Ah, The Dark Tower, finally available from audible.com. Being lucky enough to have been listening to The Dark Tower since ..Show More »1988 when the original NAL Penguin audio version of The Gunslinger was released, unabridged and read by the author on 4 cassette tapes, I have been in its grip for about 15 years now. I have been happy there and one of the very many "constant readers" frustrated by the fact that it has been so long in coming.
The Dark Tower, which a young Stephen King began writing in 1970, will finally conclude in November 2004 with the publication of the 7th and final volume, The Dark Tower. When it is complete, it will be the measure of the career of one of the finest authors in history. It will include not only all of its own strange and wonderful landscapes, but also reveal the author's humanity through its imperfection and his genius, especially with in how he manages to interweave, to a greater or lesser degree, almost every other story he has ever written!
The Gunslinger, both the original version and the version wholly rewritten by King for the June 2003 re-publication, is the first book in the series but really is a "way station" smack in the middle of the road to the Dark Tower. Short and brutal, The Gunslinger introduces us to Roland of Gilead, the last in a line of knights sworn to protect a realm of lawfulness and light. He is on a quest to put right a wrong that not only has destroyed his world, but threatens all worlds. We get glimpses of a past that is orderly and beautiful, if still post-apocalyptic and still "moving on."
Borrowing heavily on other sources for inspiration: Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, T.S. Elliott's The Waste Lands, and Clifford D. Simak's Ring Around the Sun, The Dark Tower is the epic tale of the 21st century.
Fabulous characters, imaginative, dangerous creatures, excitement, sentiment, love, sadness - what more could you want.
The main character Ro..Show More »land had so few redeeming qualities and the storyline was so dismal in the first book of the series that I was unsure whether I could read a whole series.
In book two we are introduced to three new characters who are compellingly different to each other and prove the perfect compliment to Roland. We start to realise that he has many fascinating levels of complexity to his personality after a long history of experiences.
Although Mr King cites many influences for the series the storyline is original and exceptionally well told as only he is capable. The first book to me had the wordiness and pretention of a young writer. The second book is more like the Stephen King I know as the superior wordsmith and master storyteller.
The narrator for the first book was quite good however Frank Muller brings a more vivid interpretation of the convoluted characters.
The biggest decision most people will have regarding the Dark Tower series is should they continue after the first book, The Gunslinger. While the fir..Show More »st one is fairly marginal, if you read/listen to The Drawing of the Three you'll be in it 'till the Dark Tower.
This is a great story and the first of the series with the brilliant Frank Muller narrating. Books 2-5 are (by far) the best in this series, so enjoy. You probably won't have much to criticize until the last two books.
Are you searching for something to listen to, by a reader that keeps you on the edge of your seat? Well, the solution is simple! Get each and every bo..Show More »ok read by Frank Muller! It is sad to hear that, due to an injury, we may never hear him read again. What a gift he has, and what treasures he has left for us to remember him by. A "wish list" is easy to create... Simply "click" on his name where it says "reader" for this book, and then put every book listed with him as reader into it! You'll not regret it!
Loved the flash back of Roland's first love, at first I didn't want to leave the present and the main characters of the series, but then I didn't want..Show More » to leave Hambry and come back. Frank Muller gets 5 stars for narration!
While I am not one of King's greatest fans, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Dark Tower/Gunslinger series. I was very excited to find this book and it d..Show More »id not disappoint. It fills in very necessary gaps in Roland's history in an exciting and entertaining way. It also can be a stand alone story, with all of the usual elements necessary to a good read; love, adventure, tragedy and heroism. A very enjoyable book.
There are so many good reviews for this book and I just don't get it. I enjoyed the first three books in the series very much but there are too many ..Show More »side trips.
It is becoming obvious how much time has elapsed between the beginning of the series and the last. So much time that I think Mr King has lost the plot. The storyline is getting lost with the rehashing of other stories from other novels. I don't mind occasional flashbacks and sidetracks if they help complete a story but when they become a distraction, long winded and unnecessary to the plot these diversions become boring. Father Callahan! Boring with a capital B.
The continuation of the new storyline has some good moments but they are few and far between and there is so much old stuff to wade through it becomes boring.
Also, I can't say I like the development of Roland's character much. He was a hardnosed cowboy who let a little boy he loved die and now he's just plain soppy. The story of the Dark Tower hasn't moved ahead very much, i.e. there's not much new happening.
I seriously miss Frank Muller's narration but George Guidall does a fair read.
I have not listend to any other books in the Dark Tower series exept this one. At the beginning I thought I had made a mistake but after about 2 hour..Show More »s the story just sucked me in. I would like to get more books in the series but I would like to start with number 1 (The Gunslinger) and it is not available at the moment (please do something about this Audible!). The story is quite interesting and I must say that I liked it a lot. The author reads it himself and I kind of wished he had not done that. He actually did it quite well but I found myself comparing him to the late and great Frank Muller and he was just one of a kind. Rest in peace Frank, you still live on millions of Ipods.
