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Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance, Revised and Updated (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Robin Furth , Stephen King

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Extrait

INTRODUCTION PART TWO
VOLUMES V–VII
FOUR CHARACTERS (AND A BUMBLER) IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR: OR, A FEW REFLECTIONS ON THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN FICTION AND REALITY


Spoiler’s Warning: This Concordance keeps no secrets. Read it only after you have finished all seven of the Dark Tower books.

For those of us who have traveled with Roland Deschain from the wastes of the Mohaine Desert to the Castle of the Crimson King and then beyond, to the farthest reaches of End-World, the journey has been a long one, say thankya. For many Constant Readers, it has taken more than twenty years; for sai King, the travels have spanned more than thirty. And for Roland, who is able to leap over whole generations in pursuit of his quarry and his quest, the pilgrimage has lasted more than three hundred.8 Yet as Eddie Dean points out at the beginning of Wolves of the Calla, time is elastic. Despite what we’ve been told about the accuracy of clocks, no two sixty-second periods are ever identical. Although a minute may move like dried mud while we’re waiting or when we’re bored, it speeds to the point of invisibility when we’re in the throes of change. And what is a novel but a tale of transformation and discovery?

Over the course of the Dark Tower series, we witness tremendous transformation, both in our characters’ natures and in the parameters of their quest. What began, in The Gunslinger, as the story of one man’s obsessive pursuit of a goal becomes, in the final three books of our story, a tale of personal, and universal, redemption. By the time we reach the final page of our saga, we have witnessed so much. Roland, once a lone traveler willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to the achievement of his end, has drawn three companions to him9 and has trained them to be gunslingers. With his new tet-mates, Roland discovers the Bear-Turtle Beam and follows it to the haunted regions of End-World, where the Dark Tower sits. Along the Path of the Beam, the bonds of khef, which unite his new ka-tet, are tested and proved strong. And Roland, always an emotionally reticent man, rediscovers his ability to trust and to love. With this newfound knowledge, he can finally admit, and repent, all of his previous betrayals.

In many ways, the Dark Tower series falls into two parts: the adventures that Roland and his companions have in Mid-World (all of which were written before Stephen King’s accident in 1999) and those that take place in the borderlands and End-World, which were penned after our author began to recover from the accident that almost claimed his life. The adventures our ka-mates have in both halves of their tale are dramatic, but the nature of the changes they undergo as a result are quite different. In the first four Tower books, the transformations our tet experiences are, in large part, personal. As well as bonding as a group, united in their vision of one day reaching the Dark Tower, each member has to battle his or her own demons. Eddie overcomes heroin addiction. Susannah’s dual personalities of Detta and Odetta merge into a unified whole. Jake abandons his lonely life in New York to join his adopted father’s quest, and Roland, who up until this point has been a self-obsessed loner, learns to value his tet as highly as he values his search for the linchpin of existence.10 Yet if the first four Dark Tower books are about the khef11 that binds self to ka-tet, in the final three novels, the responsibilities of khef ripple outward, encompassing not just the debt the individual owes to his tet-mates but the responsibilities each of us has to the greater world—or, in the case of the Dark Tower series, to the multiple worlds.

In the final three books of the Dark Tower series, Roland and his friends extend the scope of their quest. While keeping their ultimate goal in mind, they set out to accomplish a number of specific tasks that, when taken together, simultaneously halt the erosion of the Beams, frustrate the apocalyptic plans of the Crimson King, and work for the common good. First, in Wolves of the Calla, they destroy the robotic, green-cloaked horsemen who have been stealing children from Mid-World’s borderlands for more than six generations.12 By so doing, they not only liberate the people of the Callas but undermine the efficiency of the Breakers—those prisoners of the Crimson King who have been forced to erode the Beams with the equivalent of psychic battery acid. Second, in Song of Susannah, Jake and Callahan manage to put Black Thirteen, the most evil of Maerlyn’s magic balls, out of commission. And third, with the help of John Cullum (their Stoneham, Maine, dan-tete), Roland and Eddie begin to lay plans for the Tet Corporation, a company created to undermine the powers of the evil Sombra Corporation and to protect both the wild Rose, found in New York City’s Vacant Lot, and our kas-ka Gan, Stephen King, creator of our tale.13

