Today twelve years ago on June 19th 1999 Stephen King was almost killed during a stroll in Maine when driver Bryan Smith was distracted by his dog and rammed the author.
This moment of coming so close to death and surviving by pure chance (or Ka?) was what made Stephen King return to The Dark Tower and finish the story in one stroke. The difference between the author before the accident (who wrote The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands and Wizard and Glass) and the man after (Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower) can clearly be felt.
Many readers have begrudged King for not taking his time with finishing the story but I think they were missing the important fact that he was a changed man, realising that he might not have time to finish his most ambitious work before something like this accident might happen again.
In his first books King always said that he didn’t know how the Tower would end, how the story would progress and seeing as how the accident fundamentally changed the dynamic of the story I am convinced that this story is not just a made up story for the press. The Tower was written (according to King) whenever he felt compelled to (the novels compare it to the song of a turtle which is the incarnation of creativity and gives life to the emptiness) and it is clear that he felt compelled to finish this story in time.
Contrary to many fantasy stories that are by the numbers rundowns of good against evil the Dark Tower was always about King and how he currently saw his world. The fact that the story was written over the course of 30 years enhances this feeling – not only do the characters grow, but also the author, resulting in a very very personal finale that comes to terms with it’s own merits and finally finds it’s place.
I say thankee Sai for the great story that is The Dark Tower
And may Sai King continue with his great stories