My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The best in the series so far! Partly because of the smooth narrative, and partly because we finally learn more about Roland and what happened to the world in which he grew up.
It was also a lesson in how to break rules and get away with it. In a book of 845 pages, 632 of them are flashback. What’s more, the Point of View in that three quarters of the book is impossible (it’s all Roland’s re-telling, but shows the inner feelings and thoughts of characters he barely knew). Of course King justifies this, and gets away with it (I won’t spoil the story by going into detail).
There’s also a tiny mention that Jonas might have had experience with the ‘doors’ – I hope this comes back into the story. I’m intrigued!
Without spoiling the story for anyone else (I think it’s obvious enough who I’m talking about if you’ve read the book) the part I found hardest to swallow was when King construed one of the characters as incredibly brave and pragmatic during the last few minutes of their life. It didn’t work. It came across as a weak portrayal and the character had a martyred, victimised emotional response which killed my love for them at a time when I should have been devasted and on the edge of my seat, hoping against all hope for a last-minute reprieve. I just can’t believe that person went so willingly and meekly to such a violent death.
Conversely, one of my favourite visualizations was ‘his arms and legs spasmed, jerked, trembled, then stilled’. It was a perfect depiction of a character’s death that wasn’t tangled up with ‘a little’ or ‘for a moment’ or ‘finally’ and I love to read this type of tight writing.
As usual, I can’t wait to read the next installment. Even though it’s just as long as this one…