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Khef, ka and ka-tet - Any Dark Tower fans excited over Book 5?


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#1 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 05 2003 - 04:11 AM

Roland (and his band of gunslingers) adventures continue in Stephen King's new novel: Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower Series Book 5) released yesterday.

Any other DT fans out there pumped up?

I've been waiting seven years for this book. I discovered the trilogy in 1991 when I came to college, via the Plume trade paperbacks. These had the artwork from the commissioned artists (King commissions a different one for each novel - soon to be broken as I believe Michael Whelan, who did Book 1, will be doing Book 7) but I longed for the hardcover as I am a collector as well as a fan.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that a small boutique publisher (Donald M. Grant) was the only one who had hardcover rights to these, and that the runs of the first 3 books were 20,000; 30,000 and 40,000. They were also more expensive, but that is because the books were of superior build quality (I work in a library so I know about binding techniques and paper quality). Trust me, the DM Grant versions will last more than a lifetime.

Anyway, I went on my merry way trying to purchase all the HC versions. I was able to buy #3 and #4 from regular stock, and obtained back stock of #2, but #1 always eluded me (it sold regularly for hundreds of dollars at collector's shops). Luckily a few years back Grant did second printings of the first three in hardcover (with new all-new artwork by Phil Hale for #2) so I purchased those.

But meanwhile, the real gem of these is the story. In my opinion, this is King's finest story. It combines all of the elements that have made him successful: a bit of horror, great adventure, great characterization, some links to "our" world, ties to his other works, The Dark Tower series has it all.

For those interested in starting up, this summer Viking publishers (King's old pub) issued Hardcovers of the first four books. This was King's attempt to finally make the series available to the mass public. I bought those too as reading copies and they are wonderful editions. Pick them up at Amazon or your local bookstore.

I am trying not to jam through Wolves of the Calla as #6 (Song of Susannah) doesn't come out until mid-2004, but I'm finding it hard. I thought I'd only read a few pages last night but ended up burning through 40 pages in an hour and had to stop myself or else I would have read through the night (it was already 11PM when I started and I have to be at work at 8AM).

Any DT fans please chime in with your thoughts and experiences with this wonderful series!

Which is your favorite book? (Mine I think is Book 4, not a popular choice I know, but I loved the backstory of Roland)

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#2 of 132 Keith Mickunas

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Posted November 05 2003 - 04:47 AM

Carlo, what all happened in 4? I've read the first three I know, but I can't rememeber if I read 4 or not. I've gotten tired of the time between books, and in general I haven't kept up with King since Rose Madder and Gerald's Game and all that.

#3 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 05 2003 - 05:14 AM

Book 4 was nearly 700 pages, and most of it dealt with Roland's past, childhood, and becoming a gunslinger. This angered many DT fans who were hoping that Roland (old Roland) and Company would get closer to the Tower. Of the 700 pages, only about 100 dealt with Roland in "current time" and the rest was about Roland's childhood.

I thought it was a fasciniating insight into The Gunslinger's past and really humanized him in a wonderful way.

I think people just were pissed that after they waited 5 years for Book 4, the company were no closer to the Tower. And since it took 7 years for Book 5, people have been getting real antsy, with the accident and all. But after the series is finished (and his last two are finished in rough format, just a last pass at editing and rewriting are needed) I think Book 4 will be looked upon more kindly.

#4 of 132 Lowell_B

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Posted November 05 2003 - 06:13 AM

Excited? I'm almost done with it. Imagine my suprise when I saw a copy at the library about a week ago. I have about 200 pages left, and man, it's a very, very good book. I'd say it was worth the wait, but I only started reading the series around 2 years ago, so I haven't been waiting that long, lucky me. Posted Image

I'll definately second that Wizard and Glass (Book 4) is the best so far, although Wolves of the Calla (Book 5) might usurp that position when I'm finished with it, which would continue the trend that in my opinion, the books get better and better with each one.

