The Dark Tower (The True Order: read according to this list)

A Listmania! list by James Davis (California)
The list author says: "If you are looking for a complete, and enjoyable experience into the understanding of the world of the Dark Tower, then this list is for you. Other listamanias of this same subject are jumbled and would unnecessarily have you read 10 of Steven King's other books in between reading books 5 and 6 of the Dark Tower. Nonsense. Once you begin reading the ACTUAL Dark Tower books, there should be as few interruptions in the series as possible to maintain suspense, story and understanding. If you have to read Rose Madder, the Talisman, Bag of Bones, and Black House in between reading books 5 and 6 of the Dark Tower, you have successfully killed the pacing of the saga and are likely feeling that you are now reading as a chore rather than for fun.

That being said, these are the books HEAVILY involved in the Dark Tower Saga and the order in which they should be read, with as few breaks in the timeline of books 1-7 as possible. You may note I do not list books such as Rose Madder (do you need to read an entire book because the city of Lud is mentioned briefly?...No) and From a Buick 8 (do you need to read From a Buick 8 because of the POSSIBILITY that the man driving the car is POSSIBLY a low man?...No.) I have also done away with such shoddy nonsense as the Gunslinger Graphic Novels which, though sanctioned by King, are surprisingly non-canonical.

And now I think I've said my share on this subject, you know why I disagree with other lists on this subject. Now, if you are new to the Dark Tower Series, I wish you the best of luck on your adventures and I envy you for starting down this path for the first time.

(P.S. I have listed some books twice. These have short stories in them that relate to the tower. But not all the stories should be read together, most notably the stories pertaining to Everything's Eventual. You will note that I explain as you go along.)"
It
1.  It by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Mentions the Turtle, the Rose, and is (seemingly) unrelated enough to be an enjoyable story by itself. The proper place to start."
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Night Shift
2.  Night Shift by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Read the short story Jerusalem's Lot...the prequel to Salem's Lot."
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Salem's Lot
3.  Salem's Lot by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "A fantastic book.  Read this and remember Father Donald Callahan.  Mark him very well, because he will return."
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Night Shift
4.  Night Shift by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Read the short Story "One for the Road" the sequel to Salem's Lot.  Also, read the short story "Night Surf" while you're at it."
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The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet)
5.  The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet) by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Quite possibly King's best work ever.  Introduces Randall Flagg, the main antagonist (sort of) in the Dark Tower Series.  And the world of the Plague shows up later in the series also."
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The Eyes of the Dragon
6.  The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Flagg appears again. Thomas and Dennis will be mentioned in Roland's travels.  This is kind of like what "The Hobbit" was to the Lord of the Rings."
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Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales
7.  Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Read the short story, "The Little Sisters of Eluria."  It is an earlier tale of Roland and the "unofficial" start of The Dark Tower saga."
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The Gunslinger (Revised Edition): The Dark Tower I
8.  The Gunslinger (Revised Edition): The Dark Tower I by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Now you're getting into the meat of things.  This is the start of it all.  Book 1."
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The Drawing of the Three: (The Dark Tower #2)
9.  The Drawing of the Three: (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Book 2.  The adventure continues.  And isn't it great that you didn't have to read Eyes of the Dragon RIGHT before just because Thomas and Dennis were mentioned in these pages?"
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The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower, No. 3
10.  The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower, No. 3 by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Book 3.  Forward like a steam engine...or a monorail."
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Insomnia
11.  Insomnia by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Now we have to break the flow just for a bit.  Back to Derry.  Lots of Tower business in this one and the Crimson King.  Also remember little Patrick Danville who appears later in book 7."
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Wizard and Glass: (The Dark Tower #4)(Revised Edition)
12.  Wizard and Glass: (The Dark Tower #4)(Revised Edition) by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Book 4.  And we weren't really even gone long enough to break the flow of the story.  You'll notice the Plague world from the Stand in this one...And you didn't have to read all 1145 pages right before this book to break the flow."
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Hearts In Atlantis
13.  Hearts In Atlantis by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Another quick interlude.  Definitely read, "Low Men in Yellow Coats," but also read the rest because it's a beautiful series of stories.  Remember the Men in Yellow Coats and Ted Brautigan.  You might even spot Randall Flagg/Walter/Marten mentioned within these pages."
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Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, Book 5)
14.  Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, Book 5) by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Back to the main story.  Book 5.  Read this one and you'll see Father Callahan if it do ya fine."
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Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, Book 6)
15.  Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, Book 6) by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "The story continues without any breaks.  Book 6."
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Black House
16.  Black House by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "This story deals heavily with breakers and the Crimson King.  This story actually takes place chronologically after book 6, where Susannah could still see the light coming from the King's Forge.  The destruction of that Forge is told in these pages.  "Do I need to read the Talisman first?  Nope, because the Talisman has very few DT connections and this story pretty much stands on it's own."
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Skeleton Crew
17.  Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Read the short story, "The Mist."  The creatures are very similar to those from Todash space."
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Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales
18.  Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "Read the short story Everything's Eventual to get introduced to Dinky Earnshaw, who appears in book 7 of the DT alongside Ted Brautigan from "Low Men in Yellow Coats.""
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The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)
19.  The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7) by Stephen King
The list author says:
  "The Final Book (and one of my favorites in the series).  Now you're done.  Feel free to research or read some of the other books I did not mention, such as From a Buick 8, Bag of Bones, Rose Madder, but I guarantee you won't get more than a few sentences of connections in each book to the world of the Dark Tower.  Don't say I didn't tell you so."
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The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus
20.  The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus by Bev Vincent
The list author says:
  "An excellent guide and companion while reading The Dark Tower and related books.  I prefer this to Robin Furth's The Complete Concordance because Furth doesn't include connections from non-Official Dark Tower Books such as Insomnia and Black House."
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Kindle 1 Sep 20, 2013
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what's with the turtle? 8 Nov 14, 2012
It and Dreamcatcher 5 Sep 10, 2012
Kindle? 8 Aug 18, 2012
Please Publish "IT" for the Kindle 4 Jul 25, 2012
 
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

James Davis (California)
Qualifications: Dark Tower scholar, not to mention Stephen King is my favorite writer.
Last updated: 1/14/09
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