Title: The Wind Through the Keyhole
Author: Stephen King
Tl;dr: A glimpse back in the life of Roland, somewhere halfway the way to the Tower.
A story in a story in a story. I wrote before I don’t like short stories much, but if stories are embedded in other stories, they do work for me. And if stories are written into stories into a story, and when it’s done well and feels “natural”, I love it all the more and appreciate the craft of the author. As you can probably guess by now, this was the case in “The Wind Through the Keyhole”.
I’ve read all the Dark Tower books, starting when I was a kid (about 13, just discovering the science fiction and fantasy section in my local library) and finishing them during my time as a student. I loved them all (except maybe book 6 and 7 a bit less) and reread the first 5 books multiple times. Mostly because of disliking the last last two books a bit (even though I’m in the camp that loved the ending), I did not pick up The Wind Through the Keyhole until a few weeks ago. I bought the book halfway february, and only started reading it after it had been sitting on my desk for a bit.
I immediately fell in love with it. It was so nice to meet these characters again, that have been a part of my reading-life for so many years. It was really like getting back together with old friends you know well; getting under a warm cozy blanket, on a comfortable couch in a familiar home. The story that wraps the story that wraps the story is not that deep: the ka-tet hides in a house for a certain kind of storm, and Roland tells them a story to help them through the night. It’s a story from his past, and contains a story his mother always told him when he was young, that he tells a young troubled boy in the story he tells his friends (you still with me, with all those stories?). There are the well known phrasings and dialects, the mysteries to be found in Midworld, and some figures that always keep returning. I can’t say everything ends happy for everyone (like is never the case in these books), but it won’t make you feel empty-handed.
If you’ve read the other Dark Tower books, go and read this one. It is more than worth it.