And we arrive at one of the greatest novels of all time, my friends. The novel that started the actual greatest series of all time. And don’t argue with me, for I am rabid.
I haven’t read this book in a while. I kind of dropped off the face of the planet two years ago upon giving birth to my daughter, and was suddenly thrust into newborn hell. I spent so much time in the dark that I could only read on my phone, and so wasn’t able to pick up a paper book for some time. I started The Gunslinger the day before she was born, and picked it back up off of my dresser two weeks ago.
If you’re like me, and read too many things all the time, you understand how my brain just doesn’t hold onto the details of novels for very long. And regardless of how many times I have read this book, every time is like the first time again. Stephen King, you make me feel like a virgin.
Also, being a parent now, the whole dynamic between Roland and Jake hits totally different places now. Roland’s betrayal is just… ugh. It was so much more heartbreaking for me.
I’d also forgotten how intense the final conversation was between him and the man in black! The whole speculation about how the universe could just be inside of an atom on a blade of grass within another universe, and when the lawn gets mowed our universe starts to distort and fall apart. For us it’s been millennia, but that blade of grass has only been alive for one season. I had Siri reading that part to me while I was driving and I almost had to pull over. It was almost like vertigo, that feeling of being so small and insignificant, and what if our universe did suddenly just get mowed through? It hurts my brain to even begin to think about it.
This is what King does to us, constant readers. And I love him for it.
For the Dark Tower Fans: Seeing as this is a Dark Tower book, this is pretty useless. I could have omitted it, but I didn’t, so ha.
Fear Factor: While this book isn’t overall scary, it does have some bits that chilled me. The oracle, the slow muties, and the whole first bit of Walter’s LET THERE BE LIGHT stuff.
Can we chat for a second about the Dark Tower movie? I really liked it, it was pretty fucking cool. But I had to pretty much pretend that nothing I ever knew about the Dark Tower story existed. I know that this is a sequel as opposed to a retelling, but so much was simplified (which I get, you can only do so much in a movie’s runtime).
Loved: All the little nods to King’s work (especially calling psychic abilities ‘the Shine’, thank you!), Idris Elba, the GUNPLAY LAWD THE GUNPLAY, and Walter being just a total badass sorcerer with Q-like abilities.
Didn’t Love so Much: Did we have to repeat the ‘Face of my father’ speech three times? Definitely lost it’s impact the third time. Seeing it in the trailer gave me chills with it’s awesomeness, but three times was just killed it. Matthew McConaughey was an amazing badass sorcerer fucking shit up all over the place, but he was not Walter to me. He was very close, and he did a great job, but I didn’t buy him as Walter. I was looking for Randall Flagg, and I got Marten. And Jake just happily running off into the sunset with Roland at the end. I guess it means that this time around, Roland isn’t going to choose the tower over everyone he loves? I mean it wouldn’t make sense anyway because in the movie he’s not obsessed with the tower, it’s just kinda there so that Walter has something to destroy to keep the monsters out (because that’s a thing in the movie).
I don’t know. I want there to be more, because I am selfish and I love anything that has anything to do with Stephen King, no matter how loosely adapted. And there were rumours of a Wizard and Glass miniseries that was going to be an accurate adaptation of the whole Susan backstory. Which PLEASE yes. Anyway. This was much longer than a second. <\rant>