‘The Dark Tower’ is the best series I have ever read. So upon hearing there would be another book in this series… it was something that I had to see to believe. When I finally saw this book, I believed. I’ve always told myself that I would reread this series when I’m an old man, retired, and chasing the college girls that come into my bookstore (Yes, me owning a bookstore is a dream that will never die). However, after reading this book I don’t see how I’m going to wait until I’m an old man to reread this series. (But I won’t wait until then to chase the sexy coed’s).
Stephen pens this as being ‘Dark Tower book 4.5’, and that you “don’t need to read the series to enjoy this book”. I was about to vehemently disagree with him, until I got lost in the story. ‘The Wind Through the Keyhole’ is like a story within a book within a series. We again are well met with Eddie, Susannah, Jake, Oy, and of course, Roland. A young Roland. Way back when, when I first read this series I remember that I wanted to know more about the young gunslinger. This book gives me a little of that history.
But only a little. As I said earlier, this book is more like two stories told by Roland as him and his ka-tet follow the path of the beam. But the little we do read about is such joy, joy, joy, joy, joy! The young gunslinger has been sent on a mission to kill a “skin man” that is brutally murdering people. (Brutally murdering, as opposed to compassionately murdering.) Anyway… he must do what he must and reading about this early adventure is pure fun. So I do say. But as he is going about we are drawn into yet another story, one that is the basis for the name of this book.
There are few authors living who could pull off such a stunt and not make it seem cheesy, and King is in slot #1 and #2. And even fewer of them can come back after eight years and drop a book right smack dab in the middle of an epic series… and make it work. Now let the age old argument begin as to where you should read this book; in chronological order or published order: I haven’t made up my mind what I’ll tell people yet.
This book pulled out so much of what I thought I forgot from the ‘Dark Tower’ series. So many good feelings and a sense of awe that I was reading a series that would be remembered as one of the best ever. Still. I keep getting off topic here… on Roland’s and Jamie’s (another gunslinger, say he is) mission to kill the “skin man”, we are treated to a story told to Roland by his mother. And while the rest of the book was utterly enthralling, THIS part was what kept me up late, reading for hours, and putting off everything except for the true necessities of life. You know; food, bathroom, work, Jeep stalking…
One of the many geniuses of King in writing this series was his ability to create an entire language from ours that pulls off the impossible paradox of being unique and familiar at the same time. That and writing other book characters in the story… Merlin, Asland, and although he didn’t make an “appearance”, I felt the fingers of Flagg… ‘The Wind Through the Keyhole’ tale can easily be its own short story, but its presence here makes it magic. ‘Dark Tower’ fans will (are) salivate over this book and Stephen King continues to steam roll his way up the list of the best storytellers in the world. This world, Mid-World, any world.