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running themes stephen king books

(202 Posts)
marissab Sun 16-Jun-13 20:50:09

I'm reading Duma Key and am picking up lots of themes from other books. For example, one man who can't sleep says he feels like he's floating above himself like a balloon. This is an obvious ref to insomnia. I've read about links between books with randalf flagg and other baddies with `RF` initials. I would like to know more about these themes. Does anyone know if anyone's written anything i can read up on? It's something I'm interested in because I'm going back and re-reading the old SK's.

redlac Tue 02-Jul-13 21:35:54

MY DH bought me wizard and glass and I read it not realising that it was part of DT and loved it so had to buy the rest. I've not reread them in years and might give them another bash once I've finished rereading Per Semetary.

I think my fav book is Insomnia closely followed by the Stand.

No, I know Roland's Patrick isn't dog killing Patrick. But I think the little boy who is saved is Roland's Patrick too - is he saved from nasty wife beating man in Insomnia, rather than nasty politician in DZ? smile

I don't like the Duma Key and Lisey's 'zones' - they have v silly monsters. Then again, the corridor chaser in DT is a silly monster too, I guess.

TheMoonOnAStick Tue 02-Jul-13 22:04:03

Interesting thread. I like SK and like to spot the little nods to other stories in the books.

But I just cannot get into DT books. I've tried, but gunslingers and fantasy seem to leave me cold.

Listening to fellow SK enthusiasts praising DT so highly always makes me so mad with myself and jealous that I just can't seem to reach this extra 'layer' of King that I should be enjoying. Frustrating! Like peering cluelessly at one of those magic eye pictures trying to see what everyone else can.

TheMoonOnAStick Tue 02-Jul-13 22:12:12

Hey Remus I agree with your thoughts on UtD. I was also unimpressed with the end but thought the book as a whole was good.

I also didn't enjoy 22.11.63 as much as I wanted to or expected to. I felt it rambled on and on, lost its way several times and finally just ran out of steam.

Bag of Bones one of my favourites but dear oh dear the Tv made straight for tv (always a bad sign) film was just terrible.

CoteDAzur Tue 02-Jul-13 22:14:46

"Silly monsters" - What about that laughable giant crab thing that kept saying "Click-a-dick?" or whatever in the Dark Tower book you love?

ILovePonyo Tue 02-Jul-13 22:18:25

Ok! I've just downloaded the first Dark Tower book to my kindle... now to make time to read it!

I have spent a while looking at amazon and reading reviews of SK books I haven't read, but realised the synopsis of various books don't really do them justice? Some of the books I have loved don't sound too inviting just reading the blurb on amazon, maybe they just aren't summed up very well in a paragraph or 2?

I don't think I;ve read pet cemetery so might get that too, happy days smile

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 02-Jul-13 22:23:59

The lobstrocities? Probable mutations after a nuclear war? Important plot point because of ....shall we say, what they eat? Also a geographical note as to where in that zone we are (and oh look. See this. See this very well. It's Maine. As always. ) and your problem is? Are they that less believable than, um, sentient mist? Or scary clowns??

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 02-Jul-13 22:26:03

Actually, my favourite SK book is The Long Walk. It's the first one I ever read.

CoteDAzur Tue 02-Jul-13 22:33:55

I didn't say "less believable". I said silly. And that was Remus's description smile

Yes, silly. Not only are they big lobsters, but they move about as fast as a snail and they say things like "Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?”

If that is not silly, pray tell what is.

SarahAndFuck Tue 02-Jul-13 22:37:10

Yes the boy Patrick who is saved in Insomnia is Roland's Patrick later on. I was really just thinking out loud because Ponyo said she still didn't remember the name and I wanted to differentiate the two Patricks and the books.

I can remember SK writing about the levels of the tower though, and actually calling them levels. I think zones fit as well, but he definitely describes them as levels and certain people/creatures come from different ones.

There's a lot of talk of levels in Insomnia, there was a scene in the hospital where the levels of the hospital building and the levels of the tower seemed to blur a little bit.

SarahAndFuck Tue 02-Jul-13 22:40:02

The lobstrosities are the reason I can't eat certain types of seafood now. Cannot look at it without thinking 'lobstrosity' and feeling a little bit sick.

KvassInTheNight Tue 02-Jul-13 22:46:46

i liked the long walk, the langoliers, the talisman, but yes, the stand, the shining and It are probably my favorites. Hated misery, cujo. Havent read any for years, may have to get up to my top shelf tomorrow!

