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Publisher's Summary

Stephen King's epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a major movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Due in cinemas February 17, 2017 USA.

For listeners new to The Dark Tower, The Wind Through the Keyhole is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower.

Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis.

This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.)

Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in 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, The Wind through the Keyhole.. 'A person's never too old for stories,' he says to Bill. 'Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.' And stories like these, they live for us.

©2012 Stephen King (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Narration by the author fails to please

Listening to this book for the second time, without the mystery of an unfolding story to draw me on, I found that I couldn't continue. The author cannot compete with the equally superb narrations of Frank Muller and George Guidall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fjolnir
  • Isafjardarbaer, Iceland
  • 05-25-12

Great Classic Story Telling

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 hours 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Aaron
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • 09-05-17

Not bad dark tower filler.

Story isn't bad. Had a filler feel with no real substance to the main story. The performance (Stephen King himself) is pretty terrible. He is very flat without voice work at all.

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  • NickyB
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 02-17-15

really enjoyed

it was wonderful to listen to Stephen King read one of his stories, I really enjoyed it and would like to hear more!

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Story within a story within a story

This is an enjoyable return to Roland's ka-tet but won't solve any great mysteries or provide any profound insights into the Dark Tower series. I liked the concept of the story within a story within a story - while the group are holed up against a storm Roland relates a past event in which he spins tale to young boy.

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  • Justin
  • Cranbourne East, Australia
  • 06-18-12

Dropping in on old friends for a story

Like many Dark Tower fans I was drawn to the promise of a new novel like a moth to a flame and on the whole 'The Wind Through The Keyhole' doesn't disappoint. Much like 'Wizard and Glass', 'The Wind Through The Keyhole' delves into Roland's youth in Midworld and tells of a challenge he faced as a new gunslinger. However it weaves itself into a story within a story regarding another young boy's experience with an all to familiar antagonist.
King's narration at first seems a bit half-hearted, but about a third of the way through where he hits his stride, he really breathes a lot of life into his own story. Perhaps it just took him a while to get settled into the flow.
Overall, I'd recommend it to any fan of the Dark Tower series, as long as you don't go in expecting Dark Tower 4 and a half. As the man himself states in the prologue, it's more of a visit to old friends to hear a tale they'd not gotten around to telling. I wish I'd gotten to spend a little bit more time with them though.

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  • Yaman
  • New Zealand
  • 06-13-12

Did not feel like a Dark Tower story...

I'm not sure why but I did not find this book very enjoyable. I loved the Dark Tower series very very much and found it hard to put the book down, but I found this one a chore to listen to for the most part unfortunately...

I am not sure if my experience would have been any different if I listened to it after Wizard and glass but I doubt it. Stephen King is the author bit his performance is no where near as good as the narrator of the rest of the dark tower!

At least I quenched my curiosity.

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Please Mr King - Stick to Writing

I can't really comment on the story because the performance was deplorable. I gave the story 2 stars because - well - it's Stephen King. Mr King is a master storyteller but a narrator - he ain't. I couldn't finish it.

To be fair reviews of the written book are excellent but I couldn't persevere with this audio version.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • Woking, GA, United States
  • 03-22-13

Great story, shame about the reader!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, but only because I abandoned this version, read by the author, and sought out another version, excellently read, by, I think, Jack Fox. I am blind so I have access to visually impaired talking book libraries. My time listening to the Stephen King narrated bit that I did listen to, was not time well spent. He reads in a totally flat tone and without any thought put into the phrasing of sentances. It is strange that an author can read such textured dialogue, and yet has little skill in speaking that same dialogue.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not wishing to give any spoilers away, I will just say that my favourite character was the young lead character in the middle story, followed by, of course, Roland!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

As mentioned previously, it is nearly always a waste of a good book to allow the author to read their own work. As much as people might think they are the ultimate solution to hearing the book as it was intended, it does not go without saying, and this is largely due to a basic lack of acting skills. Being a good narrator is a very skilled job, and it would be amazing if an author just happened to have both the skill of writing and that of narrating too.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Nope...don't do movies!

Any additional comments?

Please, please, could someone who has the power to do so, please encourage Mr King to stop reading his own books. Listening or reading to a book is mostly a once only experience, so lets not allow such sentiment as ''wouldn't it be cool to get the author to read his own work'', or ''wouldn't it be best to let the author read the book in the way he intended'', because it's not true and it's wasting our, the listener, experience with that book. Some of us have no choice but to listen to a book, so let's think about us, the customer, and put us first! I will be seeking my money back on this item, as I feel it wasn't 'fit for purpose'.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ok story, poor narration

A side story of the Dark Tower world, a bit like an old fairy tale. I loved all the other DT novels, this was not as good and too be honest I really disliked Stephen Kings narration, nowhere near the amazing narration of Frank Muller and George Guidall on the original series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 12-23-12

Save it for last.

As a Tower junkie I obviously loved this book but I'm glad I saved it for last. Although he wrote it to fit between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla I would personally recommend saving it so you can return to the story after the last book and revisit the group at their strongest.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Oliver
  • 05-14-12

Great story, but mixed narration

I loved this book as I have enjoyed all the dark tower books. This said the narration by King himself is at times monotonous, but at other times, such as with the tax collector fantastic. This uneven approach balances out, but initially I found it a bit off-putting.

