on October 17, 2003
This series is outstanding!!!! True King fans love it, and I think it's an interesting change for those who may not care for King's normal "horror" genre. Bits and pieces of this masterpiece are hinted at in many of King's other books,a nice "inside joke" for King's Constant Reader. This series grabbed me and would not let go! I've read them all at least twice and like the header says, I'm foaming at the mouth for the "Wolves of Calla" to come out. This is a beautiful set and a series that could be as much of a fantasy classic as the likes of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! Once you read the first page of just one in this series you'll be compelled to read every one of them!
The dark tower series is a series of cliffhangers. With no real direction and a scanty outline Stephen can not paint himself into a corner. As with any dream (nightmare) you just change the rules if you get stuck with some logic. And this is what it is, just one long dream. It has all the elements of Stephen King including his potty mouth.
Do not try to compare this loosely jointed series of encounters with works such as of J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and George Lucas, as they have no resemblance to the Joseph Campbell myth of someone challenged to become more than they are. This animal is in its own purely fantasy (don't look for depth) project. I say project because it is ongoing with out a clear stopping point in mind. If you look at it this way then it can be a "five star" in its category.
"The Gunslinger" is over before it gets started no time to form an opinion.
"The Drawing of the Three" twice as long as the previous, leaves you with a dislike for lobster.
"The Waste Lands" twice as long as the previous, leave you with a dislike for Amtrak.
By now you have no opinion, dislike eating lobster on Amtrak, and can not wait for the next installment (Wizard and glass.)
on January 17, 2002
The space with which I have to write this review is not nearly enough to do justice to the epic adventure and world that Mr. Stephen King has created with the Dark Tower series.
Stephen King has brought us many different stories over the years, but none have ever been so grandiose and fantastic as these.
Roland of Gilead is our main character, a champion from a defeated Kingdom, wandering a dying world in search of the Dark Tower. Along the way, Roland has to gather a party of three to help him in his quest, and in doing so, help the three solve problems from out world in order to transport them back to his.
The battles (both mental and physical) that are portrayed within this series are absolutely captivating, and King will have written himself into history as one of the world greatest authors in yet another category by the time he finishes off his epic tale of Roland of Gilead.
This book collection is absolutely essential to the Stephen King fan, or to the fan of epic adventure. It is too tremendous to pass up on...get this series!
on June 15, 2001
I'd give this series 10 stars if I could. The Dark Tower story line is incredibly complex. The characters, Roland, Eddie, Jake, etc. are so complex and brilliantly described that they feel like people you know. Stephen King is the ultimate master at creating and molding characters. The Dark Tower books change the way that I look at the universe. The Dark Tower and what it holds is incredibly complex and simple at the same time. Life. Imagine this, that we took a trip out into space, passing the planets of our solar system and eventually emerging out of the Milky way. eventually we come to a boundary where our universe ends. We break throught this boundary and realize that our universe is nothing but an atom in a single blade of grass, which belongs to another universe entirely. And when things start going wrong, it is simply because the blade of grass is drying up.
This explains what the universe is like in "The Dark Tower." Read these books. You will be amazed.
"Go then, There are other worlds than these."
on January 1, 2001
I've just finished re-reading the DARK TOWER series for the second time and I found it even more engrossing. the first time I read it I read it out of order and not in series. This time However I was able to sit down and read it in order the way it should be(I also have WIZARD AND GLASS). This epic adventure begins with the words "The man in black entered the desert and the gunslinger followed" and that sets the tone for the story. the first book THE GUNSLINGER introduces us to a world that is "moving on", and to our hero Roland.We glimpse bits and pieces of Rolands world and our own (which is somehow related to rolands). I don't like to tell the story you have to read it so let's Move on to book two. In THE DRAWING OF THE THREE Roland meets up with the members of his KA-TET With whom he will share many great adventures on the way to find THE DARK TOWER.The third book of the seriesTHE WASTE LANDSis non stop adventure for our hero and his group of friends. Let's just say it will change the way you look at train travel! This series is by far Stephen Kings best work and it delves into a realm of science fiction that isn't usually written about.What is the earth going to be like 8000-10000 years after we finish ruining it.(That is my personal opinion of the setting. The books never reveal the exact time relationship)This is a story that can be read over and over and will leave you waiting on the edge of your seat for the next volumne. Also the art work is wonderful, although I preffer the third books the best. If you don't have any of the books yet then this set is the way to go because it will allow you to read them in order and straight through. The way you will want to once you have been DRAWN into this strange and wonderful world.
on December 25, 2000
I usually refer to the Dark Tower as one story whose ending is very uncertain to the readers. I think that is the most addictive quality to this story. When I first read The Gunslinger I was fourteen and just beginning high school. I didn't understand the story very well because I didn't realize that more was coming. Today any high school student up to professional will love the story because of all it has to offer. A compilation of fallen heros, all with sins, who have been gathered to fight the Crimson King. According to Mr. King this story is his Jupiter and I wholeheartedly agree. I almost panicked when I heard of his life-threatening accident thinking that the world was going to be deprived of a truly unique undertaking in fiction. My fears were vanquished (thank God!) and Mr. King continues with his passion. The first three installments of this story are enigmatic and also show progression in Mr. King's writing ability, being that The Gunslinger was written very early in his carrer and The Wastelands published in 1993 or so. When this story is finally finshed I think it will be a icon for late 20th century fiction in the generations to come. For me that makes the series deserving of a awesome rating.
