The Dark Tower
“Stop crying you bitch, I said I was sorry!”
The Dark Tower is Stephen King's epic fan fiction which revolves more or less around the adventures of a gunslinger chasing Johnny Cash through East LA (I think. To be honest I only read the first page. Sorry). Roland Deschain, the bumslinger, is also on a quest to find the imaginary and non-existant Dark Tower so that he'll be able to brag about it to his "friends". He is accompanied by the heroin dealer and failed stand-up comic Eddie, a legless version of Michelle Obama, Roland's eleven year old lover Jake, and a racoon named Leeroy Jenkins.
The series incorporates themes from multiple sources and genres, including day time television, horrible outdated 80's metal legends "King Crimson" and Elton John, soft-core porn, old school fairy tales and things Stephen King found on the ground. King himself describes the series as "The best damn thing that was ever god-damn written." If read with care and patience not only will you have a pretty good time, but it also becomes apparent that all of King's books are in absolutely no way connected or interlinked and actually follow a strong regime of Dalian paranoia recognition. This is probably the main cause of the series' complete lack of a contiguous plot line.
Some claim that there are 7 books in the Dark Tower series (there is dispute in the King Community (which really is a community. Seriously, don't piss those guys off)) several of which are actually so long that they ran out of numbers to put on the pages. This is because Stephen King has the script of a four year old girl. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. HA! Ha! HA! HAha!
- 1 Book One
- 2 Book 2
- 3 Volume III
- 4 Version 4.0
- 5 Mustang 5.0
- 6 The Penultimate Peril
- 7 Finally...
- 8 The Illustrator's Curse
- 9 The Movie
- 10 Memorable Quotes
The first book of the series, titled The Bumslinger (Which, in the U.K. translation became The Man-Without-Present-Occupance-Slinger), begins with the infamous line "A man, wearing clothes, kind of ran away from another man who was following that very same first man." It is comprised of only 3 pages...
Page 1 (Roland, Cash, Jake + Death)
The first page describes the actions of Roland following Johnny Cash across the desert, because he desperately wants an autograph. This follows King's famous writing technique of bizarre misinterpretation of famous people. Aiding Roland in his quest for the Tower and the autograph is Jake Chambers. He is introduced using a convenient plot device popular with many famous authors known as 'drinking large quantities of liquor while trying to come up with something clever.' Basically, Roland finds Jake waiting at a bus stop. The boy is either 9 years old or 12, depending on which of the 12 versions of the book you read. This age discreprancy is based, again, on King being fed vodka intravenously 24 hours a day when he was a baby. It is not long before Jake is bitten by a rabid dog named Nort. Roland then shoots both the boy and the dog and masturbates to their corpses because that's how he gets his jollies. Many criticise the first page for the way in which King introduces the character of Jake and subsequently has him killed within the next two paragraphs for no apparent reason. Hardly anyone criticises Roland's method of achieving jollies.
Page 2 (Roland, Zombie Jake, The Moon, Nazi Gold)
The second page has far more in the way of Character development. For instance, we learn that Roland regrets killing Jake;
"I regret killing you Jake. I feel emotions. Jake, Jake, JAAAKKEEEE!!!"
and although it was never mentioned on page 1, it becomes apparent that the two had been 'lovers', from which we can only conclude that they must have performed frequent acts of sexual intercourse whilst both connecting on some deep, or high, emotional level. Roland then decides to fly a plane to the moon. Whilst on the moon he meets up with Jake (Who has come back to life) and they search for precious Nazi gold.
One particular point of interest that you won't see in Walk The Line is that Johnny Cash actually provided his own voice acting for this page.
Page 3 (The End, Jake's Death II)
At the end of the book, Roland confronts Cash and gets his autograph. This is where the first edition and the first revised edition end. However, in the second revised edition of the book (and all following revised editions) Jake is killed again by an un-explained, angry man looking for revenge. This clears up the plot inconsistencies completely as I'm pretty sure he already died.
The second book, The Spreading of the Butter, finds Roland on the beaches of Los Angeles. Following his meeting with Johnny Cash, Roland encounters a group of angry Red Lobster employees and during the struggle, he loses both his virginity and half of his left hand. He finally prevails and celebrates the first ever Lobsterfest, an obscure holiday observed only by 3 counties in Maine and the city of Las Vegas. He then goes on to find his new ka-tet of Eddie and Detta and Odetta and Susannah and Jack and Bobby and Peter and Greg and Cindy and Jan and Marcia and Alice and Mike and Carol through The Doors. They all materialize in the brief silence between Light My Fire and People Are Strange on Roland's iPod.