Also, for those new to the series and/or King in general, I'd definately check out the books he's written that are related to the series, (The Stand, Salem's Lot, Hearts in Atlantis, etc.) Aside from being great books in their own right, they really flesh out some of the story of The Dark Tower, and I'd definately recommend reading Salem's Lot before Wolves of the Calla. Some major references there, although he does a good job of a recap if you've never read it.

I still can't believe the series is finally done, and we'll have the whole thing before the end of next year. I can't wait to see how it ends.

Lowell

#5 of 132 Jed M

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Posted November 05 2003 - 06:29 AM

Picked it up last night, I can't wait to get started.
Quote:
I'll definately second that Wizard and Glass (Book 4) is the best so far
And I will third that. Its a shame that its so hard to recommend because you have to read 3 books to get to it. It reminded me of Eyes of the Dragon, still one of King's most underrated works.
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#6 of 132 Ralph Summa

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Posted November 05 2003 - 06:31 AM

I'm looking forward to this too. I planned on reading the entire series over before "Wolves" came around, but only got through the Gunslinger.


Lowell,

There was also a great short story in "Everythings Eventual" that featured Roland and some pretty twisted nuns. It didn't tie into the big story, but it was just another tale.

#7 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 05 2003 - 06:32 AM

Good point about the peripheral books. Though vestiges of the Dark Tower world can be found in nearly all of King's works, the most important ones are probably the three Lowell mentioned and perhaps Talisman/Black House. Black House he wrote w/ DT in mind, but he seems to be moving the DT world into some parallel way with The Territories in Talisman. Either way, you have to read Talisman to read Black House.

#8 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 05 2003 - 06:34 AM

Quote:
There was also a great short story in "Everythings Eventual" that featured Roland and some pretty twisted nuns. It didn't tie into the big story, but it was just another tale.
Agreed - nice short story, not integral to the DT series. Also have McSweeney's Thrilling Tales which has The Story of Gray Dick, featuring Roland & Co at Eisenhart's Ranch (which is Book 5 territory) but I don't think it's integral to the story either...more of an "aside" to Book 5. However the other short stories in McSweeney's are very good, so if you like the short story format, pick that one up!

#9 of 132 Lowell_B

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Posted November 05 2003 - 11:52 AM

Yep, "The Little Sister of Eluria." I first read it in Legends which is a compilation of short fantasy stories.

Also cool about the new book is where they have the Also by Stephen King section (not sure what they call those Posted Image ), all of the Dark Tower related books are in bold. There are still some I haven't read yet, but I think I've read the most important ones. With all the seconding and thirding going on, I'll second that Eyes of the Dragon was a great book, I'm not entirely sure why it gets sort of a bum rap. Maybe as King's only "true" fantasy story, it's too different from his other works.

I've never heard of McSweeney's Thrilling Tales before now, but The Story of Grey Dick was a chapter in Wolves of the Calla and although it may seem trivial taken out of context of the book, it fits right in with the flow of the book.

Lowell

#10 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 05 2003 - 12:06 PM

Ah! I did not know that it was a chapter pulled straight out of DT5! I just bought the McSweeney's compilation because there was a King short story that (I thought) was related to DT5. Yes I'm obsessive. And yes, out of context it doesn't make much sense but I'm sure when I get to it in the book it will make perfect sense.

Thanks!

#11 of 132 Dome Vongvises

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Posted November 05 2003 - 04:26 PM

I loved book Wizard and Glass. And as active of an imagination that I have, Susan Delgado was a pretty hot girl.

Book IV almost made me cry because it was so sad.

Jake, almost ten years younger, could. He got up, went to Roland, knelt beside him, put his arms around the gunslinger's neck, and hugged him. "I'm sorry you lost your friend," he said.

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#12 of 132 Clay Kilpatrick

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Posted November 06 2003 - 12:20 AM

Even though I love all of the Dark Tower Books, I think Drawing of the Three is my favorite. I just liked all the stuff with Eddie, and the pusher. Insomnia is another great book that ties into the Dark Tower series.

