The Dark Tower

Discussion in 'General Books' started by tearoutmythroat, May 7, 2008.

  1. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    So i haven't seen a dark tower thread yet and i think it quite worthy to grace the pages of the fantasy forum. Although a mixed genre series the dark tower puts a very different and entertaining perspective on the fantasy genre. But what topic out of many should start the dark tower thread?

    I suppose I'll start with the talks of a dark tower film. There seems to be mixed reviews on such a thing and I have to say that when I first heard of this it was a bitter sweet feeling. While I loved all seven books enough to read each twice and some a third time and do think the series worthy of film, I don't think the characters will play out well on screen. It will take a miraculous cast to sway my feelings on this. I say miraculous because I like Roland in my mind and it seems to me that no actor will trump my vision of him. I feel the same about eddie dean but to a lesser extent. These characters moved me and the possibility of seeing them portrayed by bad or distasteful actors scares me.

    That being said, the sweet part of that bittersweetness is the fact that i read an interview with King in which he states how he would never have let these books be optioned had it not been for the success and excellance of the lord of the rings trilogy. The implications of this statement got me excited since i thought all we were gonna see was a film version of the comic book version of Wizard and Glass... Which don't get me wrong, it would be their best bet if they only wanted to make one movie. But a series of dark tower films... now we're talkin. Perhaps seven films is too much to ask for... but i would be happy with three, maybe four 3 hour long films.

    So yeah... thought? concerns? other DT topics?

    Long days and pleasent nights...
     
  2. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    I read the first book a long time ago and hated it. I read a review of the last book somewhere and it went something like "An act of pure spite, loathing and disrespect from the author directed toward his own audience"
     
  3. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    Kings books often get such reviews... Or more accurately the endings to his books. He proclaims himself as a "the journey is more important than the destination" kind of writer which to some people looks like a cop out. As an aspiring writer I can somewhat relate to his words though when he explains his theory of "endings"... he can be quite convincing.

    As for "the journey"... the meat of the series is completely different from how the first book reads. The first book is slow compared to how it picks up in the second where within the first couple chapters Roland is already minus two fingers on his right hand and filled to the brim with poison... he finds a floating door on the beach inches from death and what he finds behind it begins a whirlwind of amazing fantasy/sci fi/horror/drama storytelling. Totally different from the first.

    As for the horrid reviews of the 7th and final book, while i dont share the enthusiasm of the critics the last book was definatly my least favorite of the 7. But the ending was unique if your open minded enough and "the journey" there was too good to let a mediocre end ruin the whole thing.
     
  4. sonofskywalker3

    sonofskywalker3 Gunslinger

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    I've read all 7, and they are certainly an example of king at his prime in my opinion. the ending to the series was, while unexpected, in the same vein as the books, dark, disapointing, but yet with a trace of hope.

    as far as a movie, i agree, there is very little chance that any actor could portray the characters anywhere near as deep as in the books. The only actor in my mind who could possibly play roland would be Mr. Clint Eastwood himself, but the likelyhood of him surviving a series of films of this magnitude is highly unlikely, and we certainly don't need another dumbledore...
     
  5. Amalthea

    Amalthea Milady

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    Honestly, the success of this series boggles my mind.
    I read The Gunslinger back before the rest of the series was being worked on. I loved it, and was so excited when The Drawing of the Three came out. Eh, it was okay, but the books got progressively worse. By the time I got to W&G, I couldn't read anymore.

    Never have I been more disappointed by a series that started out promising. I liked a lot of King's early work, but in his later years he got it right when he said something along the line of "You can produce a fart, and people buy it."
    King is great at building the suspense, and then crushing your hopes of an apocalyptic ending with something along the lines of "They destroyed the all-powerful evil monstrosity that had enslaved, tormented, and tortured them for centuries with a laugh and a wink." The man does not know how to end a story. Period.

    Sorry about the rant. I didn't mean to offend any King fans, but that is they way I feel about the guy.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  6. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    and now there is the comic series... which is also quite successful right now.

    Wow... i thought the drawing of the three was one of the best books in the series. But i guess that is where we differ since i prefer more of King's newer works rather than his older stuff. I almost didn't continue the series after i read the first book, although i liked it a lot i wasn't ready to read six more of the same... But i was blown away by the second and pretty much each subsequent after that.

    Its not that he doesn't know how to end stories... If that were true then the man wouldn't be one of the most famous authors of our time. The fact that he is so famous is what makes it hard. So many people read his books and you cant please everyone of them... I personally happen to like his unique endings.
     
  7. Lady Galeth

    Lady Galeth Member

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    i really liked that series.i didnt like the last one as much,but overall i didnt consider them a waste of time at all.to make them into movies might work,and if they were well made it would be cool,but i could be pretty bad if they werent made well.plus the storyline gets pretty...involved to say the least,especially toward the end so it might be confusing to anyone who hasnt read the books a couple of times.i've only read them once myself.
     
  8. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    It will indeed be hard to translate the characters onto the screen... This is one of my biggest fears for the movie(s).
     
  9. DangerBird

    DangerBird New Member

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    I've read the first three of the books. The first one is good, the 2nd one is great, and the 3rd one was ok. I've heard that 4 and 5 are pretty dissapointing and not as good as the last two or the first three. I didn't really stop reading them because of this but because...I dunno. It' been a couple years since I read the three books now and I honestly dunno why I stopped.
     
