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

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  30,020 Ratings  ·  48 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 full ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 26th 2004 by New American Library (first published September 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Wright
May 12, 2011 Richard Wright rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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
Feb 05, 2010 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
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
Jan 31, 2011 Amarand rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 14, 2014 Bryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 09, 2015 Drebbles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005
Having finished the Dark Tower books, but not willing to leave Roland and his ka-tet quite yet, I read The Road To The Dark Tower to take one more trip into Roland's world. I wasn't disappointed. The book begins with an overview of the history of the books and there is a chapter for each of the seven books, describing and analyzing the action in each one. The rest of the chapters deal with other Stephen King books that are related to the Dark Tower series; a detailed description of each major ch ...more
Kevin J.J. Carpenter
This book had tantalised me for years, and, like so many other things, it tasted nothing like I thought it would. The existence of the book is quite a conundrum in and of itself. It doesn't appeal to new readers of the Dark Tower, because it spoils all of the vital plot points and fabricates various others; it doesn't appeal to veteran readers, because everything it states (besides the fabrications and assumptions provided as fact) is lifted straight from the novels.

The essay-like presentation d
Rafal Jasinski
Jul 26, 2015 Rafal Jasinski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bev Vincent zaskoczył mnie swoim niezwykle kompleksowym podejściem zarówno w obrębie omawianego cyklu, jak również wszechstronną znajomością nie tylko dorobku Stephena Kinga, ale literatury, z której twórca "Mrocznej Wieży" czerpał inspiracje.

"Droga do Mrocznej Wieży" jest w moim odczuciu pozycją, której nie powinien pominąć żaden fan twórczości Kinga. Poza starannie streszczonymi poszczególnymi częściami "największego dzieła" autora "Mrocznej Wieży", sporo miejsca poświęcono pozycjom spoza cyk
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.
Jan 14, 2016 Tomeka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to stumble across this book (huge Stephen King fan bigger fan of the DT Series). I read it in one sitting and found myself bored with all the information that I could have easily gotten with a quick Google search. It's more like Cliff Notes, or a summary . I wouldn't say it's the author's fault, I had my own role to play in my disappointment, I thought I would be reading about so special information, fan secrets, or even an interview with "The King" about his personal journe ...more
Geert Daelemans
Aug 22, 2013 Geert Daelemans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, fantasy
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. Thatï¿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 in
May 25, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
R. Michael 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
Jan 14, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen, king, dark, tower, the, bev, vincent
A great summary not only of each of the 7 books and other novels about the tower, but a nice complement to the series as a whole. Vincent provides his summary, but then also reflects on ka and King's committment to the story as a whole and as his magnum opus.
Dec 19, 2013 Alina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 19, 2014 Stephen Herron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2014 Rosemary Jarrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Charles Bowen
May 14, 2016 Charles Bowen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This very long journey had great parts, good parts, and tedious parts.
Mar 13, 2016 Rishonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an important and necessary book for anyone who has read (and suspects there is more to) The Dark Tower series. The depth and exploration Bev Vincent gives to King's Magnum Opus allows the casual reader to access all the subtle clues and threads that pervade not just the seven Dark Tower novels, but numerous other King works.

If you want to fully understand Roland's journey, you'll need to pair these books with other King work, including It, Rose Madder, Hearts in Atlantis, Black House, Sa
Apr 03, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the entire series. Some of Kings best work!
Jul 18, 2013 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kat Connors
Apr 11, 2016 Kat Connors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting insights for those who have just delved in the the Dark Tower universe, but if you're a Dark Tower junkie, there's not a lot of new information does give you a kind of blueprint to related King books, and I did get a bit of closure on a few things I never could get to jive, but by and large not much I didn't already know. YMMV
Apr 01, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 09, 2012 Az rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2011 B.J. Keeton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 15, 2011 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 23, 2010 Lynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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