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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of an era
I have to admit, i was worried to read this book, i was dreading how King would deal with the last march toward the Tower, and what i would find at the end. When you invest many years in a series of books, and finally it all comes to an end, you pray it was all worth it, that reading and loving the first 6 books would not all be in vain, and BOY was it worth it...
Published on 25 Sep 2004 by louise luxton

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Ending. But frustrating series
I've just spent the past 6 months getting through the Dark Tower series. Some of the books I burned through in a matter of days; others just dragged. This, sadly, is one of the latter. I kept on putting it down, ignoring it for large periods of time; desperate to get to the end without doing the work to get there. If a book series really is that good then you want it to...
Published on 26 Jun 2009 by Moondog


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of an era, 25 Sep 2004
By 
louise luxton (hounslow, middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Hardcover)
I have to admit, i was worried to read this book, i was dreading how King would deal with the last march toward the Tower, and what i would find at the end. When you invest many years in a series of books, and finally it all comes to an end, you pray it was all worth it, that reading and loving the first 6 books would not all be in vain, and BOY was it worth it!!
King has outdone himself in this the last Dark Tower book, You really got to see the heart of Roland, to see his true character, and the realization of how much he truly loves his friends...Jake, Eddie and Suzzanah, even Oy. We see much more of Rolands feelings, and how all his companions will gladly sacrifice themselves to allow Roland to reach his dream.
Yet again we meet characters from other King books, and it all ties in, its as if no matter what book SK is writing, the Dark Tower was always there at the back of his mind, and always trying to find its way through.
This is the end of truly the best series of books i have ever read, the ending was something i could never in my wildest dreams have imagined, yet after reading it again, and again, the only ending there could be that would make sense. I cant imagine anything coming close to this series of books, and if SK decides never to publish again, he can be content with knowing he has written the best there ever is
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Ending. But frustrating series, 26 Jun 2009
By 
Moondog (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower (Paperback)
I've just spent the past 6 months getting through the Dark Tower series. Some of the books I burned through in a matter of days; others just dragged. This, sadly, is one of the latter. I kept on putting it down, ignoring it for large periods of time; desperate to get to the end without doing the work to get there. If a book series really is that good then you want it to go on forever, not be desperate just to finish it. This book and series is full of frustrations, but the very VERY ending is ultimately rewarding (I saw it coming but it was delivered so well) Hopefully it will leave you pondering over it for a good few days at least, as it did with me, even though this series makes my blood boil at times.

I really wish Stephen King didn't make himself a character that is central to the storyline... I feel this was a form of bloated self-therapy for him after his car accident and was totally unnecessary and demeaning to the reader. It takes up a good part of the final three books and I really wish he didn't feel the need to link this work with as many of his former novels as he could squeeze in. We really didn't need another ridiculous human/spider because we all know that not only ruined the book IT but also ruined too many hours of my life here as well.

