A lot of the reviews are telling listeners to end the series early, but some of my favorite parts of the adventure take place in the final 3 dark tower books. And it seems that most people either love or hate the ending, I happen to be of the kind that loves the way the story ended.
The very first audiobook that I had listened to was Hearts in Atlantis. I was always a little disheartened at the way Ted Brautigan and the other world of the Low men and the breakers remained a mystery. After finishing the Dark Tower, I feel like that has been satisfied along with Roland's tale.
And of course, Guidall's narration is once again a pleasure to listen to.
Those who are party to the Ka-tet will stand and sing praises, those who still follow the Chrimson King will attempt to dissuade you from finishing the Journey. I cry your pardon and recommend finishing the Journey, as no matter how it ends, it really is only the beginning . . .
2 STARS FOR THIS BOOK 7 - THE FINAL IN THE SERIES.
Things wrap up for the various characters. The ending for Susannah, Eddie, and Jake was acceptable, semi-good. Roland’s ending was disappointing.
Something odd that I did not like was Stephen King (SK) inserting his voice. After a favorite character is killed. SK says “I know readers are going to be angry that I killed off (this character).” In another scene Susannah saves Roland’s life and he asks her how she knew what to do. She said SK left me a note, and she showed the note to Roland. Toward the end, the narrator says “I can’t tell you what happened to Patrick.”
I also did not like the SK character role in the story. Roland visits SK and is angry that SK hasn’t finished writing the series. Later Roland visits SK when SK was hit by a van in 1999. Roland saves SK’s life so SK can keep writing the books. Other story events also happen with SK.
When J.K. Rowling killed Dumbledore, she did not write “I know readers will be angry with me for killing Dumbledore but ...” That would have taken us out of the story. In the same way I think SK hurt his story by writing what he did above.
The narrator George Guidall was fine, but he’s not as good as Frank Muller.
Genre: apocalyptic time travel fantasy.
3 STARS FOR THE ENTIRE 8 BOOK SERIES:
One of the books is number 4 ½. The last book is number 7. The main character is Roland, a gunslinger, inspired by the Clint Eastwood character in his spaghetti western movies (ex: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). Set in an apocalyptic future, Roland is on a journey to the Dark Tower to stop evil forces from destroying the world. The books should be read in order. There are many wonderful ideas and stories. There is also too much clutter, rambling, and things I think should have been edited out. The Harry Potter series was better because everything developed the characters and moved the plots forward. Here at times I felt the author was writing short stories and getting off track. Overall I’m glad I read it. And there were a some wonderful parts that I will remember.
I was disappointed with the last two books. Instead of enjoying the journey, I wanted them to be over. I did not like Roland’s ending. It left a bad taste in my mouth. There was such potential and it felt piddled out. I liked one reviewer’s comment “in his rush to end this series the author has given up its soul.” (Amazon reviewer Roger FitzAlan “Aranarth”)
While I enjoyed the first three books in the series, I struggled to continue on after the fourth. Most of the fourth book (Wizard and Glass) should have been a separate book, not directly related to the Dark Tower series. The last three books were about Stephen King indulging himself in writing whatever came to mind. What he once wished was going to be his LOTR turned out to be his Tower of Babble (pun intended).
I thought George Guidall did a good job with the narration. It is difficult to keep up with all the characters and impossible for any one person to give each one a distinctive voice. I have listened to many of his books and I generally enjoy his work.
It seemed he forgot about the reader who wants a story, not just a neverending parade of characters (including the author himself). There are too many characters, too many subplots.
For those of you who have enjoyed the entire series and have been entertained, my opinion won't matter and I respect that. This review is for those who are struggling to continue on and wonder if it's worth it. I have enjoyed many books by Stephen King, but the Dark Tower challenged my resolve to finish any book I start. If Stephen King ever changed his mind about allowing his books to be abridged, the Dark Tower would make for an entertaining series. Great imagination, but self-indulgent on the part of the author.
I loved, loved, loved the series and loved the narration. Was at first disappionted when the narrator changed halfway through the Dark Tower series (loved the first narrator too) but quickly grew to know the new voice. Great books, great narration. It is a real talent when you can tell which character is speaking by the different voices the narrator is able to do. Didn't get five stars because Jim Dale has set the bar for reading for me, would have given 4 1/2 if I could.
OK, but marred by a weak ending. King gets big penalty points from me for the ending of this book considering the length of the series and commitment it demands from it's readers. The annoying vampire BS continues in this book as well and I've been critical of this component. As if we didn't have enough characters and issues to think about, well... throw in vampires and their agents, the low people! And don't forget the Tahines, please...
The Crimson King is a bit of a let down also, though SK is clever with how he is dispatched
With Song of Susannah (not too good) and now The Dark Tower, both written in 2004, I get the feeling that King was writing fast and furious to finish these. Overall I like the series, but it peaks with books 2-5.
This is a great end to this thread of the Dark Tower series. Interestingly the series continues via Talisman and The Black House.
The series ties in many of King's other works.
I had read the other books and purchased this one through Audible. The naration is excellent. The inflection and pacing provides a much better feel for the story than reading on paper. Just lay back, listen and let your imagination draw the pictures.
The book should be "read" after the others in the series. Many things are tied up here.
I wonder if this series is truely over. With The Black House and The Talisman, there is much room for parallel intersecting books.
Of the Dark Tower novels, The 3 that are the best, are Drawing of the Three, Song of Susanna, and The Dark Tower.
The others, are tales that stand as stories on their own. These, however, blend together as one story PLUS the last two chapters
of the Wolves of the Calla.
Truly, King's best work. I read Drawing of the Three, several times. It still rides as the Favorite of the Stories. I
always like beginnings more then endings, and it has a great fast pace.
Song of Susanna moves just as fast, and is just as captivating.
The Dark Tower moves both fast and slow. I think King was a bit over giving in this one. We get a chapter (sometimes more),
on characters, who are only crossing paths with the Ka-Tet for a page, (sometimes less). I think King got into this one, and didn't
want to let go.
When it moves, it moves well, but....
It's hard on the heart, say True.
I have listened to the ending 3 times now, and I get chills every time I listen to it. It is exactly as it should be. I can't think of any other way to end this series, and yet it was completely unexpected. Amazing.
And I'll go out on a limb here and say that the last line of the series will become as famous as the first line. That's how perfect this ending is.
I can see where it might provoke anger and disappointment for some, but for me it was exactly as it should be. In the past, I've sometimes been disappointed in King's endings, and I was a little worried about this one, but my worry was unfounded (no pun intended). I am now thinking back to all the previous stories in the series... thinking about how subtly different those stories are in light of this ending.
George Guidall does a great reading job once again. He did the impossible, replacing a legend (Frank Muller) in mid-stream, and didn't miss a beat.