By accomplishing these tasks, our tet remains true to the Way of Eld, which demands that gunslingers protect the weak and vulnerable from those who would oppress or exploit them. Yet in defending the White against the ever-encroaching tide of the Outer Dark, our tet (like our author) comes under the shadow of ka-shume, the shadow of death.14 In The Dark Tower, Roland and his friends destroy the Devar-Toi, or Breaker prison, and free the Breakers.15 They halt the erosion of the Beams (which we are assured will regenerate), but Eddie Dean pays for this victory with his life. Not long after, when Roland and Jake travel to the year 1999 so that they can save their maker, Stephen King, from his predetermined collision with a Dodge minivan, Jake Chambers heaves his last breath. It seems that ka demands a life for a life, and though Stephen King survives his terrible accident, Jake does not.

And it is here, on Slab City Hill in Lovell, Maine, by the prostrate and profoundly injured body of our kas-ka Gan, and by the side of our gunslinger Roland, who grieves over the corpse of his adopted son, that I would like to pause. It is not a comfortable place to be—either for sai King, who lies bleeding in a ditch, or for us, who are unable to help—but it is an important place. Like Detta Walker’s Drawers, this little patch of road in the year 1999 (when the ka of our world and the ka of Roland’s world are united) is a place of power. It is a doorway between the rational and irrational worlds, a place where the veil is at its thinnest. And it is in this place where life and death meet that Roland accomplishes something worth discussing. By sacrificing what he loves above all else in order to save the life of the man who created his universe—a man who must live if the story of the Dark Tower is to exist in any world—Roland does what we assume is impossible. He stops the wheel of ka and alters its path.

Throughout the final three books of the Dark Tower series, we are told that, in the Keystone World we inhabit, there are no do-overs. Once an event has taken place, it cannot be changed. Yet it seems that this “truth” is not necessarily true. At the end of Song of Susannah, we are given Stephen King’s obituary—ostensibly taken from the Portland Sunday Telegram—which states that King died at 6:02 PM on Saturday, June 20, 1999, at Northern Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Bridgton, Maine. Yet Stephen King didn’t die. As we all know, he survived (albeit with terrible injuries) and returned to his computer keyboard to finish the last three books of his Dark Tower saga. On one level of the Tower, King’s life was saved by paramedics and doctors, and that most fickle of mistresses, Lady Luck. But on another level, the one that we all inhabit when our rational minds switch off and our imaginations wake up, Stephen King was saved by his characters.

When I was nineteen, I read a play by the Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello. The play was called Six Characters in Search of an Author. In it, six characters—all of whom have been abandoned by their original creator—go in search of a new person to pen their story. The person they turn to is a theater manager, already in the process of staging a different play. At first, the theater manager thinks these characters are either mad or joking, but as their traumatic story begins to unfold, he finds himself drawn into it. But no matter how the new playwright (for that is what he becomes) tries to bend the plot or alter the characters’ temperaments, he can’t. You see, the story already exists, from beginning to end, and the characters who live within its unwritten pages stubbornly hold on to their unique identities. What they want, and what they demand, is a writer who is willing to stand and be true—a person able to facilitate their tale and give it life, tragic as that tale turns out to be.

A number of years ago, in a writers’ magazine, I read a firsthand account of an author’s experience creating a character, and that, too, has remained with me. The author of the article (who was writing for an audience of apprentice authors) told of her experience with a character she called Bird. And though I lost the article long ago (which, like so many things in my life, I put in a place that at the time I had deemed “safe”), I still remember Bird. You see, Bird saved his author’s life.

The story began when the author in question received a grant to finish her novel. She and her husband went to a remote cottage where the isolation and quiet would be perfect for the task at hand. However, it was winter, the cottage was old and cold, and the journey had been long. The woman and her husband shut the door and...

Revue de presse

I found this overview of In-World, Mid-World, and End-World both entertaining and invaluable. So, I am convinced, will you. (Stephen King)

Furth's concordance anticipates - and answers - virtually every question the Constant Reader might come up with. (Locus)

An invaluable aid whenever you want to puzzle out all of the referencees . . . or find a refresher course on who's good and who's evil. (New York Times)

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  43 commentaires
80 internautes sur 81 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The journey of Roland 21 juin 2007
Par E. A Solinas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Apparently being a personal assistant to Stephen King has certain perks, especially when you're writing a concordance to his bestselling Dark Tower series, both volumes of which are contained in "The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance." Robin Furth doesn't outline much that isn't also in the book, but she does an excellent job outlining the information about King's entire series.

