Is Jake Chambers An LGBTQ Character?

Every time I’ve read this series, viewing things through the narrow lens of a straight white male, I’ve always assumed that Jake is also a straight white male. This time around, back when I was still reading The Gunslinger, I considered for the first time that Jake—while definitely being white and male—might not be straight. I wanted to wait until I got to Wolves of the Calla before exploring the idea further, so I could reexamine his relationship with Benny Slightman the Younger a little more closely. Are they just friends, or is there more going on there? Since I began this installment in the series I’ve been waiting for the right week to devote to the subject of Jake’s sexuality. Now, as ka would have it, reading the chapter in which Jake literally hides in a closet just happens to coincide with Pride month, so here we go…

Todash & Time

The last time I read this book was before I became a father, bought and sold a house, and moved to another country; I’m a completely different person now. Just as the Stephen King who wrote Wolves of the Calla was a completely different person than the King who wrote Wizard & Glass…

Who’s Your Daddy?: The Absent Fathers of the Stephen King Universe

In King’s very first novel, Carrie White was raised by a single mother. Now, forty-seven years later, he’s still writing about fatherless kids in Later…

Ka-Tetiquette: Minding Your Manners In A World That’s Moved On

But the most notable similarity I’ve observed between what Blaine does to Lud and what Trump is doing on his way out of office, is everyone’s obsession with being polite.

Blaine The Mono: Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity

This isn’t a #ThanosIsRight argument; I’m not saying that Blaine’s actions aren’t villainous, because they obviously are. But can we truly hold him responsible for them?

Stephen King’s Problem With Authority

Jake is far from the only evidence that King is dubious of authority. The entire city of Lud has completely cast aside any semblance of law and order; Mercy disobeys her orders to stay away from the palaver in River Crossing, to the benefit of the Ka-Tet; even Blaine is a rebel, turning on his creators, driven mad by the prison of his own programming…

Who Cares?: What A Haunted House, A Billy-Bumbler, And Black Dog Ka All Have In Common

Jake is a sweet and sensitive soul, completely uncorrupted, but if he fails to cross back over to Mid-World and join his new family he will be stuck in a world of cold neglect, and he will waste away just like the condemned Mansion of Dutch Hill, a once-beautiful thing left to ruin.

Confidence Is The Key: How Stephen King Teaches Us To Bet On Ourselves

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.”

Jake Chambers’ Day Off: Revisiting The Waste Lands In 2020

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?