I have just finished reading your Dark Tower series. I guess I should let you know that I am a bear which may explain why I am so irritated, the bear part is not why I am irritated. I’m irritated because after a long winter where I have nothing to do other than sleep and read I get to the end of a series and discover…
Maybe I should start with I did enjoy the series, until you showed up in the books. I read through the first three books nonstop. I thoroughly enjoyed the world and some of the characters. A couple of the characters were pretty one-dimensional, but I have come to expect that with your writing. You managed to surprise me and delight me with the growth of the world and the characters. Yes, even the one-dimensional characters get some growth.
I was worried at the end of book three but after reading your explanation and being a writer myself I understood, which is why I picked up the last four books. Book four which could’ve been book one was a delightful change of pace. Books five through seven were a roller coaster, I actually read all three books in four days and that is a lot of reading for a bear. I was enjoying myself, the world had a shape that was familiar and mysterious at the same time. I often found myself reading more, not because of the action, but because I wanted to see what was around the next page.
The characters finally were three-dimensional and likable. This sounds pretty good, until I got to the part where you showed up. I understand that authors insert themselves into most things that they write, but until your book I had never read a book where the author not only shows up in the book, but then proceeds to tell everyone how much he did not enjoy writing the books and even worse how much he hated the main character, that he created. What made the whole thing worse, was that you kept showing up! Frequently during the last three books you wrote your own characters into situations that they had no way of progressing through, that is unless you yourself rescued them. And that is what it was, you were rescuing your own characters.
I thought that the writer writing to save the universe by creating the universe but being too lazy to actually write ahead to prevent his characters from getting stuck was clever at first. What I came to see was a writer who didn’t want to write, who really did have other things that he wanted to do. By the last book I was ready for the whole thing to over, not because I didn’t want to see what happened, but because I could see the direction that you were taking the book. Much like a bad movie where you can tell that the actors and the director are just looking for a way to end the whole experience that was the last book.
I do not want to ruin the end for anyone who has not read books, but I will say that the last time I read and ending so cliché and so disappointing was when I was in high school over 20 years ago. For a series with such potential to have an ending that is a combination of wrapping up everything in a pretty bow and at the same time leaving the reader to wonder why bother, was disappointing to say the least. I think in the end I would’ve been all right with your choices, except that you decided to have the last word a second time. You had to explain why you continually inserted yourself into your own book and your explanation was that you had no choice.
I’m of mixed feelings, I enjoyed the books and if I could get copies without you in your own book, perhaps written by an author who did care I would recommend the book series to everyone. As it is I don’t think I can, I don’t like to recommend things to other people that I am disappointed with. I know that in your last words you said that you were done and that you didn’t want or even seem to care what other people thought, I think that says something in itself-much like your explanation that you had no choice about inserting yourself into the series.