My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time Taken To Read - 1 day
Blurb From Amazon
For readers new to The Dark Tower, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis.
This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.) Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother's death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a "skin man," Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, 'The Wind through the Keyhole'. "A person's never too old for stories," he says to Bill. "Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them." And stories like these, they live for us.
A story within a story within a story, however it works really well. When I first described it to someone they said it must be really confusing but it actually isn't. The book starts with Roland and his ka tet traveling along the path to the Dark Tower and having to hide out due to some adverse weather. Whilst waiting it over Roland tells of a story from his past (and another story within that story).
The first story is about a town being attacked by "the skin man" a man who takes forms of vicious blood thirsty animals and sets upon the people, Roland is sent by his father to deal with it with his friend and fellow Gunslinger. The second is a story his mother used to read to him as a child which is where our book gets it's title.
When I started it, it has been a while since I visited the dark tower series and wasn't too sure about some of the language they use (coming from a different time and place it is different) but after a few chapters I had settled in fine and lost in the story. I have always liked Stephen King but think even those who aren't fans may enjoy this book as it can be read as a stand alone. The only thing I would say for the Dark Tower fans is that we only spend maybe 50 pages if your lucky with Roland and his ka tet which I was a bit disappointed with (you always want more of your loved characters), the main bulk of the story is about the two stories Roland is telling. Although that said the first story is from Roland's actual past so it does offer some insight into why he is the way he is which fans will enjoy. Overall I liked it and found it hard to put down so 4/5 for me.