I’m a Dark Tower fan from way back. I’ve read and re-read all the Dark Tower novels at least twice (reading the series right through from beginningI’m a Dark Tower fan from way back. I’ve read and re-read all the Dark Tower novels at least twice (reading the series right through from beginning to end), and I’ve read a few of the individual novels in the series at least 3 times, sometimes more. So suffice it to say that I really looked forward to the new “in-between” story, Wind Through the Keyhole.
I did enjoy reading Wind Through the Keyhole, warts and all. It’s not a bad read in any way, but potential Dark Tower initiates beginning with this particular installment may become terribly lost. So, potential readers, be warned: Wind Through the Keyhole is really a novel for the Dark Tower fanatics. It is, after all, a retroactive story-within-a-story-within-a-story novel where the metafiction oozes from the pages in resplendent style. Of course King has done this on purpose; Roland is complex, and thus, so are the stories in which he is always at the centre. In this case the story is layered like a thick onion peel, and such a fashioned narrative may be challenging for certain readers.
I am giving the novel 3 stars because I found myself wanting to get more out of it. Maybe this is because Wind Through the Keyhole is not all that long (322 pages or so). To have 3 separate stories take place simultaneously, the novel, as a whole, felt rushed. Maybe this is just a sense of things to come? Perhaps King plans on revisiting Dark Tower again in the near future? Who knows...
Take what you will from it in the end, but remember this: if Wind Through the Keyhole seems too complicated, then it’s probably a good idea to read Dark Tower from the beginning and insert this installment in its proper chronological order, between novels four and five. ...more
I enjoyed 11/22/63 but I cannot give it a five-star rating. It was enjoyable, but it started to drag a little bit three-quarters of the way in. I’m noI enjoyed 11/22/63 but I cannot give it a five-star rating. It was enjoyable, but it started to drag a little bit three-quarters of the way in. I’m not sure why. It wasn’t like King’s prose was obtuse, complicated or hard to read — it wasn’t, the prose actually flowing quickly throughout the whole novel. There was just something about the novel that dragged. No offence Mr. King. I also had a hard time getting past certain historical inadequacies. I guess that’s the problem with historical fiction: once a reader spots a mistake, it is very hard for the reader to let it go. Here are the ones I had a hard time getting over (I’m certain other readers will find more):
• When King makes reference to hunters in the late 50s, he mentions that they are wearing bright orange clothing. However, I don’t think blaze orange clothing was in widespread use in the 50s, and I don’t believe its use was mandated by law. Instead, red and black checkered clothing was the cultural norm. • At one point a character from the novel (set in the early 60s) mentions “swag” in a sentence. I am positive that no one used the acronym for “shit we all get” back then. • King also uses the word “pix” in reference to photographs in that long-ago setting — again hearkening back to the present (the mind reels!), slang-infused and otherwise lazily written 21st century.
These are just the ones that prevented me from having a seamless, suspension-of-disbelief read. I’m sure there are tons more in the novel, available for eagle-eyed readers the world over. And this is the problem with historical fiction; you never know what the reader will actually think, interpret, and see. It’s important to get the facts right. All nay-saying aside, I did enjoy 11/22/63. Kudos to King for at least writing such an ambitious novel. In the case of 11/22/63 it is a pseudo-historical fiction, but mostly the novel is good ol’ Speculative Fiction. ...more
I love me a good Dark Tower story, I say I do, I do. I also love me a good metaphysical yarn, one that explores alternative dimensions and universes.I love me a good Dark Tower story, I say I do, I do. I also love me a good metaphysical yarn, one that explores alternative dimensions and universes. In Ur King successfully pulls off both simultaneously to great satisfaction and delight. This is a very delightful and satisfying read if you are a fan of The Dark Tower and Hearts in Atlantis....more
This book is a little hard to review because it is not complete, so I won't go into great detail and elaboration. However, as a result of the abrupt eThis book is a little hard to review because it is not complete, so I won't go into great detail and elaboration. However, as a result of the abrupt ending seemingly in the middle of a story, I was left feeling somewhat unsatisfied at the end of this read, so much so that I'd be hard pressed to recommend it to someone else. Nonetheless, I am a longtime King fan and so I appreciated the story for what it was, especially the fact that it was very much a part of The Dark Tower universe. I won't spoil it here, but if you are a Dark Tower, read "Zenith Rising" and you will see. ...more
