Book Review: The Dark Tower by Stephen King

The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7)The Dark Tower by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read for the 12 Awards in 12 Months Challenge, the Apocalypse Now! Reading Challenge, the High Fantasy Reading Challenge, and the Read the Sequel Reading Challenge.

This novel won the Derleth Award in 2005.

The conclusion of the Dark Tower series is probably the best book in it, tying it all perfectly together. It has a lot of conventions in it that are generally frowned upon in in modern fantasy literature (deus ex machinae, heavy-handed foreshadowing,) but these things are an integral part of mythic stories, and this book makes it clear that above all, the Dark Tower is a narrative myth. Sometimes the heroes get out of things because of psychic forewarning, which feels like a cheat, except that the bad guys also make use of such things and have from the start, so it levels the playing field a little, and is not the solution to all of their problems.

Once again the characters are defined as much by their flaws as their merits. Roland is obsessive, Susannah divided between Jekyll and Hyde personality elements, Eddie cocky, Jake brave to the point of foolheartiness, and Oy loyal to a fault. All of these things are also their merits, and they give them strength, but they cost every last one of them in the end.

King brings back all of the themes of all of the previous stories, and nods to little elements here and there. It feels like he’s honouring all of the story that’s come before. That could be why it’s so long (more than 1000 pages, my friends!)

The ending is intense. I did not like it at all when I read it as a teenager. Now, at 42, I absolutely love it.

View all my reviews

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