Volume III was Stephen King's first successfull branch into Post-Modernism, at least that's what he told me. The title itself, The Title! was a pun on words, Words! To people from the pre-modern period, for example, they would have had to call it; Volume Free, In that the text was free of volume. No Mass. It lacked any storage capacity. It made no noise. This raised all kinds of questions such as; Who is the author? What role does he play? and, Is he dead yet?
A man was annoyed at the fact that he paid good money for the words 'Volume III' and wrote to Stephen King about it, asking 'Just what exactly happened in my new book? Because I didn't get it'. King replied;
The book you read was highly entertaining. It was my first successfull (sp?) branch into Post-Modernism. If you're one of those people that has to know more about the live's of characters after the story has ended, or want to know what might happen in the next book because you're too cheap to buy it, that's ok. I'll make something up for you now. Roland on a train, gone insane, joke of some kind, sex.
Wizard and Ass picks up from the mass of second-order fan fiction that developed from the above letter to John, after it had quickly found its way on to the internet. It starts on a train ride. The Disneyland Monorail has gone insane, having been possessed by the spirit of Krazy Kat, and will kill them all if they don't tell a version of The Aristocats that actually makes him laugh. They end up acting it out, and he leaves them safely in New Jersey, which, as was previously mentioned, is now a small island in Lake Erie. From New Jersey, Roland and his bitches walk up the Hershey Highway to Oz. Not the one with the wizard, rather the one with the dont-drop-the-soap prison. On the way, Roland tells the story of the finest ass he ever did have the privilege to tap.
This "real life Story" from Rolands past takes little more than five seconds for him to relate to his ka-tet.
"I had an amazing adventure in my youth! I had loads of friends who did what I told them to and a girl who let me touch her whenever I wanted!" Roland bragged, "I saved the whole entire world!"
"Yeah, give us some details about it."
"Oh- uh. Well, um, there was this one guy who was my friend, he was the funny type. Always joking and laughing, you know. Oh, and selling smack to kids."
"Yeah, what was his name?" Eddie asked.
"Um, I don't remember. No wait! I think it was Ed... That's right, Ed Bed. Mr Bed, we called him."
Wizard and Ass - page 12
Further brief description reveals that the best experience of Roland's entire life (Tapping the ass) is closely based on the structure of a child's fairy tale, and all the characters that Roland claims were "Really real and my bestest friends!" are simply the same characters of Eddie, Jake and Susannah with slightly different names and large plastic moustaches. In fact, the only noticeable difference between the real events of Roland's life and the idiotic copy his imagination allows him to force out to the ka-tet, is that in real life he never really tapped any ass.
He also tells them how he accidentally killed his mom, uncle, 7 sisters, 9 brothers, cousin, mayor of a Mexican hellhole called Hambry, the "woman" he "loved", Chevy Chase, and several farm animals simply because he "Thought they were someone else.". His friends never sleep soundly again after his confession.
Kidnappers of the Edgeland picks up from the last horribly written book. Roland, Susannah, and the others arrive in a small Amish community that mine bagels. During their stay there, a small-time gang known as the "Wolves" take over the community, and demand that Roland and his friends leave. Despite Roland's desire to grow a beard like an amish guy, they leave. But not before burning down all the houses in the community because, as Roland says, "If I can't be Amish, then no one can."
The Penultimate Peril
In the next book, Dude, Where's My Plot?, Roland and company decide to stop for burgers at a diner called the Dixie Pig. When they get there, they are disappointed to find that the place is really an aviary from hell run by Roland's archnemesis and closet homosexual, Random Fagg. After a long battle, a magical turtle named Maturin shows up, scolds them for fighting, and forces them to all get along. After a warm hug and heart-to-heart, Roland and his friends continue their journey to the tower.
The final Dark Tower novel is called The Dimly Lit 853 story walk-up. The last book is actually a verbatim plagiarism of Catcher in the Rye until the last 30 pages. J.D. Salinger tried to sue King for this, but settled out of court. King agreed to allow Salinger to run him over with a van as compensation - this was carried out before the first release of the 7th book. Stephen King wrote another drunkenly stupefying book about his ongoing legal dealing with Salinger.
