The Dark Tower

Pere Don Callahan had once been the Catholic Priest of a town – ‘Salem’s Lot had been its name – that no longer existed on any map.

I did it, I finished it – all seven of them. I’ve changed sides and am one of Those that Read Them now (applicably for many other book (series) of course). I’m done, and I feel slightly run over.

I don’t often review series, especially following books, because I feel like you won’t start a series if it’s only the third (etc.) installment that interests you, nor that it’s easy to discuss plot lines without spoiling those still starting. But it’s been five minutes since I’ve finished the last book and I need to get things off my lower ribs (it’s always my lower ribs over my chest).

For a large part of the last novel, I felt impatience and frustration. Because honestly, how much more world-building is necessary, how many pus-filled pimples on villains need to be described. I was still a bit uneasy about the meta twist of things (Stephen King getting involved), and basically felt almost as tired as Ronald to just get to that damn tower.

I’m glad I stuck with it. No novel is supposed to be stale, and even though you could view some decisions as made for shock value, you might realise that the ending motivates all those decisions made. And what an ending.

So this isn’t really a review for a series, it’s for the ending(s) of one.

The Dark Tower, Stephen King, Hodder & Stoughton 2004

The Drawing of the Three

The gunslinger came awake from a confused dream which seemed to consist of a single image: that of the Tarot deck from which the man in black had dealt (or purported to deal) the gunslinger’s own moaning future.

I really thought I had read more from these series, but I’m pretty sure I would have remembered this book if I would have. So here we are, the second book in the Dark Tower series. Now I definitely understand people’s confusion about trying to tell this story/these stories in just one movie.

As usual with series, it’s a bit of a challenge to not spoil previous books, especially because I can’t remember anything from the first novel. Luckily, in these editions is a handy ‘Here’s What You Missed’ part before the story picks up again.

What you probably should know, starting these series, is that this is eerie Stephen King, not straight shooter/thriller Stephen King. There’s fantastical elements but also some that veer quite close to horror territory, and there’s not many straight plot lines. If you don’t mind that and are looking for (the build up of) an epic, I’d definitely recommend trying this series.

The Drawing of the Three, Stephen King, Sphere 1990

Mr Mercedes

Augie Odenkirk had a 1997 Datsun that still ran well in spite of high mileage, but gas was expensive, especially for a man with no job, and City Center was on the far side of the town, so he decided to take the last bus of the night.

From time to time you need a Stephen King novel. And because I can never remember where I am in the Dark Tower series, I like to try one of his stand alones.

Of course there’s a retired detective who is overweight and alone and miserable, that’s how a detective works. There’s that one unsolved case as well. But this is Stephen King, so you get a look inside of the head of the perk/perp, you get fleshed-out side characters and a peek into the look of police work (lots of note blocks).

No lack of gruesome images and terrifying cliffhangers either. Mr Mercedes demands your time, and you will race (hah) through the story, pretty sure but not completely about how it will end this time.

Just don’t read this before bed. Or visiting a concert.

Mr Mercedes, Stephen King, Scribner 2014


I have never been what you’d call a crying man.

Stephen King is one of those authors I’d like to read more from, but somehow never end up doing so. But with¬†11.22.63 came time travel, and if there’s something I’m fond of ..

Jake Epping is the time traveler who can move back to 1958 by stepping into ..something in the back of a diner. Whenever he goes back to 2011 the past overwrites and he can start over again, but he’s not traveling for that. He wants to prevent president Kennedy from being killed. Because that doesn’t happen for another five years, he has to fit in. Become a person of the sixties and lay low, because the past doesn’t want to be changed.

Jake (George, in the past) fits in, maybe a bit too well. He gets a job, he gets friends and falls in love. More and more he gets entangled in this version of the world, while at the same time he wants to keep his distance. He’s here for something very important after all and doesn’t want to spend another five years doing it again if he fails. Because of that there’s this underlying tension throughout a large part of the book that itches underneath your skin. I liked that, because you know there’s something building up and either way how it ends, a lot will change. It also makes you take the story with you even after you closed the book.

I wish that the book was like the story, so that every time I’d start again there’d be a slightly different story. I need to get another chance for a different ending. I finished this book four days ago but it’s still moving through my head. And I like that.

11.22.63, Stephen King Hodder & Stoughton 2011