March 24, 2010

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)Title : The Dark Tower
Author : Stephen King
Reading Dates : 24 Mar - 5 Apr 2010

Dark Tower Series. The Dark Tower is the 7th and final book in Stephen King's Dark Tower series. The books in the series includes :
  • The Gunslinger
  • The Drawing of the Three
  • The Waste Lands

  • Wizard and Glass
  • Wolves of the Calla
  • Song of Susannah
  • The Dark Tower

Book Summary of The Dark Tower.
Concerned that just owning the piece of land which houses the rose is not sufficient protection, Eddie proposes to setup a corporation whose main purpose would be the protection of the rose, Stephen King and to thwart the actions of Sombra and North Central Positronics. Roland and Eddie agree that the only ones they can entrust the task to is John Cullum who had helped them earlier, the retired lawyer Aaron Deepneau who had shown a modicum of good judgement in their earlier dealings and Susannah's godfather Moses Carver who manages the Holmes family business. John Cullum easily believes the tale of their quest and agrees to help them after Roland and Eddie contacts him. Leaving Cullum with the means to convince Deepneau and Carver to help, Eddie and Roland travel once again through a door to where the other members of their ka-tet are.

Meanwhile, Susannah-Mia had been dragged through another door to Fedic where Mia's personality returns to her own body. There, Mia gives birth to the child which should have been Susannah's. Immediately after Mia starts to nurse the child she names Mordred, the baby transforms into a monster with the form of a spider and devours Mia. In the confusion, Susannah manages to kill all her captors except for Mordred. Susannah then flees to a doorway to New York and is soon reunited with Jake and Oy after they come through the doorway to Fedic. The pair had escaped the vampires and low men through Father Donald Callahan's sacrifice. The ka-tet is made whole again once Roland and Eddie arrives.

After a short rest in Fedic, Roland's group travels once again through another doorway to Thunderclap. There, they are greeted by a group of 3 breakers. One of whom, Sheemie, is an old friend of Roland's who once acted as a squire to his first ka-tet. Ted Brautigan, Dinky Earnshaw and Sheemie have been awaiting the gunslingers arrival for a long time and secretly preparing a cashe of weapons for their eventual assault on Algul Siento where the Breakers are working on bringing down Shardik's Beam.

The gunslingers learn very quickly that time is running out for them to protect the remaining 2 beams which holds the Tower up. Shardik's Beam warns the gunslingers through dreams that it will break any day soon if the Breakers are not stopped and the gunslingers also learns of an impending plot to remove Stephen King who is possibly the mortal guardian of Gan's Beam. While the attack on Algul Siento is a success, Eddie is killed and their ka-tet broken. Eddie's last words to Jake is to charge him and Oy to protect Roland from Mordred.

With time against them, Roland, Jake and Oy travel back to Maine of 1999 via a doorway created by Sheemie leaving Susannah to bury Eddie. Roland's group arrives barely in time and forcibly drafts a local Irene Tassenbaum as their driver. They manage to save Stephen King but at the cost of Jake's life.

After a grieving Roland buries the boy he thought of as his son, Mrs. Tassenbaum drives Roland to New York where he gets in touch with the current heads of the Tet Corporation. Roland is both surprised and pleased to finally meet Moses Carver, 1 of the original 3 founders of the corporation who is still alive. As promised their corporation has taken on the role of defenders of the rose. And the original 3 have passed on Roland's will to Carver's daughter Marian and Aaron Deepneau's grand-niece Nancy. From them, Roland also learns of Patrick Danville who may be able to help them in their quest.

Roland and Oy then return to Fedic via the same doorway they had gone through before. There, they are reunited with Susannah. As the group travel through the White Lands, Roland is almost killed by the vampire Dandelo. They manage to dispose of the vampire and rescue Patrick Danville who was being held in captivity by the vampire. Later, Susannah realizes Patrick's ability to bring that which he draws on paper to life. Susannah then chooses to abandon the quest and travel to another world, through a doorway Patrick creates for her, and meets with another version of Eddie and Jake.

Soon after Susannah leaves, Mordred attacks Roland. Once again, another of Roland's companion dies for their quest. Roland kills Mordred and buries the dead Oy before arriving at the Tower with Patrick. There, Patrick uses his powers to erase the Crimson King from the known worlds and thus enabling Roland to enter the Tower. Roland enters the Tower alone after advising Patrick on how he might return to his own world or find Susannah.

In the Tower, Roland finds to his dismay that his quest for the Tower is one he has repeated countless times without remembering just moments before he is sent back to the beginning of his quest. The only difference this time is his past seems to have changed a bit, with the Horn of Eld with him this time where before it was lost.

Book Review of The Dark Tower.
From the moment that Eddie Dean is killed, there's a sense of impending doom. One that keeps telling me to stop before the author kills off more of the characters I have come to love after following them on their quest for more than a decade. I wish I could have stopped but that would mean not knowing the end. Well, I've never cared for Susannah Dean and while I might not have liked it, I could accept Eddie's death. But killing of Jake Chambers and Oy is simply too much. After all that they have been through, the boy and his dog belong together. To separate them, seems absolutely heartless. And for Roland to lose the boy he loves as a son without even a change to say goodbye.

Then, there's having a near total stranger, Patrick Danville, appearing near the end of a quest for which he cares nothing about and being the only one to make it to the Dark Tower with Roland of Gilead. It is Patrick Danville's gift which allows Roland to defeat the Crimson King. And all of it feels as if it's a cop-out. Patrick Danville is not the only powerful character to conveniently appear and then disappear once their usefulness came to an end. There's Roland's long ago companion, Sheemie who is a powerful teleporter. He appears to provide them a means for travelling back to Maine but then dies of an accidental mishap without even a goodbye. Ted Brautigan and Dinky Earnshaw conveniently provides them with the means to take down the jailers of the Breakers and just as conveniently disappears again.

Finally, there's the ending. What does it mean ? Is this repetition of the quest some sort of punishment for Roland ? Or some metaphor for which I do not understand ? What was the point of the quest if it was a punishment ? If Roland is the only one who does not remember, does this mean that apart from his original ka-tet formed in Gilead, there have been many others whom he does not remember ? Or will another version of Eddie, Jake, Susannah and Oy once again join Roland on his quest ? The ending leaves more questions than answers and if I thought the ending would change if re-read it, maybe I would.

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