EXPLORE THE WORLD OF THE DARK TOWER
Review Part One by Patty L. Fletcher
Anyone who knows me, knows The Dark Tower is my all-time favorite series.
In fact, I can literally recite parts of it by heart.
Why does this series resonate with me as it does?
That’s the answer I plan to give in the following reviews.
Because I feel this series should most certainly be read in order, I’ve chosen to review the books one-at-a-time.
Let’s start with what The Dark Tower is and from where it comes.
THE MAN IN BLACK FLED ACROSS THE DESERT, AND THE GUNSLINGER FOLLOWED.
The Dark Tower series tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is traveling southeast across Mid-World’s post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for the powerful but elusive magical edifice known as The Dark Tower. Located in the fey region of End-World, amid a sea of singing red roses, the Dark Tower is the nexus point of the time-space continuum. It is the heart of all worlds, but it is also under threat. Someone, or something, is using the evil technology of the Great Old Ones to destroy it.
Inspired in equal parts by Robert Browning’s poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western classics, The Dark Tower series is an epic of Arthurian proportions. It is Stephen King’s magnum opus, and is the center of his amazing creative universe.
Read “On Being Nineteen (and a Few Other Things)”
- Now, we know what this series is to be about and from where Stephen King got his inspiration.
OK. to the first book in the series…
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (Revised)
THE DARK TOWER I: THE GUNSLINGER (REVISED)
The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. So begins Book I of Stephen King’s iconic fantasy series, The Dark Tower. Part sci-fi novel, part futuristic dystopia, part spaghetti Western, and part high fantasy vision, The Gunslinger tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is tracking an enigmatic magician known only as the man in black. Following his quarry across the demon-infested Mohaine Desert, Roland confronts a mad preacher woman and her murderous flock, holds palaver with a speaking demon, and finally befriends a young boy from our world named Jake Chambers. Jake joins Roland on his quest, but while Roland travels with his young companion Jake, the man in black travels with Roland’s soul in his pocket.
The 2003 revised edition of The Gunslinger contains the essay “On Being Nineteen (And a few other things)” by Stephen.
More at Simon & Schuster
I was first exposed to this series when I received book five in a mailing of recorded books from the National Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.
Back then, we got our books on cassette tape by mail and sometimes we didn’t get series in order.
Some librarian had seen the types of books I read and tossed that one in with all the rest.
As soon as I began reading, I knew I must have the entire series and furthermore, I must have them in order.
The very next day, I called the Tennessee branch of NLS and requested to speak to my librarian.
I explained about the series, that I had book five but from what I was reading it appeared I might be best advised to read the series in order.
Soon, my librarian was hard at work gathering the books in the series and throughout that next winter and spring I slowly began devouring the series one book at a time.
The mailing process was maddeningly slow. Sometimes, I got tapes which were broken or had such background noise they could barely be heard. But thanks to my persistent communication and the diligence of my librarian I was able to finish it.
I was so moved by the series, I went online, found the website of the publishing company and wrote to let them know how it affected me.
I’d been going through a terrible depression and having the books to look forward to and read kept me going.
I learned so many life lessons from Roland and his friends as I went along their quest for the dark tower it changed my life.
Later, when NLS developed its digital reading program, I began downloading the series again.
I was able to read it through without stopping and again the life lessons were learned to the extreme.
Being able to read it on clear digital copy with good sound and brilliant narration made a world of difference.
One of the most telling lessons I learned as I began reading was that everything we do has a consequence. Not only for our lives but the lives of those around us.
The Gunslinger showed me that each choice we make leads to another and another until if we’re not careful the ripples we cause can turn into a Tidalwave of epic proportion.
Then, when Jake informs us,
“There are other worlds than these.”
The question arises,
“If this is so, does what we do in the world in which we live affect the other worlds?”
You must read onward to learn the answer.
Was Roland justified in the decisions he made?
Was his mission as he proclaimed?
Did he speak true when giving his explanations for wanting to reach The Dark Tower?
Was it worth all the hideousness along the way?
I found myself asking what I’d do if it were me?
Would I be like Jake, Eddie and Susanna, unable to leave off the quest?
Is the quest to reach the tower an addiction?
I believe if I suddenly found myself drawn into another world such as the one Roland lives in, even if I were presented a door which would lead back to the world from which I’d come, I would no more be able to leave off the quest than Roland himself.
I also believe I fell in love with Roland from sentence one and could no more leave him than I could cook and eat Oy.
Oh dear, I’m wandering.
You have no idea what I’m talking about.
Well, read the series, travel with Roland and see for yourself.
Visit: https://stephenking.com/darktower/#site-main for all related information and to pick up your copy.
For information on the National Library for the Blind and Print Disabled visit: https://nlsbard.loc.gov/
#Book, #Review, #Series, #ScienceFiction, #SpaghettiWesterns, #StephenKing, #TheDarkTower
CarlaNovember 28, 2022
Very interesting thoughts Patty. You have almost hooked me to give this series a try.
Patty FletcherNovember 29, 2022
I’m getting ready to put up more reviews. Standby.
Thanks for reading and commenting.