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
Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, encounters three doors which open to 1980s America, where he joins forces with the defiant Eddie Dean and courageous, volatile Odetta...
The Waste Lands
The Dark Tower series: Book 3
Roland has altered ka by saving the life of Jake Chambers in New York. Now they exist in different worlds, paradoxically sharing memories. Roland, Susannah and ...
Wizard and Glass
The Dark Tower series: Book 4
In a terrifying journey where hidden dangers lurk at every junction, the pilgrims find themselves stranded in an alternate version of Topeka, Kansas, that has been ravaged ...
The Wind Through The Keyhole
The Dark Tower series: Book 4.5
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 ea...
Wolves of the Calla
The Dark Tower series: Book 5
In the fertile lands of the East, the farming community has been warned the wolves are coming back. Four gunslingers, led by Roland of Gilead, are also coming their way. An...
Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower series: Book 6
Susannah has used the power of Black Thirteen to get to New York where she can give birth to a child fated to grow up as Roland's nemesis. Jake and Father Callahan set ...
The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower series: Book 7
Roland Deschain and his ka-tet have journeyed together and apart, scattered far and wide across multilayered worlds of wheres and whens. The destinies of Roland, Susannah, ...
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
All freelance Tunneler Miles Franco wants is a bit of freedom and a couple of bucks to rub together. So when the cops haul him downtown for illegally smuggling the natives ...
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......
Paternus: Rise of Gods
Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old m...
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.
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own. New alliances and old feuds will remake the natio...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...