Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Dark Towers Diaries - Prologue

Many years ago I knew a fellow who would buy all the books in a series in hardcover and not read them until the series was complete. I thought this was interesting because at the time we were reading the same five-book series, The Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony. I used the word "reading" rather loosely here; I was reading them in paperback as they came out, he was collecting them in hardcover to read when the entire five-book series was published. I asked him why he was doing this, and he said something about reading them all in one go like a giant novel so that he could enjoy the subtle nuiances that are lost by reading each one a year apart.
"Subtle nuiance"??!? It's Piers Anthony! His writing style is about as subtle as W's smirk!
Anyway, I bumped into him again just after book five, the final book, came out in hardcover and he was merrily reading the series and enjoying it very much. He was having such a good time reading it that I didn't have the heart to tell him that Anthony had gone to another publisher for books six and seven.
And I guess he's still hasn't cracked the spine on any of his Robert Jordan books.
(For the record, The Incarnations of Immortality series was a nifty idea and the first couple of books were great, but it became progressively less great as the series went on. And on.)
Okay. I'm going to do something crazy. Starting today, I am going to start to read all seven volumes of Stephen King's Dark Tower series in a row.
I've never read a completed series all the way through in one go. (The clever dicks among you will now realize that I've never read The Lord of the Rings all the way through. Loved the movies, hated the books. Couldn't make it through Fellowship. If those stinky little hobbits had stopped for another meal, I'd have killed the little fucks myself.)
I've read the Dune books, but Frank Herbert was still adding to the series when I was reading it so it wasn't complete when I read it. (And it still isn't, apparently. There's so many Dune prequels and sequels coming out these days. Fishmonger of Dune is the latest, where Paul learns that to catch the legendary sandfish of Dune, he's going to need a mighty big worm.)
I have no illusions that I'll finish all seven books in seven days. That'd be really nuts to expect that's gonna happen. But with lunchbreaks at work, I should get through them at a fair clip. Except that the last one is 1072 pages. In paperback.
Call me nuts if you want. Better people than you already have.

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