We are back to the books after a summer break! Up for discussion at the latest Books@One book club meeting was Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’, the first of eight books in the series.
When you examine the diversity of material that King has produced over his career, it is a remarkable achievement for one author. This is the man who has gifted us ‘Shawshank Redemption’, ‘The Shining’, ‘The Green Mile’ and ‘It’ to name but a few. King’s books have sold over 350 million copies and many have been adapted into films.
The Dark Tower introduces us to the setting and characters of Mid -World where we follow Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, in his mission to track down The Man in Black before he destroys the Dark Tower. The gunslinger is an intriguing character-haunted by the past and always frustratingly one step behind his nemesis. The harsh desert environment that threatens to swallow Roland whole, symbolises the sense of hopelessness and futility of the gunslinger’s quest.
Roland’s thirst for retribution is typical of the Western genre but what makes this series stand out are the fantasy elements. Magic amidst the tumbleweeds. This combination will not suit every reader (it got a mixed reception from our members) and although it is relatively short; it is still quite an intense read. Not surprising I suppose, knowing the author’s penchant for horror, that there are disturbing elements around most corners!
The purpose of this book is to raise questions around Mid-World and the tragedies that have seemingly befallen it and indeed it does. Roland’s obsession with The Man in Black was almost tangible. Roland may feel like his journey is nearing an end but your journey into the Dark Tower series is just beginning.
Our advice is to put King on your list.
Next up is the novel by Irish writer Lisa McInerney ‘The Glorious
Heresies’ originally published in 2015. It focuses on characters from Cork city whose lives are punctuated by crime and loss of some sort or another. Shedding light on such a bleak and little discussed corner of Irish society while still managing to be tender and sincere in her portrayals of characters like Ryan Cusack showcase McInerney’s skills.
Both books are available to purchase in Books@One along with a host of other titles!
Happy reading. It’s never too late to get started, there’s something out there for everyone.