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The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower #4.5)

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4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  39,770 Ratings  ·  3,759 Reviews
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Stephen King returns to the rich landscape of Mid-World, the spectacular territory of the Dark Tower fantasy saga that stands as his most beguiling achievement.

Roland Deschain and his ka-tetJake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling ga
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Hardcover, 335 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published February 21st 2012)
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Eileen I read it after the core DT series, after a few months. I highly recommend the same as it provides a bit of nostalgia value. I think reading it…moreI read it after the core DT series, after a few months. I highly recommend the same as it provides a bit of nostalgia value. I think reading it between books 4 and 5 will chop up the story a bit too much -- a lot of action happens during that time and you don't want to get derailed.(less)
Tyler I read it first and enjoyed it but it was kind of tricky to understand some of the terminology at first. It's a good stand alone and don't believe it…moreI read it first and enjoyed it but it was kind of tricky to understand some of the terminology at first. It's a good stand alone and don't believe it ruins any plot points in the other books but it's best to read it between 4 and 5. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
Shenanigans! I cry shenanigans on Stephen King!

King put me through years of mental torture with The Dark Tower series, but I was able to forgive once he finally delivered a fitting ending to that saga. So I had a lot of concerns about him returning to the story of Roland. I worried that King had come down with a vicious case of Lucasitis that was going to have him tinkering with this story repeatedly.

However, King’s public statements indicated that it would not change the core Dark Tower story
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Mark Lawrence
Jul 06, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The headline here is that I almost never read a book in 3 days - but I did this one and I was up past my bedtime turning pages.

Stephen King has written this series across the whole span of his adult life & both the character and quality of the series change across the decades (and also between front and back cover). For me Dark Tower as a whole is often spectacular, sometimes a bit weak, but mostly very good.

The Wind Through The Keyhole (TWTTK) is set just after my favourite of the series '
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Delee

Prologue:

No one said that the path to the beam, on the way to the Dark Tower was going to be this hard... I was promised rainbows and unicorns, from my fearless leader- Stepheny.... She CAN be kind of a liaaaaaaaaaar- and she is sort of insaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane- so I should have known this wasn't going to be easy.

...but sweet 8 pound 6 ounce baby Jesus- I had nooooooo forewarning that one of my beloved Ka-tet was going to fight tooth and nail..not to read 4.5. Getting everyone on board for this on
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Dan Schwent
Apr 30, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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 t
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Evgeny
Oct 26, 2015 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roland
Man with No Name
and his sidekicks (called ka-tet) were minding their own business and kept going towards the Dark Tower when suddenly they had to interrupt their journey in a hurry, find some shelter and stay put for several days. Roland tells a story from his younger days to kill time (Skin Man). In that story he in turn had to kill some time and recounted another - this time fictional - story named The Wind Through the Keyhole. Confused yet? I hope the following picture helps.
Russian nesting doll

So there is a story inside
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seak
May 30, 2012 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dark Tower lovers and lovers of a well-written tale.
Shelves: 2012, stephen-king
Welcome to flashback town, population - Wizard and Glass and The Wind Through the Keyhole.



(It's a terrible ride btw, unless you enjoy your head getting bashed over and over again.)

Wizard and Glass may have the record for length of flashback, but Wind Through the Keyhole goes Inception* on that flashback with a flashback** within a flashback.

*It's still accepted to reference Inception right?

**Okay, really it's a story within a flashback, but the story is a flashback to an even younger Roland te
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Jeff
This is the chilling prequel to my review of Wizard and Glass.

Inside the adobe the temperature dropped noticeably. If it weren’t for the fire in the hearth the ka-tet would have been shivering uncontrollably.

Outside the winds from the starkblast reverberated off the dwelling like the screams of a banshee in heat. The crack of exploding trees sounded like water balloons bursting against concrete.

The tall blonde turned to the strapping man, a Cheshire smile painted on her face, “You know, I have a
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Ɗắɳ  2.☠
Dec 28, 2015 Ɗắɳ 2.☠ rated it really liked it


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Whoops! Wrong quote there, but it seems somewhat appropriate for such a polarizing little book. I’m truly shocked at how varied the ratings are on this one, even amongst friends whose opinions I trust. I typically avoid all the .5 stories, since they’re usually just pointless filler, and seeing some of those one star ratings out there was not especially encouraging. Our fearless leade
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Christina
May 08, 2011 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK ... This book has nowhere near come out. SO HOW IN THE HELL CAN PEOPLE RATE IT ALREADY? I'm giving it five stars just to counteract the negativity.
Stepheny
*My shiny new updated review for my re-read*

