Movie Review – The Dark Tower

Spoiler Warning: I do reveal some key plot points in as vague a way as I can. I normally would work to avoid this more, but in this case, I needed to bring these things up.

IMDB Summary

The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

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The Dark Tower, directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel, is an American science fantasy Western based on the novel series of the same name by Stephen King. The film stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger, Tom Taylor as Jake Chambers, and Matthew McConaughey as Walter aka The Man in Black. This is a film I have been highly anticipating for the last year. I’d been a Dark Tower fan for a number of years, but in the summer of 2016, when I was only halfway through the series, I resolved to finish it before this film released. In April of this year I completed The Dark Tower, my resolution completed. For a lot of personal build up it amounted to something sadly anti-climactic.Read More »

Book Review – The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Summary

Roland’s ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens: Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig in the summer of 1999 into a birthing room; Jake, Oy, and Father Callahan have entered the restaurant on Lex and Sixty-first with weapons drawn; and Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where “walk-ins” have often been seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters.

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Well here we are, the clearing at the end of the path. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally finished The Dark Tower — the seventh and final book in Stephen King’s epic series — and it has been one hell of a journey. I was uncertain how I would feel, finally reaching the conclusion of this series that took decades to complete. Endings can be tricky sometimes, especially for a story as big as this. Despite my doubts, I was sucked in pretty much the entire time. Not since The Waste Lands has the story marched onward so determinedly, taking us through different worlds, whens, and across great distances. Song of Susannah got the plot gaining momentum, and The Dark Tower propelled it further. The story begins by hitting the ground running, picking up right at the cliff-hangers we were left at.Read More »

Book Review – Song of Susannah by Stephen King

Summary

Susannah Dean is possessed, her body a living vessel for the demon-mother Mia. Something is growing inside Susannah’s belly, something terrible, and soon she will give birth to Mia’s “chap.” But three unlikely allies are following them to New York City from the border of End World, hoping to prevent the unthinkable. Meanwhile, Eddie and Roland have tumbled into the state of Maine — where the author of a novel called ‘Salem’s Lot is about to meet his destiny….

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Song of Susannah was an exciting change of pace for the Dark Tower series. As much as I liked Wolves of the Calla, it was a massive tome that took its time, mostly keeping the characters in a singular place for about a month over the course of the book. Song of Susannah drastically shifts the momentum of the story, propelling its characters toward the climax of their quest in a series of events that span a roughly 24 hour period. Even at a page-count of over 400, the plot felt like it breezed by in seemly no time at all.Read More »

Book Review – Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

Summary from Goodreads

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World on their quest for the Dark Tower. Their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis. But beyond the tranquil farm town, the ground rises to the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is stealing the town’s soul. The wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to. Their guns, however, will not be enough….

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Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King, the fifth book in his series The Dark Tower, is one I’d been wanting to get to for some time. After reading book four, Wizard & Glass, and then The Wind Through the Keyhole (4.5), I had had my fill of flashbacks and side-stories. Though it was without the addition of the latter, I can only imagine what the wait must have been like for fans who’d been reading the series since 1982. I enjoyed those books very much, but even I was more than ready to continue following Roland and company on their quest.Read More »

Book Review – The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Summary from Goodreads

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two…and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past.

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Published in 2012, The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King is part of his popular and acclaimed Dark Tower series. Written after the series’ completion, this novel takes place between The Dark Tower IV: Wizard & Glass and The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla. The novel, apparently meant to fill in a noticeable gape between the two entries, explores some more of Roland’s personal history before embarking upon his quest, as well as expanding upon the lore of Mid-World.Read More »

Finishing Wizard & Glass

My final book for 2014 was supposed to be Wizard & Glass, the fourth book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Despite my best efforts, however, I was unable to finish it before the New Year. Nevertheless, it definitely would have fallen on my list of favourite books for 2014, so I thought I’d talk a little about my feelings on the novel.

This will not entirely be a review. While I will be critiquing it and discussing what takes place in it, it does not sit well with me to give a full review on the fourth installment of a series without having discussed any of the previous entries (this was also the reason I didn’t review A Dance with Dragons).Read More »