Kemper's Reviews > The Wind Through the Keyhole

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
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May 10, 12

bookshelves: 2012, craptacular, dark-tower, fantasy, western
Read from May 01 to 10, 2012

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 and that it would just explore the long interlude between the fourth and fifth books. I’ve always had a big question regarding that since the end of Wizard & Glass had young Jake still being a new arrival to Mid-World and completely untrained as a gunslinger while Eddie and Susannah still had a lot to learn about carrying the heavy iron. When Wolves of the Calla picked up, all of them were stone cold bad asses after being on the path of the Beam for a good long while. It seemed like King was going to fill in that gap, and that was a story that I would have been interested in reading.

I have to note here that Wizard & Glass is my least favorite of the Dark Tower books. This was mainly for three reasons:

1) After years of waiting, it didn’t advance the core story at all and instead focused on a flashback to young Roland.

2) It involved a long tale with a character who really didn’t have anything to do with DT after that book.

3) It was filled with fucking Wizard of Oz references.

So what do we get in The Wind Through the Keyhole?

1) A flashback story to young Roland.

2) A flashback inside another flashback that tells a long tale about a character that has nothing to do with the rest of the DT story.

3) A couple of Wizard of Oz references.

Adding insult to injury, the main reason I read this wasn't addressed. Even though it’s supposed to be shortly after the ending of the fourth book, Jake is suddenly carrying a gun and going off ahead of the others and no one is worried because “He can take care of himself.” WHEN?? WHEN THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN? BECAUSE AS FAR AS I KNOW HE’S STILL THE KID WHO GOT KIDNAPPED AND NEARLY KILLED IN LUD, YET A WEEK OR TWO LATER HE’S JUST A GODDAMN GUNSLINGER WITH ABSOLUTELY NO TRAINING!!

*ahem*

So instead of getting the one damn question I wanted answered in this, the gunslingers are used as a framing device for Roland to tell them a story about his past that turns into him telling some little bastard a tale about another little bastard wandering off into the woods.

Seriously, this could have been a fun offshoot short story or stories in larger collections someday, but putting them in a hardback and calling them Dark Tower just seems like the worst kind of bait and switch.

I’m going to sell this one to a used book store and pretend it doesn’t exist.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 130) (130 new)


Kemper Kat wrote: "Um...is it appropriate to offer condolences?"

That or sedatives.


message 2: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen Ouch...I truly feel your pain.


Kemper Stephen wrote: "Ouch...I truly feel your pain."

Thanks. I don't know if you could tell, but I'm a little bitter about this one.


message 4: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen I can only imagine...for you to give one star to a DT story is a pretty strong statement.


Kemper Stephen wrote: "I can only imagine...for you to give one star to a DT story is a pretty strong statement."

I'm sure I'll be hearing from Stephen King any second now about how he can make it up to me.


Trudi NOOOOOOOO! Really??? Ack! I just started this and only a few pages in so far. I'll wait til I'm finished before I read your review. At least he kept it short :)


message 7: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto I have to admit, the Wizard of Oz references sound intriguing.


Kemper Jonathan wrote: "I have to admit, the Wizard of Oz references sound intriguing."

There's not a lot of them. Just enough to piss me off.


Kemper Trudi wrote: "NOOOOOOOO! Really??? Ack! I just started this and only a few pages in so far. I'll wait til I'm finished before I read your review. At least he kept it short :)"

Not short enough....


message 10: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie I haz a sad.


Carol. [All cynic, all the time] Sounds like your declaration of shenanigans is just.


Kemper Carol wrote: "Sounds like your declaration of shenanigans is just."

I believe so.


Jenny I enjoyed reading the new book, but agree with all you've said. Your point regarding Jake in particular, is one that didn't occur to me. This is probably because it's been so long since I read Wizard &Glass. Well done!

J


Kemper Jenny wrote: "I enjoyed reading the new book, but agree with all you've said. Your point regarding Jake in particular, is one that didn't occur to me. This is probably because it's been so long since I read Wiza..."

Thanks!


Trudi I'm on page 200 and agree with this review 100%. My disappointment has no bottom....and it huuuurts.

the gunslingers are used as a framing device for Roland to tell them a story about his past that turns into him telling some little bastard a tale about another little bastard wandering off into the woods.

Yep. That pretty much sums it up :(


message 16: by Ron (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ron I stopped reading it because of the story within a story within a story. Who cares? When I see that the latter is like two hundred pages long and the Skin man story doesn't pick up again till the book is almost done, I said screw that! There are better novels I could be reading now than that. I won't sell it but keep it till I'm ready.


message 17: by Kemper (last edited May 18, 2012 06:02AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kemper It's really too bad because the skin man story and the story about the kid could have made decent Dark Tower tie-ins if he would have just done them as short stories or novellas and stuck them in other collections, but bringing back the gunslingers just to use as the Roland-Tells-A-Story-Within-A-Story device to me was completely unnecesary and false advertising for this book.


message 18: by Ron (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ron I totally agree. One of the problems with these kinds of things is that you read part of the "Main" story - Roland and the Ka-tet going someplace. Then you read the "sub" story, which is longer than the story you came to the book for. Once you get back to the "main" story, one might forget what the "main" story was.
I did enjoy the story of young Roland in "Wizards and Glass". It felt more like a western than some of the other books. It could have been a different book or short story though still set before the Gunslinger. Like "Little Sisters of ELuria". I think that's the title about Roland encountering the Vampire Nuns.


Corey I didn't care for this one either, but i was trying to pin point why. You, Sir have hit the nail on the head with this review. DT series should have been left alone.


