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The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel

The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Stephen King


The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Stephen King

ratings:
4.5/5 (213 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Released:
Apr 24, 2012
ISBN:
9781442346970
Format:
Audiobook

Description

For those discovering the epic best-selling Dark Tower series for the first time—and for its legions of dedicated fans—here is an immensely satisfying stand-alone novel and perfect introduction to the series.

Beginning in 1974, gaining momentum in the 1980s and coming to a thrilling conclusion when the last three novels were published in 2003 and 2004, the Dark Tower epic fantasy saga stands as Stephen King’s most beguiling achievement. It has been the basis for a long-running Marvel comic series.

Now, with The Wind Through the Keyhole, King has returned to the rich landscape of Mid-World. This story within a story within a story finds Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, in his early days during the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a "skin-man", Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter.

Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Book of Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime. "A person's never too old for stories," he says to Bill. "Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them."

Sure to captivate the avid fans of the Dark Tower epic, this is an enchanting introduction to Roland’s world and the power of Stephen King’s storytelling magic.

A Simon & Schuster audio production.

Released:
Apr 24, 2012
ISBN:
9781442346970
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Fairy Tale, Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). 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. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.


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Reviews

What people think about The Wind Through the Keyhole

4.4
213 ratings / 69 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    King's latest edition in the Dark Tower series is actually meant to come after the fourth book. While stuck hiding out from a storm Roland tells his ka-tet a story within a story. Roland tells the kat-tet of his early days as a gunslinger. He was sent to rid a town of a "skin-man" that had been terrorizing the people. While helping the town he finds a young boy that had barely missed becoming prey to the beast and while trying to keep the boy calm Roland tells him a story about a young man and a magical quest.
  • (4/5)
    A decent tale that enlightens us a bit more about Roland and his ka tet. It's not up to the best that King wrote in the other Dark Tower novels, but neither is it his worst. Fans of the series will certainly get their money's worth and be eager for more afterwards.
  • (4/5)
    The main frame story shows us our incredible ka-tet in a very nostalgic light. It's light and fun and, in a way I think is really brilliant, neutral enough to fit as a kind of "in-between" story. I read it after a year-long break from the series, midway through #5, and the tone of the frame fitted my previous impressions perfectly. However, it doesn't give us anything major. Roland's tale is interesting - especially the first part - and the titular tale is very fun, but neither really gives a truly solid pay-off. All three have excellent action but fizzle out at the end, as if closure was intentionally avoided to make this seem, again, like an "in-between" addition or supplement to the series.
  • (4/5)
    This book strays a little from the normal arc we've been following. While Roland and his band of travellers take shelter, he tells a story to entertain his friends although the story comes from the Book of Eld from which his mother used to read stories to him. We follow a young boy, Bill Streeter, who witnesses a grisly murderous rampage. A fable within a fable is basically what Stephen King has constructed and it is an extremely good read. (I can almost say that with each volume of The Dark Tower each one gets better and better. I say this after almost quitting after the first book.
  • (4/5)
    I've only recently started writing reviews and read this book when it finally arrived last year. I plan to do a more complete review after re-reading it in the suggested place in the DT series.

    I understand many folks frustration about TWTtK not actually being a DT novel. But I'm OK with it. The fairy tale Roland tells wrapped within his Skin-Man story is a glimpse into the past of Mid-world. As Roland says in TWL, "The quickest way to learn about a new place is to know what it dreams of." I'm always eager to learn more of Mid-World.

    Update after sequential reading:

    Yep, I'm still an easily entertained DT fan. I love the story of Tim Stoutheart, and would hear more. Also, more of Vannay. He had almost as much impact on Roland as Cort, but there doesn't seem to be as much about him as Cort. I guess that shows what's valued more, brute strength over mental acuity.

    My only issue with the part of this novel that focuses on the journey to the Dark Tower, is that the ka-tet feels different, somehow more emotional, than the rest of the story. Maybe because sai King has emotionally matured himself. Gotten to a point in his life where cherishing relationships is of more importance than when the series was started.