  10. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    Thats how i felt at first... the second book (drawing of the three) blew me away but then i felt a little let down by the wastelands (book 3) in comparison. However after i finished the series i was compelled to go back and start again and realized that the books i thought were boring at first were some of the best ones...

    If you only read one more dark tower book make it Wizard and glass... (book 4). its one of the best as it is a story within itself and takes the reader away from the main story line for a well needed break.

    It chronicles roland and his original ka-tet right after he defeats cort. its a pretty amazing story.
     
  11. Wrathen

    Wrathen New Member

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    Tearoutmythroat - I too am a HUGE DT fan! I am worried about movies... hope they are not the pale attempts some of the Miniseries have been. I am also not so sure about this comic book thing - I don't like reading graphic novels - its too slow having to look at the pictures and figure out which box to read next... they frustrate the hell out of me, but now I feel like I'm missing out on more story!
     
  12. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    Yeah im worried, but i look at it this way; the books are written and will always be as they are. If the movie(s) suck the books will always be there for us!

    As for the comics I highly recommend that you work through your frustrations and read them. They are amazingly done and well written. I might be biased though since I am a big fan of comic books. However with the first series you didn't miss too much since it was just a retelling of wizard and glass with some content taken from the gunslinger added for foundation for those new to the series. I was a little disappointed about this at first as i was hoping for new DT content. This disappointment was quickly quelled when i noticed how well the story was retold and at the end of each comic are nice sized short stories that cover a lot of the time of Arthur Eld and the Prim. Even if you don't read the comic part of each book these short stories (non-illustrated) make the books worth buying.

    That all being said, the second series began about 3 months ago and this does indeed contain all new DT content! Oh happy day!... The series takes place right after Roland, Alain, and Cuthbert escape the big coffin hunters and chronicles their trek back to Gilead. It's supposed to culminate with the battle of jericho hill which is something most DT fans have been dying to see.

    Oh yes, i do recommend that you pick up the first series graphic novel and the first 3 issues of the second series if you truly enjoy the DT. The last two issues are supposed to come out June and July this year.
     
  13. Wrathen

    Wrathen New Member

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    Yeah - I figure I'll get to them eventually! Most likely from Amazon en masse - my book funds are virtually nill right now.

    As for movies - how on earth will they portray Susannah's legs? That will be so hard on the actress - there will probably be blue socks on her legs, and when she moves on the ground, there will be wires. From all the stuff I've seen, being hooked up to wires is painful. I can't imagine trying to move like your legs aren't there from the knees down. Since Lord of the Rings I imagine Viggo Mortensen as the Gunslinger, but who knows if he would take it on at his age. He's coming up on 50, and there are 7 stories!

    I write myself, and whenever I lack inspiration or need to free up my mind, I read these books. Also - for those of the un-initiated, don't listen to what others say, if you are a fan of fantasy, just try it. For instance, book 4 is my least favorite
    SPOILER! SPOILER!!
    (I just don't like stories of love that are doomed from the start) Go figure! There is no accounting for taste. Also, if you don't like Stephen King, you might still love this series. And what fans think and what critics think rarely coincide!
     
  14. DangerBird

    DangerBird New Member

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    The books would never work as full blown holly wood pictures. It would be better to do a tv series on HBO or one of those channels.
     
  15. tearoutmythroat

    tearoutmythroat Dr. Fuzzywhipple

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    Yeah.. it always boggles my mind when spec. effects make a main character legless... it seems like pretty involved work for both the actor and effects unit. Then again im easily pleased with special effects... i actually enjoyed jar jar binks! and i get shit for that constantly!

    Putting the star-crossed lovers theme aside is the book still your least fav.? I'd have to say although im not one of these people that hated the ending, my least favorite book was the 7th. It just didnt grab me like the others... but i was happy with the ending. Maybe i read it too fast... ripped through it in like 2 or 3 days... which is fast for me as im a medium-paced reader.

    Last i heard there is still speculation as to whether King will make it hollywood style or for television. Although in the last interview i read he cited the lord of the rings films and their success as inspiration; so that gives some hint that he's leaning towards hollywood. But seeing all these new dramatic 20-30 hour long seasons of shows like lost and heroes i also think a TV version might work better than a hollywood version. Plus TV acting and writing is getting way better than it used to be. It would be much cheaper than making seven films which i doubt they would do anyway... but a fan can dream.
     
  16. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Reviving this thread because I'm currently listening to the audio book version of the fourth book. I really enjoyed the first three books - the first one was good, and in my opinion it's only gotten better since then. I've read/heard somewhere that the fourth is said to be the best one, but now that I've read a few of the posts in this thread (I only skimmed some out of fear of reading spoilers) it seems that opinions differ.

    Before starting this series I had never read anything written by Stephen King before, so I can't say anything about that. I do like the writing style, though, and the characters, and how confusing things get every once in a while.
    I also have to say that the narrator of the audio book, Frank Muller, has done an awesome job! I'm sure I could never get used to hearing Roland with any other voice that his. :D
     
  17. mahrkpat

    mahrkpat New Member

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    For me after the first three books, the D.T series failed to engage me and I stopped caring for the characters. The film on the other hand has completely nothing to do with the D.T series apart from the title. Two of the main characters were missing and its focus was on the boy Jake also it would have been nice to see the dystopian failing future/past post nuclear war? mid world portrayed better, old west towns with futuristic collapsing cities with a talking train side by side.