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
As everyone has noted, King is a better writer than narrator. He should definitely keep his day job. As jarring and irritating as it was in the beginning, it grew on me. ? By the last third of the story it was just there...someone telling me a story.
It is a stand alone story and doesn't impact on the overall Dark Towers story arch. However, it offers a bit more depth on the Roland character and is a pleasant visit with old friends. I enjoyed the story within a story...within a story format.
I would have had a Professional voice actor read this story. As far as the Story goes, it could have been a little more Gun Slingerish. Yes I know it's a story within a story, but for Gad's Sake, it seemed like the biggest character and Villain was the Storm. So we are revisiting really nothing as far as the Dark Tower is concerned.
As with most King stories the Ending seems a bit of a let down...then you let it sit with you. Then you sit alone in the dark and wonder, "Why the hell do I do this to myself?". Then you pull out the old "It is what it is" to make yourself feel better.
In the beginning it was very hard to tell which character is which. Typical King. Towards the end he got a little more into it, by that I mean he fluctuated his voice a tad more.
Yeah, only if you had listened to the whole Dark Tower series. Then it's a must. On it's own it's...Meh.
As usual with a King book, you can't put it down once you start. I've read the entire Dark Tower series and this is probably the weakest of the bunch. However, I always enjoy interesting plot devices and this has one of the most unusual King has ever used. I don't think it spoils anything to point it out, but if you want, you can skip to the next paragraph........The book actually tells three stories one inside of another inside of another.
I've gotten used to him, but I really don't care much for King as a narrator, especially since for many of his books he gets some of the best in the business. He has a flat voice and some mildly annoying speech mannerisms (e.g. he swallows his "L's").
Mr. King sets his intricately woven tale of Mid-World in a time described as following the fourth volume of the Dark Tower series. Contrary to what many of the reviews here have stated, I think Mr. King does an admirable job of reading his book. In particular, his rendition of the chillingly evil Covenant Man is excellent, and had me nervously looking over my shoulder in broad daylight. I doubt even Mr. Guidall could have done a better voice for this character. This story can stand alone, but it's also completely satisfying as a wonderful addition to the saga.
I have to admit that I was a bit unsure about this book. As much as people have mixed feelings about the Dark Tower series (particularly the end), I enjoyed the whole of it and wasn't sure about a return trip.
I shouldn't have worried. Not only was it comfortable to return to the familiar characters (aided no doubt by the reading done by Stephen King himself), the stories added color and depth to the world of the gunslinger, making it feel less like a central hub in the universe according to King and more like a world of it's own with lore and characters all it's own.
Either as a return to an old haunt or an introduction to the world of the Dark Tower, this book is worth a listen or two and is likely one you'll return to.
An avid sci-fi/fantasy reader for over 30 years.
I first began reading about Roland in 1986 when a customer at a bookstore where I worked was kind enough to loan me her hardcover. I read the opening couple of lines and I was hooked. It set up the situation perfectly. Unfortunately, this book doesn't really show much of the Roland I've grown to know over more than 25 years.
I actually listened to the first two books in the series on audio cassettes as narrated by King. Unfortunately, I've not been able to track them down digitally anywhere so I'll end up converting them, but his narration had more life in the '80's.
Yes, they're clear that The Wind Through the Keyhole is a story within a story within a story. It didn't seem so clear to me, however, that it has only a tenuous connection to the rest of the series. The best way that I can sum it up is that it's a fine story on it's own, but not a good Dark Tower story.
Master story telling that builds layers and layers of suspense, never losing the reader in the journey.
After listening to the rest of the series read by two incredible performers, I was surprised that I still liked hearing the author's interpretation of his own work. He caught the rhythm of his prose nicely and had a great voice for his "tax collector."
Book four of the Dark Tower series was my favorite, so hearing more of how Roland came to be the Gunslinger was for me very enjoyable
It took some time for me to adjust to these being read by the author, George Guidall is a really tough act to follow, a couple of hours in it was no longer standing out.
This book is a story within a story within a story! Yet it is written so well that you are never left wondering which story you are listening to!
It is sometimes difficult to listen to the author reading his or her own works. They are writers, after all, not performers! :) On the other hand, you get to hear the story from the source, rather than a performer's interpretation of the "sound" and the "mood" of the story and its characters.
After reading all 7 books and then re-reading them before this story was released, it was great to be reaquainted with Eddie, Jake and Susanna again!
I might need to go back and re-read this series again, inserting this book in between Books 4 & 5 where it was intended! I really enjoyed this story. I've followed Roland and his journey to the Dark Tower since I was 9 years old and stole the book from my brother. Here we are almost 35 years later and Roland is still a part of my life. I wonder if there will be another.....
Revisiting and learning more about an old friend, Roland of Gillead. And I always love it when King reads his own works, he is a great story teller.
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