Interlude: The Dark Tower

Day 70. 161 pages, 58,131 words. Blugh. Got bogged the past couple of days.

So it looks we’re one step closer to an actual live-action version of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Some sort of test footage or pre-release reel or actual trailer has been leaked, and I was really rather impressed by it.

Trailer Dark Tower!!!

Well, with apologies, I guess we have to be quicker than that … the footage was pulled back off the Internet with the greatest of speed … sorry. It was cool, though. Happy hunting!

I may be the only person who’s even interested in this adaptation, but I don’t care. Come to think of it, I don’t know of that many people, aside from Mrs. Hatboy and myself, who thought the ending of the book series was cool. Yes, it might have been cooler if King had managed to pull it off without re-writing The Gunslinger, but one must make allowances for the decades that passed between first and last book. My good friend Mr. Thorn, who sent me the link, didn’t think much of the series, but that’s no big surprise to anyone who knows him.

I really liked this trailer. I think Elba has just the right feel and tone for the role, and his Gunslinger mantra was perfectly delivered. And the use of Behind Blue Eyes was inspired, a cute little nod towards the original story and the classic literary Roland, even if the adaptation is a little bit … well, adapted.

Mrs. Hatboy was concerned at the number of whiz-bangs and explosions in the trailer (those of you who know me will be unsurprised to hear I wasn’t bothered by  it). I suppose it depends on whereabouts in the story they intend to begin. From the trailer, it looks like they’re starting at The Waste Lands, with Jake suffering his death in one world / in the past and saved / broken life and Tower visions in another, before finally emerging from the house on Dutch Hill and entering Roland’s world.

There could feasibly be some explosions and stuff there, depending on how much of the end of Gilead we get to see in flashback. There’s also a certain amount of spectacular fighting and destruction in Lud, if you stop to think about it. I don’t know, I just hope the whole series gets its chance to be as awesome as it could be. They can put all the explosions they want into it.

And I can’t fucking wait to see Blaine the Mono.

Man, now I have to read this again.

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7 Responses to Interlude: The Dark Tower

  1. brknwntr says:

    I have never read a Stephen King book. It was never a conscious decision, just wasn’t allowed to when I started reading adult fiction at age 10, and never really felt the need to break through that barrier. The few bits you have written here have made me cautiously curious to give this series a try though.

    • stchucky says:

      Stephen King, as he has himself said quite unabashedly, is a pulp hack write-by-numbers author. He loves what he does, and while there’s not a lot of variation to it, his work is colourful and fun to read – if you like that sort of thing.

      You’ve struck me as absolutely not a snob when it comes to reading, which is where a lot of the criticism for King comes from – people who consider themselves “discerning readers” but are just snobs. King is … well, you only need to look at how many cheesy horror movies have been made out of King books to see that side of his craft. But then there’s the Stand By Mes, the Shawshank Redemptions, and the Green Miles.

      The Dark Tower series, though, is something special. It’s got seven basic books, following a quite complex adventure and set of characters – but it touches on almost every book and short story King has ever written. It’s his common thread, his bridge that draws all his worlds together. All his greats – The Stand, IT, Insomnia, Cujo, even TV shows like Kingdom Hospital (which I thoroughly recommend) – they’re all in there. The Dark Tower is King’s ur-story.

      Does that make it great literature? Hell no. King himself would chuckle at the accusation. But in my humble opinion, it’s an amazing story – and the final book, or the final part of the final book, was very prominent in my thoughts as I finished my Final Fall of Man sequence. King even writes a personal aside at the beginning of the last part of the book, “this is a good place to end it, if you don’t want to see what really happens next, stop reading now and walk away happy and ignorant” (paraphrased).

      So few readers did as he suggested, and that’s why there is so much bitching about the end of the Dark Tower series.

      I think the first Stephen King book I ever read was The Drawing of the Three, which was actually the second in the Dark Tower series, but it doesn’t matter. That was published when I was 9, but I was probably 11 or 12 when I read it. After that, the next book in the series was published in ’91, then the next in ’97. Keeping in mind this is King, not Martin. That’s a huge gap.

      I’m not really sure what I’m fanboying about here now. But the Dark Tower series is by far my favourite King story, and there are lot of King stories I like. I would even say it’s my favourite book series, full-stop. At least I can’t think of a series off the top of my head that I like more, for all that Jordan’s Wheel of Time literally changed my life.

      • brknwntr says:

        That IS my brother basic blocking aspect. I don’t generally go in for horror. But I’ll give it a shot.

        Also, I CAN be discerning, but often I’m just looking to spend 2-3 hours and read a book through start to finish. I’ll give the first one a shot*.

        *By which I mean, I’ll read all seven. Just because I have no ability to scroll past, and I have to know the end of everything. It will have to be truly heinous for me to put it down. And i would likely still go read the ending on Wikipedia.

      • stchucky says:

        Hey, I didn’t say you weren’t discerning (unless I really mis-wrote). I said you weren’t a snob.

      • stchucky says:

        Also, I would say that the Dark Tower isn’t really classic King-horror. Yes, it has some surreal horror-moments and themes, but it’s not your Lovecraft-rip-off-y chomp-monster splatterfest. There’s more going on there.

        Anyway, if horror / pulp horror as a genre is what tends to put you off, that’s a very good reason to not read King – but I think you’ll be okay with the Dark Tower .

  2. JonathanBloom says:

    It’s apparently the story that picks up where the books ended, expect with a certain added item.

    So shit is about to get real

    • stchucky says:

      We all love spoilers here, so if you mean the Horn of Jericho, just say it.

      That would certainly be a solution to the ending that (almost) everyone hated. Damn, now I’m even more excited.

      Come to think of it, how much would the original ending piss off movie audiences?

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