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Stephen King, the Gunslinger, and the Western (1 Viewer)

Queasy Dillo

Senior Member
This is actually a continuation of another thread in the Critique & Advice section. Since the discussion began to move from the piece in question I'm posting here so we can keep the comments relevant but continue to discuss the tangent items.

Dillo
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
We were talking about the last Dark Tower books, and how they compared to the first ones.

And we were also discussing whether the first book, The Gunslinger was fantasy or a western.

I think the series as a whole is obviously fantasy, but when standing alone, was The Gunslinger fantasy?

Let's see what some other people think.

I don't know if this will work, but this is where it all started:

www.writingforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=9247&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

BTW, take the time to read Dillo's story excerpt at the beginning of the thread.
 

Queasy Dillo

Senior Member
My personal take is that The Gunslinger, in its standalone form, is a kind of post-apocalyptic western.

But that's just how it struck me.
 

Nazareth

Senior Member
What was the book "Song of Susan' about? I can't remember which book I read last- I think it wolves of calhalla' But I can't remember.

Really enjoyed this series as dillo said, apocalyptic western perfectly describes it- nice combo as I like both genras- only thing I didn't liek about hte series was the foulness of some of the scenes & I didn';tr really care for the blain the pain book- a little too childish in my opinion
 

Queasy Dillo

Senior Member
You make a good point, Nazareth. Though I liked the overall story and the novelty of it all, Stephen King seems to be in dire need of an editor. Or, if he already has one, he needs somebody with the guts to stand up and tell him when he's putting in filler.

As for Blaine the Mono, the whole thing struck me as a little boring. Starting the riddling contest more or less stalled things, and I wasn't really on the edge of my seat when SK left us hanging at the end. More annoyed than anything else.

Some of his stuff could be a bit graphic at times, yes. Sometimes it was tolerable, sometimes it seemed to be the dreaded 'filler'.
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
But doesn't the post-apocalyptic part imply fantasy?

Look there's obviously no doubt that SK took an enormous amount from the Western genre to create Roland of Gilead, Sergio Leone to be exact.

But I wonder if we should be mixing genres. I think overall, even the Gunslinger book was fantasy, drawing on the western genre. But I'd list it as a fantasy book, and compare it to the work of Feist, Erikson, Tolkein, John Marco etc, rather than compare it to Louis L'Armour (I don't know any other authors of westerns) :cry:

But what about the quality? Demonic Harmonic said volume 7 is making her vomit, twice. I don't understand that. I thought it was brilliant.

What aren't I seeing?
 

Queasy Dillo

Senior Member
True, TB. I'm not sure how well The Gunslinger would be accepted by fans of the traditional western, though most the ones I've talked to have considered it a fascinating depature from the ordinary...but not quite a western. I completely agree that it should be filed under 'Fantasy'.

Stephen King created an entirely new world (or destroyed one, as the case may be). Westerns are strictly American in nature (even those written by non-Americans) and to qualify as such must have some parts that take place in the Western

My comment was just to say that parts of it reminded me of westerns, in a distant, elusive sort of way.
 

poison2themind

Senior Member
Being a huge fan of Stephen King, I feel I should say something. I think that the Dark Tower is fantasy, simply because the thought of Stephen King writing a western scares me. But off of the fantasy there is a little bit of western flare to it. Not so much that it over takes the fantasy, but just enough to notice.
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
I've read the first four books and will finish the series hopefully soon. The series has post-apoc "Western" overtones--especially Wolves, I've been told. I'm looking forward to it.

King has always wanted to do an epic fantasy--and he's done it.

More power to the Maine Man . . . .
 

demonic_harmonic

Senior Member
This series is much like a piece of fruit.


It was pretty good in the beginning, great in the middle, and rotted away at the end.


The writing got shabby, the plot gets off, and it just doesn't get me into it like it used to. I don't know what happened. I usually don't insult anyone's writing but...


It just...sort of sucks. I don't know what happened to him. There was no exscuse for the writing to get as bad as it did.
 

Queasy Dillo

Senior Member
I'd noticed that too, DH. I got four or five books through and didn't bother buying any more. Maybe if I can pick up the remaining titles at a thrift shop or garage sale. Otherwise.... :?
 

Nazareth

Senior Member
I stopped into the library & just started thumbin through Songs of Susan (The next book I haven't read) And I just couldn't get into it- I didn't check it out- it just seemed like more of the same ole same ole to me & I didn't really feel like slogging through a book dedicated to 'Mia's' Perversions & filth

I mostly enjoyed the 'western' books in the series (& maybe the old history too), but I kinda lost interest when he started exploring the filth and more modern supernatural in the books. I dunno- I might check out the last book inm the series, but I'll skip Songs
 

demonic_harmonic

Senior Member
Well, there is a very good reason Mia is being perverted and filthy, but I'm not gonna say it in case it spoils it for someone.


But I know what you mean. It was... ahm... *yawn* Yeah, that's it.
 

Queasy Dillo

Senior Member
I mostly enjoyed the 'western' books in the series (& maybe the old history too), but I kinda lost interest when he started exploring the filth and more modern supernatural in the books.

You know I hadn't really thought of that, but I suspect it may be the point my interest began to wane. The fictional quasi-real world was good. The real world....I have to deal with that enough already.
 
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