Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole

The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #8)The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While taking shelter from a storm along the Path of the Beam, Roland tells his ka-tet a story from his youth, about going up against a skin-man with Jamie DeCurry, in which he tells a frightened youth yet another story to bolster his courage...

First off, it pains me to give a Dark Tower book less than four stars but I thought this one was on par with Wizard and Glass.

The Wind Through the Keyhole is really three tales nested within one another. One features our beloved ka-tet, somewhere between the green city from the end of Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla, the second a tale from Roland's youth, and a third a fable from Roland's world. Since The Dark Tower is one of my all time favorite works, my expectations were extremely high and this book didn't live up to them.

It isn't a bad book, though. Roland and the ka-tet are true to form. It didn't feel forced or tacked on. Rather, the stories felt natural and fleshed out both Roland's background and the mythology of Mid-World. I liked the Covenant Man quite a bit and the tale of the skin-man held my interest. If they weren't part of The Dark Tower, I probably would have rated them higher. Tim's tale reminded me of Eyes of the Dragon, one of Stephen King's more underrated works.

I guess my main gripe was that there wasn't much in the way of gunslinging action. Sure, Roland got to strut his stuff a bit but I was hoping for something to explain the ka-tet's transformation between books four and five.

Despite my gripes, I did enjoy The Wind Through the Keyhole and I was quite pleased that King left the ending open enough that he could stick another book or two in before the gang gets to the Calla. That'll have to satisfy my Dark Tower jones for now.

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1 comment:

  1. The story finds Roland and his ka-tet of Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy (the billy-bumbler) on the path toward what will turn out to be Calla, when they stumble upon a ferryman who gives them passage to the far side of a waterway with some helpful advice and some food to see them along. Not long down the road, Oy warns Roland that a starkblast is coming - a ferocious tsunami of Arctic weather that decimates everything in its wake - and they are forced to seek shelter in the ruins of a nearby town. They hunker down to wait out the storm in the reinforced town-hall.

    Knowing they'll be holed up for a few days, Roland passes the time sharing a tale from his youth with the others as they attempt to stay warm around the fire; the tale involves young Roland and his fellow gunslinger Jamie (last seen in DT4: W&G) being sent out to a remote bordertown to investigate the particulars behind a series of killings being committed by a shapeshifting skin-walker. They arrive just after another attack and Roland takes young Billy (a survivor) under his protection while they look for the human form of the skin-walker amongst the miners in town. King takes a page from Inception, by having the younger incarnation of Roland share the tale of The Wind Through the Keyhole with Billy...hoping the old story will put the traumatized boy at ease and pass the time.