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.
©1997 Stephen King; (P)1998 and 2003 Penguin Audiobooks
"It is King at his most ebullient. He's at his best here...as a storyteller who can set pages on fire." (Publishers Weekly)
"The writing is expectedly imaginative, the story line engrossing, and the characters vivid." (Library Journal)
... is that they really shouldn't write love stories. King is great at fantasy, horror or science fiction, but the relationship between Roland and Susan develops too slowly and remains to be defined by raw attraction and the difficulties they face rather than any positive interactions of their personalities. In the end, Susan remains a rather shallow character and readers will emphasize more with the bumbler or even the man in black than with her.
Having read the whole otherwise excelent series, I would say you can skip this book without missing much enjoyment and without lacking much context later in the story.
The three stars are only for the first 2 hours of the book. With the Wizard and the glass, I think Steven King is running out of Ideas, I couldn't wait to listen to it and see if how the Gunslinger and his three companions got off the monorail Blan.This was only half of part on of the book, Most of the story is a story within a story of the early gunslinger's life. Steven King used pieces of his past book "The Stand" and then taken liberties by using Wizard of OZ. It was a shame that I had to use one book credit for this.
The series has never really caught me. The main character is interesting, but the others to me are annoying and distractingly stereotypical.
The story itself to me was flat, and parts were manipulative (of the reader). King tries to write about teenage love, and you wonder if he ever fell in love as a teenager. Parts were meant to shock the reader but seemed too obvious to do so.
But even at his most average King is a good storyteller, and this story has interesting settings and fills in more details about Roland and his world, and of course the scenes are exciting and well constructed. The story spreads beyond the troubles of the main characters, and that makes it more interesting. In the end, I liked it, but I felt too manipulated to love it.
The reader, Frank Muller, is distractingly bad at times. His reading of African American characters sounds like a Glenn Beck minstrel show, and his reading of younger kids is shrill and annoying. Many of King's characters in here are stock western bad guys, and Muller's stock reading of them flattens them even more. By the way, Muller reads other works very differently.
If you like the series, you'll like or love this book. If you haven't read the earlier books, don't start with this one or you'll never catch up.
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