My goal here was to come up with a play-testable prototype that I could then bring to someone who actually knew what they were doing, and ask for their help perfecting it. Here’s what I ended up with.
In these chapters, two of Roland’s protégés are put in a position where they only have one shot at success with no room for error. “This time I’ll have to get all of it”, Eddie thinks to himself back on p. 115, “I think that this time ninety percent won’t do.”
Reading this book now, I still find myself relating to Jake, but for very different reasons. He is going through the same thing as Roland, but where the schism in Roland’s mind has only split his memories in two, Jake’s divided Ka is playing out in his present. He walks around holding two concurrent timelines in his mind: the reality that was supposed to happen and the reality that he’s actually living in. Can you think of a more perfect metaphor for the predicament in which we all find ourselves this year?
t least, that’s what they would have each other believe. But as the inner conflict brewing within each character is revealed, it becomes clear that they are using this newfound happiness to mask a secret shame.
In these chapters we see two different types of strategists: planners and improvisers. Do Bees and Don’t Bees. However, as the climax of the book plays out, we see that it’s the Do Bees who find their careful plans shattered, and it’s the Don’t Bee who survives the fluctuating fortunes of Ka.
When I read this week’s pages and reflected on what I wanted to write about, my thoughts were immediately sucked into the election’s beam, like a compass needle distracted by a magnet. I felt as though everything happening to Roland, Eddie, and O/Detta was commenting on what’s happening in this country.
Since when do we trust anything the Man in Black says? Why does Roland trust him? Why does he trust the oracle? He knows to “never trust a junkie” but he doesn’t know not to trust a sex-crazed, demon? This trip to the tower (and this is the book I’ve read the most times), I finally see that the oracle’s prediction is what Eddie would call ‘bullshit’. Three is not the magic number of this book, and it isn’t nineteen either; the magic number of book two is, well, two.
And what makes the difference? What makes a story work or not, be remembered or not? What needs to happen for the audience to embrace a piece of fiction and carve out space to store it in their heart for the rest of their lives? What makes them coming back for more the way that we all come back to the Tower?
The lobstrosity cripples Roland when it eats his fingers, but the bite is even more severe than that, and I’m not just referring to the infection that came with it. Over the course of these first hundred pages, the gunslinger has not only been physically maimed, he’s been psychologically wounded as well.
The end of the first book allowed me to see the true depth of this ornithological metaphor. Roland isn’t the only character in the series represented by a bird, and I’m not just talking about the Taheen.