    So, again...not really a proper book review. More of a fan's rambling thoughts...
  • (4/5)
    Just as good as all the other Dark Tower books!
  • (5/5)
    Truly superb.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely loved it. Its always good to return to midworld. I hope this is not the last time I get to go.
  • (4/5)
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. As King states at the beginning you don't need to have read any of the other Dark Tower series (but why wouldn't you?) to follow this story. It's a self contained layer of stories within stories. Some of his best work in years. Never mind talk like a pirate day...we need a talk like a gunslinger day.
  • (5/5)
    This book took me by surprise. It reads like a fairy tale. I didn’t want it to end. It is a book I will listen to again. Plus I love Stephan King’s narration. It makes me want to read the Black Tower series
  • (5/5)
    Loved the book, but hated Stephen King's narration. He should stick to writing--he is not a great narrator.
  • (4/5)
    It's good, but veeeeeery long! Keep reading! and listening)!? I like It!
  • (5/5)
    Let the book hangover begin. Where do I go from here? After finishing The Dark Tower series I will be missing the friends I made along the way. One thing is for sure, though. This book of the series has me even more excited for the release of Fairy Tale!
  • (3/5)
    Really cool stories. They really took me away from this crazy pandemic and I was able to relax , be excited, relieved, happy and sad a bit. Nothing special but also totally worth the time.
  • (3/5)
    The Wind Through the Keyhole was a bit of a disappointment to me, felt more like someone trying to capitalize on the series name than an addition to the story. Basically just a fairytale set within the Dark Tower universe.
  • (5/5)
    I followed along with the book. I'm glad Mr. King read this for us because I could understand it much better (the dialect).
  • (3/5)
    This is a good book that acts to fill-in more of Roland’s world and story, than to advance his and his Ka-tet’s journey to the Datk Tower.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely love this book, but King's reading is terrible- PLEASE get a good cast togther to do an epic reading- it's begging for it
  • (4/5)
    This book just makes me want more Dark Tower stories whether it's the adult Roland or the younger one.
  • (4/5)
    This book contained the short story, "The Wind Through the Keyhole," inside the short story, "The Skin-Man," that was in turn, inside the short story that I call, "Starkblask (Dark Tower 4.5)." I would give "The Wind Through the Keyhole" a strong four almost five stars. The other two were three star material. I was surprised who was responsible for the crimes in "The Skin-man." I thought someone else did it. I would very much like a book set in the universe when the North Central Positronics LTD is fully operational, and the Guardians of the Beam (bat, lion, bear, horse, rat, wolf, rabbit, eagle, turtle, dog, fish, and elephant) are doing whatever they are doing.
  • (4/5)
    Loved it! Finished up the series in a couple months last year, and was saving this one as a treat, knowing there wouldn't be anything left afterwards. It was worth the wait, as it was a wonderful story.The biggest disadvantage is that (as the review before this one points out) it's a story within a story within a story. The main framing device has the ka-tet, and the secondary story only has Roland. "The Wind Through the Keyhole," the story young Roland tells to child in the story old Roland tells, doesn't have any of the main characters in it. But it's still a wonderful story. And I did enjoy the little peek into the law-keeping business of young Roland, and even what the man in black was sometimes up to long ago.More shocking to me was that Merlyn shows up in it. I had finished "The Once and Future King" just before this book, and had forgotten about the Arthur Eld connection in this series.Great stuff, though I am sad there isn't any more Dark Tower now.
  • (5/5)
    So glad I didn't wait to read this book and instead read it as book 4.5. The book is a story within a story within a story, told while our ka-tet waits out a crazy storm on their journey to the Dark Tower (after the Emerald City experience in book 4). We are given both another look at a young Roland on another assignment for his father as well as a taste of the storytelling that Roland grew up with. Both these tales bring you deeper into the character of Roland as well as the history/mythology of Mid-World. Definitely a hard book for me to put down, and the best evidence yet of how much King's writing improved from "The Gunslinger" (how much I did not like that book cannot fully be explained). Even though this novel was written after the "completion" of the original Dark Tower series, I am still looking forward to the rest of the books.
  • (3/5)
    I listen to this book from audible. Stephen King is the reader and does bring something to the story. I liked this book but yet was left wanting more from it. I have read the Dark Tower series from the beginning spanning some 20 years and loved them. This one is worth listening to, just don't expect this book to be one of the Dark Tower Novels.
  • (4/5)
    I love when Stephen King reads his own audio books. It just makes the listening experience that much better!
  • (4/5)
    I wrote this paragraph last. Call it poor planning on my part (for King's part, see below). I wouldn't want you to read the rest of this review and not understand this: I loved the book. It's totally engrossing. The setting is rich, and the story (in a story, in a story) is a total page-turner. I mean it; I recommend the book without reservation.

