The Dark Tower (Stephen King)

The Dark Tower is the seventh and final novel in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Finished on: 18.1.2018
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

After Mia and Susannah separate and Mia gives birth, the ka-tet is finally reunited. The Tower is getting closer, or they are getting closer to the Tower, but it has been under attack so long that it is severely weakened. Roland is convinced that Stephen King is the key to the end of his quest, so they make their way to Maine again.

The Dark Tower isn’t perfect, but it did manage the thing that seemed almost impossible: it delivers a satisfactory ending that ties this sprawling narrative up.

It took me a bit to get into this novel: the first 200 pages or so dragged a lot. But finally, all the pieces were put into place and things could really get going – and by that point, I was engrossed again.

And then things developed in rather unsuspected ways. The ending itself is daunting in its narrative ambition, and it’s pretty hard-hitting. The way there was also heavy – with the ka-tet slowly unraveling again in probably the worst ways. I didn’t expect the last person standing next to Roland to be the person it was, but I liked it. I didn’t like Oy’s fate (which is just as it’s intended). Poor little guy.

It’s no surprise that it’s here at the end that it becomes most apparent that the series wasn’t mapped out in advance, but rather grew organically. There are hints in the series that never really pay off, and there’s the introduction of a new character at the 11th hour who becomes absolutely central to ending the quest. It would have been even better, if they didn’t come out of nowhere like that, but that would have required King to know exactly what was going to happen before writing the book – and that’s just not the case.

Nevertheless, I was happy with the ending. As I was generally content with the series, although I would have liked some things to be different (above all: more diversity! Fewer white people, fewer men, some queer people). But I am definitely happy to have read it to the end.

Summarizing: Satisfying.

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