Also, has anyone read the new version of The Gunslinger? I am just curious on what is different.

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#13 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 06 2003 - 03:49 AM

Clay - a lot is different. Although King estimates there is only about 10% of "new stuff" i.e. stuff that had no precedent in the original version, he touches nearly every sentence. He rewrote it to make it "sound" like the other novels. I do admit, when I told friends to read #1 I usually gave them the caveat that the series hit its stride in #2. Now I can just tell them to pick up the series and start reading.

Luckily I have both versions. There was something I liked about the original version, a kind of...not pompousness...but you could tell King was aspiring to a kind of grandiosity in the way he chose to write it. He didn't succeed 100% but I liked what he did write. Of course, even with that, I would recommend to my friends now to read the new version. It flows with the story much better.

And there is no change that is analogous to Greedo Shooting First.

#14 of 132 John Miles

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Posted November 06 2003 - 06:09 AM

Does anyone who ordered the Artist Edition of DT5 from Grant have it yet? I'm a little annoyed at not receiving my order before the standard retail edition hit the shelves.

#15 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 06 2003 - 12:12 PM

They were shipped in the last week or so - yours might still be in the mail. I don't have mine yet because I had an address change that didn't go through the first time. But they emailed me saying it shipped yesterday.

#16 of 132 Jim_C

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Posted November 06 2003 - 01:30 PM

I'm thrilled that DT5 is finally out. I too have been reading since about 1991 and it's been a long wait. I loved Wizard and Glass, although I was a bit sad that it didn't advance the Ka-tet closer to the Dark Tower. I'm almost finished with book 4 of the Master and Commander series so I'll start WotC in the next couple of days. Can't wait!

I've also read the Talisman and Black House and have been very interested in Kings merging of the Territories and DT.
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#17 of 132 Sam Posten

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Posted November 07 2003 - 03:15 AM

The man in black fled into the desert and the gunslinger followed.

How can you NOT love a series that starts so?

Loving DT5 so far, just not enough time to read!!!!

I love the surprise end to the prologue =)

I think, as a whole, that DT series will eventually be my favorite king work, tho at this time The Stand version 1 and version 2 are up so high on the pedestal that they are out of reach.

The story linking is just amazing. If you havent read 'Insomnia', you absolutely must, its kind of like the sleeper story thats the key to all the rest =)

Plus, King draws occaissionally from the Lovecraft mythos (in fact may consider these works IN that mythos, I dunno) which just puts it to 11 for me.

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#18 of 132 Dome Vongvises

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Posted November 08 2003 - 02:50 AM

Here's a good one:

What's your favorite moment, and why?

BTW, I created a thread on casting for the Dark Tower series. But like a lot of threads, it got goose eggs for responses. :b

Can somebody please change that? Posted Image

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#19 of 132 Carlo Medina

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Posted November 08 2003 - 07:23 AM

Dome, let's just continue your thoughts within this thread: one large Dark Tower thread will survive easier than separate ones.

I remember a few months (or maybe a year) ago someone brought up Viggo Mortensen - and it's now been brought up again at the other King Movies thread. I thought that was a nice choice.

When Green Mile was released I talked w/ Mr. Darabont at a Signing Day at Dave's Laser Place about making this movie and he said he'd love to but that who in Hollywood could pull off Roland? I agreed that there was basically no modern-day equivalent to Gary Cooper or Clint Eastwood (in his 40's), but that was before Viggo began his turn as Aragorn on the big screen (another role I thought would be very difficult to cast for).

But other than Viggo, I can't think of anyone who would be appropriate. I think that might be more of a reason why you got no responses. They don't make westerns like they did in the old days anymore.

#20 of 132 Dome Vongvises

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Posted November 08 2003 - 04:43 PM

Sounds cool to me.

Gary Sinise is the first name that's popping into my head for Eddie. I'm not saying it's a good or great choice. Just saying that's the first name that popped into my head. Posted Image





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