Friday, May 10, 2013

Errors and Flaws in Mid-World.

I have another post i need to write, but i have the idea that the work of it is not yet finished so i guess that post can wait, though it's already been waiting long and long.

So, now for something completely different.

I recently finished reading Stephen King's Dark Tower epic.  Again.  I have read it so often that i lost count of the actual number at seven.  And that was years and how many rereads ago?  It's not the only book i've read over and over (or plan to continue to read over in the course of my life).  Bill Watson's A Dog Called Kitty was perhaps the first.  Mary Brown's The Unlikely Ones and Meredith Anne Pierce's Darkangel Trilogy still make me cry every time.  A Prayer For Owen Meany and Pride and Prejudice.  Another enormous-pile-of-books epic made up of Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship Traders, and Tawny Man trilogies (i'm not a fan of the dragon books that follow, say sorry).  But still, i think that Roland Deschain of Gilead will bring me back most often.

I remember being in high school, stuck on the road outside of the Emerald City-like castle on the Topkea Interstate just passing out of Captain Tripps territory, now finally back in Mid-World and my heart heavy yet from Susan's death with no next book in sight.  I was devouring his other works looking for those connections we (my dad and i) were just beginning to notice (for this was in the years before the internet where everything is now connected and explained with a quick query of a search engine).  And then i heard the news that Stephen King had been struck by a van while out for a walk near his home.  My very first thought was, "What about Roland!?"

I have seen critiquers on the internets who proclaim that King having put himself in the story to help (or hinder) Roland along is a cop-out and shoddy storytelling.  I think those people are new to Roland's qust and never read the forewords and afterwords of the early edition printings.  In these King himself claims he does not know where the story has come from or where it is going.  He doesn't know who the girl in the window is, he doesn't think he likes Roland all that much. That he feels as if he is telling the story, not crafting it himself.

I understand that feeling.  i often feel as if i have no control over what i write.  maybe that is why I was not surprised and actually pleased by the turn of events that brought Gan's navel, Stephen King into the turning of the wheel of Ka.  It's really the only way it made sense.

Now, there are countless websites out there (as i said before) that draw the comparisons and connetions between King's books and within the Epic itself.  that's not what my list is about.  My list is about the errors.

I understand that this was the work of three decades and things are bound to get through (although that doesn't explain why most of them are in book 7!!) And i'm not doing this to be mean or vindictive or anything of that sort.  I just tend to notice these types of things, especially because i've read it so many times that i don't even really have to.  I can just close my eyes and think about it.

My dad used to have a book of continuity flaws for Star Trek TNG that we would read before watching each episode in his VHS collection.  It's fun!

So, my list of 15 plot flaws.  Some of them are minor, some of them are a bit forgiveable.  I was aiming to find 19 because then it would be a sign that they were meant to be there.  But who knows.  maybe next time i read it i will fill out the list.  Hell, two or three of these 15 i found in this current reread.  So here goes.  *NOTE* There will be spoilers (beyond those i've already mentioned above :P)

1.  When the lobstroscity bites off Roland's toe it takes a hunk of his boot and chews it up, later throws it aside.  Roland continues to wear "worn down boots" for the remainder of the series.  With a hole in it??

2.  When he reaches the Western Sea after crossing the Mohaine Desert he turns north as he travels, searching for doors.  He mentions several times that the ocean is on the right and the land is on the left.  That means he's moving south.

3.  When i look i can't find it, but i SWEAR the first time Eddie is introduced he is a "21-year-old heroin addict."  Either way, when he introduces himself to Odetta he is 23.  Following no more than 6 months in the woods following book 2 he is 25 and when he dies he's 26 (which is okay).

4.  I don't believe there is a single mention of Roland's hat until it nearly flies off his head crossing the bridge into Lud.  (maybe i'm wrong on this, but every time i read that part i'm startled. like what!? hat!?)

5.  Somewhere around The Wastelands or Wizard and Glass Roland takes a "leftover asprin."  There was no left over asprin.  He took all the asprin Eddie got him from the airport.  And when he went to the pharmacy in Mort's body he only got the antibiotic he needed.

6.  The rose in the abandoned lot in New York is on Keystone Earth.  So Jake has to have come from Keystone Earth.  Since Jake follows Eddie and Henry to the house on Dutch Hill and once he's pulled through the door Eddie remembers a boy in sunglasses following him that day then Eddie too must have come from Keystone Earth.  His whole argument over whether Co-op City is in Brooklyn or the Bronx is needless and nonsensical.

7.  While Roland, Cuthbert and Alain are in Mejis they have carrier pigeons, but they also receive messages from their fathers back in Gilead from incoming carrier pigeons.  This is not how carrier pigeons work.  For their fathers to be able to send messages they would need to have ridden out to Mejis and brought back to Gilead with them pigeons that were raised and lived on the abandoned ranch where the boys stayed during their visit.

8.  Susannah's legs are cut off in the subway accident above the knee, except for at the very beginning of book seven when it is below the knee.

9.  At Pere's house in Calla Bryn Sturgis both Eddie and Susannah are said to have been "standing at the window" and then "walk to the bed." (slightly forgiveable; Susannah had the loan of Mia's legs for much of this book and the next.  it's easy to forget).

10.  In the beginning of Ted Brautigan's recording he says, "...looking for the writer?  The one who created me after a fashion?" speaking of Stephen King and Roland and Eddie's search for him.  Later the tet "decides" for themselves that King must have written Ted.  (it was a four hour recording, slightly forgiveable).  Also, Ted mentions having lifted information from Trampas' mind about how the singer of Gan's song has quit singing and needs to die, yet does not connect that to his knowledge of King and his creation and importance to all of them.

11.  Roland watching Teds tape fixedly.  Three paragraphs of narrative (and not Ted's summarized story) later he "had been cleaning his guns."

12.  In The Whitelands Roland is teaching Susannah to skin and tan hides.  granted it's a new, quick brain slurry method but much of this she should already know from their post-beach-doors pre-shardik-attack time.  "...learned more about making hide garments than she ever would have believed."

13.  In Bill's plow Susannah plays "Hey Jude."  She doesn't know who the Beatles are but by 1964 (the year she was drawn) they had become international stars (though Hey Jude was 1970 so she shouldn't know that song in particular). Also, "Roland seems to know... words he knew were different."  This has already been discussed when the tet was whole and he was telling his story of Tull; a comparisson of the different worlds they've come from and the overlaps.

14.  When Patrick draws Susannah's picture and she compliments him he smiles; a poor choice of words that she "could have eaten that smile up," considering what Dandelo did to Patrick.

15.  At the Tower the Crimson King is throwing sneetches.  "unless he can throw more than 12 at a time..." Roland thinks he will be safe.  Wrong.  Six.  Roland has only one gun (Susannah took the other through the door with her) and only one hand to shoot with anyhow.

There.  That's the end.  But it's not.  Cuz Ka's a wheel and i'll be back.

That may be my longest post ever.

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