The Power of the Tower.
By jeanettehewitt78, Sep 4 2013 07:57PM
About twelve years ago a work colleague gave me a box of unwanted books to look through. Already a massive Stephen King fan, it was in the box that I came across three King books I’d not heard of. They were rather old, but excellent condition 1982, 1987 and 1991 editions of The Dark Tower (The Gunslinger), The Drawing of the Three and The Wastelands. Happy as always to read anything I took them, read them, and became spellbound by them. As soon as I had finished volume three I recalled that I already owned volume four – Wizard and Glass – but had not been able to get into it because I hadn’t read the previous novels in the series. I devoured Wizard and Glass just in time for the 2003 release of the fifth book, Wolves of the Calla. I had an agonising year to wait until Song of Susannah, the sixth book which was released in 2004 and from that point on I was on the waiting list to get the first published editions of both Song of Susannah and the grand finale, The Dark Tower.
The story of The Dark Tower is epic in many forms. Firstly it has to be the longest series in the history of literature. Mr King started The Dark Tower, The Gunslinger: volume one in 1977. The series was finally completed in 2004. Also, the sheer hard work that has gone into these novels is immense. The word count for the whole series is a staggering 1,295,000, amazing if you think that the average book has a word count of between 60,000 words and 90,000 words.
So my own journey of The Dark Tower ended in 2004 and I always knew that I would read them again one day. And that day has arrived, as last night I finished an excellent run of books feeling in the mood for a horror story. I browsed The King of Horror on Amazon and though there are a few recent ones that I’ve yet to read it was The Dark Tower that caught my eye and I made a wonderful decision to not only read them all again, but purchase them for my Kindle. And so it comes, over a decade after I discovered Roland Deschain (he’s the Gunslinger) and his pals, I am overjoyed to share their strange but beguiling world once more. One of the most wonderful things about the Kindle version that I purchased is the foreword by Stephen King, written in 2003, explaining in depth the journey that he travelled during the twenty seven years it took to write this story. Intriguing (and a little heart breaking) were the letters that he received from people like the cancer-ridden eighty-seven year old woman who wouldn’t live to find out the ending of The Dark Tower, similarly the man on Death Row in Texas who begged King to tell him how Roland’s journey would pan out. He couldn’t though, as he didn’t know himself. I remember the ending and will not give anything away lest any of you decide to take the journey to the Dark Tower yourselves, but it was worth waiting for.
A journey of my own is also coming to a conclusion this autumn with the release of my second published novel, Words Apart. Most of my novels are pieces of work that were started a long time ago, in the case of Worlds Apart this was actually written in 2001, but any manuscript that is worth publishing needs to be put away for a little while I think. When you go back to it you see the parts that need a heck of a lot of work, but also the parts that you think, I wrote that? Seriously? That’s pretty damn good! So an announcement will follow soon for my faithful readers and rest assured that there are more books in the pipeline. They may not be million plus word counts like The King, but they’re all in me and they’re all coming. Stephen King has so far enjoyed almost forty years of successful novels, published fifty books to date and had over fifty of his written works turned into movies or films for television. To have a fraction of this author’s success would be a life very well lived.