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Publisher's Summary

For those discovering the epic best-selling Dark Tower series for the first time—and for its legions of dedicated fans—here is an immensely satisfying stand-alone novel and perfect introduction to the series.

Beginning in 1974, gaining momentum in the 1980s and coming to a thrilling conclusion when the last three novels were published in 2003 and 2004, the Dark Tower epic fantasy saga stands as Stephen King’s most beguiling achievement. It has been the basis for a long-running Marvel comic series.

Now, with The Wind Through the Keyhole, King has returned to the rich landscape of Mid-World. This story within a story within a story finds Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, in his early days during 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. "A person's never too old for stories," he says to Bill. "Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them."

Sure to captivate the avid fans of the Dark Tower epic, this is an enchanting introduction to Roland’s world and the power of Stephen King’s storytelling magic.

Please Note: This audio edition of The Wind Through the Keyhole ends with a short preview of Stephen King's The Dark Tower VII, read by George Guidall, followed by a brief introduction and the first chapter of King's Doctor Sleep, both read by the author.  

©2012 Stephen King (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about The Wind Through the Keyhole

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great side story!

If you enjoyed any of the Dark Tower books you'll love this one. And even if you didn't I think its a worthy stand alone fantasy story.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth a read

First off I would give this 3.5 stars if it were an option. It's the weakest of the dark tower books sure but it is still a good read. I'm all in for a good story and Roland has the best stories! Wizard and Glass was my favorite of the seven so I couldn't resist once again going down memory lane. I'm glad I did. All of the reviews that were bitter at King for reading this himself puzzle me? Sure it sounds different than the other books but he does a fine job and for sure shouldn't be the reason to avoid listening to this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great read!

It was a great read. I read this after I finished the series (which was excellent from start to finish). I liked the change of pace and the new character. Anyone who’s a fan of he dark tower series is sure to enjoy this!

Happy reading!

#Audiable1

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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King needs to let real narrators narrate.

Definitely worth the read in the dark tower series. The story is the weakest out of the rest but still a fun one, none the less. My only issue with it, is that king narrates it himself. Some people need to stick to what they're good at. You can't be amazing at everything.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story!

I’m not going to break this down, just read/ listen to it and let the book do it’s thing. If you’re a Dark Tower fan you won’t be disappointed.

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Loved SK's narration!

It was very cool to hear a story within a story, within a story. And ever better that the stories were read by the author, so adding yet another layer! SK's narration was enjoyable for other reasons too - he has a very soothing voice, calm & grounded. (Reminded me of Kevin Costner's narration in "Dances With Wolves") I also liked that he read the book as a storyteller would, not as a voice actor would. Loved hearing him talk in RF/MB 's voice - that's how he must sound in the author's mind!! Soooo cooool.

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Audio Performance starts dry but warms. Good Story

very good story but. was very difficult to warm to Stephen King reading. Started slow and gradually performance was better but started very monotone and little emphatic expression early on. Perhaps just first time through the process and warmed up later on instead of dry start. But story is good.

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A neat little collection of stories.

king does a unexpectedly good performance. hes regular voice is little sleepy, but he narrates quite well.

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  • bonita
  • 2013-07-01

Great to see Roland and his ka tet again

Learning that another Dark Tower novel was going to be released in 2012 thrilled me to no end. I loved all seven of the books released before this one. I honestly felt like it still wasn't enough. Guess I'm truly a tower junky, as Eddy Dean would undoubtedly say. Well, why not? No fictional setting has captivated me more than Midworld. As for protagonists, Roland has to be my all time favorite. I've missed traveling along the path of the beam with his ka tet so it was wonderful to revisit this story again.

I'm sure there are folks who will tell you that King can't narrate for... well, you know. I think he does a great job when he decides to narrate his own books. It's an honor when an author decides to devote his or her time to reading something. It usually means that they're passionate about a particular story they've written. I've always felt as if King was most passionate about and most proud of his Tower novels. If I'm wrong, well, say sorry. He hasn't narrated an entire book since On Writing, so it was great to listen to him behind the mic again. He transports me into his stories in a way that no other narrator has been able to do sans the late great and sorely missed Frank Muller. King's one heck of a sighted guide when it comes to reading his own works. So because of him, I've seen Midworld in an entirely new light. I've seen it very well and I say thank ya.

The book was far too short. I enjoyed it very much, but I wish King would spin more tales of Roland's younger years. What happened to Rhea, for instance? How did Roland track the old witch down and deal with her one final time? I've been wanting to know since Wizard and Glass. I can't go out and pick up his Marvel Comics Dark Tower prequel series and would absolutely love to experience those on audio in some format or another. They don't make those in braille-- oh Discordia! That's my only complaint about this book. In the words of a certain Dickensian character,"I want some more!" But I suppose that's what a memorable book does. Well it often leaves me wanting seconds, anyway. So here's hoping everyone's favorite Wordslinger isn't done with his Dark Tower series yet. I'll even settle for Cooking With Roland: A Guide to Gunslinger Burritos. Or maybe How To Care For Your BillyBumbler. Or how about Eddy Dean's Best Jokes and Quips?

Anywho, if you liked all the other Dark Tower books, pick this one up. It's just as wonderful. What else can I say without spoiling the book? Go read it, but watch out for Starkblasts!