When Roland finally opens the door to the tower, he finds Stephen King passed out in stacks and stacks of money. As it turns out, the Dark Tower is actually built entirely out of money made by Stephen King every time someone uses the phrase, "the shining". Roland, disappointed that he couldn't find whatever the hell he was looking for, convinces himself to just screw the whole thing and goes home. He returns home only to hear his wife tell him that they're out of milk and the only store still open is back at the tower. Roland sets out once again for the tower after cursing loudly.
As he walks to the store, he sees Johnny Cash and realizes he lost his autograph. Roland pursues Johnny Cash. The final line is "Roland thought 'damn, I really don't want to haul my ass across this desert again.", thus showing that the entire Dark Tower series is an endless loop. Just like marriage, this book is futile and repetitive with a sad unremarkable death at the long awaited end.
The Illustrator's Curse
All seven books were originally published accompanied with red and purple felt pen illustrations. It was too much to expect people to use their own imagination. Each novel contained works by a single illustrator only and they were all of quite poor quality. Fantasy-Book Illustrator Magazine rated the first book's illustrations a generous 2.5 (out of a possible 3360) and each subsequent collection with a 0.
Significantly overshadowing the illustrations is the curse that has become associated with them. By the time the final book was published every illustrator that had worked for King had died. And they weren't just old or something. No, something tragically evil and scary happened to each and everyone of them just as they finished the artwork. These strange events have led to the first ever scientific discovery of a genuine curse. The Illustrator's Curse.
The illustrators who worked on each book (and then snuffed it big time) are:
1. George Cup, A very lonely man who couldn't draw to save his life. Death induced by head explosion.
2. Patrick Krzemein - Nothing is known about Patrick as an Illustrator, but it took 3 months to clean up the mess he left behind.
3. Herbert Powers - Fatally inverted colon.
4. Tom Hanning - An illustrator from the age of six and close friends with Stephen King. Working on The Dark Tower was his one and only achievement. Murdered in a fight with his own mother who had wanted him to be a world famous accountant. Reports suggest that she is both crazy and evil.
5.Butz Wagner - The worlds best Illustrator. Before working for King he had won multiple awards in just about every walk of life that concerns illustration. He'd done leaflets, magazines, toilet walls... He won one award too many though and totally disappeared up his own arse. The artwork he put forward for The Dark Tower was completely incomprehensible. It was all weird and deep and purposefully terrible. "Anybody who doesn't like it just doesn't get Butz Wagner" is what alternative people said. Death as a result of thinking too much in a darkened room and not being artistically understood. Maybe entered an alternative reality.
6.Bob Fillings - Goldfish attack.
Recently, Stephen King teamed up to make a movie about The Dark Tower with that fat guy, Hurley, from Lost. Charlie Sheen is said to be playing the part of Roland, while Gary Coleman will be playing Jake. Production has currently been halted until they can figure out how to get Hurley into a Tanuki-suit. The unique and completely unexpected twist at the end of the movie is that you're a gullible moron who keeps paying
$10 $15 $25 to see movies starring washed up actors and badly translated plot adaptations from other peoples literary work (OPP).
- "I'm sorry, Susannah. It's just... you have no legs. " - Roland explaining why he always wins at Trivial Pursuit.
- "The kid [Jake], damn he loves my smack!" - Eddie.
- "No, I don't really think so." - Roland negating an idea of some kind.
- "I'm gonna fly to tha' moon!" - The Wise Sage and Eminent Worm-food.'
- "I keep a salt lick down there..." - Jake explaining why the billy bumbler is always sniffing his crotch.
- "I wouldn't want something that looks so much like cum myself." - Roland on mayonaise.
- "What the fuck? Why do we have to put up with this guy?" - The entire ka-tet on the idea of Stephen King putting himself in the story.
- "Kaka" - Eddie on the story he's in.
- "Ahhhhh! I got the Hershey Squirts, you kennit?." - Roland after eating Taco Bell.
- "Do ya?" - Calla Bryn Folk on Hershey Squirts
- "Stand and be prepared for me to selfishly let you all die." - Roland to his Ka-tet.