For as long as I can remember I’ve been a Stephen King fan. After picking up Carrie when I was 9 to now I have read just about every piece of work the master of macabre has released. There was one work of his that I left unread for a very long time. That was the Dark Tower. I simply wasn’t interested in it. Unsure of what it was, I couldn’t place a finger on why it was, or what about it that did not appeal to me I just felt it wasn’t necessary. Throughout my 33 years of being a huge fan, The Dark Tower always seemed to elude me. Even as an adult, when a picture of me and my children was picked for the special collage on the back of Wind Through the Keyhole, did I simply not find interest. Then it happened. My wife had to say something about it. She asked me, “How can you be his biggest fan and not read everything he has?” That was it. No one was going to question my adulation of my role model, my mentor, my hero. It was then that I decided to embark on the journey that is The Dark Tower. This was just last year.
Seven books make up King’s Magnum Opus, with Wind Through the Keyhole being a between novels addition, to make an even eight. I got through The Gunslinger easy enough. The novel wasn’t that long and the prose was easy enough to understand, as the Gunslinger chased the Man in Black through the desert. Second came The Drawing of the Three. The Drawing of the Three began to garner a bit of interest in me and began making me question why it was that I hadn’t read these before. With the visual landscape of a beach and the addition of each character in full detail was enough to keep me occupied. The idea that each character was added from New York at a various point in time was intriguing to me. However, nothing could prepare me for the addition of Odetta Holmes/Susanah Dean. Susanah’s character was so complex yet so simple. She was so plain yet so intricately woven into the mind of the reader. This book dealt with drug addiction and the results of actions. The following book, The Wastelands, added another character. Perhaps one of the most fun characters and one of the most loyal, Oy, was a character that I quickly latched on to. King interweaves pop culture and fantasy in this book with the use of ZZ Top. At the end of the book the characters board the train Blain the Mono, a train that is hell bent on derailing itself unless the Ka-tet (the name of the small knit group of characters) can beat it in a riddle contest. After this book I was hooked especially through to the next and perhaps best book in the series Wizards and Glass. If you’re interested in following the Gunslinger and his Ka-tet along the path of the beam I won’t waste any of your time and suggest you pick up the books and begin reading.
My point is this, there are several characters and several worlds within the path of the beam that is known as The Dark Tower. There are several ways to get there and many trials to face. I was very happy to realize that there was so much more to the books than i initially realized and was very excited to explore these worlds and these characters. Yet, it is with baited breath that I await the motion picture adaptation of this work. There has been already so many overhauls as far as characters and story plot that I fear this is going to be something King calls his constant readers are going to despise. I hope not but I can’t help but feel something is amiss when King’s quote about the movie is, “It starts sort of the middle of the story rather than the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it because it is the story.”
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand by King on the release of so many film, as this is the year of King. But, why is it we can’t get the works that we fell in love with? Sure, some of his 80s films left a lot to be desired but they at least tried to show some sorm of resemblance. This year we’ve received the Mist television show, The Dark Tower gets released next month, and It follows in September. The movie It seems that, at least for us constant readers, with be closer to the source material.
I hope I’m wrong about this movie, I really do. However, as a constant reader, I am growing tired of seeing new imaginings or adaptations. I long to see the works that he created in the books that I fell in love with. I plan on seeing this film in the theater because, simply, I’m intrigued. I just hope that a series that took me so long to get into in the first place, doesn’t get destroyed in an hour and a half film.
To view the poster click here: http://ihorror.com/movie-poster-dark-tower/
To watch the trailer click here: https://youtu.be/GjwfqXTebIY