For those discovering the epic best-selling Dark Tower series for the first time—and for its legions of dedicated fans—here is an immensely satisfying stand-alone novel and perfect introduction to the series.
Beginning in 1974, gaining momentum in the 1980s and coming to a thrilling conclusion when the last three novels were published in 2003 and 2004, the Dark Tower epic fantasy saga stands as Stephen King’s most beguiling achievement. It has been the basis for a long-running Marvel comic series.
Now, with The Wind Through the Keyhole, King has returned to the rich landscape of Mid-World. This story within a story within a story finds Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, in his early days during the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a "skin-man", Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Book of Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime. "A person's never too old for stories," he says to Bill. "Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them."
Sure to captivate the avid fans of the Dark Tower epic, this is an enchanting introduction to Roland’s world and the power of Stephen King’s storytelling magic.
©2012 Stephen King (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
I enjoyed having Stephen read this one...
Just getting back into the gunslingers world (my adult version of a blanket)
My fist audio book was the Drawing of the Three. I shoplifted the audio book in high school...that's how bad I wanted it and that audio book is why I continue to listen today (FYI-that item was the only thing I ever stole in my life). Anyway, you can see that I was hooked on the series after The Gunslinger. Stephen read that first audio version of Drawing of the three and that's the main reason I was glad to have him reading this one too.
That being said, the previous readers of the series are technically much better than Stephen. Actually, Frank Muller and George Guidall are two of my favorites. But, I always wondered how Stephen would have read the rest of the series. When a non-author reads a book, you (at least I do) sometimes wonder if the reader is interpreting inflection, tone, etc. how the author heard it in his/her mind as it was written.
If you've heard Stephen read in the past, you probably going to be ok with, or even love this reading. If not, you may be put off by the narration.
Learning that another Dark Tower novel was going to be released in 2012 thrilled me to no end. I loved all seven of the books released before this one. I honestly felt like it still wasn't enough. Guess I'm truly a tower junky, as Eddy Dean would undoubtedly say. Well, why not? No fictional setting has captivated me more than Midworld. As for protagonists, Roland has to be my all time favorite. I've missed traveling along the path of the beam with his ka tet so it was wonderful to revisit this story again.
I'm sure there are folks who will tell you that King can't narrate for... well, you know. I think he does a great job when he decides to narrate his own books. It's an honor when an author decides to devote his or her time to reading something. It usually means that they're passionate about a particular story they've written. I've always felt as if King was most passionate about and most proud of his Tower novels. If I'm wrong, well, say sorry. He hasn't narrated an entire book since On Writing, so it was great to listen to him behind the mic again. He transports me into his stories in a way that no other narrator has been able to do sans the late great and sorely missed Frank Muller. King's one heck of a sighted guide when it comes to reading his own works. So because of him, I've seen Midworld in an entirely new light. I've seen it very well and I say thank ya.
The book was far too short. I enjoyed it very much, but I wish King would spin more tales of Roland's younger years. What happened to Rhea, for instance? How did Roland track the old witch down and deal with her one final time? I've been wanting to know since Wizard and Glass. I can't go out and pick up his Marvel Comics Dark Tower prequel series and would absolutely love to experience those on audio in some format or another. They don't make those in braille-- oh Discordia! That's my only complaint about this book. In the words of a certain Dickensian character,"I want some more!" But I suppose that's what a memorable book does. Well it often leaves me wanting seconds, anyway. So here's hoping everyone's favorite Wordslinger isn't done with his Dark Tower series yet. I'll even settle for Cooking With Roland: A Guide to Gunslinger Burritos. Or maybe How To Care For Your BillyBumbler. Or how about Eddy Dean's Best Jokes and Quips?
Anywho, if you liked all the other Dark Tower books, pick this one up. It's just as wonderful. What else can I say without spoiling the book? Go read it, but watch out for Starkblasts!
I might, yes. I plan on listening to all the Dark Tower books again in order.
I enjoyed how the Man in Black made an appearance.
I think Stephen King did a better job reading this book then most are willing to give him credit. He did I good job with all the characters, but if I was to pick a favorite I would have to say young Roland.
If Stephen King happens to be reading this review, thank you for writing this book. Another story of Roland was an unexpected treat.
The story; I was skeptical when I first heard what this book was to be about. I have read the Dark Tower series and wasn't sure that this would play well. However as always King manages to spin you in a web that wraps you up and makes you want to continue when you should be doing something else. These characters are old friends and as so often with old friends you're really glad to hear from them again. I find myself hoping that King again finds another story or 12 from those friends.
There were quite a few; I found myself as lost in Rolands tale as his Ka-Tet did.
It's always a treat to hear the author perform his own works. He has a connection to them that other people don't have. He can hear them in his head in their voices just as he did when writting the story. I think it adds a flavor to it that you can't get with another performer.
The moment when the boy realizes that his step father..............ohhhhhh wait you haven't read the book yet hmmmmmmmm. Better not say then. You will know it when you read/listen to it.
This book is well worth listening to and or purchasing. It's a story full of old friends that you've missed and some new ones that you'll hope to hear from again.
If you liked The Dark Tower this is a must read. It was great to hear a little more of the tale. I would love for King to do another one like this. For those who didn't read the original novels, I really feel like you could read this and enjoy it as a stand alone book.
"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!
King is the consummate story teller. Many of his stories inhabit a magically realistic world where reality and magic over lap. This story is a little different in that it’s essentially a grownup fairy story pretty much from beginning to end. The tale is inserted into the gap between book 4 and 5 in the Dark Tower saga but can easily stand alone. You really don’t have to ‘follow the path of the beam’ to enjoy this tale. Many of the reviews are critical of the reading, and it’s true King does have a rather thin nasal Maine accent. It would be great if Audible would offer the book voiced by (for example) George Guidall with King as an interesting alternative. Having said that, it’s a marvelous tale which feels closer in style to Neil Gamin than King and it’s so compelling you really get used to the narration after a while. It draws the listener in from the very beginning and never disappoints. At a little over ten hours in King terms it’s a quick light listen I can highly recommend it.
Too old to be posting up a nasty old picture of me. That's who I am!
Can not make the comparison since I only listen, due to job constraints. The audio version is of excellent quality and Stephen has done an excellent job narrating. I was a little worried when I found out that George Guidall would not narrate. George is the Gunslinger in my book! I can't even listen to Don Quixote without seeing Roland Deschain of Gilead. However, Stephen pulls it off, he's gotten very good at doing multiple characters and that is George Guidall's secret to success.
Why, Tim of course. How could you not be rooting for the kid? Facing the unknown, thinking only of his Mom. And the whole time, having to watch out for RF!
The Life's blood of the author! Stephen spent most of his life on these characters. His heart and soul belong to these pages. And these pages, belong to the ages ;-).
Not to spoil the ending, but the ending. We find out that Roland forgives and has been forgiven.It's good to know that an old friend is well in that regard.
Kudo's to you Stephen, I hope you read more of your own work in the future.Thankee Sai!
I have read all of the other books in the Dark Tower series and enjoyed all of them. When the graphic novels started appearing on the market, I drew the line -- part of what was so great about this series was a sense of reality brought on by the large gaps in the readers' knowledge, and I did not want those gaps clumsily filled. For this reason, I was skeptical about this new Dark Tower 4.5, but it has far exceeded my expectations. It was a true pleasure to hear Stephen King tell the tale of Tim, a story Roland heard from his mother as a young child in Gilead. I found this particular gap in the Dark Tower series delightfully filled by his new narrative.
Stephen King reads the whole story.... He is so monotone that I almost cant follow this 28 min into this and I dont want to continue.
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