There are many reviews here already about the content, so I won't repeat them. I thoroughly enjoyed the content, even with its flaws.
Kudos to the narrator! Rarely does one person so well depict both male and female characters, good guys and bad guys. This is the first SK book that I've listened to, so I've never heard him before, but he greatly added to my experience.
Guidall's narration is mesmerizing. Have read the first six books and thought I'd try listening to the last one to savor it and make it last longer. I'm through the third disk and I'm so glad I did this. King is a master and the narration brings all my fav characters to life. Highly recommended.
Fans of the Gunslinger will not be dissapointed in this book. King's comfort and skill in telling the story of the Dark Tower continues to build. I highly recommend it. King writes for a listening audience.
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.
The appropriate place for this review is really book one of the series. Anyone who has read this far in the series will of course read the last two books.
That said, words are insufficient to describe the level of disappointment I experienced reading this book.
King spent years building up to this conclusion and this book shows that his creativity just faded away.
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.
Those who are party to the Ka-tet will stand and sing praises, those who still follow the Chrimson King will attempt to dissuade you from finishing the Journey. I cry your pardon and recommend finishing the Journey, as no matter how it ends, it really is only the beginning . . .
Traveler, Reader, Political Blogger.
Sorry to be the odd man out, but as I listened to the first two thirds of this book I was thinking about the old adage of the unlimited Monkeys and typewriters. In my opinion King just loaded a verbal shotgun and kept firing words at the pages. Finally as I was reaching a point of terminal frustration, the story seemed to pull itself together and ended The ending thankfully was fulfilling.
2 STARS FOR THIS BOOK 7 - THE FINAL IN THE SERIES.
Things wrap up for the various characters. The ending for Susannah, Eddie, and Jake was acceptable, semi-good. Roland’s ending was disappointing.
Something odd that I did not like was Stephen King (SK) inserting his voice. After a favorite character is killed. SK says “I know readers are going to be angry that I killed off (this character).” In another scene Susannah saves Roland’s life and he asks her how she knew what to do. She said SK left me a note, and she showed the note to Roland. Toward the end, the narrator says “I can’t tell you what happened to Patrick.”
I also did not like the SK character role in the story. Roland visits SK and is angry that SK hasn’t finished writing the series. Later Roland visits SK when SK was hit by a van in 1999. Roland saves SK’s life so SK can keep writing the books. Other story events also happen with SK.
When J.K. Rowling killed Dumbledore, she did not write “I know readers will be angry with me for killing Dumbledore but ...” That would have taken us out of the story. In the same way I think SK hurt his story by writing what he did above.
The narrator George Guidall was fine, but he’s not as good as Frank Muller.
Genre: apocalyptic time travel fantasy.
3 STARS FOR THE ENTIRE 8 BOOK SERIES:
One of the books is number 4 ½. The last book is number 7. The main character is Roland, a gunslinger, inspired by the Clint Eastwood character in his spaghetti western movies (ex: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). Set in an apocalyptic future, Roland is on a journey to the Dark Tower to stop evil forces from destroying the world. The books should be read in order. There are many wonderful ideas and stories. There is also too much clutter, rambling, and things I think should have been edited out. The Harry Potter series was better because everything developed the characters and moved the plots forward. Here at times I felt the author was writing short stories and getting off track. Overall I’m glad I read it. And there were a some wonderful parts that I will remember.
I was disappointed with the last two books. Instead of enjoying the journey, I wanted them to be over. I did not like Roland’s ending. It left a bad taste in my mouth. There was such potential and it felt piddled out. I liked one reviewer’s comment “in his rush to end this series the author has given up its soul.” (Amazon reviewer Roger FitzAlan “Aranarth”)
How badly it was written. It's like all the pain from the car crash scrambled his brain for a bit. The ending was at the tritely happy and tritely dark. Bad both ways
Drop the other world language. Rewrite the whole thing
It connected a lot of other King books together.