Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Admitting Defeat

I finished Eyes Of The Dragon, only to read on the very last page that two of the book's characters met up with Flagg again after the events of this book, and "confronted him". I suspect I will be getting the other Dark Tower books after all then...
I realised a funny little thing about Stephen King's books as I finished this one. I wanted to know that Flagg wasn't going to return to this book's world to cause any more trouble. I wanted to know how Thomas and Dennis fared when they met Flagg again.
In the Dark Tower books, the hero seems to be on a quest to destroy that world's Flagg. What I realised was that by making Flagg a threat to the characters and setting of all these other books, King has made the reader care for these people and hope that Flagg is defeated. If he'd gone on describing people and places only loosely connected to the Dark Tower quest and how they were threatened within the Dark Tower books, he may have threatened the pace of the main quest. As it is he's created these people and places elsewhere, in other books, where they can't hold up the narrative of the main quest but where they still add to its importance. Whether he did this deliberately or not (and I'm sure he did), I'm impressed.

I'm not sure if any of that made any sense...

The problem is that, just as with Alias' good over-arcing plots but weak individual episodes, I'd much rather know how King's universe all ties together without reading each and every book. I enjoyed Eyes Of The Dragon because it was a fun read, and I know that not every King book is fun to read. I had a similar problem with CrossGen's comics. Unlike shared universes in other comics, CrossGen's universe had a plot all of its own. The Marvel Universe doesn't progress as such, but CrossGen's does. Unfortunately, only a handful of their titles are worth reading, and most of these have little to do with the universal plot. The universal plot is rather fascinating, but it wasn't worth trawling through all the faff CrossGen puts out. Oh well.
My nose just made a noise like South American pan pipes. Must be time for bed.

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