And I was over the moon when I found out Stephen King was narrating the Wind through the Keyhole audiobook.
Shortly after the events in Wizard in Glass, Roland, the gunslinger, and his group are caught up in a deadly storm that prevents them from continuing on with their quest for the Dark Tower.
Holed up in an abandoned church waiting for the storm to pass, Roland recounts one of his first adventures as a gunslinger of Gilead. Young Roland, still wracked with guilt over his mother’s death, is sent in the Outer Barony of Debaria to catch a deadly skin man who is terrorizing the townspeople.
But the skin man is not the only concern Roland has in Debaria. Roland finds a living witness to the skin man’s attacks and is forced to comfort the small boy while waiting for the skin man to attack again. Roland chooses to tell the boy of Tim Stoutheart, a well-known character in Gilead and his mother’s favorite fairy tale.
Sometimes when authors’ narrate their own work, it produces mixed results.
That is not the case with Stephen King. He has a wonderful voice, reads with inflection, and knows his characters inside and out. His reading rhythm is just right—not too fast or too slow. Additionally, each character has their own tone, voice, and rhythm which makes this a good book for long drives
Here is an excerpt:
My Favorite Character
Tim Stoutheart, the hero of Roland’s story within a story, is my favorite character in Wind through the Keyhole. Stephen King has always been able to write good, believable, and young protagonists. Tim is no exception. His quest to restore his mother’s sight is harrowing, but Tim shows a great deal of love, courage, and determination. Tim’s journey and character, in turn, inspires both young Roland and his charge, Bill, in addition to the members of older Roland’s group.
“It was not fair, it was not fair, it was not fair. So cried his child’s heart, and then his child’s heart died a little. For that is also the way of the world.”
I would recommend this book to Stephen King fans, lovers of tales within tales, and all audio book lovers.
This is a sweet, moving audio book that is heavy on interesting action and good storytelling. The story within a story adds an interesting dimension to the piece and leads to some unexpected emotional pay-off at the end of the book. (Seriously, I ended up bawling in my parked car during the last ten minutes of the book.)
I would also recommend it to people who haven’t yet read anything in the Gunslinger series. Its plot doesn’t depend too much on previous books, it’s much shorter than the other books in the series, and it’s considerably less violent.
I was predestined to love this book, but the audio narrative adds a complex and emotional dimension I was not expecting probably because it was much like listening to a storyteller. Stories are visceral, immediate, and fun when told out loud to an audience. This audio book is the closest most of us will get to having Stephen King reading us bedtime stories.
Go check it out today! My car and I both highly recommend it.