Sunday, October 14, 2012
100 Books #98 - Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER
Well, thank Bog that's over.
I'll tell you what: for a while there, I was going to let that sentence be my whole review. The Dark Tower, also known as last 1050 pages of the enormous Dark Tower saga, was pretty rough going for me. Mostly in terms of sheer annoyance.
Unlike most of the series' true fans and Constant Readers -- and I know a lot of them, online and in meatspace -- I never really bonded with the characters, mostly because, as I've complained of in all of my other posts about these books, these characters never really came to life for me.* Oh, they came close, every single one of them. But it always seemed like just as soon as they were doing so, the author yanked hard on their puppet strings and made them dance to his tune instead of their own. I've come to expect that from King, but after watching him do that for hundreds and thousands of pages, to the same five main characters and a host of secondaries, I'm punchy and exhausted and annoyed as hell and want to punch the man in the crotch.
But then there's the ending. And let me tell you this: I dug the ending. Oh, not the wish fulfillment happy ending in Central Park, but what we learn in the coda. Seriously: after wading through all the muck of these last several books, that was really the only ending that would have earned my respect. Well done, Mr. King. I might even call you Sai King. Just this once.
*So no, I didn't cry or anything when anybody died. In large part this is probably because not a single death in this book is a surprise (well, except for one, and that one, that was just cheap. Hundreds of thousands of pages of shit-eating grins and traps and henchmen attacks and BOOM, a brand new player pulled off the bench in the last book gits him? UGH). I've complained of my ribs being sore from all the digging references to other elements of pop culture (Harry Potter. UGH); now my head is sore from its having been beaten over the head in advance of every death. Kate. Yeah. Hey, Kate. Kate. So and so is going to die. Are you ready for so and so to die, Kate? Because so and so is gonna die. And it's really going to be tragic. And it's going to make you sad. I'm really not sure you're ready. Because I'm not kidding. So and so is going to die. Hey, Kate, do you get it yet? So and so is gonna die. STOP STOP STOP.