Meagan’s Fiction Pick:
(Scribner, April 2012)
Or… The Dark Tower 4.5 (as King describes it in his introduction). If you haven’t read any of Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series- first I’d ask why not, then tell you to read this book because you don’t really need to have read the first four to understand the plot of the novel. It’s all kind of explained anyway. Sort of. You’ll enjoy the novel either way.
Published four years after the final Dark Tower novel, “The Wind Through The Keyhole” promises to fill in some of the blanks of the fairly mysterious past of the last gunslinger, Roland Deschain. This is where I have to admit- I found the novel didn’t live up to my expectations in that sense, but it was still very good and does fit well into the Dark Tower world. The novel starts when Roland and his ka-tet are storm stayed in an abandoned village by a deadly Starkblast (a storm that makes Manitoba winters seem like a tropical getaway) and Roland is persuaded to tell stories to pass the time. He begins with a tale of one of his first adventures as a teen; being sent to a mining town to stop a deadly Skin-man (or shape-shifter) and moves into a tale his mother used to read to him when he was but a ‘sma one’. There’s not much actually reviled about Roland, expect the distinct change in him following the death of Susan Delgado in “Wizard and Glass” and the aftermath of his mother’s death.
That being said, I did enjoy the book and would view it as a night, light break in the fairly lengthy and at times heavy Dark Tower series. In “Wind Through The Keyhole”, Roland is made to seem a little more human and it is overall a good and interesting read. If you’re a long-time King fan or just looking for a good fantasy read, I would suggest this book. And remember; “A person’s never tool old for stories. Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.” (Roland Deschain)