Stephen King – The Wind Through The Keyhole

Great was the surprise of many fans of the Dark Tower series by Stephen King when he published a new novel 8 years after he completed it. As I am a great fan of the series myself, I could stop myself from being thrilled. The new novel, The Wind Through The Keyhole (2012), does not continue the story. Instead King uses an opening between the events of the fourth novel, Wizard And Glass, and the fifth novel, Wolves Of The Calla, to tell a three-leveled story. In fact, the story is a story within a story within a story.

The first level provides the connection with the Dark Tower cycle. As it should not conflict with anything happening in the later story it is of a very minor substance. Even so it is great to meet the central characters of the series again and with only some limited scenes he provides the reader with the familiar touch that defines each character.

In the second level King once again, after Wizard And Glass, goes into the background and history of the main character of which the reader had mainly seen glimpses. I have to say I much anticipated this return and I simply drank in the words. The story itself is not that complex. With several different stories in one novel the space is limited. The story is actually pretty much a canvas unto which King adds new insights and answers to old mysteries, making them part of something else instead of giving them straightforwardly.

The third level is supposed to be an old tale of the Dark Tower universe. Instead King could not control himself. There is a lot of detail in the story and certain elements are clearly connected to the Dark Tower cycle instead of the tale itself. There were certain things the narrator of the story could not know or some things that would provide insights which he should have been using. Some things don’t even seem to belong in the tale. It is a peculiar story. More one that King would tell on the Dark Tower universe than that a native would or could tell about his own. The details also conflict with the idea that it is a children’s story. It is certainly not the right way to have told it. Nevertheless, because of those details and insights, it makes a highly interesting read. The story itself starts fairly cliché and it takes some time before it starts to blossom and become something far more.

Personally I enjoyed the second level tale the most, although it is less complete than the third level story. The Wind Through The Keyhole is certainly a great addition to the series and it holds up to the same quality. As there are more untold background stories I can only say that I hope King will be inspired to write some more. Highly recommended.

 

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