Monday, 12 March 2012
Devouring Stephen King: The Eyes of the Dragon
I had two main problems with the book, and one of them had a massive effect on the other. The narrative voice is mostly detached from the story, offering the narrator's own thoughts and shielding some of the thoughts of the characters from the reader. This in itself isn't really a bad thing, although I definitely prefer books not having a narrator who isn't also a character in the story, except when that voice is, say, Jane Austen's because hey, she's awesome! The main problem with the way it's written, though, is that, as well as having this narrator, everything that happens is looked at from the angle of what seems like every character. I don't necessarily mind this either, but when a story is literally (slight spoiler, but don't even bother reading this book, please) 'Boy is born. Boy is accused of killing his father. Boy is locked up. Boy escapes. Boy's brother kills evil magician who has masterminded it all. Boy takes up crown, brother goes on a quest,' I honestly don't appreciate it being 470 pages long. I genuinely think it could have been about 100 pages long, and it would have been fine.
So, yeah. The story's not too bad in itself, and if it was shorter, I would have appreciated it much more. Having said that, I didn't really have a problem ploughing through it, because, come in, it's still Stephen King's writing, even if the narrator is detached from the story. The thing about this book is, it could have been so much more... interesting. The evil villain of the piece is Randall Flagg, who I know we all remember from The Stand, and he also makes a later appearance in The Dark Tower series. I find this so intriguing, and there are lots of things I want to know about this- is this set before or after The Stand, how does Flagg have the ability to go between worlds, is he some kind of ultimate evil, can he ever be killed? Nothing even close to this is covered, and so the villain might as well be basically anyone else. Yeah, it's pretty annoying.
The thing I like best about The Eyes of the Dragon is the knowledge that he essentially wrote it for his daughter who wasn't a fan of horror stories. Which just makes me all mushy and awwwww-ish, and makes me like the book in spite of not really liking it! (Thanks to Matthew for pointing me in the direction of the link) So, by all means read this if you're not a fan of horror stories either, but I doubt it's one that I'll be revisiting.
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I will probably just give this book a pass. It's always sad when you see the potential a book has and it just fails to live up to that awesomeness.ReplyDelete
I know! Plus like the very next book is the second Dark Tower one, and when you compare them, the difference is like 'WHOA'! Really.Delete
I probably read this for the first time when I was about 12 and I loved it. I mean, falling-down, tell all you friends LOVED IT. I think I re-read it once in my later teen years and haven't touched it since then. Based on your reading, maybe I shouldn't give it a re-read! But then again, you and I didn't agree on The Talisman either so...ReplyDelete
This is true! And I think it's definitely a Talisman-y book (by which I mean that it's rubbish haha, but also that they're both kind of more fantasy-esque) so you'll probably still like it! I'm coming to think that I maybe don't like the fantasy stuff so much, because even though I LOVE The Dark Tower, I think I like the sort of cross over with our world and Roland's the most, rather than the stuff that exclusively focuses on Roland (as in, The Gunslinger and Wizard and Glass are my least favourites in the series). So, yeah. I've kind of lost my point here, but I guess, maybe you'll still like it..?Delete
I guess there's a decent chance that I'd still like it. The Gunslinger is one of my favorite books in the Dark Tower series and while I didn't like Wizard and Glass when it was first published, I liked it a lot when I re-read it a few years later. (For the record, Dark Tower books 5&6 are my least favorite). I think I probably just like fantasy :)Delete
I hadn't even heard of this one before! I'm sure if it falls into my lap I'll give it a go, but from what your review says I don't think I'll be in any hurry to hunt it down!ReplyDelete
I do feel very very meh about it! I don't know, I just think it wasn't really for me. You might like it though! It's just that there are about a million other Stephen Kings I would recommend before it :)Delete
This one I remember I found uninteresting even as a kid.ReplyDelete