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CBR4 #43: The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

Remember what I was saying about how I love Stephen King, but I sometimes wonder why I bother?

Stories like The Wind Through the Keyhole are why I keep coming back, no matter how many times old SK burns with with terrible endings or ass weasels or giant spiders. This is a good, solid fantasy novel. There are no tricks, no nonsense. Just a really great story.

This book takes place during the events of the Dark Tower series, in between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. It's not really tied in to the plot of the series--it's more like an interlude within it. Roland the Gunslinger and his ka-tet find themselves trapped in a building, waiting out a very bad storm. While they wait, Roland tells Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy a tale of his youth. Then, within that story, he tells a scared young boy another story, the tale of Tim Stoutheart. All the stories are reflections of the larger through-lines of the series, but this is also probably the only one that could be read as a stand-alone (with the help of a little explanation in the author's introduction.) However, reading it within the context of the Dark Tower brings a lot of insight about Roland's character.

On the whole, I'd heartily recommend this one. It's full of the storytelling magic that I look for from Stephen King, and I think that fans of his work (particularly fans of the Gunslinger) will like it quite a bit.

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