"A person's never too old for stories," Roland Deschain tells Billy, before relating a tale his Mother used to read to the young gunslinger as a child. Stephen King knows just how to capture an audience, and he does so by having the gunslinger Roland tell a story within a story to his ka-tet while they wait out a storm.
The beginning seemed a little cumbersome, falling flat as an introduction to the tale, but once Roland began relating the story of an early assignment I was thoroughly engrossed. Rediscovering the rich lore and interesting land of Mid-World, made me realize how I've missed the adventures of Roland and his ragtag group of survivors.
I listened to the audio version of the book, read by Stephen, and wonder at the reviews complaining about his narration skills versus voice actors. Personally, I enjoyed the author reading me his own tale. I'm never too old for a good bedtime story.
As a stand-alone novel it does a great job, but as an introduction to the Dark Tower series, I believe it will be confusing to first time readers as there isn't a lot of explanation of the language used and too many assumptions made within the stories being told.
I wish I could personally thank Stephen someday for his wonderful tales, and the inclusion of references from fairy tales, Disney, and other pop culture icons are always an added bonus.
A must read, or listen, for any fan of the Dark Tower series!
One of the best combos available. George Guidall is Walt Longmire.
He has the perfect voice and inflections for a weathered Wyoming Sheriff, who finds himself caught in a spring snowstorm, high in the Cloud Peak Wilderness area while trying to roundup a group of escaped prisoners. Craig Johnson's seventh book in the series tackles not only the unpredictable weather, but leads Walt on a journey mirroring that of Dante, substituting frigid temperatures for the warmer climates of hell. Walt's guide on his mystical trail is the grandfather of a murdered child, some thirteen years earlier, Virgil White Buffalo.
If you're looking for a cool read this summer, the frozen landscapes are sure to drop the thermostat a few degrees, but I'd call it the hottest listen of the summer.
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