The Dark Tower Series has grabbed me and is holding my attention quite well at this point. I really care about the characters. I really want to walk along with them on their journey along the path of the beam. This story is right out of Peckinpaw and Kurasawa. With a King-like bent. I'm all in.
This is a great story, but if you have read the books and not listened to the audiobooks upto this point, then I recommend you continue in the same fashion. I read the previous books and then thought I would listen to this one, but the voice only ruined the engraved perceptions I had of every character. The narrator's voice does not suit the characters well at all. Luckily, my friend bought the book and halfway through listening I started reading instead and then I began to like the characters again. Besides, there are pictures in the book which don't exist in the audio version. I love audiobooks, but I recommend you stick with the regular version of this book.
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.
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.
An Audible veteran with more than a decade of commutes listening to audiobooks.
If you're looking at this book then you have more than likely read or listened to the first four Dark Tower books. This one continues the story in another great adventure, and like the others leaves you wanting the next chapter of Roland and his ka-tet. Thankfully, those chapters are written and we can hear them later this year.
The Dark Tower is a masterpiece! This is my 6th time reading the entire series, and the only books I have ever re-read.
Geouge Guidall does a good job narrating, but it's hard to listen to him again after the previous 3 books read by the stellar Frank Muller.
I agree with an earlier reviewer who stated that the books in this series keep getting better. I found the first one, The Gunslinger, merely average, but am very glad that I stuck it out through books 2, 3, 4, and now 5. I feel fortunate that I came to the series late, in fact only when they emerged on audiobook, because I was able to emerse myself in the whole series to date - over the course of three month's listening. Frank Muller's narration felt a little over the top at first (in the Gunslinger) but I soon warmed to it, and then grew to love it. That must be why this volume, the first that was not voiced by Muller, felt lacking at first. The characters all spoke differently, of course, and that felt like the sequel to a great film in which a new lead actor replaces the one who made the role famous (Hannibal comes to mind), but by hour 6 or 7 - I was back onboard.
All and all - a great read.
With Guidalls's narration, it's sometimes hard to distinguish between characters during dialog. Muller did a much better job of capturing the different character's accents, genders, ages, and tones. I was so disappointed in this reader, I am now seriously considering not finishing the series.
Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!
This is truly one of my favorite stories in the Dark Tower series. I tend to enjoy the tale of the ka-tet most when they interact with people or groups from Roland's where and when. The folken of the Calla and their story is very rich and very satisfying. A lot of questions are aswered in this book about the next level of the progression towards the tower. Questions about the character of the members of the group as well. A great addition to the series, and a fantastic listen!
My only deduction in the area of the performance was for the way Mr. Guidall portrayed Andy the robot. Not how I heard him in my head, and threfore not as enjoyable for me. Probably my problem as much as anything. Not enough to deduct from an overall 5 for the book! Enjoy!