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Jan 28, 2015
I wanted to start this 'Inspiration' thread in the General area so I could read some of your posts without jumping from book to book. This topic fascinates me and I hope it will interest you as well. (BTW, I hope I am not retreading old ground here, let me know)
Over the weekend I found myself trapped inside with a stack of books to read. I read 'The Prince and the Pauper', good old Twain. I reread 'Jonathon Livingston Seagull', then found a book I had never read but which sounded familiar, it was called 'The Handmaid's Tale'. I scanned the back and it looked to be a bit of sci-fi. Now, like the rest of you, I remember reading somewhere that King said his DT series was actually a tribute to the artform of the written story. We've all seen it, You can't go home again, Wizard of Oz, etc. But this book surprised and delighted me. I felt as though I'd slid open one loop of a massive knot toward Kings understanding of the DT series. No finished threads here but....... 'Inspiration'!
*********************HERE THAR BE SPOILERS**********************

The Handmaid's Tale takes place in a future America. Destroyed then rebuilt in the style of George Orwell, the new America is called Gilead, and in said country the old gene pool aint what it used to be, with memories of 'Children of Men' fresh in my mind I read on and was glad that I did. There are so many correlations to Wizard and Glass in this book that it seemed an obvious inspiration of Kings. The story follows Offred, the concubine, or Handmaid. This brave new government has rounded up all of the fertile women (and girls) and sends them out to the rich and powerful to procreate. Because sex without the goal of birth is something of a crime, all of the beds mentioned have a large eye carved in the ceiling above them. The death squads bear an eye as do the Handmaids themselves(a small ankle tattoo, four numbers followed by an eye). Offred is given to the Commander to create a child, she must deal with His jealous wife. As far as meddling witches, there aren't any, exactly, but in this dystopian society, where everyone lives in fear, it seems that most characters are up for a bit of meddling. There was a scene where Offred comes home to find the Commander peeking into her bedchambers, even though he isn't supposed to do so until 'The Ceremony', being found out, he casually walks off.Iif you're a DT nut like me You'll see it immediately. Susan and Mayor Thorin. The Commander falls for her and she falls for another guy. Don't get me wrong, It's 'Inspiration' not 'Plagiarism'. I don't think King stole anything. But if you'd like to check out a book that, in my opinion, made The Dark Tower IV the book it became you should give it a read. I liked Wizard and Glass better, but that goes without saying. I can only hope that some of you have other stories of DT related inspiration. I would love to hear them.
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