The Dark Tower is pretty dark

Adel Gabot

dark-tower-books

8:02AM

I just came across an Esquire.com internet article this morning talking about how hard it is to adapt Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series into a movie.

I really wouldn’t know, because I never really read it.

What? You never did? But you’re the biggest Stephen King fan ever! You’re someone who discovered him early in your life and read everything he’s ever written!

Well, not everything.

I have to admit, I was a big fan, and I still am. I love King’s writing style so much that I try to emulate him in the stuff that I do. And his topics of choice aren’t that bad either, although I savor the non-horror ones because it proves that he doesn’t have to be a horror-meister to considered a great writer. To date, King has written 54 novels, five non-fiction books and about a couple of hundred of short stories, and I’ve probably read three-fourths of his total output.

I first came across King in his 3rd novel, The Shining, when it was still spankin’ brand new in 1977, when I was 15 years old. I read it and loved it, and then quickly backtracked and read Carrie and ‘Salem’s Lot and read almost everything he’d written since. I still have that copy of The Shining somewhere in the house, a hardcover first edition that I treasure.

 

1877

But there was a time I OD’ed on Stephen King, and laid off him for a long while. I think it was somewhere around the time he wrote Needful Things or Dolores Claiborne, around 1991. I remember starting Needful Things but I can’t remember how it ends, so it must be then. He wrote the bulk of The Dark Tower during that time, and it got shunted aside too.

I found that his writing to be basically repetitive and that he was just doing it for the money. I felt that he was phoning it in, and I didn’t like that at all, so I stopped reading him. But his influence never really left me, and when I got back into writing after my long stint in radio, I still continued to emulate his writing style.

Nineteen years later, in 2008, I got back into “reading” him when I tried listening to an audio book of his new novel Duma Key, read by actor John Slattery. I liked it a lot, although the novel wasn’t really that hot in retrospect.

Slowly, I read some of the work that I’d missed, randomly picking at my missed novels slowly at first. Bag of Bones. Cell. Lisey’s Story. From A Buick 8. The Colorado Kid. I started again in earnest with Under The Dome and began reading his new work religiously again, often getting copies as they come out on launch day. (Kindle e-book copies, mind you. I’ve long dispensed with the tree versions, although I miss them something fierce.)

But I never read The Dark Tower series.

God knows I’ve wanted to, but the thought of beginning that eight-book opus just makes my head spin, and I balk. When my friends talk about it, or articles like that one from Esquire come up talking about how difficult it is to adapt into a movie, I shut them out. I simply can’t relate.

Someday I hope I will work up the nerve to eventually start, and finish, The Dark Tower. But until then, it’ll be pretty dark for me.


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