In balance, there are some great elements and moments to the Dark Tower series. Book IV: Wizard and Glass was absolutely fantastic (apart from the terrible ending where King seemed to get bored) At least here the very ending serves to provide you with a sense that this whole journey has, just about, by the skin of it's teeth, been worth it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic... by far the best of the series, 1 Oct 2004
This review is from: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Hardcover)
I've been following the Dark Tower series for several years now, and I've loved them all. But in Wolves of the Calla and Song of Susannah, I thought the story was overcomplificating slightly, getting a little loose. Not enough to make the books bad (and they weren't, I love everything with a certain Sai Deschain in it) but it was there. Like many, I was afraid Stephen King had finally started to do what he always said he was afraid he'd do.... let the sheer size of the story spin out of control.
But in The Dark Tower, he stops that and fast. Unlike the last two entries, this book harks back to an older style of Dark Tower book: action, lots of action, and good action to boot. The way the story flows most strongly resembles The Waste Lands, my favourite book of the series up to this. One thing King uses very well is the plot device of having himself in the story, he really plays around with it, and it works. This book has everything: great joy, terrible sorrow, suspense, horror, love, and most important of all: everybody's favourite characters return. Roland and his ka-tet are all present, of course, but Walter's back, too. And a certain author is still knocking around... New characters appear as well, such as Roland's half-human son, Mordred (brilliantly written, and nasty as hell.), and his OTHER father, The Crimson King, is finally more than just a menacing prescence. I won't mention any other new characters, but those of you who know your Dark Tower connections in SK's other work will see a few friendly faces.
Kicking in where the cliffhander ending of volume six left off, we find Jake and Pere Callahan (accompanied by Oy) entering the Dixie Pig in search of Susannah. It's a tense situation, and we love it. Kudos to King for the echoes of 'Salem's Lot. Susannah is handling her own escape plans, and trying to avoid her newborn son (who has a nasty habit of turning into a spider). On top of this, Walter's in the shadows, and his motives are far more ulterior than we suspected, this guy's only in it for himself. Meanwhile, in Keystone America (as the real world is called), Roland and Eddie have to get back to the future, but it's never as easy as it sounds....
It's only after the Tet re-unite and return to Mid-world that things really get going. Their first port of call is Thunderclap and the Devar-toi (which is where the Breakers hang out), and then it's on to the tower, and whatever the tower contains, but the road is dangerous, and there are many ways to die and worlds to do it in...
Overall, I found the book extremely hard to put down from beginning to end, and it may well be one of the best books King has ever written. I know some of you want to know if there's a happy ending, but as Sai King says, ultimately, there's no such thing. The end may not be everything you hoped for, but the journey was definitely worth it. I'm just sorry it's over.
*****/*****
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And so it ends ...., 15 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Hardcover)
Like most other people it feels like a lifetime (and it probably is!) since I was first introduced to, then fell in love with, Roland of Gilead. Like others, I have experienced the highs and lows of following his story and those of his ka-tet - both in terms of the story and sometimes to quality of writing (being a die-hard King fan it pains me to say that).
The Dark Tower VII sends you on an emotional roller coaster that takes you back to the good old days when King really knew how to tell a story. There were times when I had to put the book down and walk away just to recover from what I'd just learned. There were times when King weaves so much of himself into the threads (figuratively AND literally) that you sometimes can't tell where reality ends and fiction begins. This is the only book I've read in a long time that just doesn't play it safe. There's so much joy, pain, sadness, heartache - this is not for the faint-hearted. If you have built up any emotional connection over the years to any of the main characters, trust me - there will be times when you just won't know where to put yourself.
I finished this book a couple of months ago and so have had time to reflect on the ending. Make no mistake, this IS the end. My initial reaction was of the "you gotta be kidding" variety, but the more I think about it (and you WILL be thinking about it for a long time to come, this book just wont leave you alone even after you've closed its covers for the last time), the more I believe it is the only way. Simple, quiet, final. And so so right as a conclusion to an epic. Now I just think: "wow..."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Sweet, 23 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. Atr Coe - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Tower (Paperback)
The first half of the book is a bit long winded, but the plot does gain momentum towards the end. I wasn't sure that I should finish the book as King practically begs you not to. The ending is brutal, I feel as if I have somehow desecrated the narrative by reading it. On the other hand, the reader can hardly be expected to be denied the conclusion after such a long and arduous journey.

King's series is a monumental achievement, like many readers I have minor gripes with some of the events of the narrative; but none of them detracts from the startling originality and boldness of The series as a whole.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh isn't he egocentric!!, 28 Oct 2004
By 
Mr. Philip D. Wyatt (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Hardcover)
I have just finished the final dark tower book and loved it!
All these reviews that slate the book just because of King writing himself into it (IMHO) are just silly. He had this planned all along and it's very cleverly done. It's a great read, so give it a go why don't you?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The man in black fled across the desert . . .", 19 July 2005
By 
This review is from: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Hardcover)
This story as a whole is an eternity in length by itself, and even broken down into several pieces, those pieces still reach an amazing magnitude.
When i first saw this book in shops, i thought that carrying it home would kill me alone. Even though i was desperate to finish the story that i had begun a million years ago, i was in no rush to try and conquer this mountain.
I first thought that it would be a task to try and finish reading it, but once i started the story flowed, and i flowed with it, never bored or taxed from how much i had to read. I loved every second of it.
Many people disagree with the ending, but i think it was a stroke of genius; besides, how else could he have ended it? It literally makes you want to go back and read it all again!!! LOL
Now the story is complete, and i think it over-shadows other such monuments of literature as The Lord of the Rings, The sword of Truth set, and other such series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well that took some doing didn't it?, 10 Feb 2005
This review is from: The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Hardcover)
Absolutely brilliant.
I only started reading the series when Wizard and Glass was published, not realising that it was indeed a series, so I was absolutely gutted when I found out the story hadn't ended. Although my wait for this book hasn't been as bad as for others, it has still felt like a lifetime, yet the book didn't disappoint in the slightest.
The final stage of the quest for the dark tower had everything for me, every character finishing their own tale/journey, enough gunslinging to keep the violent side of me happy, enough fantasy to keep the imagination intrigued, and enough story telling and emotion to keep that other side of me happy.
I disagree with the reviewer who "wants to smack" the heroic characters, why continue to read the books if you don't generally like his characters? In this case, King leads the characters to the end that I for one thought suited them all perfectly, each falling into the final scenario which suited their personality. I agree with the reservations one reviewer had when I read that King had written himself into the story, but it all panned out well and, if anything, added to the feeling I had that this book must have dominated King's life for the last 30+ years and was a real labour for him. As for the end, just brilliant. I stared at the book for some time after closing it; there was a touch of regret that the story had finished, but it ended in such a way that satisfied my curiosity but also left enough to the imagination. A brilliant book in it's own right, and the perfect end to the series as a whole
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Clearing Where The Path Ends, 10 April 2011
By 
Jason - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dark Tower (Paperback)
****SPOILER ALERT****

