Monday, 29 August 2011

The Dark Tower sequence - Stephen King

I'm a huge lit geek, and one of the things I enjoy is when writers play little games to amuse themselves and their readers. I've recently been reading the Dark Tower Sequence by Stephen King, in which he does this a lot.
Now I'm not really a Stephen King fan, I've only read a few of his books before, including the short story which became The Shawshank Redemption. The Boy bought me a copy of The Stand a little while ago, and I really enjoyed it. He suggested I borrow The Dark Tower books from him and read them, and so I did.
I found the first book, The Gunslinger, a little dull and heavy going, despite it being a slim volume, but once other characters began to enter the plot in the second volume, then I began to enjoy it a lot more. The characters are fun and realistic, the plot sprawling and multi-layered. Occasionally it's a little confusing, and can get a bit frustrating; especially once the author entered the plot as a character.
There are loads of clever meta-textual references, to other Stephen King novels, to the Wizard of Oz, and dozens of other books. It's inspired partly by the works of Tolkien and also Robert Browning's 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'.
If you like epic quests, brave heroes, and cute little animals who talk, I recommend you give them a go. There's also a series of graphic novels based on the novels, which I will be reading next.

The Dark Tower Sequence
  • The Gunslinger
  • The Drawing of the Three
  • The Waste Lands
  • Wizard and Glass
  • Wolves of the Calla
  • Song of Susannah
  • The Dark Tower

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