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For those discovering the epic best-selling Dark Tower series for the first time—and for its legions of dedicated fans—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 2003-2004, 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.

Please Note: The Wind Through the Keyhole is nine hours long. It begins immediately following a foreword from the author (2:44) and ends at 9:44:11.

Next, following The Wind Through the Keyhole (9:44:12) is a four and a half minute preview of The Dark Tower VII, read by George Guidall.

And finally, following the preview for The Dark Tower 7 (9:48:55) is a short introduction and the first chapter of Doctor Sleep, both read by the author (9:48:56) that is 40 minutes long.

©2012 Stephen King (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

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Reunion with the Dark Tower Ka Tet

Of course I did not want to miss the opportunity to meet my old friends from the Dark Tower Series again. Unfortunately the encounter is very brief and does not reveal a lot of new information. I am not sure, whether the narrative has some merit as a standalone story.

Going through the story is like peeling an onion.
In the first layer we meet Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy on their way to the dark tower. They have to take refuge from a starkblast, an extremely strong storm with incredibly low temperatures, and to pass the time, Roland is telling a story from his early days.

In this part we learn a little bit more about the young Roland, his early friends, his father and his complex relationship to his mother. Still a very young man and novice gunslinger he is sent to a far away province to solve a series of mysterious and cruel murders. He finds a young boy, the sole survivor of a ghastly and brutal massacre, and takes him under his protection. To calm him down, he tells him a story, his mother was telling him, when he was a small child, "the wind through the keyhole".

This is the only really great part of the book. It is a story with a little bit of magic, but also filled with the problems of a young boy growing up to become a man, a story of courage and fear, perseverance and despair. Stephen shows his skill in telling a story and he knows, how to enchant the reader.

After all, it is a nice and harmless book, but it does not really add a lot the great Dark Tower books

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