on December 14, 2000
These books are definitely some of the best books that I have ever read, and probably ever will. Stephen King is a fantastic writer, and I truly admire his ability to grab hold of people's attention while they're reading his books and keep it there the whole time. Anyway, about the Dark Tower series, you're either going to love them or hate them. In most cases, you'll love them. It takes awhile to get used to the style of writing and how he jumps back and forth between times, worlds, and places, but once you get past that the books are great. King describes everything in the clearest detail possible and makes you feel as if you are truly there, watching everything happen with your own two eyes. I know that everyone says that about a lot of books out there, but it is very true with these ones. It's like you're becoming part of Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Oy, and Jake's adventures. Anyway, I do recommend these books to anyone out there who likes good books, along with Insomnia and the Tommyknockers, two more King classics.
on November 28, 2000
Stephen King writes a brillant tale about a quest for understanding and freedom. He blends different characters and different worlds into a series that captures the reader and doesn't let go. This is a series that any fan of adventure, fantasy, or thrillers must read.
The first novel introduces Roland, the last of the Gunslingers, a relic from a time when all of his world was Light. This paradise that is descibed by Roland was destroyed by civil war and unnatural occurances. Roland has taken up a quest to find the Dark Tower, the vortex of all time and all universes, where he will find a way to help his world from moving on. In this novel, Roland is found crossing a desert after the man in black, whom Roland is pursuing in hopes that the man in black can give him the key to the Dark Tower. On his way across the desert, Roland comes upon a boy, Jake, who was killed in our world and transported to Roland's world. Jake becomes Roland's sacrifice and bargaining chip to finding the answers he needs, but the boy also becomes his burden.
In the second novel, Roland finds himself in a part of his world that he is ignorant of, which causes him make several mistakes that nearly cost him his life. Here Roland must "draw" three people from our world to accompany him on his quest. Each one has individual quests to overcome. The first one drawn is a heroin addict that must beat his own demons before he can aid Roland. The second is a handicapped woman with split personalities that must be melded into one. The last person to be drawn is the boy, whose death in novel one has haunted Roland and nearly driven him to insanity. These four set off on the quest for the Dark Tower.
The third novel finds the travelers in a land torn by unrest. They must battle a giant bear, a deranged ruler, and a monorail that has been alive so long that it has gone crazy. They find clues that they are nearing the Dark Tower, but it doesn't seem to come any closer. Their quest seems to get no shorter as they travel into the fourth novel in the series.
All in all, this a series that will have the readers cheering for Roland and his band to reach their destination. The end of each novel creates a craving only for the next. This series and all of its characters find places in our hearts and never leaves us.
on July 19, 2000
I only started the series this summer, and now I'm done. Maybe its a good thing I didn't start this series in earlier years (seeing how long it took Mr.King to write the 4th book...I'd have died of impatience)The Dark Tower I: the Gunslinger is the best and most outstanding book in this series. It surpasses any other fantasy/sci-fi book I have ever read, thanks in due part to it's use of magical realism and use of the grotesque. King blends blue jeans with dark wizards, creating a fresh idea that isn't silly, but bizarre, and makes the brain do flips and doubletakes. The idea that all the universes in the (galaxy?) are centered around a nexus point (which is the dark tower) that is deteriorating, is the focus of the story. Roland is the man who is fated to save us all, with the power of ka. The Second book, the Drawing of the Three was simply great fun to read. Roland and his old and other-worldly ways, trying to mingle with twentieth century New York. The idea of doors between worlds isn't a new one, but somehow King manages to give it a push and a twist. The third book, The Waste Lands, is more horror driven (and you can see King's skills as an author of adult horror genre kicking in) but nevertheless keeps the eyes glued to the pages. Although I must say the ending was a bit abrupt. Who knows? Maybe its a marketing technique. It's really quite too bad not all editions come with illustrations though...
on July 7, 2000
While I'm far from being a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, 'The Dark Tower' series has captivated me for over 10 years. I picked up 'The Gunslinger' in high school out of boredom, and I have now read the first four volumes of this series three times and am currently reading the long awaited fifth volume, 'Wolves of the Calla'.
The way these books are written, you can imagine yourself walking along with Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy on their quest to find 'The Dark Tower'. While reading, their quest may even become your own. You can feel Roland's pain as he's being attacked by the 'lobstrosities', and the homesickness felt by all of his companion's. This story is full of twists and turns that connect many different worlds in many different ways, yet remains easy to follow.
As a huge King fan, this series is far and away the most shining example of his storytelling prowess. Everything is described in just enough detail (from the landscape, to the characters and beyond), to force the imagination into use, and it's very easy to get those wheels moving, no matter how long it's been since you've last used it. I promise you, you will get lost in this story which is part fantasy, part western, part love story, part sci-fi...and the list goes on.
Whenever someone asks me a good book to read, I recommend anything from this series (which was inspired by Robert Browning's narrative poem, 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'), and have yet to receive anything but positive feedback.