Blockade Billy was an okay read that I completed in one sitting. Thus, it is short and not hard to get through. Some of the dialogue is pretty baseba Blockade Billy was an okay read that I completed in one sitting. Thus, it is short and not hard to get through. Some of the dialogue is pretty baseball-centric, so if one doesn't understand the game, or is unfamiliar, this might be off-putting. My other criticism is that this is actually a short story and leaves a lot to be desired in terms of back story and plot. Calling it sparse would be an understatement. Nevertheless, die-hard King fans will enjoy Blockade Billy. Blockade Billy was also the first Stephen King ebook that I read, and that in itself was an enjoyable experience. The textual presentation and layout was very nice, complete with black-and-white illustrations that pepper the book. ...more
A nice continuation to the series, and nice to meet new characters, particularly Aileen. I'm not sure if she is mentioned in the original novels, andA nice continuation to the series, and nice to meet new characters, particularly Aileen. I'm not sure if she is mentioned in the original novels, and this might provoke criticisms from some die-hard fans of the novel. Time will tell how this new character stands up compared to the true Dark Tower characters. ...more
The Long Road Home is better than The Gunslinger Born in a lot of small ways. The dialogue is better and instead of rehashing what was written in WizaThe Long Road Home is better than The Gunslinger Born in a lot of small ways. The dialogue is better and instead of rehashing what was written in Wizards and Glass, The Long Road Home breaks new ground and develops story points only hinted at in the King novels. This is a good thing and serves the graphic novel medium well. Most importantly what's written in The Long Road Home is fresh and original. ...more
The Gunslinger Born is an excellent introduction to the Dark Tower Universe, especially for younger readers who have yet to experience the longer noveThe Gunslinger Born is an excellent introduction to the Dark Tower Universe, especially for younger readers who have yet to experience the longer novels—indeed, The Gunslinger Born should whet a young reader's appetite for story in all the right places as it is wont to leave a reader continually wanting to know more. And therein also lies my criticism: skimming the surface of the story of the Dark Tower universe potentially jeopardizes how a reader may react to the story of Roland and his quest. For example, one may feel unsatisfied at the end of The Gunslinger Born and not want to read any more, thereby ruining further chances of really getting into The Dark Tower. The Gunslinger Born is a retelling of King's fourth novel in the series, Wizards and Glass. Thankfully after the story arc of The Gunslinger Born is completed, the writers turn to uncharted territory and develop stories and events that have only been hinted at in the novels, thereby creating new and unique experiences for the reader heretofore unpublished. However, that is not the case with The Gunslinger Born and so for long time fans of The Dark Tower the first story arc of the comic leaves a lot to be desired. ...more
The text of Cycle of the Werewolf was originally intended to be a story printed on a werewolf-themed calendar that incidentally grew too large for theThe text of Cycle of the Werewolf was originally intended to be a story printed on a werewolf-themed calendar that incidentally grew too large for the calendar format and was subsequently published as a novel instead. Thus, the story was never intended to be enjoyed in the novel format. Consequently, Cycle of the Werewolf does not work all that well: it is not at all scary and the characters are not very engaging and are not fleshed out or fully defined. Even while reading this novel the reader is hard-pressed to remember specific details about the characters, let alone their names and what makes them unique. It is obvious that Cycle of the Werewolf was a money-making ploy, a gimmick, something to peddle while the peddling was good. ...more
When it comes to novella-length short stories, you can never go wrong with any of the collections written by Stephen King. These collections are amongWhen it comes to novella-length short stories, you can never go wrong with any of the collections written by Stephen King. These collections are among my most favourite written by him. Thus, I was very happy when it was announced that Full Dark, No Stars was going to be published last summer. The hardest part was waiting for it to be released. Oh, the agony. Unfortunately I had a lot of books on the go when Full Dark, No Stars did come out that it wasn't until February 2011—a full three months after first publication—when I finally put aside some time to read the four stories collected in Full Dark, No Stars .
Perhaps I am biased when it comes to reading Stephen King, but I thoroughly enjoyed Full Dark, No Stars , perhaps even better than some of King's other novella collections (though not as much as Hearts in Atlantis, that's my personal favourite). Full Dark, No Stars is brutal and dark, and as a reader you'll end up rooting for the bad guy (or good gals doing bad deeds). It's a fun read. It's satisfying. It's also a good exploration into the darker side of human nature.
I won't give anything away. Unfortunately there are already too many sites out there that spoil stories for people. So if you're a fan of King, and especially a fan of King's novellas, pick up Full Dark, No Stars . It is great, and is not a very long read. ...more