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Posted by: generationofvipers ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 10:33AM

Thank you in advance for your input.

My son is 16 and has never liked reading much. But now he is really wanting to begin the Dark Tower series because of the movie coming out.

I think it's fine, since I read them at 19 and wasn't at all disturbed by them. But my wife says the sex and violence is too much.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2017 10:33AM by generationofvipers.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 10:43AM

Anytime a reluctant reader wants to read something, I'd encourage it. I'm not familiar with the content of the books, but if you have concerns, you could talk about fantasy vs. reality beforehand. Most teens are far more callus to sex and violence than previous generations because they've been exposed to so much through popular media.

If you refuse the books, you may make them forbidden fruit, and we all know how sweet that tastes. Best wishes, The Boner.

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Posted by: dogzilla ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 11:57AM

There's no need for that sort of discussion. The sex in those books (there's not much at all, come to think of it) is not explicit. In fact, I can't even recall a sex scene.

The violence is necessary for the good vs. evil fight.

Any kid who is 16 is plenty old enough to distinguish fantasy from reality. And it's patently, obviously crystal clear that these books are fantasy.

Source: Have read the entire series multiple times. Cannot WAIT for the movie.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2017 11:58AM by dogzilla.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 10:57AM

Good luck getting a teen to read ANY books.

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Posted by: generationofvipers ( )
Date: July 17, 2017 11:21AM

Thanks Boner, seems like good advice to me.

I agree Dave. But he really wants to get into reading them, and I know once he starts he will be hooked because it's King. But I want to be age-appropriate so wonder.

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Posted by: BYU Boner ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 11:11AM

So, my curiosity was peaked, and I looked up the books. To me, some of Stephen King's writing is brilliant (The Shining and Salem's Lot come to mind), other works (Dr. Sleep) seem stupid and market-driven.

However, the Dark Tower is being heralded as King's finest work. It's now on my reading list.

If the content is typical of King's writing, a 16 year old should be just fine with it (assuming he's comfortable with the word fuck) :)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2017 11:11AM by BYU Boner.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 09:50AM

You have to really like that genre to enjoy reading Stephen King.

Maybe see how he does with one. He may lose interest or it might spark his interest in wanting to read more.

One of my children is a voracious reader, and was reading Stephen King by late high school. My kids grew up reading the RL Stein series, so it wasn't too much of a leap into Stephen King - but it is definitely for more mature audiences.

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Posted by: scmd notlogged in ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 10:00AM

I wouldn't try to control much of what any 16-year-old reads that isn't horribly pornographic or graphically violent unless the kid has major mental health issues (it would seem also to be a bit of an exercise in futility because a 16-year-old can usually access any reading material he wants without a parent's assistance), but these books seem harmless anyway.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 10:21AM

I have never tried to control what my children read or watched and it does not appear to have done them any harm (they're now all adults).

Indeed, I think it may have helped them to develop their critical thinking.

Certainly, at 16, I wouldn't have thought they needed my guidance.

Tom in Paris

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Posted by: jaded ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 10:13AM

I started reading Stephen King in middle school. He's the gateway author to Tolkien, Lewis, and (choirs sing) Neil Gaiman. I don't ever discourage my kids from reading, not for any reason. If you do, you'll find they read under the covers with a flashlight, which is bad for their eyes. :)

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 10:15AM

My sister-in-law reads almost everything any of her kids read, and she has five kids still at home. She says it gives her something that the kids will talk about even in the moody times of adolescence. That sounds pretty cumbersome to me, though. Maybe my wife will do it.

Reading everything the kids read is an easy thing for me to do now because my children are pre-preschoolers. My wife is good about finding books that will be interesting to me when I read to the children at night. She mostly takes care of reading the books they want to hear over and over, and leaves the new books for me to read. Last night I read I read "Nuts . . . Every Family Is a Little . . ." by A. J. Cosmo. It was hysterical.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2017 06:17PM by scmd.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 11:05AM

I've read the entire "Dark Tower" series. So has my now 16 year-old daughter (who was 13 when she started reading them).
I think they're fine for young teens.

You should read them, too -- that way you can discuss anything your teen has questions about while reading them. But they're actually quite "tame."

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Posted by: generationofvipers ( )
Date: July 18, 2017 08:41PM

Thanks all It sounds like this is not a particularly scary or dark piece of fiction. I will now see about DW approving it. I agree with what people here have said, and frankly think it will stimulate discussion about big topics. We just watched "War for the Planet of the Apes" which was relentlessly dark, nihilistic, and violent, so I am not sure why King would be any less apropos.

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Posted by: Claire Ferguson ( )
Date: July 19, 2017 06:51PM

Coincidentally I bought the first Dark Tower book at the weekend and I'm even more excited about reading it now. I hope I get into it and end up reading them all.

Something an earlier poster said on this thread reminded me that when Harry Potter first came out the books were banned in some schools in the US for being about witchcraft; JK Rowling was quoted as (allegedly) saying she was delighted as there's no surer way of getting a book read than by banning it.

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Posted by: Paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: July 19, 2017 07:32PM

I know parental notifications per book overview in course curriculum (at least a listing) can be typical, with alternative actives or out of class curriculum provided whenever parental objection to course publishers novels incorporated into skill projects, lecture, and publishers text book required in Ca public secondary schools.

I did not know that parental book specific permission forms or notice requirements had now been extended to the library itself.

while I don't know what anyone wants to think about, or if they might elect reading as a pursuit in personal time rather than online gaming .... it does amaze me that anyone would establish the use of reading as something to forbid at all because it appears to me that online gaming is such a greater enticement, let alone team sports, parties, and social internet pursuits among 16 year olds. When someone is holding a kindle fire or tablet how would anyone know what or if, they were reading "a book"

In fact the only way to see whether teens were incorporating a book or nots in real time alone or in groups ... without looking simultaneously over 31 shoulders or staring at a class set split screen imagine of infinitesimal postage stamped sized screen images to monitor... might be, whether a book was open. But then there's the old shoulder slam tilt head turn pages, breathing, every, so often appparently reading strangely.

So even a person holding a book,could apparently look.

You can't make someone read and you can't mAke someone eat. They can copy the summary off their phone internet search or the girl sitting beside them, just like they can feed a pet their breakfast and say they ate it....if they didn't want it.

You really don't want your teen reading a novel they expressed interest in? Seriously? It won't make them a young McCarthy or Stalin I don't think really, that work was done a long time ago.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: July 19, 2017 08:20PM


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Posted by: dogzilla ( )
Date: July 21, 2017 11:55AM

"But my wife says the sex and violence is too much."

What? NO.

The Gunslinger (the first book) was first published in 1982, which means I was approx. 13 or so when I read it. I read all of them, pretty much as soon as they came out.

What's awesome about this series is that the sex and violence is not gratutitous. There's a reason, a purpose, for everything that happens.

All things serve the beam.

Do not forget the face of your father. Let your kid read the books.

ETA: BTW, I think the sex and violence on cable TV is more "too much" than this series of books.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2017 11:55AM by dogzilla.

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