When I saw that Stephen King had a new book out I was ready to be first in line to read it, then I saw that it was another Dark Tower book and then I knew that I had to get my hands on it. I don’t know how many other Dark Tower fans are out there or how many were sad to see the last book come and go, but I know for myself I was happy to go back to Mid-World for another visit. I was a little concerned about how this would all fit into the original time lines but it’s Stephen King, I needn’t have worried.
This story-within-a-story finds Roland Deschain 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.”
I realized while reading this book that there were a lot of things still to learn about Roland Deschain. He had a long and event filled life before we met him chasing the Man in Black across the desert and he has not yet told all of his stories. I wondered how and if I would like the whole story-within-a-story style, I am not much for short stories they don’t give me enough to hold on to, but I soon lost myself in both Rolands’ present and his past. The stories were well told. I feel like Mr. King was telling Roland’s story and that Roland was telling his own. I don’t know how Mr. King does it but, he always finds an original and creative view and this book is no exception.
So if you want to sit and have another palaver with Roland Deschain grab “The Wind Through the Keyhole” you will not be disappointed. If you have not yet met Roland or visited Mid-World this would be a great place to start.
So, my recommendation: READ IT