Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Wind Through the Keyhole

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

My favorite books of all time are Stephen King's Dark Tower series. They're fantastic. The fact that my wife wasn't crazy about them only shows that her good taste in men doesn't carry over to books. That being said, when I heard that King was going to be revisiting the series years after it was concluded with another story, I was moderately conflicted. On the one hand, the fact that I like the books so much should mean that I'd enjoy a new book just as much. On the other hand, the series was over, the story had been told and I didn't want King to turn into George Lucas who can't seem to leave a good thing alone. My concerns proved to be unwarranted. The book was just as good as the rest of the series and it fit in perfectly.

Chronologically the book takes place between books 4 & 5. Roland and his tet are taking shelter along the path of the beam from a deadly storm called a Starkblast. While they're there Roland relates two stories, or rather, a story that includes within it, the telling of another story. The story he tells took place when Roland first became a Gunslinger. He and Jamie DeCurry were sent to Debaria to look into reports of a skin-man (a shape-shifter), who had killed dozens of its residents. A young boy named Bill Streeter survived one of the attacks and Roland needs him in order to identify who the skin-man is while in human form.

While he's keeping watch over Bill one night, he tells him a story that comes from the Magic Book of Eld. That story is about a young boy who went on a dangerous journey in order to seek out the magician Maerlyn who he believes can cure his mother's blindness.

Each of the stories contained within this book is great. The book illustrates once again why King is head and shoulders above all his peers. If you've never read the DT series, I HIGHLY recommend it. But not until you've read other books by King that tie into the series first: The Stand, Salem's Lot, Insomnia, It, The Eyes of the Dragon, & The Shining. There are several other books and short stories that have a connection to the series, but the connections are pretty superficial and it really doesn't matter which you read first.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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