Roland's ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens. Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig (in the summer of 1999) to a birthing room (really a chamber of horrors) in Thunderclap's Fedic Station; Jake and Father Callahan, with Oy between them, have entered the restaurant on Lex and 61st with weapons drawn, little knowing how numerous and noxious are their foes. Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where "walk-ins" have been often seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters.
Thus the audiobook opens, like a door to the uttermost reaches of Stephen King's imagination. You've come this far. Come a little farther. Come all the way. The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower.
Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is unlike anything you've ever heard. Here is Stephen King's most visionary piece of storytelling, a magical mix of fantasy and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. Don't miss the other volumes of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
©2004 Stephen King; (P)2004 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.
"A pilgrimage that began with one lone man's quest to save multiple worlds from chaos and destruction unfolds into a tale of epic proportions....a closer look at the brilliant complexity of his Dark Tower world should explain why this bestselling author has finally been recognized for his contribution to the contemporary literary canon. With the conclusion of this tale...King has certainly reached the top of his game." (Publishers Weekly)
This is by far the best book I have read in a very long time. Matter of fact, it may even be the best. All of your questions are answered, there are no loose strings, and most of all, I was so engrossed in the book that I forgot to take my lunch break. So, if you're contemplating downloading this book, than you've already read the first six, (If not, you're lost- Go download 'The Gunslinger') and you don't need this review, because you're going to download it anyway- Resistance is futile. Let's just say that all of my co-workers are fighing over who gets to borrow the cd when I am done with it.
Long days and pleasant nights to you all, and happy listening.
I think I may have been the first to notice and buy this book today, so I think it is fitting that I write the first review.
DTVII is the long awaited conclusion to the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. If you have not read or listened to the first six, DO NOT GET THIS BOOK FIRST.
If you have, tread carefully for beyond here there be serpents. (or something like that) No one whom I know that has heard or read the book debates that the story is the finest that King has ever written (all rate this book as the best in the series by far.)
They are, however, in no such agreement over the conclusion. It is impossible to please everyone. My feelings are that the story concludes in the only way that I would have accepted.
One piece of advice is worth giving though: When you reach the Coda, if you are happy with the story up to that point and can come up with the willpower to do so, stop there.
About the audio: George Guidall's reading of this novel is divinely inspired. His pacing and characterizations add a dimension to this book which made it even more enjoyable than the text alone. (This was also divine.)
One other thing: If you are going to post a review, please do not reveal anything of the content of the story. No matter how you feel, it is impolite and inconsiderate to reveal things to others before they even have the chance to learn for themselves.
It's hard to put a finger on just where this book went wrong, it's pacing is off, many story elements are downright silly and the ending will likely frustrate rather than satisfy.
Yeah, lay off the King books for a while.
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.
Before finishing the final book in the DT series, I had read several reviews, both professional and by readers, that complained, bitterly, about the book's end. While I would NEVER give away the ending for all those of you lucky enought to be working your way through this and the other DT books, I had to chime in with these words of advice:
1. The book itself is WONDERFUL. Even if the thing ended with Roland waking up in a farmhouse with Auntie Em and Toto it would still be worth reading (and NO, it does not actually end that way...)
2. The ending, to careful readers or nitpickers like me, should come as no great surprise. It's been masterfully and subtly telegraphed throughout the entire 7 book run.
3. King himself gives you an "out" before he starts controversial this ending. And not to be a dimestore psychologist here, this choice echos the choices the Gunslinger has made, and continues to make. Are you open minded and content to enjoy the story up to that point, or are you driven to the end, no matter what the consequences, like our favorite "long, tall and ugly" cowboy?
The only caveat I can give those who like neat, clean, "Hollywood endings", STOP READING when King tells you to. If you want to see what REALLY happens... Well, you can open that door when you come to it...
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 Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII concludes a journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed for over 15 years. The writing of this tale, which began June 19, 1970, has weaved its way through Stephen King's life and all of his stories. I have never read more than a few words of this long tale. I have, whether on tape or on CD or on download from audible, listened to these wonderful stories over countless hours of my life. In that time, as did the author, I got married, have started a family; have lived my life. I count none of that time as wasted and listening to The Dark Tower was always a pleasure; even the time between volumes was a pleasure as I waited once again to rejoin my old friends. With the journey at an end, I will not miss them but will continue to revisit them, as I have all these years past.
I invite you to begin at the beginning if you are new to the tower, as other reviews have and as the author himself has implored. In a previous review, I suggested the third volume as an alternative starting point, and I still think that a good place to start as well, as I consider The Waste Lands to be the most exciting volume. It is, after all, the place where Roland's final Ka-Tet comes together.
With regard to this final volume and more specifically, its narration, George Guidall comes into form. His reading of the last days of Roland's quest is impeccable in its voice and his knowledge of the characters is complete. If you begin reading this tale from the start, you will hear him in The Gunslinger and, I suspect, be happy to hear his return with Wolves of the Calla.
If there is anything that I could say is missing from this final tale, it is a true "Afterword" from the author but in truth, what more could he have had to say, that hasn't been said already, both in previous forwards and afterwords, as well as within the narrative itself, especially the words of this final and revealing volume. Thankee Sai King.
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!
While I enjoyed the first three books in the series, I struggled to continue on after the fourth. Most of the fourth book (Wizard and Glass) should have been a separate book, not directly related to the Dark Tower series. The last three books were about Stephen King indulging himself in writing whatever came to mind. What he once wished was going to be his LOTR turned out to be his Tower of Babble (pun intended).
I thought George Guidall did a good job with the narration. It is difficult to keep up with all the characters and impossible for any one person to give each one a distinctive voice. I have listened to many of his books and I generally enjoy his work.
It seemed he forgot about the reader who wants a story, not just a neverending parade of characters (including the author himself). There are too many characters, too many subplots.
For those of you who have enjoyed the entire series and have been entertained, my opinion won't matter and I respect that. This review is for those who are struggling to continue on and wonder if it's worth it. I have enjoyed many books by Stephen King, but the Dark Tower challenged my resolve to finish any book I start. If Stephen King ever changed his mind about allowing his books to be abridged, the Dark Tower would make for an entertaining series. Great imagination, but self-indulgent on the part of the author.
The Dark Tower is w/out a doubt, the best series I've ever read or listened to. I hate that this is the last book of the bunch. When the series is over, no matter how many times I listen to the series, I feel depressed, like my dog died or something. The book itself is really good. i was afraid that with the books leading up to this being SO GOOD, that it would be utterly impossible to have the ending not be dissappointing. Somehow, Mr. King did the impossible though. However, the journey to the tower really was the whole point, not the way it ends, and King left a message saying something to this affect. he leaves us the option to stop at one ending, or to read on a bit further. no matter where you choose to stop the story, i'll bet my watch and warrant that you'll be thoroughly satisfied.
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