View Full Version : Excerpt From The Wind Through The Keyhole

Randall Flagg
12-19-2011, 05:18 PM
The Wind Through The Keyhole takes place between books four and five in The Dark Tower series. Below, read an exclusive excerpt and take a peek at three pieces by artist Jae Lee depicting characters from the novel.

Synopsis: We join Roland and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. As they shelter from the screaming wind and snapping trees, Roland tells them not just one strange tale, but two – and in doing so sheds fascinating light on his own troubled past. In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother's death, Roland is sent by his father to a ranch to investigate a recent slaughter. Here Roland discovers a bloody churn of bootprints, clawed animal tracks and terrible carnage – evidence that the 'skin-man', a shape shifter, is at work. There is only one surviving witness: a brave but terrified boy called Bill Streeter.
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, 'The Wind Through The Keyhole.' 'A person's never too old for stories,' he says to Bill. 'Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.'

Most of the people holding this book have followed the adventures of Roland and his band—his ka-tet—for years, some of them from the very beginning. Others—and I hope there are many, newcomers and Constant Readers alike— may ask, Can I read and enjoy this story if I haven’t read the other Dark Tower books? My answer is yes, if you keep a few things in mind.
First, Mid-World lies next to our world, and there are many overlaps. In some places there are doorways between the two worlds, and sometimes there are thin places, porous places, where the two worlds actually mingle. Three of Roland’s ka-tet—Eddie, Susannah, and Jake—have been drawn separately from troubled lives in New York into Roland’s Mid-World quest. Their fourth traveling companion, a billy-bumbler named Oy, is a golden-eyed creature native to Mid-World. Mid-World is very old, and falling to ruin, filled with monsters and untrustworthy magic.
Second, Roland Deschain of Gilead is a gunslinger—one of a small band that tries to keep order in an increas- ingly lawless world. If you think of the gunslingers of Gilead as a strange combination of knights errant and territorial marshals in the Old West, you’ll be close to the mark. Most of them, although not all, are descended from the line of the old White King, known as Arthur Eld (I told you there were overlaps).
Third, Roland has lived his life under a terrible curse. He killed his mother, who was having an affair—mostly against her will, and certainly against her better judgment—with a fellow you will meet in these pages. Although it was by mistake, he holds himself accountable, and the unhappy Gabrielle Deschain’s death has haunted him since his young manhood. These events are fully narrated in The Dark Tower cycle, but for our purposes here, I think it’s all you have to know.
For long-time readers, this book should be shelved between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla . . . which makes it, I suppose, Dark Tower 4.5.
As for me, I was delighted to find my old friends had a little more to say. It was a great gift to find them again, years after I thought their stories were told.

Stephen King
September 14, 2011


12-19-2011, 09:39 PM
I am very much looking forward to reading this book. I hope he keeps finding more stories to tell.

12-19-2011, 10:25 PM
Absolutely. Manya a Manya more.

12-25-2011, 10:32 AM
Dear God, now I have a penultimate decision. I'm in the last fifty pages of Wizard and Glass, but now I need to figure out whether I'm going to wait for The Wind Through the Keyhole to release, or whether I'm going to keep on turning the pages through Wolves of the Calla. Opinions needed!

12-25-2011, 10:48 AM
I believe The Wind Through the Keyhole is a stand-alone novel. If I were you, I'd stick to the order in which King wrote the series - so, on to Wolves of the Calla!


12-27-2011, 12:08 AM
If you ready to move to DT V, then go for it. If there's a time lapse and you find yourself choosing between the two books with both in front of you, go for TWITKH first. Then come back and tell us about the experience.

12-27-2011, 09:29 AM
I cannot tell you how excited I am about this book. I cannot wait to meet Roland and his ka-tet again.

12-28-2011, 07:54 AM
Happy days!

I'm halfway through Wolves of the Calla(a full re-read of the series) so it will all be nice and fresh in my mind ready for April.

Seems so strange to see new material from something that I thought of as finished, but the first five pages has definitely whetted my appetite.:D:D:D

12-29-2011, 08:32 PM
Will it release in April? The wikipedia page says it will be February.

12-29-2011, 08:39 PM
According to the official site the Special Artwork Edition is going to be published in February and the regular Scribner hard-cover, April 24.

12-30-2011, 09:31 AM
Awesome, thank you.