I Love/Hate Stephen King

...and not just because he's a Red Sox fan.

In 1982, Stephen King published the first book of what was supposed to be The Dark Tower Trilogy - The Gunslinger. My mom picked up this book at the bookstore and brought it home to me. I eagerly devoured it. King took a break and in 1987, The Drawing of the Three came out, which Mom again purchased for me, and I ate it up.

Then King took another break. In 1992, The Waste Lands came out, and I bought what I thought was the last book in the series, only to find out that Roland the Gunslinger hadn't yet even come close to finding The Dark Tower, and it looked like such a thing would never happen.

In Penn Station last year, I saw the next book in the series, Wizard and Glass. Since I was in need of a book to read, I bought the damned thing and when I finished it, Roland and his compatriots still seemed light years away from The Dark Tower.

Last week, I swing by Penn Books again and see a new hardcover: The Dark Tower. I look inside the front flap and King himself tells me this is the last book in the series. I look inside the other flap and find out that he's published two other books in between Wizard and Glass and the one I'm holding in my hand. Plus, the one I'm holding in my hand is Atlas Shrugged size and printed in that huge type my mom is so fond of.

Yesterday, I returned to Penn Books with only five minutes to buy the book and get on the train. I read the first hundred pages last night and am still riveted. And this morning, I find myself on Amazon.com, ordering Wolves of the Calla and Song of Susannah, just so I can get the complete story on Roland the Gunslinger and what the frick has happened to him since 1982.

This is why I love/hate Stephen King. And it's yet another reason I hope his beloved Red Sox lose the frickin' World Series.