Friday, July 14, 2006

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower – Stephen King

this is part 7 – the final part – of the story which chronicles roland’s seemingly endless quest for the dark tower. a series that is now being considered as one of the greatest american epics of all-time. and it’s only fitting that i finish the book (and the entire series for that matter) on the 4th of july which as we all know celebrates 2 crucial occasions: the independence day of the united states and fil-american friendship day.

it’s as if it was only yesterday that i perused the line: “the man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed”, the first sentence of the story that will eventually become the crowning glory of stephen king’s monstrously stupendous career. but truth be told, it has already been almost 20 years since those enchanting words first graced my eyes. i started the story with a 50/50 near-sighted vision. and just like roland who has lost some fingers on his dominant right hand through his many travels and countless adventures, i myself am now similarly disabled and have to wear glasses with a grade of around 250 or so for each eye. there is nothing to hold back this predicament for as in roland’s world, everything is bound to break down, be they machines or humans. the world moves on whether it be to our liking or not.

though it took me nearly 20 years to finish the dark tower story, stephen king spent a longer time writing it – more than 30 years, say thankya. it appears the “song of the turtle” (ves’-ka gan) was painstakingly slow in coming. mr. king can only listen to the song and write what he hears. he is neither the god nor the creator of his story and its characters. he is merely a conduit of a higher force or being, perhaps gan, for which the tale must be told. in fact, if not for roland and his ka-tet’s efforts to straighten out mr. king in parts 6 and 7 of the series, the story may not have been completed and would have left mr king’s constant readers all over the world hanging.

but does the story really end? mr. king writes that endings are brutal. after the “epilogue”, he warns readers to stop while the going is good. quit while you’re ahead as the saying goes. leave susannah happily reunited with eddie and jake who are both alive and well in a parallel world new york city. why remain in roland’s world as he enters his godforsaken dark tower when there are other worlds than this?

the reader has been thus warned and if he still insists on going through the horror of an ending (mr. king is after all a horror novelist by trade), then he shall proceed at his own risk.

as for me, unworthy receptacle that i am, i can only make an attempt to hear ves’-ka gan, that elusive song of the turtle, and upon hearing that song, when and if it gets sung, i make pen and paper meet.

rating: 5 of 5 stars * * * * *
mr. king has not forgotten the face of his father.


rob said...

Wow, what an ending! Stephen King even gives the reader a last chance for a happy ending.

Can you please let me know what the real ending is after the epilogue? Spoilers for the comments only.

roehl said...

rob, i'm sorry but i feel that giving you the real ending would be cheating all the readers who have patiently waited for this story to be completed, and cheating you as well of a great story.

and stephen king himself underrates his ending (and all endings in general). he feels that an ending is just the last few words of a story. he feels it's the journey that counts and not the destination. but if one is so obsessed with the ending, all he has to do is go to the last page of the book and read it......

rmacapobre said...

sounds grim. i love it!