The Dark Tower, Book VII – Stephen King
(Look away now if you plan to read this at some point and want to avoid spoilers.)
Still here? Good.
I’m nearing the end of this, the last book of King’s epic fantasy saga – essentially one million-word novel, written over the course of seven books and twenty years. I’ll not go into great detail or summarise: there are a wealth of analyses of the series online already. But I did want to talk a little about the sheer audacity of one of the elements of the novel.
The fact that Stephen King’s in it.
I still can’t decide whether I really like what he’s done here, or think he’s disappeared up his own . . . imagination. But I’m certainly impressed that he tried it.
And not only is he in it, he’s deeply woven into the story, acknowledged as the very creator of the protagonists and to some extent even the worlds they inhabit. The bit I read today – that almost made me spill my drink, and prompted this post – was when Eddie, one of those protagonists, ponders the mysterious appearance of a miraculous artefact which saves their bacon, the phenomenon of deus ex machina in literature, and the conclusion that ‘their’ Stephen King deliberately created the artefact so they could win against all odds.
It’s all gone a bit meta.
My head hurts.