Thursday, 8 May 2014

I'm in love!

And this doesn't happen often, for I'm one tough customer when it comes to culture such as books. Luckily it however happens so often that I can claim my brain isn't calcified beoynd redemption. Last time I fell in love for a book (or in most cases, a series of books) was four years ago, when I met the Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales - books, in which we followed a saxon in the ninth-century britain. The books are as historically accurate as possible without giving up the poetic license, and contain moderate amounts of violence (where moderate amount means twenty saxons killing hundreds of vikings in a shield-wall without casualties :)). So, basic stuff you'd expect an Age of Empires II fan to love.

And what have I fallen for now? The Stephen King's Dark Tower, that's what. I've been told now and then for the last five years how I should read something from the King, because why should I not read them? I didn't care to read that stuff for such lame arguments (and in fact, reading anything that needs arguments to justify the reading is dumb), and I always categorized King as something people my father's age read, mainly because his bedside table always contains at least two King novels. By doing that I forgot that most of my father's books, or at least the Hitchhiker's guide and Stainless Steel Rat, are in fact among the best I've read.

Anyway, I spent a weekend in Estonia. There, I found myself in a local bookstore's area of english books, for I find my skills of Estonian language lacking. They had a shelf dedicated to the King's Dark Tower novels. I had seriously thought of reading a book or two, so a quick call to my father revealed that he has parts 2, 3 and 4 at home, so I have to buy only the first. Then, I spent a week reading the book, sometimes wondering what kind of funnytea he had drunk while writing, sometimes laughing to the genious twist in the plot. After that week I began the second book, and after a week I'm now reading the third, with great difficulties in putting it down and beginning to read stuff I'm supposed to read currently (if you need to know, electricity physics and such).

The first book was a bit dull, but undull enough to get me to pick up the second book. The second book had weird initial situation, most of the first few hundred pages happened inside a mind of a heroin courier. This sounds like a generic american movie, but in fact that worked nicely. A heroin addict, recovering or not, is also a good character to wonder the weirdness of the world, as I think the Holmes NYC tv-series has demonstrated. After the initial shock of the feeling of an american movie, the book had some cogitation on the evil of the world, both natural occurring and man-made, and nice, abstract symmetry. And doors in a bloody beach! I had great doubts on them, but their absurdity actually works!

The first part of the third book was a bit boring, maybe too much pondering on irrelevant things, or something, but now that we're following Jake once again, I'm trading hours of sleep for the pure enjoyment of reading the book.

As a writer myself, I'm mainly reading these to get my muse to sing for me again. The first 'Lomaproosa' owns its existence to Assassin's Creeds, Cornwell's books, and a bit on Witchers (both the books and the games). Albeit I probably wont borrow the huge amounts of absurdity from the Roland's universe, its effect will be visible in the second instalment of Rajol Al-Ramal's adventures. I love how the Roland's world feels to have seen all the great things in the past, and now the only thing it will see is its own demise. That kind of a setup provides multiple possibilities on asking big questions of life, but tales consisting mostly of these questions are horribly hard to write to be interesting.

And what is the conclusion, what am I trying to say with this short text? Damn if I know. Maybe it is that everyone should read the Dark Tower - series, because why should they not?

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