Book Review: The Dark Tower (7)

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Book:  The Dark Tower

Series: The Dark Tower # 7

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre:  Fantasy? Horror? It’s Stephen King.

Rating: 5 freaking stars, baby!

I can’t really review this book without discussing some of the key details, so readers beware–there may be SPOILERS ahead. The Dark Tower was the seventh and final installment in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and it deserves all the fanfare and hype of being the final book. There are even two endings, depending on whether you like just a nice neat journey or a messy epilogue.  I imagine some readers won’t be happy with the fate of some characters, but be realistic. It was foreshadowed from Book One. This is horror or dark fantasy, depending on your definitions. Not everyone was going to survive to the end.  At least I can say that those who died, died well.

I’ve read The Stand. Up until now, I always considered that to be King’s best work (you can agree or disagree with me on that). Well, I have to revise that. Taken in its entirety, I think the Dark Tower series is King’s masterpiece work.

He takes a few big risks in this one. The fourth wall which he basically shattered in the 6th book is equally nonexistent in this one. He puts himself in as a character, one that has a direct effect on the main characters and the plot. That was a gutsy move. But it fits with the world of the Dark Tower, and the whole notion that there may be thousands of worlds, many of them similar, that we nothing about. (More things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, and all that.) The book also has a really great creepy but also classical villain in the form of Mordred, Susanna and Roland’s son (and also Mia and the Crimson King). Very Arthurian.

There are a lot of classic themes in the book, drawing from classic tales and poetry. But the book also takes a few modern twists as well:  time travel, nudges towards 9/11, and comedic robots, for example.

Readers will either love or hate the series. But those that have gotten this far I think will mostly agree that it’s been a great ride.

 

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