The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus
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The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  22,812 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In 1970, Stephen King embarked on what would become the crowning achievement in his literary career-the Dark Tower. The seven-volume series, written and published over a period of 30 years, was inspired by Robert Browning's poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," as well as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and the spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone.

With the ful...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by NAL Trade
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gayane
This is what you do, Steve King, turning readers into Tower junkies. Well, I was ready to dive back into the series the moment I turned the last page of The Wind Through the Keyhole, holding back was just too hard. I also knew that one could miss many details while reading such an epic story, so I picked this book, and guess what? There were a lot of pieces in the puzzle I have never noticed or haven't been able to put in place while reading. Bev Vincent's The Road to the Dark Tower helped me fi...more
Richard Wright
I read this in pretty much a sitting on the way back from the World Horror Convention in Texas, where I picked up a copy from the author. I'm a huge fan of King's epic seven part series, my main reason for picking the book up, but really didn't know what to expect from this. I was disappointed, in the end. Though well written, the book is more summary than exploration. I suppose if you hadn't understood the books in the first place, the chapter long synopses of each novel might be useful, but ot...more
Patrick
Indispensable for anyone who has just finished the series, this companion piece answers most questions and fills in any gaps you might have upon completion. Especially important for me are the connections of Dark Tower elements to other King works I was unfamiliar with. There are explanations of each of his other books having relations to DT, so I was able to get the whole picture of "Hearts in Atlantis" and "Insomnia," since I haven't read those but feature characters who appear in DT. I skippe...more
Amarand
I enjoyed this book. Certainly easier to read than the Dark Tower concordances. Well written and well researched, the author does an excellent job of summarizing and highlighting the parts of the Dark Tower series (seven books) while illuminating key facts one might miss while reading this opus. Helps tie things together and even mentions some concepts not everyone will pick-up during a first read-through. I found some of the sections repetative but still interesting and useful as a whole.
Bryan
Disappointed in this one. I was hoping for some new insights into the Dark Tower series, subtle things I might have missed, connections I might not have made, etc. What I got was 90% lifted word for word from the subject novels. I just finished reading The Dark Tower, I didn't start this book so that I could read it again.

Chapter 1 was a moderately interesting account of the publishing history of the series. Chapters 2-8 contain a synopsis of the entire series, and this section was painful to g...more
Chris
Looking for a way to revisit Roland and his ka-tet without reading the entire 4000 pages of The Dark Tower series?

Read The Wind Through the Keyhole.

Then here is the place to go. It's a great overview to the characters and story of King's masterpiece.

Do not read this book unless you have finished all 8 7 Dark Tower books. It will spoil it, otherwise.
Geert Daelemans
The perfect guide to the Dark Tower saga

In The Road to The Dark Tower Bev Vincent takes the fans on a journey through the wonderful world of Stephen King's Magnus Opus. He starts off with a meticulous analysis of the seven Dark Tower books, nicely avoiding any academic mumbo jumbo. That�s effectively one of the strong points of this book: it does not judge, only analyses the storyline and helps find surprising links you missed while reading the books. In a second part the author dives deeper i...more
Jamie
This rating is probably more due to my being a Dark Tower fan more than anything else. The book itself is fine, but not outstanding. It plays well to my favorite aspect of the DT series: the world King built and the carryover between the Tower books and his others works. I wouldn't say that there's much in the way of criticism here, more summary of books and characters. But it was fun to dip back into the DT world after reading a few of the prequel comics.
Mike Fox
Overall, this is an excellent companion, probably most helpful after one has read the Dark Tower series. The strengths of the book are its demonstrations of ways the series (inter-)connects with King's other writings and its character studies near the end. The weak part is that some of the book is merely a streamlined retelling of the series, although I do admit it's helpful to get a bird's view and the author makes keen observations in the process.