Another excellent Steven King story. It doesn't have the same feel as the rest of the Dark Tower series. It's much more stand-alone beginning-middle-e..Show More »nd, because we aren't following most of the characters in this book through 7 novels.
I'd recommend reading this one on paper unless you're accustomed to Stephen King's narration. We were really pampered by George Guidall's vocal range. Stephen King comes across much flatter, and in the beginning his version of Roland's ka-tet can be disconcerting.
The penultimate entry in the Dark Tower saga is also one of the shorter books, but lacks nothing for its comparative brevity. With a fine performance..Show More » by George Guidall, this rates up there as one of my favourite audiobook experiences ever...
The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla opens with a prologue that introduces listeners to the folken of Calla Bryn Sturgis, people in need..Show More » of ?hard calibers?; people in need of help from Gunslingers. The residents of the Calla are farmers and ranchers but as listeners quickly learn, they are themselves a crop of sorts, harvested every 20 odd years by the wolves. Roland and his band are engaged to put an end to the raids of the wolves forever.
The narrative elapsed time in Wolves of the Calla spans about the space of a month but it is packed with action, back story and tantalizing links to other worlds in Stephen King?s universe. One of the leaders of the Calla folken is a man called Pere Callahan. In a former life, he was known to a small New England town called Jerusalem?s Lot as Father Donald Callahan.
As the Gunslingers prepare to defend the Calla from the oncoming attack of the wolves, listeners learn more about what is going wrong at the Dark Tower and find new ways to travel between the worlds. We also see the true gunslingers in a maturing Eddie Dean and soon to be tested Jake Chambers. In addition, Susannah Dean is about to face her greatest trial. You will have to listen to the story to find out what happens?
George Guidall does a great job of reading this 5th volume of The Dark Tower. Listeners will definitely miss Frank Muller?s voice for the first hour or so, as Stephen King himself acknowledges in the Afterword, but Mr. Guidall is an excellent choice to take up this spectacular tale in Mr. Muller?s sad absence.
Must read Stephen King books that link directly to Wolves of the Calla: Salem?s Lot and Hearts In Atlantis, the second of which is available from audible.com. Other King books related to The Dark Tower include: Eyes of the Dragon, and Insomnia, to name but a couple.
Review continues, Summer 2004, with Song of Susannah?
The seventh book in the series was disjointed and a major disappointment as far as wind up is concerned. Not really expecting a happy ending but some..Show More »thing a bit more than the old cliche of "walking off into the sunset". Even the author, storyteller or Stephen King character seemed to express his wish that the thing would just plain end. In fact I perceived an attitude of contempt from him for the story and the reader alike.
I stuck with this series for two reasons. One - I owed some loyalty to Stephen King because I have enjoyed his work previously and he has stated that this was his major work. Two I invested in the complete series at a time when Audible had a sale on book series.
The trend of the series, in my opinion, can be noted from my previous reviews. 1 - Stick With It - Believe in Stephen King 2 - So Glad I Stuck Around 3 - Wanted to Stop but Could Not 4 - Disappointing Detour 5 - I don't get it 6 - This from a fan of Mr King - WHY? 7 - Major Disappointment
I feel very sorry for Stephen King if he considers this to be his "magnum opus". Where to from here? I thought he was much better than this load of tripe he has given us. I have been a huge fan for such a long time and I was expecting so much more from him.
There were of course some excellent parts mostly to do with King's craftsmanship with words, however, the whole series was disjointed and overblown. More than 135 hours of listening (not including the pitiful narration of "The Wind Through the Keyhole") could easily have been reduced by half.
Continuity was exceptionally poor. Involvement of characters was a mish mash of contrived entries and exits, seemingly because the author was bored with his people and couldn't think of anything else. The villains were insipid and the final confrontation a super anticlimax. The storyline had no real structure and can be perceived as if the author was questioning himself while writing, "What else can I squeeze in, have I got enough science fiction, do I need more horror?"
I'm sure Mr King will reap the benefits of this series and that there are lots of die hard fans out there who will disagree with my opinions however I would recommend anyone read all the stories in the original novels e.g. Salem's Lot, The Stand, The Talisman, Insomnia etc. etc. but definitely not the Dark Tower Series which has tried to incorporate them all and is a major disappointment.
The best things about this series are the narrations by Frank Muller and George Guidall and the character OY.
This series just keeps getting better as the pages pass... now we have revealed the ultimate writer's paradox, a story that takes on it's own life - w..Show More »hose character's ask the writer to keep writing! I, for one, don't want this series to ever end. In this book, Stephen King (with the help of his characters) starts to pull all of the loose strings together. You won't want to miss this one. However, you can't start with this book - read the previous 5 first or you will be lost for sure!
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 n..Show More »o 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.
3 Excellent Stories. Everything's Eventual, Autopsy Room 4 and The Little Sisters of Auloria (I don't know if I spelled that correctly). The other tw..Show More »o are good, but not King's best. The Little Siter's is a must read for Dark Tower fans, which I am. The only complant I have is that there were only 5 stories, where the book has 14. I especially think they should have done The Man in the Black Suit. It is definately worth listening to for the 3 stories mentioned.