Furth includes plenty of data on the seven novels of the series, starting with an essay that refreshes the reader's memory. Furth starts the actual content with a list of characters with biographical info, from "Abigail" to "Zoltan." Then it's the areas of Mid-World, from the lair of the vampire nuns to Roland's long-lost homeland; the areas of our own world, and portals between the worlds. There are some pretty decent maps as well.

Additionally, she describes the various terms and phrases used in the High Speech, Mid-World language ("graf" is apple beer), prayers and sayings ("If it's ka, it will come like the wind"). And just for reference, she includes organizations, dances, holidays, magical items, instruments, as well as outlining various maps, as well as cultural items from our present world, and maps. Not to mention references to King's own work within the series.

The Dark Tower series -- which stretches through seven long novels and one short story -- is enticingly complex and mysterious, set in different worlds and times. It's also interlinked with other novels of King's, like "Insomnia" and "Eyes of the Dragon." So it's inevitable that even the die-hard fans will forget Character X or fair-day Z -- yet Furth's book allows easy clarification and consultation.

Furth does an excellent job organizing and annotating the book, including the books in which the items appear, and which pages are significant. She also maintains a calmly distant attitude in the book, without getting too gushy about King's work. But she does slip up occasionally; it's jarring to hear about "screwing" someone with a gun in a scholarly work.

Robin Furth's "Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance" is a good accompaniment to the Dark Tower series, and even those who have read the series many times will want to keep it at hand. Very useful.
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Worth the upgrade? 10 mai 2013
Par Phillip Frangules - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This marks the third time that Robin Furth has written a "Concordance" to the Dark Tower books. The first time it was split into two volumes; Volume I being for the first four books, Volume II being for the final three. Then Furth re-released it as "The Complete Concordance", which was a revised version that covered the entire series all at once. Now we have the "The Complete Concordance, Revised and Expanded" in light of the currently released eighth book "The Wind Through the Keyhole".

If you haven't got a Concordance yet, then by all means get this one as it's a valuable companion to the series (although it goes without saying that it's chock full of spoilers so make sure you're finished with it). It's not so much something you're meant to read from start to finish as it is an expanded index to the series. If for example if you want to find out when a certain character appeared or you missed something that's important later on, this will be helpful. It does exactly what's it supposed to do. If you're looking for deep analysis or new information on the series then it's not for you.

But if you do have any of the prior Concordances (or if you bought the first two separately and then double-dipped with the combined one), is it worth getting again? To be honest, I don't think so. The eighth book is pretty short, has a relatively simple story with only a few new characters and is largely separate from the larger plot of the series. I can't imagine that most people will get as much use from the Concordance with it as they would with the main series. Unless you're a completist, I don't think it's worth buying just yet. I also have the feeling that King will revisit Mid-World again some day, and if so, then another Concordance is right around the corner...
24 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Well honed reference guide. 11 avril 2007
Par J. Bauer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A concordance, by definition, is an alphabetical index of the principal words of a book, as of the Bible, with a reference to the passage in which each occurs. This does a most excellent job of doing so. Well studied! I almost wish I'd waited for it to come out before reading the series. A must have for all Tower geeks.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Outstanding Guide to the World of Roland and the Dark Tower. 26 août 2008
Par turtlex - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Welcome to the world of Roland, his fellow Gunslingers and the Dark Tower - It is a wonderous and complex universe. This tome will act as a kind of guide and assist you with any questions you might have.

This concordance was actually put together as a reference for Stephen King himself, as he explains in the beginning of this very excellent and detailed document.

Here within lies the Dark Tower and all its mysteries, names, characters, locations, mythology, etc.

This is an ideal book for the Dark Tower fan, or fanatic. The details refer back to actual page numbers of the original novels, the new revised editions, etc and the format is easy to use.

Ideally, finding answers to your questions is the key to a well put together reference book - and this book has been researched and put together expertly.

I would strongly suggest this book for an accompanyment to the Dark Tower Series.

Long Days and Pleasant Nights.
turtlex
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very complete 22 décembre 2008
Par A. Rock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
If you are into the Dark Tower series, the Concordance is a must. Keep the characters straight. Find references to characters and places in other works by King. Excellent resource.
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