When you strip away all the excess fat in the DT series (King's allusions to his other novels, the copious number of various minor coincidences scattered throughout the series explained away as "ka", characters which shouldn't even be in the series in the first place, basically everything that is "19") whats left after all is said and done is an extremely weak, unfinished and poorly written story.

I completely fell in love with The Gunslinger when I first read it and subsequently picked up the next 3 volumes. Wizard and Glass is by far my favourite installment to the series because of the absolute quality with which Roland's sojourn to Mejis with his friends was written. This was probably King at his pinnacle. You can actually see the duality of the quality of the story in this novel, the sheer scope and quality of Roland's no bull**** recounted tale in Mejis versus the bland and ludicrous weirdness of the story of the Ka-tet of the Nineteen and Ninety and Nine. The contrast between what the story had become at this point and what it should have been (Mejis and "The Gunslinger" will forever be captured in my imagination) is all too evident at this point in the series and with the following volume, Wolves of the Calla, it was all but blatant that King had lost the plot. And by that I mean, yes, he is telling a story...its just no longer the one we were reading.

Kings introduction of Callahan and his vampires ( why are they even there, The Grandfathers? Uh, ok?). His inclusion of his fictitious, utterly useless and dithering self who I might add has an extremely important task in the series that makes absolutely no sense (By "makes sense" I mean, yeah its logical but IT SHOULDN'T BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.) Mia, why re-cover this ground? We've been here before with Detta and drank our fill. Please move it along King...Oh, thats right! How silly of me! You need this character to bring Mordred into the world only so we can discover that he is an emo teen that is summarily dismissed in one or two paragraphs. And don't even get me started on The Crimson King. "Arnie: You've just been erased" - "Crimson King: EEE!" or the extremely belated and just plain terrible additions of Patrick Danville and Dandello.

Its just obvious. King didn't want to write The Dark Tower anymore but at the same time didn't know how to finish it. So he rushed out these last three novels just to be shod of the thing. We didn't even get to hear about the fall of Gilead. The death of Cort. A tale or two about Roland's ka-tet especially concerning Jamie De Curry after Mejis and Gilead. The extreme gap between Gilead and Tull. Roland and Rhea of the Cöos. All of these things could easily have been touched on by Roland and his new tet around the campfire at days end instead of hypothetical discussions on the meanings of utter gibberish references that King inserted into the story to either allude at his other works or something as laughable as Calla,Callahan. Something other than someone saying ( Uhhh yeaa *dawning expression of understanding* this is all nineteen I Say!...........Gawd Bomb!) Gimme a break.

Not only did King not bother giving his villains dimension he dispatches Walter/Flagg without a moments hesitation and why? Cause Mordreds a-hungry apparently. But don't feel singled out villains! The heroes suffer little better. He discards Eddie and Jake in extremely lame fashion. Oy's death was an obvious accommodation to what Roland saw in the Pink ball but by that stage I didn't even care because Susannah had already abandoned him for alternate versions of Eddie and Jake who are not HER Eddie and Jake. Despite the little ka-bomb (cough* lame-bomb) King inserted in there about alternate-Eddie dreaming about her. If it was reincarnation it would have been lame enough but that was even worse. So we had this highly distressing death scene for Eddie where he says to his Suze that he will wait for her in the clearing and whats Susannah's response to this heart breaking moment? Something sorta like (Sum bitch got he'self shawt in da head. B'tch getta new model! Ther'a otha worlds dan these,sho'!) The final nail through my heart was when Susannah casually dumped Roland's gun in the trash bin and of course it didn't survive the trip between worlds because this is Stephen King we are talking about. Organic material such as Sussanah's body, no problem. The weapon that opens the door to the Dark Tower, ka. I was numb to everything else that followed (including Kings scathing attack on the reader for actually WANTING an ending. HOW DARE YOU READER!) because I was already dead inside. Dramatic? Maybe...but these characters were real to me and how could I have possibly liked what was done with them.

