I want to write more about these books at my leisure, but for anyone who is wondering if I was still reading or what, I finished the sequence, and I'm really glad I did. It's weird and flawed and probably would have been better if King hadn't taken it in some of the directions he did, but I agree overall with Swantower's assessment: it really is his masterwork, not in the sense of "best book" (though I think it's among his best books, taken as a whole and certainly individually for some of them) but his key work, his most ambitious, possibly his most personal, and apparently what he thought of as his most important.

All my favorites of his books are flawed and weird and go on too long and have parts I don't like, and none but Firestarter have endings that I 100% love. This is all true of Dark Tower, but I liked the endings (yes, I read both) a lot more than I expected to. I especially want to talk about the second ending because it's such a fascinating example of a lot of spoilery writing/storytelling things, but I'll do so in another post; please don't spoil it here.

(At the end of Wizard In Glass, I thought I knew what the ending would be, or at least I knew how I'd write it. Then events went in a different direction, and the ending we got felt at least somewhat inevitable based on everything that went before. I might write my imagined ending as an AU fic spinning off from that point.)

As I mentioned before, I really like King's narrative voice even when I don't like the book otherwise, and in the books of his that I love, it's because I like the story, his voice is at its best, and I love the characters. Once I got past the first book, I loved the voice (his use of language and dialogue and made-up words is really impressive here, if sometimes uneven), loved a lot of the story and found it compelling even when I didn't like some of the places he took it, and I loved the main characters. I'm really glad I read it, there are parts I'm sure I'll re-read many times, and this was a good time for me to find something immersive.

From: [personal profile] saunteringfiend

Yay! So glad you liked them, did you have a favourite volume?

From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com

I am very much looking forward to discussing the endings with you. (I'm about to go to a con, so depending on when your post goes up, I may be late in chiming in -- but keep an eye on that space!)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Yes. There's a stopping point which is partly happy and partly open-ended, and King (who is openly narrating by that point, the books get very metafictional after a while) says you can stop there and have a happy ending, or keep going. The second ending doesn't contradict the first, it just shows what else happens. It's definitely darker but (in my opinion) not in a way that invalidates what went before. It also is somewhat open-ended, and leaves some space for interpretation. Actually, both endings could be interpreted in either extremely dark or fairly happy ways, or something in between.

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