The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King
Visit Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. 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 Book of 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.
Today, to my horror, I realised that I had yet to write up a review for Stephen King's The Wind Through The Keyhole, a book that was one of - if not - the best books I read in 2012. Not all that is eagerly awaited meets the expectations but when this book arrived in April (pre-ordered, that's how keen I was) I read it in only a handful of days. It was magnificent and as I write this review I am tempted to say that it is the best book in the series… But I think I should defer that accolade for a later date.
Reading King's 11.22.63 earlier in the year had appeared a good omen as I found his writing skills and imagination to be undiminished by time, and arguably at a level not achieved for some time. And so it proved with The Wind Through the Keyhole, which is a shining example of story-telling at its very best.
So, onto the first question: Can you read and enjoy this story if you haven't read the other Dark Tower books? Stephen King's answer is "Yes, if you keep a few things in mind…". What he means is that a newcomer can read and enjoy the book with no real issues but a reader who has already made their way through the Dark Tower series will undoubtedly take more from it. The author also goes on to say that "this book should be shelved between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla… which makes it, I suppose, Dark Tower 4.5".
And it is book four, Wizard and Glass, to which The Wind Through The Keyhole bears most resemblance, although it is much shorter. I say this because both books begin with our heroes, Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy sitting down upon an evening to listen to Roland recount a significant period in his early life. But within this tale is another tale, one told to Roland by his mother, the titular Wind Through The Keyhole. This story within a story within a story showcases King's Russian doll style narrative device at its finest and I cannot find the words that suitably describe just how much I enjoyed this book and how cleverly King pulls of an ambitious and difficult literary challenge. You get three stories for the price of one: one filling in the period of time that occurred between the ka-tet leaving the Emerald Palace and arriving at Call Bryn Sturgis; the second allowing a greater insight into the younger life of Roland Deschain as he recounts a mission he undertook with a friend and fellow apprentice gunslinger. But the jewel in this novel's crown is the Brothers Grimm styled fairy tale that is The Wind Through The Keyhole, a wonderfully dark and compelling story that reminded me strongly of Margo Lanagan's evocative re-imaginings of ancient fairy tales.
You must read this book, whether you are an existing Dark Tower devotee or just a fan of great books. It is superb in every way and one that everyone should enjoy.
This The Wind Through The Keyhole book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Dark Tower series
The Dark Tower series: Book 1
In The Gunslinger, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellb...
The Drawing of the Three
The Dark Tower series: Book 2
The Waste Lands
The Dark Tower series: Book 3
Wizard and Glass
The Dark Tower series: Book 4
The Wind Through The Keyhole
The Dark Tower series: Book 4.5
Wolves of the Calla
The Dark Tower series: Book 5
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower series: Book 6
The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower series: Book 7
Have you read The Wind Through The Keyhole?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Wind Through The Keyhole reader reviews
9.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, ...
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
He called himself Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, because he dared not believe in the strange alternative world on which he suddenly found himself - the Land. But the Land...
City of Stairs
Robert Jackson Bennett
You've got to be careful when you're chasing a murderer through Bulikov, for the world is not as it should be in that city. When the gods were destroyed and all wor...
Take a trip in a stranger's head. Travel rain-shot streets with a gang of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine. Yet Vurt feathers are not f...
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and re...
The Four Realms
Half-vampire Darwin stumbles across a corpse on the streets of London, and in a pocket discovers a notebook in a mysterious language. Divided between human ethics and vampi...
Weaveworld is an epic adventure of the imagination. It begins with a carpet in which a world of rapture and enchantment is hiding; a world which comes to life, alerting the...
The Portable Door
Starting a new job is always stressful, but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J.W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discov...
The Silent Land
A young couple are caught in an avalanche during a ski-ing holiday in the French Alps. They struggle back to the village and find it deserted. As the days go by they wait f...
The Lazarus Gate
Mark A Latham
London, 1890. Captain John Hardwick, an embittered army veteran and opium addict, is released from captivity in Burma and returns home, only to be recruited by a mysterious...
Between Two Thorns
Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath's secret mirror city. The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, i...
A serial killer is on the loose in Ostend, Belgium. Nicknamed The Stuffer, the mysterious killer fills his victims full of sand and poses them as public art installations -...
The Chronicles of Amber
Amber is one real world, casting infinite reflections of itself - shadow worlds, which can be manipulated by those of royal Amberite blood. But the royal family is torn apa...
The Man Who Crossed Worlds
Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended parallel universe / Alternate reality books
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine is no conventional medic and surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Little Jack grows up different to other children: every day begins with a daily wind-up. At scho...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...