Kemper Corey wrote: "I didn't care for this one either, but i was trying to pin point why. You, Sir have hit the nail on the head with this review. DT series should have been left alone."

Thanks. Like I've said in another comment, I wouldn't have minded if he would have done these as a couple of short stories elsewhere, but selling it as a hardback and calling it Dark Tower is just a rip off.


message 21: by Indy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Indy if your review had some "cocka-doodies" in it -it woulda been spot-on Annie Wilkes! I'm about to start the book, but will now go in with a little more reserve..thanks for the gravity.


Kemper Indy wrote: "if your review had some "cocka-doodies" in it -it woulda been spot-on Annie Wilkes! I'm about to start the book, but will now go in with a little more reserve..thanks for the gravity."

Hey, give me a little credit. I haven't kidnapped an author in at least six months.


Stephanie Hills I gave the book 5 stars just for the treat of getting another trip back to Mid-World, but damn, I would give your review 5 stars it was so well-written. Seriously, I could feel your pain. I love a review that speaks to specifics. What have you read that you might suggest. I am always looking for another author to try. Thanks!


Kemper Stephanie wrote: "I gave the book 5 stars just for the treat of getting another trip back to Mid-World, but damn, I would give your review 5 stars it was so well-written. Seriously, I could feel your pain. I love ..."

Thanks! It's kind of tough to recommend something without knowing what you're looking for. You can check out my favorites shelf on my profile page to get some idea of what I consider the essentials.


Amanda Garner Wizard and Glass is my favorite Dark Tower novel, I love learning more about what makes Roland tick, and I liked This book as well. I've always liked the story within a story thing though.


message 26: by Jess (new)

Jess Nelson I have been reading king since I was eight and I have never before picked up one of his books and believed he gave up. Well you know till now. Is this even worth finishing?


Misanagi I gave it 3 stars because it's Dark Tower and it would feel bad to give it less but you pretty much summed up what I thought of the book. And Yay! Someone else who doesn't think Wizard and Glass is the best DT book!


Johnny My problem was the truckload of plotholes:
SPOILERS
It's a fairy tale set hundreds of years before Roland's childhood yet MiB signs as MB? He doesn't become MB for hundreds of years, and actually in real life! The story didn't evolve?
And all of the NCP references? So the gunslingers didn't have alarm bells going off in their heads? No connections to NCP in real life? No?


Johnny SPOILERS
forgot to mention that it's weird that MiB was in a fictional story.


message 30: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Numer Man, I was upset with him and I started reading the series after he completed it- I can only imagine waiting year after year for his slow butt to finish the series


Catherine Osborne heh heh. delightful.


Kemper Jonathan wrote: "Man, I was upset with him and I started reading the series after he completed it- I can only imagine waiting year after year for his slow butt to finish the series"

It sucked beyond the telling. I won't start Game of Thrones until the series is finished because of what King put us through with Dark Tower.


Kemper Catherine wrote: "heh heh. delightful."

Thanks!


message 34: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick Kinsella Hahaha! I freaking love the DT series so gave it five stars just because it gave me chance to spend some time in mid world again. But. Your. Review. Is. Awesome! I'd never considered jake's sudden promotion to gunslinger, and the story within a story within a story withinastorywithinastory... device is an interesting trope. I suppose I was just happy to see Roland again.


Kemper Nick wrote: "Hahaha! I freaking love the DT series so gave it five stars just because it gave me chance to spend some time in mid world again. But. Your. Review. Is. Awesome! I'd never considered jake's sudden..."

Thanks. I would have been happier to see Roland if he would have done something besides tell an extended fairy tale.


Deniz Well, Wizard and Glass is one of my favourite books ever though I am not a Dark Tower junkie so it seems this will be a terrific read for me.


message 37: by Mach (new)

Mach Steven King HURT MY BRAIN with the DT series. NO more chances for that world.


kathy james i read your review and laughed....alot. i just finished and i liked both stories but agree with you, the story within a story was a bit much.


Kemper kathy wrote: "i read your review and laughed....alot. i just finished and i liked both stories but agree with you, the story within a story was a bit much."

Glad you liked it.


Kemper Mach wrote: "Steven King HURT MY BRAIN with the DT series. NO more chances for that world."

I felt like Stephen King had stolen my wallet and slashed my tires after this one.


message 41: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Kemper wrote: "I felt like Stephen King had stolen my wallet and slashed my tires after this one."

Could be worse.


Kemper Jonathan wrote: "Could be worse."

Maybe, but I'm still not very happy with him about this one.


message 43: by Kris (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kris Wow, such vitriol. Lighten up everyone. It's a fucking story and a damn well-written one.


message 44: by Kemper (last edited Feb 06, 2013 11:13AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kemper Kris wrote: "Wow, such vitriol. Lighten up everyone. It's a fucking story and a damn well-written one."

You are fucking wrong.

(I can also make simple declarative sentences with no real substance regarding someone's opinion about a book.)


message 45: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent I still don't have your reviewer badge on my desk. We talked about this.


message 46: by Kemper (last edited Feb 06, 2013 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kemper Dan wrote: "I still don't have your reviewer badge on my desk. We talked about this."

I've turned in my badge and got my private reviewer's license now so that I won't have to play by your rules. I'm working outside the corrupt system. Like Philip Marlowe. Or Shaft.


message 47: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent I can dig it.


Kemper I'm a complicated man.


message 49: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent And no one understands you but your woman.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Kemper wrote: "Like Philip Marlowe. Or Shaft"

I dunno, sounds more like cozy mystery territory to me. Like that show Monk. Or Murder, She Wrote.


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