This said I am loathe to criticise him as he wrote such a great story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 05-18-12

Great story

I think Mr King gets away with the narration, mainly because Roland is young during most of the narrative in which he features. The Dark Tower stories put me mind of a surreal, wondrous and melancholic dream, after which you awake a little disturbed but also marvelling at how inventive it was. OK it's not Steinbeck, but King has a similar talent for pulling you into the story, making you feel for his characters. More please ! (However, get a pro narrator in for a older Roland). Mark

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robbie G
  • 04-26-17

The weakest of the first 4.5 books in this series

Stephen King as an author is fantastic... but as a narrator, his voice drones on and on, and I found it increasingly difficult to maintain my concentration. It also did not help that the book itself was far from the quality of the preceding four books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke MacMahon
  • 04-13-13

The Wind through the Keyhole

Initially I was sceptical about this title on two fronts. Most obviously I was concerned King was just cashing in on an established series to pacify his publisher. Second, King chose to read the book himself, and whatever his capacity to spin a yarn, his voice is a tad dreary. But for the most part my concerns were laid to rest. I still think that King should accept his auditory limitations, however, you get use to his drone over time. More importantly, the book itself is a pleasant enough add-on to the main story. I actually think he made a good choice to make the central characters of the Dark Tower a vehicle for a side story, and while I am no closer to understanding why anyone apart from the Crimson King was so interested in destroying everything, or quite why most of them would ever have wanted to work for him, it was still pleasant to be re-acquainted with Roland and his ridiculously named Ka-Tet (I really will not apologise for any spelling mistake on that one.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • 08-12-12

Not a stand alone novel

I bought this as it says it's a stand alone novel. However, this isn't true at all as the narrative starts with a very long winded history of everything you need to know before the book starts. I really like King's writing so it's not a slur on him at all - just that perhaps you do actually need to have read all of The Dark Tower books first. I now have this two part audio which I can't listen to until I've bought and listened to all the Dark Tower series! Mis-sold in my opinion, but happy to keep because I know it'll be great to listen to after the seven Dark Tower books...

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 07-16-12

A Good Addition to the Series

I've read the whole Dark Tower series, finishing some years ago, so a revisit was met with eagerness but also some doubt. This was also my first on audio. The story is as good as any in the series and the stories engaging. I could also see this being a good introduction to somebody who hasn't read the others as it stands on its own well.
I had seen previous comments that King's narration wasn't brilliant but I had no problem at all. There's something about the words read as they were written that makes it special. His voice is softer than I imagined and can suffer a bit from monotone in places but I wouldn't hold off just because of this.
All round an enjoyable experience.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • dominic
  • 11-30-17

you don't need to listen to this

if like me you are listening to the entire series, then you don't need to listen to this. it is not narrated by the same guy as all the others and really throws the whole thing out. it's just a story about when Roland was young . who then tells a story about something else that we don't really need to know. i had to listen at twice the normal speed just to get through it. otherwise Steven kings voice would have grated on me too much and I would not be able to finish it.

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  • Rodrigo Ibata
  • 11-17-17

A magical experience

I'm making my way through the Dark Tower series, and listened to The Wind Through the Keyhole after finishing vol 4. While I've heard that it doesn't advance the main storyline, this book was a wonderful experience. Its a tale within a tale within a tale, but it *just works*. The metaphor of the wind through the keyhole really resonated with me.

And despite what some other reviewers have said, I was absolutely enthralled by the reading. I was transported to the firesides listening to the master storyteller spinning his yarn. It's a rare treat indeed to have such a gifted novelist do that. Thank you, Stephen.

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  • RW
  • 06-20-17

A must for fans, worthwhile if a newby

The author adds depth to the words and brings the story to life. A worthy 10h journey from Wales to Scotland and back.

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  • nanoboy
  • 04-30-16

A nostalgic read for Dark Tower fans

This book is a story within a story within a story. It doesn't add anything to The Dark Tower epic since the main story is a fairytale told to Roland as a child. It's a good story, say true, but it feels like Stephen King had one more story he just had to tell. Read it if you have already read all the novels in The Dark Tower series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 05-12-17

Stephen King isn't a great voice actor

The story was great but, King's voice act leaves a bit to be desired, it also breaks from the continuity from the previous voice actor. The story itself however was great!

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  • Huw
  • 07-16-16

Everything I wanted

A nice little extra for the lovers of the dark tower. Steven stumbles a little at the start but makes the rest of the book feel almost like frank was reading it

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lori
  • 09-03-15

Loved it

I have been re-visiting the Gunslinger series in audio format, and what a treat to have it read by Stephen King himself. To be honest, I preferred Frank Muller narrating as he is much more lively and does great voices. However Mr King does a pretty good job, and I enjoyed listening to him.

As for a review on the story itself, as a Gunslinger fan, I very much enjoyed this one - but best you look at the other reviews or Goodreads for a more thorough insight into the story :)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful