Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mini book review: The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

All my reviews lately are minis, aren't they?  I guess I haven't been reading or watching anything that I've found really compelling: stuff I've liked (or not liked) but nothing inspiring an outpouring of the written word.  This week I read Stephen King's latest, The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel.  Although the Dark Tower series is officially finished, I guess King still has some of that universe's stories rattling around in his head, stories that didn't fit into the already very lengthy books.  TWTtK is one such animal, revisiting Roland Deschain, Jake, Eddie, Susannah and Oy again.

I usually complain when a book doesn't have enough plot.  This one does, as it is a story within a story within a story.  The first story - and the shortest one - has Roland and his ka-tet, pausing to get out of a terrible storm shortly after their escape from Lud.  While they take shelter, Roland tells them a story about an adventure he had as a boy, sent into the hinterlands by his father to track down a shapeshifter.  This flashback / reminiscence is the second story, much longer and more detailed than the outermost one.  The third story is a sort of fairy tale that the boy Roland tells to a frightened younger boy as they try to get through a difficult night: the adventures of Tim Stoutheart.

TWTtK is really a novel for Dark Tower fans.  You don't have to have read the series first but it will be much less frustrating if you have, what with the language and customs of that 'verse.  It's fairly short, for a King book, and moves along quickly.  It's clear King loves this world he's created; his loyal readers will enjoy returning to it.  Me, I was also glad to spend a little time with Oy again - he's my favorite fantastical fictional critter!

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