As I look back on our long and treacherous journey I am not shocked to see that there have been some casualties. I wish I could say I was, but the Quest for the Dark Tower has claimed many of lives. Aye, so it has. We lost one to demon sex, one to Japanese comics, one who ran so far ahead of us without looking back and one just kind of backed slowly away… ( I get that last one a lot…I can’t imagine why!) But as we have lost some, we have also gained so
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Trudi

Sigh. Well, it's finished. I will now try and express some of my deep disappointments here even though it will hurt me to do so. Kemper's review captures much of what frustrated me and left me feeling cheated by the whole affair. To be promised another Dark Tower installment and offered this underwhelming book in its place, so loosely tethered to the source material as to feel as if someone else wrote it, a comical pastiche in parts that tries too hard to be Dark Tower worthy -- well, it just le
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Kevin Michael
Apr 10, 2012 Kevin Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was good to be back in Midworld, if only for a short visit. This book is three stories in one, and those looking for an expansion of the quest for the Tower will be disappointed. Only the frame story contains Roland and his ka-tet from our world. Roland tells Jake, Eddie, and Susannah a tale from his days as a young gunslinger, but even that story is just another frame for the true story: The Wind Through the Keyhole, a fairytale Roland's mother told him when he was a young boy. The fairytale ...more
Mitchel Broussard
As a bridge between Wizard and Glass & Wolves of the Calla, this book couldn't be more perfect. It draws on the dark, down-to-earth nostalgia of growing up in a harsh, mean world that Wizard did beautifully, but it also introduces the bat-shit crazy, heady material of alternate dimensions and dense mythos that Wolves began introducing in its later pages. So it may not move the overall plot forward, but it's not supposed to. That plot already ended eight years ago. This is a bridge book. A bo ...more
Chris
....

Uummmmm. What do I say? For as long as I've been on GR, I've seen the debate on the Dark Tower. Which story era is more enjoyable? The "present day (sorta)" ka-tet of Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Jake, and Oy. Or the "Young Roland" era when he ran with Alain, Cuthbert, and Jamie?

So as I'm about to start this book, I find out that many of the "present day" crews are disappointed because we get a little time with the ka-tet, only to have the story shift back in time with Roland telling another sto
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Becky
3.5 Stars
Believe it or not, there was a time when I hadn't read the Dark Tower series... but we don't talk about that. It's a painful time in my history, and polite company lets me keep my shame to myself. But I mention it because since stepping foot into the Tower multiverse, everything changed. I thought I was a Stephen King fan until I read the Dark Tower series, but I had no idea how much I could love King and his books. I adore this series. No other series or book can claim a higher spot i
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T.J.
Jun 08, 2012 T.J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful entry into the Dark Tower series that King supposedly completed in 2004. Think of this as DT 4.5, after Glass and before Wolves. We don't spend much time with the Ka-tet, as Roland tells them a story of his past while they take shelter from a storm (a "starkblast"--great imagery behind that name). As Roland tells the tale of hunting a shifter in a small town, King then takes it further and tells a story WITHIN the story, that of a boy who must attempt to save his mother's life. It's ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Does this guy ever stop? I sure hope not. Live forever, Stevie baby, live forever.

3.5 stars
j
I have read a few negative reviews of this book that make excellent points about why this is a disappointing addition to the Dark Tower canon. I can't really disagree with them. And yet I enjoyed this story. The difference, I think, lies more with my expectations than the execution.

My favorite part of the Dark Tower is the world King slowly assembled over the course of the series, and the way he eventually tied it in to a dozen or so of his other novels, creating a vast meta-fictional landscape.
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Bookwraiths
Mar 29, 2013 Bookwraiths rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
I've been plowing along with The Dark Tower series for a little while now, and it has been a love/hate relationship at best, though more love than hate lately. Sometimes, however, you just stumble upon the perfect book; it has the right character with the right story for you at just the right time of your life. The Wind Through the Keyhole is that book for me I suppose, and if you are mesmerized by Roland the Gunslinger and the world he grew to manhood in, this book will also be that for you. It ...more
Jennifer
Apr 29, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kevin
Shelves: fiction
Adding this with some trepidation and suspicion, as the last two books in this series were so bad. This appears to be a prequel and could be better. But if Stephen King appears as a character in it, all bets are off.

Updating this on 4/29/12: I read this today. So much better than the last two Dark Tower books. This one takes place in the middle of things, between books 4 and 5. It is a novella within a story within yet another story. It was a fine quick read, and nice to spend another spell with
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Jason Parent
Nov 05, 2015 Jason Parent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wind Through the Keyhole was a very enjoyable listen, and Stephen King read it to me. He's not as good as his usual narrator, but he's still a pretty damn good storyteller (in the reading aloud sense, as well as the writing sense).

