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PSIPOOK | books | the dark tower, stephen king

Books of revelations
Title: The Dark Tower
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder
ISBN: 0-340-82723-8

If you are au fait with Stephen King’s the Dark Tower series, you can stop reading this right away. Be informed that there is a new paperback edition of the seventh and final volume hitting the shelves. I have to say, however, that I have overlooked this series, and for such a fan of fiction, this is akin to a mountaineer confessing he has not heard of the Himalayas.

Stephen King’s Dark Tower epic has been about 24 years in the making, runs to several thousand pages of print in seven fat volumes. Apart from the sheer volume of paper involved here, this is a prodigious work of imagination.

Back in the days of hippies and Woodstock when everyone was reading Lord of the Rings and believed themselves to actually be Gandalf, the 19-year-old King decided he would quite like to write an epic fantasy, but not like Tolkein’s. Obviously not. No, it would have to be King’s kind of fantasy. If this wasn’t enough hubris for a young fellow, a few years later, while watching Sergio Leone’s The Good the Bad and the Ugly, King decided that he wanted to write a fantasy epic with cowboys. So in the Dark Tower series you have magic, alternative realities, time travel, whacky technologies, fantastic beasts and cowboys. No, I mock not, because if there is one writer in the (real) world who can pull this off, it is Stephen King.

Although conceived early on in the man’s career, it was quite some time before he started work on the series. The project from its inception to it’s completion has taken him from bouncy young thing to the cusp of old age (and the infirmity caused by a road accident) and volume seven is filled with presentiments of a ‘retirement’, announced in 2002, that has seen him busier than most working writers.

Kansai Scene, June 2006

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By the way, have you read Chris Page's novel Weed? It really is rather fantastic.

Words of praise for Weed from a publisher in London.

"... it’s really witty and very strong ... I would compare the writing to Robert Rankin, or a really satirically biting Tom Sharpe, and will say again that I’m really impressed by it"



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