Thursday, March 1, 2012

Help | I Need Dark Tower Advice: The Wind Through the Keyhole

As some of you may know, I've been slowly making my way through Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. The last Dark Tower book I read was book #4 Wizard and Glass.

Earlier this week I was browsing Goodreads, and I noticed this after the title of The Wind Through the Keyhole:

(The Dark Tower #4.5)

Wait... what?

So I read the description for The Wind Through the Keyhole:

From Stephen King's Official Site

Dear Constant Readers,

At some point, while worrying over the copyedited manuscript of the next book (11/22/63, out November 8th), I started thinking—and dreaming—about Mid-World again. The major story of Roland and his ka-tet was told, but I realized there was at least one hole in the narrative progression: what happened to Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy between the time they leave the Emerald City (the end of Wizard and Glass) and the time we pick them up again, on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the beginning of Wolves of the Calla)?

There was a storm, I decided. One of sudden and vicious intensity. The kind to which billy-bumblers like Oy are particularly susceptible. Little by little, a story began to take shape. I saw a line of riders, one of them Roland’s old mate, Jamie DeCurry, emerging from clouds of alkali dust thrown by a high wind. I saw a severed head on a fencepost. I saw a swamp full of dangers and terrors. I saw just enough to want to see the rest. Long story short, I went back to visit an-tet with my friends for awhile. The result is a novel called The Wind Through the Keyhole. It’s finished, and I expect it will be published next year.

It won’t tell you much that’s new about Roland and his friends, but there’s a lot none of us knew about Mid-World, both past and present. The novel is shorter than DT 2-7, but quite a bit longer than the first volume—call this one DT-4.5. It’s not going to change anybody’s life, but God, I had fun.

-- Steve King

You can guess my question right? Which one should I read next?

I've been under the impression (aka my own assumption) that I was to read The Wind Through the Keyhole once I reached the end of the series. If The Wind Through the Keyhole is considered #4.5, should I read The Wind Through the Keyhole next instead of The Wolves of the Calla?

What would you do if you were me?


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  1. SK got very meta with the last 4 books, weaving in threads that touched nearly all of his other novels, and I have to think this will continue that trend. Personally, I would hold off and read them in the order they were published, just in case he foreshadows or otherwise spoils something from further on in the series.

  2. I think you could probably go either way, Jen. Bob makes a good point, though.

  3. Well, I can't answer your question but I just want to say you are brave! haha. Stephen's books are so intimidating. I have been wanting to read one though.

  4. Thanks for the advice, Bob. That's definitely something to consider. I really hate being spoiled.

    Hi, Andrew. :) You're probably right. Maybe better safe than sorry, though?

    Giselle - you really should read at least one Stephen King. You could always pick something shorter or a collection. I think you would like Full Dark, No Stars. It has 4 novellas in it. You could read other things in between each one.

  5. I've had the same thoughts as well! I think that Bob is right, though. Since the series is a reread for me, I don't think it would make a difference when I read it, but I think that you should maybe wait until after you've finished the main series before you pick up Wind Through the Keyhole. You really wouldn't want anything spoiled!

  6. Thanks for weighing in, Samantha Leighanne. I knew you'd have some great advice for me. I think I'm going to listen to you and Bob and read it last. I'm curious to see what order you will read them in during your reread, though. :)

  7. Wolves of the Calla was _okay_. Song of Susannah was the worst Stephen King book I have ever read (if not one of the worst books I've finished, period), and if I read the DT series again, I will probably skip it entirely. There is definitely a continuation gap between 4 and 5. A serious gap. I would say, if you wanted to experience what everyone else did reading this - read them in order, then read 4.5. If you want to read them in a way the author thinks they go, read 4.5 first.

  8. Hi JEM! If you read my DT reviews, you will see I'm not really a fan of the series. That's why it is taking me so long to make my way through them.

    I keep thinking about The Chronicles of Narnia. I read those chronologically because that's what C.S. Lewis recommended. Die hard Narnia fans say they should be read in published order, but I rather enjoyed them the way the author later recommended.

    It's a conundrum.

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