    Still, I wasn't so sure King knew where he was going from the outset, and the story suffers a bit due to his poor planning. It's a guess, but I think he sort of sat down and let the ideas pour. It's mostly the uneven, back-weighted pacing that led me to that conclusion, but I can see it in some other areas too. (Mild spoilers ahead)

    For example, King rolls in young gunslinger Jamie as if he's to be fleshed out and turned into a real boy, but I had the sense that story got away from its author and Curry wasn't needed to carry the tale after all, so he remained wooden, taciturn, and superfluous. In reverse, but still probably a result of the same poor planning, we see Roland all but adopt Billy Streeter while there's really not enough material presented in the book to weave them together so tightly. I'm assuming King decided early-on where the relationship would go and then never had a chance to write the scenes that justify Roland's attachment. That said, I do entertain the unsupported possibility that young Roland is feeling some backwards transference from the Jake-Roland relationship occurring later in his life or compounding Tim with Billy.

    I think the poor planning also shows up in the way King handled exposition. For about a third of the book, he over explains and dumbs-down his material. That's in addition to peppering the book with opportunities, both forced and somewhat natural, for back-story. That makes sense if one plans on later presenting a lot of ideas that could otherwise only have been understood by veteran readers. He doesn't. I think he planned to, but most of the catch-up was unnecessary. I'm pretty sure standalone readers could make it through the whole thing with hardly any of that. So, back to my original point, if King knew where he was going, I don't think he would have worried so much about easing new readers into Mid-World. For example, why reintroduce the ka-tet so carefully when we never return to them for more than an obligatory wrapper at the end of the book. He packs it in for the new readers (or forgetful fans) and then never unpacks.

    In terms of structure, of the three stories, two were developed and significant while one was only a vehicle for the others. I forgive that because the wrapper had to exist -- it's the enteric coating that allowed King to slip the others into the Dark Tower stream. Still, he could have weighted them appropriately. My guess is that he planned to do more with the ka-tet at the end of the book, but when he got there, he realized he'd already said all he needed.

    Anyhow, I had a great time reading the book and the inmost story is going to stick with me for a long time.
  • (4/5)
    Loved this book. I expected it to be so bad and out-of-touch with the feeling of the other Dark Tower books, but it wasn't. It felt like it fitted perfectly into the Dark Tower storyline/sequence. I did feel that Tim Ross's story was a bit too drawn-out, and I wish the Debaria side-story had gotten some more of the book's time.
  • (3/5)
    I don't feel like 'The Wind Through the Keyhole' had all the power of a full-fledged Dark Tower. The double frame story weakened the overall book, though I guess it was necessary to establish that Roland was telling a tale of his youth and what better way than to tell stories around a campfire riding out a starkblast. (Great name for a storm by the way and the descriptors were fabulous.)

    The story in the center of the frame, a fairytale told to young Roland by his mother years ago in Gilead is well done. It has excellent human elements of love, family, friendship, and betrayal. Magic and the Man in Black are extra-bonuses.

    The middle frame of Roland and Jaime going to find a 'skin-man' is weaker, but it has some touching moments of Roland and the boy Billy which hearken back to his relationship with Jake.

    Overall, probably a must read for Dark Tower fanatics, but not the best work in the series.
  • (5/5)
    Look, you're only going to read this if you're a Dark Tower fan. If you are, don't be afeared! Ka has been good to our Uncle Stevie and he's found one more little tale featuring our old friends. It's simple and nearly half of the book doesn't even feature Roland, let alone the rest of the ka-tet. But we get to see more of Mid-World and the way the world has moved on. We get a bit more insight into Roland's mind. We see what a true children's tale would be like, coming from King.

    Mostly, though, we just get the pure joy of getting something new - a new experience - out of a universe we all believed had pretty much been shut off for good. And that sort of pure joy is, I say true, the best kind in the world, thankee.

    Hile, gunslinger - and may we meet again someday.
  • (3/5)
    It didn't really do much to add to the Dark Tower story as the characters there sit down to listen to Roland tell a story. And he tells two, one nesting within the other. I liked it but I can understand those who hoped for more of Roland and the ka-tet being disappointed. Perhaps there will be another story one of these days.
  • (4/5)
    Well, it's a really good tale, two actually, but it really has very little to do with The Dark Tower, other than the fact that the ka-tet is in it. The tet is caught in a starkblast, and Roland tells the tale of the Skin-Man from when he was young. In that adventure, he tells the story of "The Wind Through the Keyhole" which has nothing to do at all with the DT! So... I liked the stories, but am bummed at how little they had to do with the overall saga.