This book would probably only be valuable to th...more
Alina
The fact that this book is mostly synopsis (and very useful in that respect) and only a little bit actual nerdy, scholarly stuff only serves to prove one thing: The Dark Tower series can't be mapped, set in time-frames, categorized, studied closely or even explained too thoroughly. The guide is best read after finishing the books, to fix all the main events firmly in one's mind and revisit the entire picture one last time. But as far as trying to pry the world(s) of the Dark Tower at the seams t...more
Stephen Herron
Unreadable in Kindle format

Almost all punctuation has been stripped out as well as the odd space between words. This is a huge disappointment.
Rosemary Jarrell
I loved some books more than others, but this is a masterful work by a modern giant. Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings, marries and has Louis L'Amore babies!!
Robert
Loved the entire series. Some of Kings best work!
Sean
Way too much synopsis. The author tells readers to put the book down and go read the whole series first - so if they do so, then why would they need moment-by-moment recaps of each book? (It is helpful for the nonseries books that are connected, I will say). The essays in the back of the book (about art and creativity related to King, whether the DT is King's magnum opus, etc) are the real treat of the book, as well as the millions of chapter endnotes that show so many more sources for King inte...more
Illyanna Castaneda
I have read many Steven King books, and this one seemed to be a step back. I am always looking for a thrill in my books which is why I go right to Steven King as an author, however this book wasn't really that scary and neither was the previous book in this series. Yes there were points in the book that were very amusing but the sections between those parts barley kept me going. However if you love the way Steven King puts his words and don't like so much of a thrill than pick up this book and G...more
Joann
After finally finishing...maybe...who knows what second or third thoughts may be coming, King's multi volume opus which I throughly enjoyed, I took a look at this. It's interesting and helpful. If I owned the books I certainly would buy it, but I don't. Read everything from the library, and so the value of a book like this very limited. If you own the dark tower set, buy all means get this book. When you can't remember certain details or where they occurred and when, this will solve your problem...more
Dana
Had to read this after reading the series and was not disappointed. The author saved me from rereading all the books (I am actually reading "The Gunslinger" again) and taking a lot of notes.... A lot of things became much clearer, some things surprised me.
I think this is a great supplement to read after (!!!!) the series, again thanks Tiffany!
Az
A good read for us DT/King fans. Vincent has put a lot of work into this. The novel summaries were a bit lengthy and not as interesting as the other chapters, but they did provide some insightful observations. Overall It was worth it. I just wish I could erase DT from my mind and read it for the first time again.
Richard Burkinshaw
yea not bad i guess for this kind of book.
B.J. Keeton
I was expecting a lot more scholarship out of this book than I was given. Instead of analysis of the books, readers are given huge chunks of summary, which would be more bearable if the summary occasionally offered insight. As it stands, I can't think of any reason to recommend this book.
Wayne
Not much to say here, as this book speaks for itself. This is a solid overview and exploration of The Dark Tower as a whole, and it was nice to revisit the series in cliff note form. Highly recommended to any fan of DT, though any self respecting fan would already know that.
Lynne
It's a good reference book if nothing else. I did pick up a few theories (none I can remember off the top of my head) that didn't occur to me while reading the series originally. But I'm still disappointed with the series overall.
Jess
This was mostly synopsis, which was kind of boring since it proceeds without the magic of King's storytelling. It did provide some insights, so if you're totally obsessed with The Dark Tower it might be worth a read.
David
I found this to be very well written, much more so than Robin Furth's Concordance. It enhanced my enjoyment for the series, and BV provided many insights to the DT series as well as King's related works.
Jason
A fascinating and exhaustive reference for any fan of the Dark Tower series. I really enjoyed all the endnotes that led to a richer understanding of all of the DT novels.
Kevin Driskill
The great story that brings together the work of a lifetime by King is here unpacked book by book. Essential to the story is how it came about, you will love it.
Lisa
One of the first purchases I made on my kindle. Love King. Love The Dark Tower books. This is a fabulous read, which I recommend highly if you are a fan.
Gina
Sep 16, 2007 Gina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who truly loved and appreciated the Dark Tower series
This is the book I wish I'd written. Actually, I really think I could have if I was more motivated and not such a scatterbrain.
Brett (brettb734)
A must read for any one who is interested in learning all there is to know about The Dark Tower series.
Frank
Some excellent analysis of books, characters, and themes. A must for DT diehards, may it do ya.
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