I have been a Stephen King fan for 20 years. I finally picked up the Dark Tower series and read every book one after the other in about three months. Yesterday, I turned the last page of book 7. It was 1:30 in the morning and I put the book away with the most haunted, heartbroken feeling I have ever felt from reading fiction.
It's my opinion that Stephen King has cheated his fans. In fact, last night, I thought of throwing the books of his that I own in the garbage and renouncing ever being his fan. And this is coming from a twenty year die hard!
That's how much I hated it.
Let me share with you why I thought he cheated his fans...
1) Stephen King's strength as a storyteller is in using a literary tool called 'indirect conflict' to drive his stories. By conflict I don't mean 'fighting.' By conflict I mean 'change.' That is, something changes...you don't know what happened or why...you only see the effect of the change. Therefore, you keep turning the pages to find out WHY everything is happening. By using this technique as a storyteller, the writer asks his readers to trust him that the unknown cause is important. And as a storyteller, it is important that he doesn't violate that trust!
Examples of Stephen King's indirect conflict would be:
CELL - people who use their cell phones all of a sudden turn into violent zombies on day. You don't know why it happened or exactly what happened. You keep turning the pages to find out why. Same with KASHWAK = NO - FO. You know it means something important but you don't know what it means or why. So you keep reading to find out why. By using this technique, Stephen King is asking us to trust him and it is important that he doesn't violate that trust!
You find this technique used in most of his stories...Sun Dog (why is the camera doing this? where is the dog from? why is this happening?), Library Policeman, Langoliers...the list goes on.
I started off not knowing what the Tower was or why the quest was important. I put my trust in King's use of indirect conflict. And this is what I get.
I am interested in what others thought. You hated it? Why? You loved the end and can offer a better way for me to see it? Let me know.
If Stephen King wanted to turn the Dark Tower into the ultimate horror story, he did it by ending the series this way. This was a scary ending. I will give him that.
Anyways, that's all I have to say for now. Thanks for hearing me out.