Without a doubt King's greatest work, his magnum opus, the Dark Tower series draws strength from many of his best other works while at the same infusing those novels with new vitality. While having read King's other major works (especially The Stand) is not a prerequisite, having done so will make DT an even more fulfilling experience.
DTV7 is so much better than King's other works, indeed so much better than most other works in the same genre, that comparisons are unfair to the competitors. I find myself wondering whether King plans to quit the fiction business, having nowhere to go but down.
Ten years ago I could not have conceived of comparing any work, let alone a Stephen King work with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, in my view the finest story of the 20th century.
Now, with all sincerity, not only can I do so with a straight face, I believe that The Dark Tower can, for now, claim that same title for the century just begun. To some this would be considered nearly blasphemous hyperbole. For me it is simply the only way to convey how impressive The Dark Tower series is.
I downloaded DT7 the day Audible issued it (before buying the book - which you also have to get for the amazing artwork). I listened to the story while traveling over several days and I'm sure the people in airports and on the planes wondered what it was that was so making me smile and weep.
"The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed" may become one of the best remembered opening lines in literary history. There would be no question if the series had been published under the name of Richard Bachman ;-)
Say thankya big big, sai King!
King's magnum opus comes to a breath-holding close like a violent car accident shot in slow motion. King is able to take the crazy, disorganized, non-sensical flying cacophony of characters, events, circumstances and confluences and plucks them from the air, setting them all right in the end. I regret not a single second of the many, many hours I spent listening to this series. Thank you Mr. King. I'm glad you survived the minivan. We all are.
I just finished this last installment in the Dark Tower series. And I must say, I think this may be the best book series I've ever read (or listened to in this case). This last book really digs deep into the characters and shows just how far the journey has taken them as people. As I was listening to this one, I kept reflecting back to the characters as they started and realizing how much they've developed.
If you've been following the entire series, you will not be disappointed. If you are thinking about starting the series, do yourself a big favor: go to the first book of the series (The Gunslinger) and get started.
I loved the whole series. I listened to the end and although the last books broke my heart they were perfect. Well worth the wait!
I was actually quite pleased with the ending, I like how he teased us by implying that there would be none, and then gave it to us. I would agree with other reviews that stated that this was the only way it COULD end.
I was displeased with the series from "Song of Susanna" onward, because King writing himself into the series ruined my suspension of disbelief and made me stop caring about the characters, similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Last Action Hero"; it's hard to care about characters when the narrative points out that they aren't real. This book redeemed the last part of the series for me somewhat.
Overall, with the Gold plan this series was a great buy, I saved at least $100 over the itunes price and got over 100 hours of listening. Great value.
I started reading the Dark Tower when I was 8 the gunslinger was the first book that sparked my interest in reading. 20 years later I finaly get to finish the story. Never would I have expected the end of the sieries to end the way it did I was stunned then angry then took several minutes to step back and think about it and realized that this was the only way it could have ended. The ending I will say churned around in my brain for serveral days and I finaly came up with a way to sum it up. Ultimate Twilight Zone Plot Twist. To King, I dont know if you or any of your people will ever read this, Thank you I started reading because of one of your books and have since read everything published by you, and many other authors. You created a need a hunger for knowledge that is my tower and as Eddie would say, Im a tower junkie.
This is an amazing book series. It is worth every bit and more the price and time to listen. I couldn't put it down (well you know).
There are some that will cry/whine about the ending. I thought it all too classic. Si King I have some ideas if your out there. Congratulations on this life's work. Future listeners don't dare miss this one, start at the begining - Gunslinger. I was so glad I didn't have to wait 20+ years to finish the series.
Let me first start off by remarking that the Dark Tower series is one of the most remarkable Sci-Fi/Fantasy series that I have ever come across. Perhaps because the author has not typically written fantasy, this series is truly a breath of fresh air to the genre. The Dark Tower series contains many new and original concepts and a host of interesting characters. After a semi-slow beginning in "The Gunslinger" the book builds momentum and creativity throughout the second book and, IMHO, peaks at the tail end of book 3 and the beginning of book 4, at the height of its creativity and suspense. Books 2-5 are all very solid and are amongst the best fantasy stories I have read. However, in book 6, I believe that King's series begins to slump a bit under its own weight. By this final book, the unusual characters and novel bits of twisted creativity that were the halmark of this series have lost most of their luster. Roland's band of unlikely fellows increasingly display more and more characteristics of "stock fantasy characters", present within innumerable (and forgettable) fantasy novels. Increasingly, the gunslingers also draw upon classic means of resolving the obstacles they encounter, and the overall tone of the book becomes that of a relentless grind to the finish. Also, the rather odd (and somewhat arrogant) device of the author appearing in his own fantasy novel is overplayed far too much in the 6 & 7th books and really is only very detrimental to the overall storyline. These qualms aside, the Dark Tower series itself is truly remarkable - and if you have made it this far in the tale, you will of course continue through to the end. I will also echo the sentiment of other reviewers and say that if you are satisfied with the sugar-coated ending before the 'coda', by all means stop. But chances are, if you have followed the dusty trails of Roland in his journey thus far, you will be much more satisfied (as I was) with the "real" ending.
If you've followed "long, tall, and ugly's" tale faithfully to this point, then I believe you'll enjoy this last book.
As stated elsewhere, if you just gotta have a happy ending, stop when the author almost begs you to.
BUT if you've really read the story to this point, I recommend you finish the tale. I love a happy ending, but was not disappointed with the ending. Unlike some stories whose "unexpected" ending is the result of some illogical, hair-brained twist, this ending is... Ka... so "Go on Gunslinger, open the last door..."
A lot of the reviews are telling listeners to end the series early, but some of my favorite parts of the adventure take place in the final 3 dark tower books. And it seems that most people either love or hate the ending, I happen to be of the kind that loves the way the story ended.
The very first audiobook that I had listened to was Hearts in Atlantis. I was always a little disheartened at the way Ted Brautigan and the other world of the Low men and the breakers remained a mystery. After finishing the Dark Tower, I feel like that has been satisfied along with Roland's tale.
And of course, Guidall's narration is once again a pleasure to listen to.