At 11:14pm last night, my quest for the Dark Tower ended.
I was 19 years old when I was introduced to Roland of Gilead and I have to admit, I was not impressed. I was expecting another book about vampires, homicidal cars or blood-spattered prom queens. Instead I got something that seemed to take place in the past and the present, a Western featuring an unlikable “hero” who spoke in a made-up language.
As each book was published I read them because they were STEPHEN KING books and I hoped the story would get more interesting. When the fourth book was released I gave up as soon as I realized it was an 800 page flashback that did little to advance the story I’d been reading for the past 12 years.
When SK announced his retirement, I knew I had to finish the series no matter how tedious. I had no choice but to plod through it as I sat in 3 different airports for what felt like an eternity. This time something clicked.
I realized I couldn’t continue until I refreshed my memory. I read the first three books again and fell in love with Roland Deschain, Eddie Dean, Odetta Holmes, Jake Chambers and Oy of Mid-World. As a 40 year old, the concept of “ka” was something I understood. I was amazed when SK brought in familiar faces to combat or assist the Crimson King. I cried when I said goodbye to those I had grown to love.
And long after it ended, when I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking, I had to remind myself “It was just a story.”
I cry your pardon, gunslinger.