I tend to prefer when an author narrates his or her own work; if it is an author that I admire. Professional narrators are good also, they give character and feeling to the story, but since the stories in this novel don't deal much with Roland and his ka-tet, I don't mind Stephen King narratin. Getting back to the point of the question, I always prefer to read as opposed to listen to a novel but sometimes it's nice to have a story told to me.
My favorite part of the novel had to do with the wind through the keyhole story. I enjoyed the character Maerlin, who wound up leaving me with more questions than answers about his character. And, of course, the tax collector added exactly the kind of flavor that I would expect from Stephen King. His character always causes me to wonder when or where I will see him again. In fact, the entire story was very well done, in my opinion. If anybody was expecting to have another full journey of the ka-tet then they hadn't paid much attention to what Stephen King stated in the past. Roland telling stories about his childhood was exactly what I expected from this book since the Dark Tower series is over unless King decides to start over from scratch back in the desert, which I have little doubt would ever happened.
The main reason I prefer when an author reads his or her own work, is that one understands the inflections and meanings of things better, or at least as the author would have you see them.
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