"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed...". Stephen King wrote this line back in 1970, and after more than 30 years, he finally delivered the last book. I started reading them back in 1990, and, after 14 years, a chapter of my life is closed.
I was afraid. I bought the book last week, and I knew that was it. That was the end of the story. No more Dark Tower, no more Gunslingers. No more ka-tet. No more 19.
I tried to read it at a slower speed than normal, as to lengthen the taste, the pleasure of it. But I soon started to be completely absordbed once more. I stopped editing my short, I skipped few kickboxing classes, I was late on every single appointment I had with my girlfriend (I cry your pardon, Lindsey) and I forgot quite a lot.
But I couldn't wait no more. I remember reading the first book, in italian, during the spring of 1991. I remember writing an essay about that book in my italian literature class. I was fascinated, and that was just the first book. I read the Gunslinger, the Drawing of the Three, the Wastelands and the Wizard and Glass in my mothertongue. Then, in the summer of 1999, while I was in the army, my memories remember reading on the paper about the accident in which Stephen King almost died.
By then I has almost forgot all the sensations that the Dark Tower series provided me, but, as soon as I realized that he could die, my first thought was something like "Selfish bastard. Don't die cause I want to read about Roland reaching the Dark Tower. I want to see it. I want to be with him. Don't you dare to die". Say sorry, Mr King.
He didn't die. And I moved to London. And, once the Wolves of the Calla and the Song of Susannah were out, I bought all the previous books and I re-read them in the language they were conceived. A lot was lost in the translation. All the thankee-sai, ya, thee were missing in my italian version. Too bad. Anyway, soon I discovered the Dark Tower again, I remembered Jake, Eddit, Oy, Susannah and I was with them once more. Together with our dinh, Roland Deschain.
I was so in love with the story and the character that last summer I wrote and directed a shortfilm, a western, when the main character was called, well, Roland and he was, surprise, a gunslinger. Nothing to do with the book, just a little personal homage.
Like almost everyone else in this world, I had a ka-tet when I was younger, and I was, in that case, the dinh. I ruined it, I destroyed it, because I wanted more. Not a Dark Tower, but something similar, and I'm still on my path to reach it.
Probably that's why the end of this book impressed me so much. Yes, I finished it last night, and I think that since then I already read the final chapter three or four more times. A nice article about the ending can be found here or here. I won't spoil it for you. Did I like the ending? Yes. And no. Not everything I wanted is explained, and the more I read about in internet, the more my head turns around. But it doesn't matter. Cause, anyway, the feeling is right. Something is no more there. Something is finished. In my head, in my heart...
Long days and pleasant nights, Oy of Mid-World.
Long days and pleasant nights, Eddie of New York.
Long days and pleasant nights, Susannah of New York.
Long days and pleasant nights, Jake of New York, of the ka-tet of ninety-nine.
Long days and pleasant nights, Roland Deschain of Gilead. May the next time be the last.
Long days and pleasant nights, my friends.
Thankee-sai, Mr King.