I Need To Finish Book Seven So That I Can Start Book Seven (or) A Book Report

We bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Target yesterday afternoon (sorry folks, but the only midnight release I ever attended was for Pearl Jam's Vs. album way back in prehistoric times. Hooray for grunge!). I'm excited to read it, but I feel no real compulsion to tear through it. I'd rather savor it, because let's be honest, I most likely won't be reading them again anytime soon and once it's over, it's over. They're great books and all, but... well, it's time to say "goodbye." At least until Sadie's ready to read them.

I will say this, though: I am deathly afraid that I will wait for a little while to read it and some poo-poo head will spoil it. So I guess I do have a weird compulsion to finish it.

Dang it.

At least I'm not a total bad sport and just reading the last four pages in the store like some old fart yesterday. Yeesh. Some people...

Anyway, I can't really start it because I am still working through book seven of the Dark Tower saga, which is no small feat. The thing is like... over an inch and three-quarters thick. And this is the little mass market paperback version. If you can lift the hardcover, then you are the rightful heir to King Arthur's throne and some crazy lady will come out of the water and give you a sword and you can usher in a new age for Avalon. The unsold copies were used as bricks. On the pyramids. My copy is 1045 pages long. I'm on page 459, so... almost halfway?

So far it's a bloody, profane epic, full of, well, everything a blue-blooded American boy would like: gunslingers, robots, werespiders, time travel, stacked dimensions, tough characters, high stakes and blood blood blood. It's the very grown-up cousin to the Harry Potter series, both of whom look to old Grandpa Tolkien, though King's books moreso. It's not a large leap from Aragon/Strider to Roland Deschain, Sauron to the Red King. Heck, this book even has a sad little misshapen being following the fellowship as they quest deep into the heart of evil. Sound familiar, my preciousss?

But where the Lord of the Rings saga always showed war as a horrific, terrible thing, the Dark Tower books wallow in the violence. It's like Peter Jackson lost the job of adapting Tolkien's masterpiece to Sam Peckinpah's reanimated corpse. And it works, for the most part.

It's in no way perfect, but King's love for these characters, this story as well as story and characters in general (the whole thing is a treatise on creativity, in the end, and links all of his work together as one cohesive universe), oozes off of every page. It's like King made a list of everything he's ever loved about fiction and found a glorious pulp story to hang it all on. It's not for everyone (it's a pretty solid "R," make no mistake), heck, I'm not even sure it's for me, but it's a significant work and, in the end, I think I'll be glad I worked through it. If only to have read a book where the plot from Seven Samurai is reworked with cowboys and robots. Yeah. You read that right.

In other news, I can't believe I just posted a huge book report on my blog. [sigh] I am such a nerd.


chanel said...

yeah i don't have a clue what you're talking about in the second half of this post, but the first half, I have to say, I know those torn feelings- get through it right away and letit end, or savor it before its over??? Well Im done with it, and I feel loads better. good luck with the poopoo heads.

Mike Laughead said...

Yeah, it's better to finish the book fast and then re-read. I need to start to re-read.

Also, Fire Fingers is as dead as I want him to be. But he's out of FACA forever.