First I would like to state that this post constitutes my humble opinion and nothing more. You may consider it wrong, it may be wrong, I respect Stephen King fans so lets not get personal about it. This post may also contain what some may consider spoilers although in very general sense. No plot details are revealed here. However if you are someone like me it can save you quite a bit of time…
I’ve started reading the Dark Tower series even before I got my Kindle 2, read it for a while when I got my Kindle DX and then quit after reading around 70% of the Wolves Of Calla. I actually stared hating Stephen King passionately around the end of The Waste Lands… and here’s why: as he himself admits in the introduction he set out to write an epic “and in some ways (at least in size) he succeeded” but at a cost: at first The Dark Tower series books are very fascinating read because the world described is so self-contradicting that you can’t help to wonder how is he going to pull it all together in the end. But as the books progress contradictions only increase but what is more frustrating is that there are still a lot of interesting and fascinating parts that are buried in completely boring passages or outright retelling (sometimes to the point of copy-paste) of events already described. This becomes even more agonizing as you wonder more and more about how is it going to come together in the end but also as you try go though increasingly lengthy boring stuff as you try to get the interesting parts. For me there was just barely enough of the later to keep me from giving up on the book altogether. That’s what made it so agonizing.
So recently as I was reading though Wolves Of Calla, my wife asked me what I’m reading about currently. As I mustered all my “Uhm”s, “Well”s and “You know”s I’ve realized that I have nothing of interest to say about probably last 100 pages that I’ve read and this was the point when I said – enough is enough. I turned off my Kindle, turned on my notebook and went to wikipedia (god bless it) to find out how does it actually end. Ok, now here comes pseudo-spoiler: at the end it doesn’t all come together and become clear and whole picture – it becomes much bigger self-contradicting mess than you can imagine. I sighed with relief as I’ve realized that I’ve saved myself dozens of hours worth of reading Song Of Susannah and The Dark Tower.
Don’t get me wrong – these books aren’t the worst literature that I’ve read in my lifetime however I don’t think that mr. King’s desire to “outwrite” J.R.R.Tolkien justifies all the suffering he inflicted on humble readers like me. If I were to choose one book of the 7 book series that I were to recommend to someone to read, I’d choose Wizard and Glass. My second choise would probably be The Drawing of The Three with first part of The Wastelands added.