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The Wind Through the Keyhole

(The Dark Tower #4.5)

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  64,028 ratings  ·  5,088 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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Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Scribner (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 betwee…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)
Nick Lugo My suggestion is absolutely stick with the original order and then read this between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. It starts up just after…moreMy suggestion is absolutely stick with the original order and then read this between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. It starts up just after Glass and ruins parts of both The Waste Land and Wizard and Glass (major enough parts that i would avoid this at all costs)

My suggestion for my friends has been read 1-4, then Wind, then 5-7, then read the graphic novels and the short story Little Sisters of Eluria. You could read the first few Graphic Novels after Wizard and before Calla, because the first (5 I think) couple are really all about Roland's past.

Also, if you wanna get crazy with it, you should read Insomnia, Salem's Lot, The Stand, The Talisman, Black House, Eye of the Dragon, Hearts in Atlantis, Rose Madder, and From a Buick 8- all of which have some bearing on the quest for the tower.(less)

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Mark Lawrence
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 'Wiza
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Kemper
May 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
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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James Lafayette Tivendale
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The first fantasy series that I ever read was Stephen King's epic The Dark Tower. Looking back, it is by no means my favourite fantasy series however it opened the door for me to this wonderful genre that I've loved for 7-years. In similar fashion to the Russian doll-esque tale featured in The Wind Through the Keyhole, there is a story within a story with reference to my experiences too.

This review features one major spoiler for the series yet is referenced in the novel's forward by King himself
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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
Mar 11, 2011 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 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 12, 2012 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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Johann (jobis89)
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The stories we hear in our childhood are the ones we remember all our lives.”

The story within a story within a story format is something that would put me off a book, yet it works so perfectly in The Wind Through the Keyhole. In what is effectively an additional backstory book within The Dark Tower series, we learn of another story from Roland’s younger years, of when Jamie De Curry and himself are sent to a town called Debaria to look into what has become known as The Skin-Man.

The Skin-Man is
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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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Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Re-Read 1/28/20:

Reading this in the official order of the Dark Tower series is a smart move. While little in Wizard and Glass or Wind Through the Keyhole can be appropriately called Plot Forward, the tales and tales and tales within tales across campfires are freaking appropriate. Murder and evil dudes are not all that a western is. :)

It helps that the tales in-between are pretty awesome, and these in Wind fit the bill perfectly. I think I liked Tim's tale more than the Skinwalker tale that fra
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Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
★★★★☆½

“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 fearle
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Andre Gonzalez
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The writing was stellar in this book, telling a story within a story has to be pretty difficult. While the story was entertaining, I'm having trouble seeing why it was necessary. I'm reading the DT series through for the first time and thought I would respect the order where this book fell, and feel like I could have done without this pitstop that takes away from the main journey. That being said, I look forward to starting Wolves of the Calla to get back on track!
Lyn
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stephen King concluded his brilliant epic Dark Tower series in 2004. In 2012 he returned to this universe to add The Wind Through the Keyhole, set in the story between the events of Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla.

This is a story within a story being told as a recollection of Roland. While many fans of the series lamented and were even angered by King’s failing to add a substantive chapter to the series, this succeeds in adding colorful detail to Roland’s past – which truth be told is a
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Trish
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the "short stories" that flesh out the world(s) and characters of the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. It was written much later, but I'm glad that my buddy-reader and I are reading it in chronological order nevertheless.

Just like in the 4th volume of the series, this is a story-within-the-story that features yet another story within that.
Roland and his "new" Ka-tet are on their way to the Outer Baronies when they have to seek shelter from a storm after crossing a river. In orde
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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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Christina
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Markus
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A captivating ode to storytelling.

Stories within stories, appropriately recited around campfires on dark and treacherous nights by the gunslinger Roland of Gilead. Told in different times, to different audiences, and by a different Roland.

The Dark Tower series will always hold a special place for me. As a whole, it is a masterpiece of literary craftsmanship, but there are many low points. The high ones, to me, are the ones emphasising the reiteration of powerful stories through the memory of the
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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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Ashley Daviau
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is honestly my least favourite book out of the Dark Tower series. Now that doesn't mean that I didn't love it, I just didn't love it quite as much as the rest of the series.

I find in some places that it gets a bit long and my mind constantly wandered and wondered what would happen in the next book rather than focusing on this book and what it had to offer.

I feel like I'm making it sound like a terrible book and that's definitely not the case, I mean I did give it five stars! I jus
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Kevin Michael
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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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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 book m ...more
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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Kyriakos Sorokkou
DTProject2017 | Book 4.5

Many people didn't like this book mainly for two reasons:

1] It resembles the previous book (4) which is mainly a flashback in Roland's youth and many people hated that book because it was mainly a flashback, so they hated this book as well.
2] The main story of the book is actually a fairy tale and doesn't add any progress to the core narrative, which is something I don't mind since I'm more interested in Roland's past than his quest to the Dark Tower.

This book reminds
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SAM
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, stephen-king
"During the days after they left the Green Palace that wasn't Oz afterall - but which was now the tomb of the unpleasant fellow Rolland's ka-tet had known as the Tick-Tock Man - the boy Jake began to range farther and farther ahead of Roland, Eddie, and Susannah..."

I read the original Dark Tower books consecutively over a two month period in 2016 and was in awe that a fantasy series could be so mind-blowingly awesome. The series changed the way i perceived the fantasy genre and turned me int
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T.J.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Justin Brendel
The story within a story concept is ok, but it doesn't really progress our ka-tet to the Dark Tower. I do love The Wind Through The Keyhole story within this book. The Skin Man, not so much. I feel these were story ideas King had but couldn't create a final product, so this book became essentially three short stories nested within each other. On to the calla!
Jeanette (Again)
Does this guy ever stop? I sure hope not. Live forever, Stevie baby, live forever.

3.5 stars
unknown
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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Jason Parent
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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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715,939 followers
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

Other books in the series

The Dark Tower (8 books)
  • The Gunslinger
  • 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)

Articles featuring this book

As we wrap up our 2018 Reading Challenge, we decided to ask our Goodreads coworkers a simple yet tough question: What were the ...
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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.” 88 likes
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