting his chance to defeat the Tower? someone suggested earlier in this thread that the fact that Susannah survives shows that Roland has begun to complete his task of letting go of his obsession, could this be it?
Another thing I have to say is to those people that have said that the demise of Flagg and the Crimson King was a bit weak considering their immense power, and I can see your point, however, could it be that King is trying to suggest that these villians are simply not as big and bad as they think they are? The Crimson King has gone insane, and has been rendered useless by his entrapment on a balcony of the tower, and so his demise at the hands of a young man with a pencil, may show just how weak and unimportant the King has become since his insanity grew. He is now essentially just a prisoner, and an insane one at that. His power is gone.

As for Flaggs demise, perhaps it shows that although he is a real villian when it comes to lower beings, he is nothing in comparison to the beings above him, i.e- Mordred and The Crimson King, when it comes to them, he is as scared as we are of him. He plans to overthrow the King, and reach the tower, sure, but in truth, he hasn't got the strength to do it, and this is clear when he is sussed out and killed by Mordred, a child not long out of the womb.
I completely agree with the ending, and think it is fitting that Roland doesn't find what he wanted at the top of the Dark Tower, and until he learns his lesson, he never will.
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Old 8th August 2007, 07:04 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

by the way, i've read a load of comments that mention Walter and Flagg as two seperate people, aren't they the same person? Walter tricked Roland into thinking he had died after their conversation in 'The Gunslinger', but he had not, he explains this to Mordred before his death in the final book. So Walter, Marten, Flagg etc are all the same person.
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Old 9th August 2007, 12:33 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

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Originally Posted by Angelus_18 View Post
I personally love the ending of The Dark Tower series, I think Roland is doomed to go through his journey over and over again, until he learns that the journey is more important, and he can put his ka-tet before his obsession for the tower. i like dustinzgirls suggestion that the tower is like a mirror for Roland, he sees himself in it, and doesn't like what he sees, but cannot let go of his obsession, and so has to got through it again and again until he realises that he must.
I also think that now that he has been given the horn, he has a chance of succeeding, as the poem at the end suggests. Perhaps with the horn, he can finally defeat the Tower, and be at rest. The question I have though, is, if this is the case, why had he been given the horn this time round? Did he do something important in his last run(the one we read about) that made him worthy of finally getting his chance to defeat the Tower? someone suggested earlier in this thread that the fact that Susannah survives shows that Roland has begun to complete his task of letting go of his obsession, could this be it?
Another thing I have to say is to those people that have said that the demise of Flagg and the Crimson King was a bit weak considering their immense power, and I can see your point, however, could it be that King is trying to suggest that these villians are simply not as big and bad as they think they are? The Crimson King has gone insane, and has been rendered useless by his entrapment on a balcony of the tower, and so his demise at the hands of a young man with a pencil, may show just how weak and unimportant the King has become since his insanity grew. He is now essentially just a prisoner, and an insane one at that. His power is gone.

As for Flaggs demise, perhaps it shows that although he is a real villian when it comes to lower beings, he is nothing in comparison to the beings above him, i.e- Mordred and The Crimson King, when it comes to them, he is as scared as we are of him. He plans to overthrow the King, and reach the tower, sure, but in truth, he hasn't got the strength to do it, and this is clear when he is sussed out and killed by Mordred, a child not long out of the womb.
I completely agree with the ending, and think it is fitting that Roland doesn't find what he wanted at the top of the Dark Tower, and until he learns his lesson, he never will.
This goes back to my judgement that later on the Dark Tower series, especially in the ending, came to be King's judgement of not only readers' tendancy to rush through a book just to reach the ending but also of his own neverending quest to finish the series which may have sacrificed some of the enjoyment he might have had if he hadn't pressured himself so much about it.
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Old 9th August 2007, 12:32 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Re: Ending of the Dark Tower Series

I agree with this view 2 Marvolo. I think the fact that in the book itself King advises us to stop before we read the ending shows this, and yet we choose to continue and enter the Tower, just as Roland does. So I think he is definetly trying to show us as readers that we shoulden't rush books to find out the ending(which I have to say i'm guilty of myself!)
I also agree with the view about King himself, and his struggle to finish the books, its a good message overall, and i'll certainly take it into account in the future
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