First, you don't have to guess that this is an other-worldly version of The Magnificent 7 (AKA The 7 Samurai) because King tells you it is in his intro. So I'm not giving anything away because it's no secret. It's beautifully done. This is NOT a horror story. It is fantasy fiction with a wonderful plot, a great reader, and King writing at his best.
I'm not a fan of King's horror genre stories. Just not my thing. But oh my, this man can write and when he is at the top of his game, nobody writes better. He is not merely a good writer: he's a great one. Lyrical. Elegant. Creative. Of this series, this was my favorite and remains so. For anyone who loves really well-written sci-fi fantasy, this is absolutely worth your time. Although reading it as part of the series certainly helps to keep track of the characters and locales (King references places from other stories and brings in characters from other books), nonetheless the book does stand on its own legs. You might miss some references if you're not a King fan and haven't read all his other books (I'm one of them and my son, a die-hard King fan had to fill me in on who was who), but the story works regardless.
If you've read this in hardcopy with the wonderful illustrations, it's still worth giving this a listen ... especially if it has been a few years since your initial reading. Audio is just a different reading experience. Different pacing, differently nuanced. And absolutely worth your time.
This is a wonderful series that captures the mind as each book is read or (heard). I do want to say that I also loved Frank Muller's storytelling, but I want to say that I also believe those who are critical of George Guidall have forgotten he was the narrator on Book I. The book that got us all started on this great adventure.
Having read the first four books and enjoyed them it was even more enjoyable to hear the characters come to life by having the book read to me. This story begins to tie up many loose ends from the first four books and helps the reader understand more about the quest for the Dark Tower and what it means. Having heard of the death of the reader shortly after his completion of this book made me sad to think he will not be reading the last two chapters because I felt I had come to know him and he was fantastic.
As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For years I have read and listened to Stephen King and this series has to be my all time favorite. However, I was completely disappointed in the narrator choosen to replace Frank Muller. I was half tempted to discontinue listening after the narrator continued to mispronounce Cuthbert's name. This left me with the impression that this narrartor had never listened to the series or even read them for that matter. I am nearly finished listening to this installment and look forward to the next but I hope they find a different narrator.
Initially, the reader was agonizing because I was unfamiliar with his different voices. I didn't realize how spoiled I was with Frank. By the second part I was use to the new reader, and he did just an excellent job. I especially like his rendition of the "machine" voices (e.g. Andy).
This book was perfectly written, in my opinion. I loved book IV, but this one is my favorite so far. King gives a great balance of history telling and current storyline advancement (the only big drawback about book IV). King reveals more about Roland and his past but tactfully only enough to keep me intrigued.
In this book King paints a very detailed picture in my mind. Compared to many other non-King books, I felt like I was watching everything on a movie screen. The ka-tet embarks on what initially seems like only a side-quest, but turns out to be another piece of the Dark Tower puzzle. The end reveals another example of the amazing skill and ability bestowed upon those called gunslingers. I was only slightly bored by some of Callahan's story, but maybe the purpose of his story will be revealed in the next book.
I've invested so much time in this series. I've listened to the books once, but I've read them many times since King was infrequent in the release of new books. I really like this series, but I'm afraid that he will leave some loose ends after the seventh book. That would be truly unfortunate, so let's hope that doesn't happen.
This book kept me in suspense from beginning to end. I also like how Mr. King tied this book to several of his past writings. I am going back to re-read and read some of his books mentioned. Some books I read 20 years ago. I would highly recommend this book to any who is looking for a good read. I can't wait until the next book comes out in June.
Whimsical futuristic fantasy ?cowboy? story that I found initially a slow and complex but by the time you get to Part 3 be prepared to stay up all night to listen to the final conclusion as space and time merge. I enjoyed this tale but not to the extent of his other offerings here up here including ?The Green Mile? and ?Dreamcatcher? Narration is excellent?.
What can I say other than utterly awesome!!I have read all the books involved in The Dark Tower series and I can truly say they just keep getting better.
I have never read much of King's work and do not care much for the horror genre but seeing as how this is classified as Science Fiction/Fantasy I decided to give them a try.
I am truly happy that I did so.
This is a series however, that you really must start at book one and work your way through to totally grasp the story in the latter books.
I waited 8 or so years for this one and it was well worth the wait!!
King comes through once again with a great story and unforgettable interactions between the characters and their surroundings.
Kudos to the KING!