With this 4.5 installment of The Dark Tower, King weaves a story inside a story inside a story, with each one drawing me in. This was a solid 5 star read almost all the way through. Working inwards out, the fable of Tim Stoutheart is near perfect (view spoiler)
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Kelli Lee
Apr 30, 2012 Kelli Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dark Tower fans and everyone else
Recommended to Kelli by: Me, myself, and I
Nothing short of amazing, this story within a story within a story. I want to say more, but for the time being, what a bittersweet feeling I'm left with. Having to say good-bye yet again to my beloved Oy, Jake, and Roland. Especially Oy. I sincerely hope there will be more revisits, journeys into the Dark Tower world. And what a journey it was!

And for those wondering if they can read/ enjoy this book actually never having read The Dark Tower series. Here's your answer, in the form of a snippet
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Paul Nelson
Oct 19, 2014 Paul Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books-read
I listened to the audio version of The Wind through the Keyhole, narrated by the author himself, which I think made it that little bit more special because Stephen King has one of those voices in more ways than one, that demands your attention as if you’re listening to a master story-teller. Which you definitely are.

The Wind through the Keyhole is a nail-biting story about the trials and tribulations of a young boy named Tim Ross, told to Roland by his mother as a young boy.

Roland & his Ka-
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Kevin Xu
This book can be read as a standalong as this book has nothing to do with the main story of the Dark Tower series, but more of a black story as Wizard and Glass and The Dark Tower Graphic Novels are as a black story. This right after Wizard and Glass as Roland and Company hides from a coming story as Roland tells a story about his past where he brings his mother, and how he hunts down a Magican known as the Skin-Man, who can change into different forms of animals at night, killing people. While ...more
Franco  Santos
Jul 08, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
El tiempo es un ojo de cerradura. Sí, eso creo. A veces nos agachamos y atisbamos a su través. Y el viento que entonces sentimos en la mejilla, el viento que sopla por la cerradura, es el aliento de todo el universo viviente.
Un libro del cual me esperaba muy poco y me terminó dando muchísimo. Forma parte de la saga de La Torre Oscura pero no es indispensable para entender la misma.
—¿Y si me caigo? —Gritó Tim.
Maerlyn se rió.
—Tarde o temprano, todos lo hacemos.
Es una novela conformada por h
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Melissa
As The Dark Tower 4.5, this book sits right at the point in the series where, for me, it all went downhill. Too much time passed between books back then and the characters stopped being who they were and started being who Stephen King was telling me they were. From Wolves of the Calla on, I could never shake the picture in my head of King sitting behind the words, plinking on about commalas and positronics and swapping consonants needlessly for apostrophes. When he (view spoiler) ...more
Kandice
Oct 13, 2015 Kandice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me, or to be accurate, a re-listen since I audio-ed this time. Originally I read it after the final Dark Tower installment because that’s when it was published. I don’t remember when I first re-read it, but probably on it’s own. This time I read it, technically, out of order as well. I absolutely understand why it belongs after Wizard and Glass and for anyone reading the first time (now that they are all available) I would encourage that order. For those of experiencing it ...more
Bob Milne
Apr 30, 2012 Bob Milne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
Stephen King begins The Wind Through the Keyhole with a nod to Robin Furth and the gang at Marvel Comics. It's a fitting dedication since, with the exception of a narrative framing piece, this really could have (perhaps even should have) been a story arc in the comic series.

That's not to say I disliked it, just that it really adds nothing of value or context to the overall Dark Tower saga. It's nice to revisit friends, and immeasurably comforting to fall back into the language of Mid-World (say
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Dustin
May 08, 2012 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites


I adored every word, and it definitely qualifies as a DT novel. It just left me wanting more...more of Roland and his Ka-Tet, more of the sighe (she's an awesome character, BTW.) Maybe I was anticipating too much because I'm used to being spoiled by King, and he very rarely disappoints, IMO, but I also wanted to know more about Roland's youthful adventures, young Bill Streeter, Tim "Stoutheart," and a things or two more that I won't mention here.
I think there are more questions than answers..
I'
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Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
More about Stephen King...

Other Books in the Series

The Dark Tower (7 books)
  • The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)
  • The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, #2)
  • The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3)
  • Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)
  • Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5)
  • Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6)
  • The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7)

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“What if I fall?', Tim cried.

Maerlyn laughed. 'Sooner or later, we all do.”
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“In the end, the wind takes everything, doesn't it? And why not? Why other? If the sweetness of our lives did not depart, there would be no sweetness at all.” 66 likes
More quotes…