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The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
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The Wind Through the Keyhole (edition 2012)

by Stephen King

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1,772853,970 (4.07)2 / 63
Member:sturlington
Title:The Wind Through the Keyhole
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Simon and Schuster Digital Sales (2012), E-book
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Stephen King, Dark Tower cycle, Kindle ebook, parallel worlds, novel - series, read in 2012

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The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

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English (76)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
My experience of reading The Wind Through the Keyhole is one only a Dark Tower newbie could have, and so I decided to have it.

This novel -- practically a novella next to its gargantuan cousins -- was published just this year, but is meant to be "shelved" between the fourth Dark Tower book, Wizard and Glass, and the fifth, Wolves of the Calla. Which is to say it takes place, insofar as its outer loop of storytelling can be said to take place, between Roland's ka-tet's visit to the off-kilter Emerald City that turned the last ten percent or so of WaG into one giant in-your-ribs Wizard of Oz reference, and their arrival outside the Calla crescent whereat they get called on to be gunslingers in the good old fashioned sense. Like WaG, The Wind Through the Keyhole tells us a story of Roland's past, but nested within that story is another story, called "The Wind Through the Keyhole" which is a sort of Roland-world fairy tale presented in full as told by Roland to a child in the middle of the story from his past as told by Roland to Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy.

Got that? Good.

So this book really doesn't advance the Dark Tower plot one bit, but it's not meant to. It's meant to deepen and extend the mythology of Roland and his world a bit, while leaving the door (or keyhole) wide open for more of the same if there is demand. Or maybe even if there isn't. I can sort of imagine King spending his twilight years adding more and more volumes like these to his baby until new readers of the Dark Tower find themselves in a sort of Zeno's Paradox, chasing the last volume and its revelation and proper ending, but never quite getting to it because every step forward leads to a half-step forward and then a quarter-step forward and so on. Nor need all of them take place between WaG and WotC, Bog help us. And future wags will no doubt refer to these Dark Tower 4.5s and 4.7s and 5.12s and whatever as King's Silmarillion. Which will likely lead to much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of people like my friends who originally read this series one book at a time, waiting years between them, for just the original seven, and who then want everybody else to read them, except now there are like 17 of them plus the ones that King's children cobble together out of his random jottings on various flash drives and whatnot left posthumously behind...

On the other hand, maybe King pere et fils will show some restraint. I suspect a lot depends on how well this book has been received. Judging from Goodreads, the answer to that question is fairly well, though some fans are annoyed that its nature partakes more of WaG fan fiction than of the series as a staggering whole. Absolutely none of the perceived lacuna between the plots of WaG and WotC (which I am reading now and does seem to feature a staggering advancement in Roland's apprentices' skills and in the Schroedinger's Fetus that is just hand-waved as "some stuff happened between the novels") is filled; it's all just tangential texture.

But so back to how my experience in reading The Wind Through the Keyhole is something only newbies can have. I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that, based on what I've gleaned via King's bad habits of sending his characters message-dreams and whatnot that I've complained about elsewhere and of ham-handed foreshadowing generally, that most, if not all, of Roland's apprentices are not going to make it to the finish line. I might be wrong; I'm trying hard to avoid spoilers (and driving my friends crazy because I'm not reading these novels fast enough to suit them and they want to talk about them with me at great length, the darlings. Sorry, sweetnesses; I'm just not enough of a fan to want to devour these straight through without some breaks with other books) and so hope not to found out whether I'm right or wrong until the end. But, reading between the lines as I decided whether to read this or Wolves of the Calla next, I got the distinct impression that original readers of the series found it jarring or bittersweet or just plain weird to see characters with known fate/dooms walking around and learning and talking like they still had futures. For the, you know, 20 or so pages in which they appear in this book, anyway. As I said, I'll never know that experience. For me it's just the WaG mixture as before, except in that, glory be, no stupid teen romance in this one. For which I am grateful.

The stories themselves, especially the central fairy tale, have a lot of charm to them, a quality that seems to me rare in most of King's other work. There are still elements of peril and horror and heartbreak, to be sure, but somehow even depictions of, e.g. shredded bodies in the Roland-story of the terrible shape-shifter besetting a mining town, have kind of a light, fond touch. This is King putting an extra layer of delicious buttercream frosting on an already too-rich cake. He's having such fun, and buttercream is yummy; why stop him? Just, you know, don't let him totally encrust the thing with candy flowers and crap, okay?

But now I'm definitely hitting a wall of Dark Tower fatigue. Oy. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
it is wonderfully written, but not at all necessary to the plot lines of the series. ( )
  Darth-Heather | Jun 21, 2016 |
The final entry written in King's Dark Tower series, this novel slots between [Wizard and Glass] and [Wolves of the Calla] in the epic's timeline. Like Wizard and Glass, it consists almost entirely of a story told by Roland of events from long ago. As such, it does not advance the main plot line of the Dark Tower series at all, but is nevertheless an enjoyable evening spent with characters I've come to regard as friends. I'm glad I read it last, as it leaves me with a sweetly nostalgic feeling about the series overall. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
Stephen King returns to Mid-World and gunslinger Roland Deschain. I am a fan of the Dark Tower series and loved this book. Other reviews have complained of the story within a story, like Inception, but I thought it suited the story. ( )
  Arkrayder | Apr 22, 2016 |
Fantastic book. Loved being back in that world. ( )
  Traciinaz | Mar 17, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
iStockphoto/Thinksto…Cover artsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JaeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, DeniseCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This is for Robin Furth, and the gang at Marvel Comics.
First words
During the days after they left the Green Palace tha wasn't Oz after all -- but which was now the tomb of the unpleasant fellow Roland's ka-tet had known as the Tick-Tock Man -- the boy Jake began to range farther and farther ahead of Roland, Eddie, and Susannah.
Quotations
It seemed to him that if the wrong man stepped into the marriage-loop with a woman, it was a noose instead of a ring.
"I cut the rope so, chary man!"
Time was a face on the water, and like the great river before them, it did nothing but flow.
There's nothing like stories on a windy night when folks have found a warm place in a cold world.
Horror's a worm that needs to be coughed out before it breeds. Now tell them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a "skin man," Roland Deschain 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 Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, "The Wind through the Keyhole." (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.)… (more)

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