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[personal profile] brigdh
The Gunslinger by Stephen King. No bonus points for guessing that I read this to be beforehand with the upcoming movie – though I've since heard that The Gunslinger (film) is not actually based on The Gunslinger (novel), but rather is sort of a sequel to the entire Dark Tower series. And I don't think I'm going to manage to get through another seven King books in less than a month, so I suppose the whole effort was a bit pointless. But I'd been meaning to read the book for years, so maybe not so pointless after all.

Anyway.


The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed, goes the famous opening line, and that's a fair description of the book itself. Characters are few, and those that are present are sparse to the point of one-dimensionality, frequently given epithets rather than names. The setting is a Dark Western Fantasy in a "world that has moved on" – there was once electricity and cities and advanced medicine, but all that's left now are border towns and overgrown ruins and strange cargo cult religions built around the single still-functioning gasoline pump and stories half-remembered from before. It's one of those books where figuring out what the hell is happening and why is the main driver of tension; the reader doesn't learn why the gunslinger is chasing the man in black until the last few pages, and even then there are unanswered questions. Worldbuilding and backstory are mostly conveyed in little hints around the edges of the story, which is pared down to the equivalent of a colorless pencil sketch.

(Note: There exists both an original text (published in 1982) and a "revised and expanded" version (published in 2003); I read the original, since there doesn't seem to be a consensus opinion on which version is better.)

At its best moments, the one-note quality of the writing works like a shotgun blast to convey a specific feeling or setting: the endless dehydrating trek across a flat white desert, the eternity spent in a empty lightless tunnel crossing beneath a mountain. But on the other hand there is whatever the fuck is going on with the book's treatment of female sexuality, which is so bizarre and off putting that I'm not even sure how to describe it. Every female character is horny and obsessed with sleeping with the gunslinger, which he reluctantly deigns to allow. The one exception is his long-lost mother, whose hinted-at adultery leads to a hinted-at downfall of a kingdom, in a Queen Guinevere sort of way.

And then there's the woman who gets shot in the vagina. Which, just... what.

It's weird and episodic and doesn't work terribly well as an individual book rather than the start of a series, but on the whole I think I'm glad I read it. Besides, I hear the subsequent books improve, so I'll have to keep reading.

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Jul. 11th, 2017 05:02 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
holy shit

Last night I was like, nah, you're seeing things, wishful thinking, etc, but after treatment #2? The cords really ARE shrinking, dramatically so.

"Stops progressing" would have been a good outcome. Actual reversal happens in a minority of cases, almost always in patients who treat it very early. I'm SO FUCKING GLAD I insisted on going as aggressive as possible. Even if I wind up with more chronic pain out of it, I'll keep use of my hands for a fuck of a lot longer, thank ANYTHING THAT WAS LISTENING

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Jul. 11th, 2017 01:25 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
First dose of radiation done, out of five (once per day this week). Aside from 20 minutes of "shitting cockgoblin fuckmuppet" pain levels just now, which did die down to just a slightly elevated from normal "ow ow ow ow ow", it was fairly uneventful! Holding the position required for the treatment is worse than the actual treatment, which is basically "the machine goes click whirr for 45 seconds".

So curious to see what happens in six weeks. The way this works, you see, is by activating all the dormant spots so the second round can nuke them in 12 weeks...

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