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 02-Jul-13 22:49:01

But the levels are in the tower not in the journey (we know that he could be diverted while climbing, but isn't (no spoilers). We see many zones on this journey, he's following one, um, spoke, though, isn't he? So there could be different zones on different spokes...I don't think it matters though. Above between below. The route is irrelevant it's the destination that matters to the champion (and the implication is that Roland isn't the first to try)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 02-Jul-13 23:03:21

I had always thought SK was a bit sexist in a forgivable-if-you -half -close -your eyes and don't think about it too hard kind of way, until I read Abut a year ago, some godawful story about a woman who gets raped by the son of a big fat lezzy librarian who couldn't get no man to look at her, and decides she doesn't want to go to the police because then she just wouldn't be her any more.... Dunno what it was called, but it was fucking awful!

SarahAndFuck Tue 02-Jul-13 23:24:17

He is following the spoke (the beam of the bear I think, with the opposite spoke being the beam of the turtle).

But the levels aren't necessarily on top or below each other in a physical sense I don't think.

Certain places and certain people or creatures come from different levels, like the little bald doctors in Insomnia being from a different level than Ralph and Lois for example. But they can be in the same physical place at the same time, where the worlds are 'thin'.

I'd really need to reread Insomnia to find the part I mean, but some levels are more 'out there' maybe, more inclined to the supernatural and our level can sometimes find one of his 'thin' spots and tap into it. Whatever it is, because even supernatural isn't quite the right word.

Where he says "there are other worlds than these", I think you can move worlds without moving levels (Scott moving from our world to Booya Moon, same level but different world) but you can also move levels without moving from your world (such as the hospital scene in Insomnia that I mentioned earlier, I think Ralph staying in the hospital but went up a level or two and then came back down, or when the children in IT do that thing with the smoke). And to complicate things even more, I think in some cases they move worlds and levels at the same time.

SarahMumsnet we really need a SK web chat so he can explain what he thinks please grin

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 02-Jul-13 23:27:43

sarah above between below was a reference to something else both influenced by, and influencing, DT. grin

SarahAndFuck Tue 02-Jul-13 23:37:36


But the point of yours I was answering was that you said the levels were in the tower, which they are, but not just there. They are in the journey too and people can move though the levels without climbing the tower or move from world to world without changing the level they are on. With the tower as the centre of every world on every level.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 03-Jul-13 00:03:08

The levels are an artificial construct (as are the zones). Pere Callaghan wasn't even aware he was moving through, to begin with. He calls the low men 'low men' but I don't think we need to take that as an indication that their point(s?) of origin are 'lower' than say Roland's. just different. The whole zone/level thing is just potato/tomato really - we just don't have enough information to identify whether the UtD world, to take your example from upthread, is our world, or Jake's original world, or Eddie's or Susannah's or the world they all end up in, or one of the many many ones Pere Callaghan goes through - are they many worlds or different levels of the same world - we don't know. As I said, 11.22.63 shows us how different realities are created - or at least, it shows them being created, it doesn't actually tell us how.

We don't even know if a piece can become a player and which actually Roland is (I think the rest of the ka tet are pieces. But to be honest - who can say, really). I'm not entirely convinced SK has decided for himself whether he's a piece or a player either. And he's already told us that we will never get any resolution. That's one of the reasons why I love it to be honest - there is no answer. And there never will be. grin

SolidGoldBrass Wed 03-Jul-13 00:14:16

I think Pet Semetary is the saddest of them all. I read it in the 80s then made the awful mistake of re-reading it when DS was little. If you have small boys, don't go there...

ILovePonyo Wed 03-Jul-13 09:11:29

SolidGoldBrass I am going to start Pet Cemetary tonight I think... I have a small daughter, I'll be ok won't I... hmm

Good point though, I read The Road and Blood Meridian when dd was a small baby and some parts made me feel physically sick, which I don't think would have happened had I not had dd <off topic>

SolidGoldBrass Wed 03-Jul-13 10:46:16

Ponyo <winces>. Um. Have a box of tissues handy. And don't forget it's only a story...

ILovePonyo Wed 03-Jul-13 11:05:07


SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Jul-13 12:37:37

yup - I read pet semetary when DS was about the right/wrong age. near-broke me. Second recommendation for tissues.

sarah - the possibility of a web chat has been mooted, and is being investigated! Needless to say, I'll do my best wink

Oh a webchat with SK would be amazing. Please, please, please can somebody at MN Towers pull some strings?

Roland is both a piece and a player - he is being played but each time he plays he has a little more free will and a few more pieces of his own to play. Or something. smile

Cote - I love you. I love your dad-a-chee / dad-a-chums and I love your utter fury and inability to engage with poor old Roland. For somebody who reads so widely and such (with all due respect) daft stuff in so many levels, you are still failing to willingly suspend your disbelief. smile Go on - just roll with it and don't try to intellectualise it all too much. Roland = sex God on a v long journey and he might even make some friends or partly save the world along the way. The end - but so, so much more.

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