Review

The Dark Tower VII

by Stephen King



And now the tale is told.


This is the one that fans have been waiting for: the conclusion of
the Dark Tower saga, a story that has been moving its way through
(including THE DARK TOWER) seven books of varying doorstop sizes.
THE DARK TOWER is supposed to bring an end to this tale, and it
does --- in epic fashion, in Stephen King fashion. We greet it with
some bittersweet anticipation, as this is supposedly the last of
King's offerings to his readers. This may or may not be true (I
have at least one indirect indication that the final word may not
have been written), but if this is King's swan song he is going out
in very fine form indeed.


THE DARK TOWER is the seventh and final installment in the epic
tale of Roland the Gunslinger and his quest to reach The Tower in a
last ditch effort to save all that is. The series combines elements
of The Magnificent Seven and The Wizard of Oz, though
it is darker than both, with the consequences of failure more
cosmic. This is a telephone directory of a novel (800 pages) that
will keep you up all night for a couple of nights. It is also, of
course, a Stephen King novel, with several water cooler
moments.


King doesn't waste much time getting to the nitty-gritty. Readers
of SONG OF SUSANNAH, the sixth volume, will recall that at the end
of the book Susannah/Mia prepared to give birth to Modred Deschain,
successor to the Crimson King, while Jake, Oy and Father Callahan
prepared to bust up a vampiric banquet. THE DARK TOWER picks up
precisely where SONG OF SUSANNAH left off. Trust me, you won't want
to take this book to a restaurant and begin reading it while you
devour a double steak burger. Nor would you want to start it if
you're in the middle of a Lamaze class.


No, the master really goes beyond the freaking pale in this one,
and that's just within the first one hundred pages. At one point in
the narrative King steps in and tells the reader, straight up, that
what is to be revealed is more bizarre than anything we have looked
at so far, and he is not kidding. Whatever your most memorable King
moment may be --- Annie Wilkes standing at the foot of the bed,
Carrie bringing down the school auditorium, Pennywise coming out
from under the bridge, Jack Torrence in the lustful embrace of a
rotting corpse --- there's going to be a moment, or maybe more than
one, in THE DARK TOWER that will eclipse it.


If you've been looking for the abyss that Friedrich Nietzsche wrote
of, the one that stares back at you, it's within these pages, as
Roland and his ka-tet travel to End-World for the final
showdown at the Tower. Sacrifices are made, friends we have known
for decades say goodbye, and those left --- well, there will be
some surprises. It does not all end well, or happily. But what ever
does? And if you have hung in there, for lo these many years, you
will not be disappointed. I am hoping to live just long enough to
read it all over again. Twice.


THE DARK TOWER makes demands, as has the entire tale, laid end to
end. It has been enthralling and at times frustrating, but this
final novel is the ultimate reward. Sai King, we say thank
ya.


   














Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 29, 2010

The Dark Tower VII
by Stephen King

  • Publication Date: September 21, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Donald M. Grant/Scribner
  • ISBN-10: 1880418622
  • ISBN-13: 9781880418628