The Dark Tower (2004 novel)

The Dark Tower (2004 novel)

infobox Book |
name = The Dark Tower VII:
The Dark Tower
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption= First edition cover
author = Stephen King
cover_artist = Michael Whelan
country = United States
language = English
series = The Dark Tower
genre = Fantasy, Horror, Science fiction
publisher = Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc.
release_date = September 21, 2004
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages = 845
isbn = ISBN 1-880418-62-2
preceded_by = The Dark Tower VI - Song of Susannah
followed_by =
"For other uses of The Dark Tower, see The Dark Tower (disambiguation)."

"The Dark Tower" is the seventh and final book of novelist Stephen King's Dark Tower series, published September 21, 2004 (King's birthday) by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc., and illustrated by Michael Whelan. The subtitle of this novel is REPRODUCTION REVELATION REDEMPTION RESUMPTION.

Plot summary

Beginning where book six left off, Jake Chambers and Father Callahan battle the evil infestation within the Dixie Pig, a vampire lounge in New York City featuring roasted human flesh and doors to other worlds; Callahan sacrifices himself so Jake can survive. In the other world, in Fedic, Mia, her body now physically separated from Susannah Dean, gives birth to Mordred Deschain, the biological son of Roland Deschain and Susannah. The Crimson King is also a "co-father" of this prophetic child, so it is not surprising when "baby" Mordred's first act is to shapeshift into a spider-creature and feast on his birth-mother. Susannah grabs a gun, wounds but fails to kill Mordred, eliminates other agents of the Crimson King, and escapes to meet up with Jake. Aging at an accelerated rate, Mordred later stalks Roland and the other gunslingers throughout this adventure, shifting from human to spider as the need arises, seething with an instinctive rage toward Roland, his "white daddy".

In Maine, Roland and Eddie recruit John Cullum, and then make their way back to Fedic, where the ka-tet is now reunited. Walter (alias Randall Flagg) has dreams of grandeur in which he plans to slay Mordred and use the birthmark on Mordred's heel to gain access to the Tower, but he is easily slain by the infant when Mordred sees through his lies.

Roland and his ka-tet travel to Thunderclap, then to the nearby Devar-Toi, to stop a group of psychics known as Breakers who use their telepathic abilities to break away at the beams that support the Tower. Ted Brautigan and Dinky Earnshaw assist the gunslingers with information and weapons, and reunite Roland with his old friend Sheemie Ruiz from Mejis. The Gunslingers free the Breakers from their captors, but Eddie is mortally wounded in the battle and dies a short while later. Roland and Jake pause to mourn and then jump to Maine of 1999 along with Oy in order to save the life of Stephen King (who is a secondary character in the book). Jake pushes King out of the way of a speeding van, but is killed in the process. Roland, heartbroken with the loss of the person he considers his true son, buries Jake and returns to Susannah in Fedic with Oy, where they depart and travel for weeks across the freezing badlands toward the Tower.

On the way they find Patrick Danville, a young man imprisoned by a someone who calls himself Joe Collins but is really a psychic vampire named Dandelo. Patrick is freed and soon his special talent becomes evident: his drawings and paintings have the strange tendency to become reality. He draws a magic door for Susannah; once it appears, she says goodbye to Roland and crosses over to another world. Mordred, who easily manipulated and killed Walter, finally reaches and attacks Roland. Oy viciously defends his dinh, providing the extra seconds needed to exterminate the were-spider. Unfortunately, Oy is impaled on a tree branch and dies. Roland continues on to his ultimate goal and uses Patrick's special abilities to defeat the Crimson King, gaining entry into the Tower. The last scene is that of Roland crying out the names of his loved ones and fallen comrades as he had vowed to do. The door of the Dark Tower closes shut as Patrick watches from a distance.

The story then shifts to Susannah coming through the magic door in an alternate 1980s New York where Gary Hart is President. Susannah throws away Roland's gun (no longer functioning on this side of the door), rejecting the life of a gunslinger, and starts a new life with alternate versions of Eddie and Jake, brothers with the last name of Toren, in this world. It is also implied that an alternate version of Oy, a dog with a long neck whose barks sometimes sound like words will also join them in this world.

At this point, Stephen King inserts an "Afterword" which warns readers to close the book at this point, consider the story finished with a happy ending, and not venture inside the Tower with Roland. If the reader does not heed the warning, the story resumes with Roland climbing to the top of the Dark Tower. He encounters various rooms with siguls or signs of his past life. When he reaches the top of the Tower, he finds a door marked "Roland" and to his horror, he realizes he has reached the Tower countless times before. He is sucked through the door only to be teleported back in time to the Mohaine desert, ending the series where it began in the first line of book one: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." There is a slight twist, however; the memory of reaching the Tower quickly fades, yet Roland now possesses the Horn of Eld that he had foolishly lost long ago during the battle of Jericho Hill. This subtle but significant change from the previous timeline further enforces the implication that this cycle of Roland's journey will present him the opportunity to make different decisions and possibly break the cycle and find salvation.

External links

* [ The Dark Tower Compendium website]
* [ The Dark Tower official website] (requires Macromedia Flash 6)
* [ List of Stephen King's works] - including this series - from his official website
* [ Dark Tower Wiki]
* []
* [ Towerpedia!]
* [ French encyclopedia]

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