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The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower) Hardcover – April 24, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,616 customer reviews
Book 8 of 8 in the Dark Tower Series

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Editorial Reviews


A gem of a novel, enchanting and enchanted ... King is utterly at home in Mid-World, and the cadences and rhythms of the vernacular he has created provide a language fitting for the stories and legends he recounts. Guardian [A] phantasmagorical folk tale ... King's ability to entertain and unsettle cannot be denied. The skill with which he delivers a shock or sense of gothic terror is simply unmatched Independent on Sunday Perfectly balanced: another excellent example of King's sheer skill as a storyteller. Daily Express Like John Steinbeck, he's an unfussy writer whose voice is rooted equally in the rhythms of everyday speech and the mythic made manifest in everyday life. Indeed, reading King, you often sense the presence of the dustbowl America of The Grapes of Wrath ... a King novel has a sparse elegance that most novelists never achieve in a whole career. Put it down to the insistent, economical and wholly distinctive authorial voice. SFX Magazine A frantic-paced puzzle-box adventure that encompasses gunslinger Roland Deschain's early years, werewolves and powerful storytelling. Shortlist King is one of the great popular artists of our time. Independent Classic King, fine characters, compellingly written in a gripping, well-honed plot Daily Express on WOLVES OF THE CALLA Superbly energetic, it's King at his best. Mail on Sunday on WIZARD AND GLASS --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His most recent include 11/22/63, Full Dark, No Stars, Under the Dome, Just Past Sunset, and Lisey’s Story. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Dark Tower (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451658907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451658903
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,616 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Hill TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a longtime fan of King, I've not always agreed with every decision he's made, while respecting his right to do whatever he wants with his own writing. For example, there are things I like and don't like about the revised edition of The Gunslinger, in which he made several changes to the book's tone and some aspects of the characters' personalities, as well as to much of the dialogue. I appreciate any and all Mid-World fiction King wants to treat us with, but I'm not wild about changes being made to beloved material. That brings us to The Wind through the Keyhole, King's latest re-entry into the Dark Tower universe. Noting the five-star rating I've given it, you can safely assume I'm pleased with this addition to the canon. Here's why.

When I first heard about this project, I thought it made good sense. King mentioned that after some reflection, he realized there was a gap between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla, and has referred to this novel as "Dark Tower 4 ½." Let's go back in time a bit. Years before King was hit by a van and nearly killed, he always said that The Dark Tower would be a series of about seven or eight novels. After the accident, King attacked the story like a man possessed, determined, as he also mentioned several times, not to end up like Geoffrey Chaucer with a hugely ambitious literary work that didn't get finished. He steamrolled through writing three final novels, ensuring that his story's fate wouldn't end up the same as Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Now, after several healthy years recovering from the accident and resuming his career, he seems less pressured and more interested in enriching the story. And like King, I also sensed a gap between DT 4 and 5, one that didn't exist between the other novels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For Stephen King's coterie of Constant Readers, Gunslinger Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are more than just characters. For better or for worse, they have become part of us; their stories have become *our* stories. But don't let that scare you off if you've never read the Dark Tower books, for above all else, "The Wind Through the Keyhole" is about the power of stories ~ how the stories of our childhoods, the stories of our pasts, affect the stories of our lives.

The three tales-within-tales King tells in "The Wind Through the Keyhole" weave together seamlessly and with bittersweet resonance, each illuminating both Roland's character and the quest to come in small but powerful ways, while being worthy and exciting tales on their own merits. The tales begin amidst the roaring wind of a deadly storm called a starkblast, where the winds remind Roland of the stories his mother told him in his childhood bedroom atop his own tower ~ a place where he was both safe and innocent, where the Dark Tower was only a footnote in someone else's story.

When he is asked for a story as his ka-tet waits out the storm, Roland obliges with a story from his own life as a young gunslinger, after the events in Mejis ~ the story of young Bill Streeter and the Skin-Changer, and how Roland comforts this frightened young boy with a story his mother told him in that round tower room ~ the tale of young Tim Stoutheart, a character you will also come to love very quickly.

For those who have not read the Dark Tower series, you probably will not find the same emotional resonance that those who "know" Roland are bound to find, but don't let that frighten you off.
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8 Comments 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Stephen King begins The Wind Through the Keyhole with a nod to Robin Furth and the gang at Marvel Comics. It's a fitting dedication since, with the exception of a narrative framing piece, this really could have (perhaps even should have) been a story arc in the comic series.

That's not to say I disliked it, just that it really adds nothing of value or context to the overall Dark Tower saga. It's nice to revisit friends, and immeasurably comforting to fall back into the language of Mid-World (say thankee-sai), but it lacks the epic feel of the rest of the series. There's no advancement of the greater plot and, rather surprisingly, hardly anything in the way of meta-references or pop-culture trivia. It also suffers, of course, from being an after-the-fact addition to an already finished storyline - no matter how fantastic the Starkblast was, there was never any real sense of danger, since we know the characters all live through to the next book.

Having said that, it's still Stephen King, it's still The Dark Tower, and it's still an enjoyable read - regardless of how it's told.

Let's start with the framing narrative of Roland, Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy. It's definitely nice to revisit the ka-tet in the days when it was whole and healthy, and comforting to spend some quality time alongside them. As for the Starkblast, it may have just been a convenient plot device to gather them together long enough for Roland to tell a story, but it's a force of nature worthy of Stephen King.

The first story-within-the-story is that of Roland as a youth, sent by his father to investigate the murderous rampage of a skin-man.
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12 Comments 85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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