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Commentary on The Dark Tower

Written by Mark Osborne

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I am an avid Stephen King fan and make it my business to hang off of every book of his I can until it's crumbling to dust between my fingers. I'd always found his thrillers to be, for lack of a better word, thrilling. His suspense novels kept me entranced until the very end, and the horror stories that man has fabricated were good enough to scare the socks off of me. I don't scare easily either.

Then one day I entered the local library for a day of leisurely study and research on an upcoming metal working job I had to undertake and as is my custom I stepped into the King isle. While I paced along, eyeing the damage that comes from many hands carelessly ruffling pages, I came across an anomaly. What was this? The Dark Tower, by Stephen King. I flipped to the back expecting some weirdo with curly hair and horn-rim glasses but was confronted with the friendly gray face of ole Richard Bachman himself. (That's King's other name)

So I checked it out along with a few articles on gold plating and the other required texts. And after a short leisurely walk thankfully free of lisping library policemen, made it to my living space. Since my dead line was a few months away I sat down and began to read the Dark Tower. At first I expected it to be crap after reading the back. Anything based off of an old poem with the words spelled funny was bound to be an uninteresting journey into the pits of boredom. The second I opened it to the first page, I was enthralled.

I hurriedly completed my project and returned to the library, checking out the rest of the incomplete series. I finished them with a strange buzz in my mind as I returned to the library, seeing psychotic trains and doors behind every lamp post.

The next months were agony as I waited for Wolves of the Calla to grace the bookshelf. I was the first person into chapters that day and the first to leave. Loaded with five books all in hardcover. I spent the next month living on Chef Boyardee and Kraft dinner but the fifth installment of the series held me entranced as one of the best and most action packed. I went through similar periods of anxious waiting for Song of Susanah and The Dark Tower to come to stores.

I was reluctant to put the final book down, hell you could call it a tome with how thick it was, but since there was no more to read I had to, setting the prized hardcover novels which had cost me so much on the top shelf of my small book case.

Fantasy novels like Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms had never held much power over me. I even found the work of Christopher Paolini to be half baked at most. In fact every thing about fantasy has seemed trivial, a way to back away from reality and into the world of the Über Nerd or whatever term you wish to apply to that group, I don't want to step on any toes here. But when I read about this last gunslinger of a dead country, religion, and even age I was prodded into a fantasy frenzy. Yet books from every series mentioned here and in other forums left me craving more. Finally I took two weeks off and did nothing but read and take as much care of myself as an overworked grunt in the work force can when confronted with two weeks of sedentary frenzy.

Even the idea behind the series, all the worlds in creation being held by one nexus of power created by humans at the peak of their technological and mental prowess, mixed with magic, demons, and mentally unstable computers and machines hell bent on tearing creation apart and turning everything into... nothing. The story spoke to the small part of me that even had a minute interest in the fantasy side of literacy. I felt myself to be touched in a fundamental area of my life and had my weeks off not run out I could have wasted away in front of those wonderful stories concocted by a master of the pen. I greatly recommend these stories to everyone and anyone who can read, as they will change your philosophy and outlook on life and make you wonder, how does the world keep turning?

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