Serial Novels: The Dark Tower

At one point in my life, my 20's, I was never into reading serial novels. Maybe it was because I never chose to read them or maybe I just didn't want to commit to reading several novels. However, since my late 20's on I've found myself getting into a few of these epic stories and franchise characters.

I think these books are the main reason why. The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Thankfully, most of these books were already published when I started the series. Over the course of about three years I read them all.

Actually I've finished this series a while ago and loved every bit of it. Like many, I found the final book some what of a let down as I had hoped for a bigger conflict at the end. However, I refuse to let my expectations for a strife ruin the satisfaction I received on the journey to that point.

The story stretches over seven lengthy novels, most with major cliffhangers. Without giving away any spoilers on this epic adventure, I will just sum up the basic plot of the series: In a different world from our own, Roland, the last gunslinger, searches to find the Dark Tower, which is the nexus of all universes. Along the way he gathers other people to aid in his quest and battles old enemies.

I find it fascinating how so much of King's work revolved around and intertwined (directly and indirectly) with the themes, characters, and creation in this series of books. If you read a lot of King's work, these items will be easy to detect. At times the series is frightening, always suspenseful, surprisingly caring, and often violent; these books are the opus of King's career and should put him up there with the greats in literature, if he already wasn't considered.


1. The Gunslinger

2. The Drawing of the Three

3. The Waste Lands

4. Wizard and Glass

5. Wolves of the Calla

6. Song of Susannah

7. The Dark Tower

Other Novels Which Directly Tie In (major connection)
- The Talisman
- The Black House
- 'Salem's Lot

- Bag of Bones
- Hearts in Atlantis
- The Stand

- Insomnia
- It
- Eyes of the Dragon

- The Regulators
- Desperation

Prequel Comic Series by Marvel
1. Gunslinger Born

2. Long Road Home
3. Treachery
4. Sorcerer

For more on Stephen King, go to his

For more information on the Dark Tower series, here is a great website

Stephen King's The Dark Tower: A Concordance by Robin Furth

The Road to The Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus
by Bev Vincent

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Under Appreciated Horror Author #2 - Dan Simmons

NOTE: When discussing the author, I shall only comment on the books I've read.

Dan Simmons is a native of Peoria, IL and has written landmark novels in both science fiction (Hyperion series) and horror. His books have been not only been nominated but have won numerous awards. Yet to the mainstream, he has gone fairly unrecognized. He is often compared to Stephen King for his ability to write about small town folks dealing with unusual situations and the way he realistically writes children.

I've read three of his novels so far and have three more sitting on a shelf waiting.

Summer of Night is a classic tale of children finding something evil lurking in their small town. They come together to battle the evil while the adults refuse to recognize anything is wrong. It's a great coming of age story about friendships of youth. And an evil ass monster.

It's sequel, A Winter Haunting, deals with the main character, who is now grown up, coming home only find out things still aren't quite right. Another fine tale of man struggling to deal with his current life as a result of not coming to terms with his youth.

LoveDeath is a collection of novellas that deals with the subjects of love and death with in each tale. It's erotic, horrorifying, and beautifully written.

If you enjoy character driven horror tales, then you must give Dan Simmons a read. He is one of the best.

Notable Horor Books by Dan Simmons (not a complete list)

~ Song of Kali (1985) - World Fantasy Award winner

~ Carrion Comfort (1989) - Bram Stoker Award & British Fantasy Award winner 1989

~ Summer of Night (1991) - British Fantasy Award, 1992

~ Children of the Night (1992) - Locus Award 1993

~ Lovedeath (1993, short story collection)

~ The Hollow Man (1992)

~ A Winter Haunting (2002)

~ The Terror (2007)

~ Drood (2009)

Visit his website for more information

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