Monday, December 4, 2017

Revisiting the Dark Tower World

At one point, in this blog, I wrote about boycotting Stephen King.  It was kind of a sacrifice for me, because he's one of my favorite authors. On the other hand...not a huge sacrifice because there are so many other authors to choose from. 

My boycott ended eventually.  I still didn't like how he had acted, but decided his level of rudeness was one that deserved a Dina-boycott that lasted a few months or years, not multiple decades. 

Note: Just in case anyone is wondering/expecting. His behavior didn't involve groping, penis displaying, or raping. 

Now I'm actually doing the opposite of a boycott.  I don't know if there's a proper name for it.  I guess we could call it a concentration?  I'm reading ONLY Stephen King books.  I started in June or July.  My plan is to reread The Dark Tower series, and the connecting novels and short stories. 

The reason I'm doing this? 

Reading The Dark Tower series was one of the best experiences of my life.  But for some strange reason, I can barely remember any of it.  I remember bits and pieces—mostly from the last book.  For the most part, it's like trying to remember an old dream.  I get flashes, but nothing coherent enough that I can put into words. 

Whenever I saw mentions of The Dark Tower. For example: the movie.  I felt a twinge of regret. It was like a reminder of something I had lost.

SO...I eventually decided to remedy it.

Well, one of the reasons is because I read three or four novels in a row from other authors that I didn't like.  I started to feel quite discouraged, and decided that, for awhile, I'd read something I already knew I'd like.

Or it could be more like I DIDN'T start rereading the Dark Tower, because I felt there were so many other books out there that I hadn't read yet.  Why waste time rereading books when it's already impossible to catch up with all the not-yet-read books?  Maybe reading three or four books in a row that I didn't like made me rethink that mindset.

So far, I'm having mixed feelings in my Stephen King revisiting adventure.  I loved The Stand as I did in the past.  I liked Eyes of the Dragon, but didn't really get into it.  I enjoyed it, but had a lack of emotional involvement.  I wasn't very fond of The Talisman.  It's funny.  It's the third time I've read that book.  I didn't like it the first time. I liked it the second time. I didn't like it much the third time.

I liked Black House, as I did in the past.

I didn't really enjoy The Gunslinger, which is the first book in the actual Dark Tower series.  I was very confused and disheartened by this.  First of all, why the hell did I like it the first time I read it?  Have I changed that much?  And did I really want to reread the seven other books in the series?  It' might be kind of torture to get through all that.

I decided to Google to get some insights into other people's feelings about the book.  There I learned that a) It's not entirely rare to have problems with The Gunslinger b) It's not Stephen King's usual style of writing c) It's different than the other books in The Dark Tower series.  One online writer even suggested skipping The Gunslinger and started with the second book.  It's kind of like the warning I've given to people about Harry Potter.  I think, for some reason, the first chapter is hard to get through.  Just get through that, and you'll probably be rewarded with one of the biggest gifts of your life.  Although now JK Rowling is kind of on my shit list, but that's another story

I'm wondering how I felt about The Gunslinger in the past.  Did I read somewhere that I should force myself through it, because I'd be likely to enjoy the other books in the series?  Was my mind in some kind of unusual state at the time, one that led me to actually liking the book?

I have no idea.

I hope I like the next book.

No. I hope I LOVE the next book.

That's actually another Dark Tower mystery in my life.  I own only two copies of books from the series.  I guess I borrowed the others from the library?  But what's strange is it's two copies of the same book—The Drawing of the Three.

Why and how did this happen?  Maybe I loved it so much, I decided to get another copy?

Maybe one copy is missing pages, so I bought another one.

Maybe I meant to buy the third book and accidentally re-bought the second book.  Actually, that's a possibility, because in the recent past I've seen the book on the shelf and assumed it was the third book.  I guess I didn't carefully read the title, and just saw the three.

The other Dark Tower thing I want to talk about is the movie.  I guess I sort of remembered enough of the book to see the trailer and feel that it wasn't a faithful adaption.  I think I was looking for Susannah, who I DID sort of remember, and didn't see her.  OR maybe I read a review that told me it wasn't a faithful adaption?  Actually, I think it was a mix of both things. 

I assumed the movie was going to be crap. 

BUT then I learned something.  The Dark Tower is actually not an adaption of the book series, or the first book.  It's a sequel to the series.  But it also IS kind of an adaption of the books.  I remember enough of the book series for that to make sense to me.  So...now it all sounds kind of awesome.  I think after I read the series...if I end up loving it again.  I'll see the movie too.