I’m taking on “The Dark Tower” series! It starts with The Gunslinger.
It was reassuring to read King’s preface to the edition I picked up, in which he describes the creation of the story: he was very young, and he was very green, and it took him a very long time to finish the series. And then, as he finished, he went back and revised for clarity and consistency. I admire this, and appreciate it as a reader, and knowing that he was young and green and that there’s more depth to come gave me some patience going into this first book.
I needed that patience because it’s a little heavy handed. I’m looking forward to continuing with the series, but it doesn’t yet have the epic sense of proportion that I got from The Stand, or even The Mist, which while incredibly intimate, is so wonderfully deep and dark.
The Gunslinger is a little forced. King leans into the set-up of the two lead characters as two sides of the same coin, forces for good and of course evil. I imagine that we’ll discover that they are both equally good and equally evil, but always in balance with one another. It’s a world full of magic, and the magic is fascinating and consistent and interestingly new and fresh. If there’s one thing I’m particularly looking forward to when I pick up the second book, it will be learning more about the rules of this universe and honestly, what the point of the story is. This was a big book of exposition, the long beginning of probably a very long journey.
Let’s do it, Steve.