So whats Kings excuse for all this. Its that it's the journey that matters. Roland gets sent back to the beginning to continue his quest over and over and over again and we are left to envision that day when he finally ends his quest as King suggests we do in his afterword. But we can't really do that can we? We can't live the moment as the words spring off the page and into our imaginations because there are no words left, you never gave them to us, and because of that any thought about how Roland's quest ends is nothing but fleeting speculative thought. There is no emotional context. Thats the writers job. Thats what a writer does. And for King to then blame the READER because he couldn't or wouldn't produce an ending is nothing but arrogant, self righteous, puerile behaviour. Not to mention that every time the Dark Tower or Gan sends Roland back it puts itself in mortal danger because if Roland dies its game over and all it takes is a stray bullet but you know, it's Stephen King, so ka. Speaking for myself I could not bring myself to reread such a convoluted mess of a story and I find that extremely disappointing because the first 4 books are very good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It just doesn't make sense, 26 July 2011
By 
Dr. Kristian Niemietz (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Tower (Paperback)
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!
DON'T READ IF YOU'RE SURE YOU WANT TO READ THE BOOK

There's two options: Either am I too dumb to understand it, or the way the whole story comes out just doesn't work.
1. The tower keeps Roland trapped in an endless loop, apparently to punish him for his sinful life. Fascinating idea in principle. But wait a minute: Isn't Roland the one who SAVED the tower, by stopping the work of the breakers? He may not always have behaved like a gentleman on his way there, but he saved it nevertheless, so how can the damn thing be so picky?
2. What exactly is it that the tower wants to teach Roland? To be a nice guy? That's BS, you would never even make it to the tower with a Mother-Theresa-attitude.
3. How is Roland supposed to learn anything from his past 'mistakes' if he forgets everything each time the loop starts anew?
4. We've been told before that in the keystone worlds, time only runs one way. But in the end, we're back to the beginning. How does King square that circle?
5. You cannot repeat time just for one person (unless this all happens in some fake world which exists only for Roland). If Roland is trapped in an endless loop of repetition, then EVERYBODY is. It would also mean that Eddie, Susannah and Jake are hauled from New York over and over again. The Pubes and Grays in Lud will stand up to fight each other again, the Calla will be back to how we encountered it, etc etc etc.
6. By turning back the clock for Roland, the tower puts the breakers in place again, and endangers its own existence again and again. Why on earth would it do that? Pretty high risk just for teaching a gunslinger to behave a bit nicer.

But the ending, bad as it is, is not even the main problem. Since this is the last book, I would have expected King to fill us in on the blank spots. Tell us about the history of Roland's world. How exactly did the Great Old Ones die out? How did Roland's society evolve? Who is the Crimson King, except for an old loonie who screams EEEEEEEE? And most of all, what exactly IS the tower?

It's also disappointing how King builds up expectations of big showdowns with the principal bad guys, and then disposes of them in a matter of a paragraph. Remember how much care has gone into building up the Mordred character: We first came across him in the beginning of Wolves of the Calla, when he was still 'the chap'. How can you just dispose of a character like that as if he was nothing but some annoying bug? Same goes for Walter O'Dim and the Crimson King, and to a lesser extent, Finli O'Tego. Hell, how about some final revelation, some big secret that the guys tell us before going, or whatever?

King's own grumpy afterword just confirms the impression I've won throughout this final book: He grew tired of it and just wanted to get it done quickly. He throws this at his readers, with an attitude of "There's your tower ending, now shut up and leave me alone". It's still not a bad story, but if you build up such colossal expectations (and that's what King does, by raving on about how this is his big ueber-novel which sort of exceeds everything else he ever wrote), then you cannot come up with such a half-baked thing.
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The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower by Stephen King (Hardcover - 21 Sep 2004)
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