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The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7) Mass Market Paperback – August 22, 2006

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Editorial Reviews Review

At one point in this final book of the Dark Tower series, the character Stephen King (added to the plot in Song of Susannah) looks back at the preceding pages and says "when this last book is published, the readers are going to be just wild." And he's not kidding.

After a journey through seven books and over 20 years, King's Constant Readers finally have the conclusion they've been both eagerly awaiting and silently dreading. The tension in the Dark Tower series has built steadily from the beginning and, like in the best of King's novels, explodes into a violent, heart-tugging climax as Roland and his ka-tet finally near their goal. The body count in The Dark Tower is high. The gunslingers come out shooting and face a host of enemies, including low men, mutants, vampires, Roland's hideous quasi-offspring Mordred, and the fearsome Crimson King himself. King pushes the gross-out factor at times--Roland's lesson on tanning (no, not sun tanning) is brutal--but the magic of the series remains strong and readers will feel the pull of the Tower as strongly as ever as the story draws to a close. During this sentimental journey, King ties up loose ends left hanging from the 15 non-series novels and stories that are deeply entwined in the fabric of Mid-World through characters like Randall Flagg (The Stand and others) or Father Callahan ('Salem's Lot). When it finally arrives, the long awaited conclusion will leave King's myriad fans satisfied but wishing there were still more to come.

In King's memoir On Writing, he tells of an old woman who wrote him after reading the early books in the Dark Tower series. She was dying, she said, and didn't expect to see the end of Roland's quest. Could King tell her? Does he reach the Tower? Does he save it? Sadly, King said he did not know himself, that the story was creating itself as it went along. Wherever that woman is now (the clearing at the end of the path, perhaps?), let's hope she has a copy of The Dark Tower. Surely she would agree it's been worth the wait. --Benjamin Reese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A pilgrimage that began with one lone man's quest to save multiple worlds from chaos and destruction unfolds into a tale of epic proportions. While King saw some criticism for the slow pace of 1982's The Gunslinger, the book that launched this series, The Drawing of the Three (Book II, 1987), reeled in readers with its fantastical allure. And those who have faithfully journeyed alongside Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy ever since will find their loyalty toward the series' creator richly rewarded.The tangled web of the tower's multiple worlds has manifested itself in many of King's other works— The Stand (1978), Insomnia (1994) and Hearts in Atlantis (1999), to name a few. As one character explains here, "From the spring of 1970, when he typed the line The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed... very few of the things Stephen King wrote were 'just stories.' He may not believe that; we do." King, in fact, intertwines his own life story deeper and deeper into the tale of Roland and his surrogate family of gunslingers, and, in this final installment, playfully and seductively suggests that it might not be the author who drives the story, but rather the fictional characters that control the author.This philosophical exploration of free will and destiny may surprise those who have viewed King as a prolific pop-fiction dispenser. But a closer look at the brilliant complexity of his Dark Tower world should explain why this bestselling author has finally been recognized for his contribution to the contemporary literary canon. With the conclusion of this tale, ostensibly the last published work of his career, King has certainly reached the top of his game. And as for who or what resides at the top of the tower... The many readers dying to know will have to start at the beginning and work their way up. 12 color illus. by Michael Whelan.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Dark Tower, Book 7 (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416524525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416524526
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Particle Noun on November 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Well, this is a difficult review to write. Like many reviewers here, I've been reading this series from its inception, since I was a young man (about Jakes age). It has remained one of my favorite series, and each new volume was awaited with a barely containable anticipation.

I agree with so many of the glowing reviews of this book.

And I agree with so many of the disappointed reviews of this book as well. I am completely conflicted.

However, what it boils down to is this: The story lost the breadth and scope that made it so epic for me in the early volumes. The Tower was the center of ALL WORLDS! An infinite number of universes hung in the balance. This wasn't your average quest story, this was a story about ALL quests, in ALL times. King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Tain, Ulysses, the Good the Bad and the Ugly...all of these epics found an echo here. Billions upon billions of existences were hanging in the balance between what we were lead to believe was an epic evil (one that found its way into many of Kings stories) and the Gunslinger and his Ka Tet. The wheels of fate worked to bring about the central struggle of all times and places to a boiling point that we could not even begin to conceive of. How could the stakes get any higher? In all honesty, how could any writer fill such a grand expectation? In the first book, Roland has a vision, given him by Flagg, of ascending through the universes to emerge in a single blade of grass at the foot of a rose. The scope of what was at stake was never more beautifully crafted than that section of the first book.

By the end of the tale, I can find no trace of that scope, that scale, those horrendous stakes. They are gone.
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72 of 81 people found the following review helpful By S. Boone on December 29, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It looks like most reviewers have this pretty well covered, but I'd like to throw in my 2 cents, mostly because I've spent so much time reading these books and it just plain feels right.

I'll start by saying that this book is not perfect, and there were times when I was convinced that the story would end horribly. So why do I give it 5 stars? I feel that what was good or great about the book is enough for me to dismiss what annoyed me about it. As with most reviews, there will be many SPOILERS ahead, so go read the book first if you haven't.

I can cover what truly bothered me pretty quickly; King's importance in the plot and Flagg's death. Not that I need a 150 page battle between Roland and Flagg, but to be so easily dispatched by a child who would later prove to be absolutely no threat to Roland seems wrong. Was this really the best that Roland's lifelong enemy could do? I don't know, it just doesn't add up. As for King, I didn't like his part in the plot during Song of Susannah (narcissistic) and was hoping it would not dominate the final volume, which it doesn't. I will admit that it didn't turn out as bad as I feared (I half expected Stephen King to be in the top room of the Tower), and I do appreciate that it ties the story to reality through something other than the fictional Tet Corporation in NY. While this is nice, I could have done without King ever having been in the story.

Others were bothered by the quick deaths of Mordred and the Crimson King. I wasn't. Mordred may have been powerful, but he was still a child; and a sick, dying child at that. He had to make an ill-advised move out of desperation, and I think it was wonderful that Oy was able to die defending Roland.
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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Sekuiro on November 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wish I could say I expected better, but after Wolves and Song, I was prepared for the worst. It wasn't the worst. But it wasn't the best, either.

Most of what needs to be said about this book has already been said. It's sloppy and bloated. It reads like a first draft (albeit a good first draft). It wanders off on long tangents that contribute nothing to the overall story. Parts of it are quite good, but overall, I was left with the impression that King just wanted to finish the book and get it out of the way.


King has stated that he never plans his stories. While that approach can lead to some wonderful spontaneity, it has its drawbacks, most of which are showcased in this volume. Mordred got a whole BOOK leading up to his birth. After all that fanfare, what did he ultimately contribute to the story? Nothing. He kills Flagg, but that's about ALL he does, and since he basically replaces Flagg as Roland's arch-nemesis, what was the point? And wasn't Flagg supposed to be immortal, anyway? Or at least quasi-immortal?

And then there's the ending.

At beginning of the Coda, King the Narrator first advises his readers to stop reading before the end (huh?) and then scolds the ones who are still there: "You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe the joy is the journey rather than the destination...who still get the lovemaking confused with the paltry squirt that comes to end the lovemaking." I have never had an author first wag his finger at me for NOT putting down his book before the end, and then insult my sex life on top of it. Though it's kind of a confusing insult.

Really, though, I think it says more about him than the readers.
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