31 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2012-04-25

An exceptional story, but I miss George Guidall.

Another excellent Steven King story. It doesn't have the same feel as the rest of the Dark Tower series. It's much more stand-alone beginning-middle-end, because we aren't following most of the characters in this book through 7 novels.

I'd recommend reading this one on paper unless you're accustomed to Stephen King's narration. We were really pampered by George Guidall's vocal range. Stephen King comes across much flatter, and in the beginning his version of Roland's ka-tet can be disconcerting.

163 people found this helpful

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  • jeff
  • 2012-04-24

Great to go Back to Midworld but...

If you could sum up The Wind Through the Keyhole in three words, what would they be?

Great journey home

What did you like best about this story?

The creativity of it and just the whole new adventure with a great Ka-tet

How could the performance have been better?

Hiring a professional voice over actor. This was a major disappointment not to have the usual narrator do the story. Stephen King has shown many times he is NOT an actor. All voices are read the same tone and with no emotion at all. I am very upset by this point. I was so looking forward to this book and this part ruined it. I hope it wasn't just plain cheapness that didn't allow for a professional voice over actor or perhaps Stephen Kings ego. Very unhappy about this point.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I enjoyed the whole story from begining to end. Aside from the voice work it was great and really hope there are more adventures to come with these characters.

114 people found this helpful

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  • Don Gilbert
  • 2012-04-26

King of Writing not Reading

The "Dark Tower" series in audio has been one of my favorite all time listens; so why Stephen? You are a fantastic story teller; on paper. Let the professionals, like George Guidall, do their job.

122 people found this helpful

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  • G. Novak
  • 2012-04-25

I "lemmed" this!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Maybe in paper.

Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

Already have.

How could the performance have been better?

Professional reader.

Any additional comments?

I love Stephen King's writing. Not so much his reading. He's OK for short stories but not anything long. I will buy this again if they use a professional reader.

56 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff M.
  • 2012-04-24

Great to go Back to Midworld but...

If you could sum up The Wind Through the Keyhole in three words, what would they be?

Great journey home

What did you like best about this story?

The creativity of it and just the whole new adventure with a great Ka-tet

How could the performance have been better?

Hiring a professional voice over actor. This was a major disappointment not to have the usual narrator do the story. Stephen King has shown many times he is NOT an actor. All voices are read the same tone and with no emotion at all. I am very upset by this point. I was so looking forward to this book and this part ruined it. I hope it wasn't just plain cheapness that didn't allow for a professional voice over actor or perhaps Stephen Kings ego. Very unhappy about this point.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I enjoyed the whole story from begining to end. Aside from the voice work it was great and really hope there are more adventures to come with these characters.

111 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob Wilson
  • 2012-04-26

Please, Please - do this again with George Guidall

Stephen King, you are a "WordSlinger" you are NOT a narrator. Please do another recording but this time use George Guidall.

131 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas T. Veldhouse
  • 2012-05-01

Stephen King's narration leaves much to be desired

Perhaps I should give the print version a chance to see if the story seems better to me, but I didn't find the story anywhere near the quality of ANY of the previous Dark Tower books. I wonder if this was written due to popular demand rather than some inspiration from Stephen King. While the idea of the author narrating his own book is nice [i.e. The Kite Runner!], in this case, the narration is sort of jagged and mostly quite monotone; I had a difficult time following who was "speaking" at any point in time.

Sorry...I was not able to finish the book after about 1/2 way through.

37 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 2012-05-01

Crippling narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Should have used George Guidall for narration like the previous Dark Tower books. They were fantastic.

Would you recommend The Wind Through the Keyhole to your friends? Why or why not?

No, not in audiobook format.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I'm legally blind and can no longer read traditionally, I rely solely on audiobooks for all my reading. King's narration was so monotone, robotic, and lifeless, my imagination had trouble engaging and mind would drift. Also, I could never really tell who was talking at a given moment and had to constantly rewind to remember who was talking at a given moment. If you are reading on paper, it is very easy to skim back up the page a bit to revisit who is talking, if you happen to miss it or drift off. With a professional narrator, like George Guidall, it's easier to tell who is talking by the voice/mannerisms given to the characters by the narrator.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I really don't know if the story was good or bad due to the crippling narration. Very frustrating.

Any additional comments?

This book was was extremely difficult, almost painful, to get through due to King's bad narration, which is a shame as I consider the original Dark Tower audiobook series as the greatest audiobook story of all time, by any author... ever. Disappointing to say the least.

56 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • BA
  • 2012-04-25

Great story, but narration was awful.

What didn’t you like about Stephen King’s performance?

Very monotone voice. Previous narrators were great, shouldn't have switched. There is no difference in any of the voices. I have re-listened to all of the series, I won't be on this one.

Any additional comments?

Great story for fans, afraid the narration will scare new listeners from the series.

54 people found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2021-12-10

King is one of the greats

Nice to revisit the world of Roland's ka-tet at a time when their bond was strong. Great yarn.

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  • Mareva
  • 2021-06-23

Not a fan of the narrator

Did not enjoy the story due to the narrator not changing voices between when a character speaks and the storyline..