The Dark Tower
|Series:||Book 7 of The Dark Tower|
|Publisher:||Donald M. Grant/Scribner|
All good things must come to an end, Constant Reader, and not even Stephen King can make a story that goes on forever. The tale of Roland Deschain’s relentless quest for the Dark Tower has, the author fears, sorely tried the patience of those who have followed it from its earliest chapters. But attend to it a while longer, if it pleases you, for this volume is the last, and often the last things are best.
Roland’s ka-tet remains intact, though scattered over wheres and whens. Susannah-Mia has been carried from the Dixie Pig (in the summer of 1999) to a birthing room—really a chamber of horrors—in Thunderclap’s Fedic; Jake and Father Callahan, with Oy between them, have entered the restaurant on Lex and Sixty-first with weapons drawn, little knowing how numerous and noxious are their foes. Roland and Eddie are with John Cullum in Maine, in 1977, looking for the site on Turtleback Lane where “walk-ins” have been often seen. They want desperately to get back to the others, to Susannah especially, and yet they have come to realize that the world they need to escape is the only one that matters.
Thus the book opens, like a door to the uttermost reaches of Stephen King’s imagination. You’ve come this far. Come a little farther. Come all the way. The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower.
At one point in this final book of the Dark Tower series, the character Stephen King (added to the plot in Song of Susannah) looks back at the preceding pages and says “when this last book is published, the readers are going to be just wild.” And he’s not kidding.
After a journey through seven books and over 20 years, King’s Constant Readers finally have the conclusion they’ve been both eagerly awaiting and silently dreading. The tension in the Dark Tower series has built steadily from the beginning and, like in the best of King’s novels, explodes into a violent, heart-tugging climax as Roland and his ka-tet finally near their goal. The body count in The Dark Tower is high. The gunslingers come out shooting and face a host of enemies, including low men, mutants, vampires, Roland’s hideous quasi-offspring Mordred, and the fearsome Crimson King himself. King pushes the gross-out factor at times—Roland’s lesson on tanning (no, not sun tanning) is brutal—but the magic of the series remains strong and readers will feel the pull of the Tower as strongly as ever as the story draws to a close. During this sentimental journey, King ties up loose ends left hanging from the 15 non-series novels and stories that are deeply entwined in the fabric of Mid-World through characters like Randall Flagg (The Stand and others) or Father Callahan (Salem’s Lot). When it finally arrives, the long awaited conclusion will leave King’s myriad fans satisfied but wishing there were still more to come.
In King’s memoir On Writing, he tells of an old woman who wrote him after reading the early books in the Dark Tower series. She was dying, she said, and didn’t expect to see the end of Roland’s quest. Could King tell her? Does he reach the Tower? Does he save it? Sadly, King said he did not know himself, that the story was creating itself as it went along. Wherever that woman is now (the clearing at the end of the path, perhaps?), let’s hope she has a copy of The Dark Tower. Surely she would agree it’s been worth the wait. —Benjamin Reese
Visit the Dark Tower store
Over 30 years in the making, spanning seven volumes, Stephen King’s epic quest for the Dark Tower has encompassed almost his entire body of fiction. Find every volume of this fantastic adventure, an interview with the master himself, and much more in our Dark Tower Store.
Authors on Stephen King
Mystery writer Michael Connelly thinks Stephen King’s “one of the most generous writers I know of.” Thriller author Ridley Pearson says “King possesses an incredible sense of story…” Read our Stephen King testimonials to find out what else they and other authors had to say about the undisputed King of Horror.
The Path to the Dark Tower
There are only seven volumes in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series but more than a dozen of his novels and short stories are deeply entwined with the Mid-World universe. Take a look at the non-series titles, from Salem’s Lot to Everything’s Eventual. Can you find the connections?
History of an Alternate Universe
Robin Furth, an expert on Stephen King’s Dark Tower universe if ever there was one, has created a timeline of Mid-World, the slowly crumbling world of gunslinger Roland Deschain. Read it and get up to speed on a world of adventure.
Hail to the King
Fans applauded and critics howled when Stephen King was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Service to American Letters. In typical fashion, King accepted the honor with humility and urged recognition for other “popular” authors. Listen to a clip of his acceptance speech, then order the entire speech on audio CD.