The second book in the Dark Tower Series
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (August 2003), EBook: 656KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3750-7
We found at the end of the first book that he caught up to the man in black and they had a ten year long parlay during which time he learned many things. During this time we learned that the man in black was not what Roland was really seeking but that he had some answers that would help Roland reach the Dark Tower, his true destination. We are still not clear exactly what the Dark Tower is or why Roland so desperately wants to reach it. All we know is that the Tower stands at a kind of power-nexus pulling all of existence together. Perhaps it is all of existence? We know from the first book, since both the man in black and the oracle tell Roland that he will meet or draw three people to help him in his quest. This book tells the story of Roland’s quest as he meets or draws each of these people. The doors are the keys to finding these people.
This is the second book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future. Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre. Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western. The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead. Although at times it is also told from the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all potential Gunslingers and his follow questees are Eddie Dean of New York (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977). The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.
There is a rather gruesome beginning to this book. After Roland is attacked by the lobstrosites things are looking very bleak until he finds a mysterious, magical door in the middle of the beach. I thought this book was extraordinary. It was exciting and hard to put down. I really enjoyed the story as it was imaginative, with a surprise at the ending. Once Roland passes through the first mysterious door things really start to get interesting. I really enjoyed reading about Roland’s journey as the story melds Roland’s world with our world. It is interesting to experience Roland’s view of our world. Each of the people that Roland draws have flaws and it is up to Roland to work through these flaws. It is interesting to meet and get to know these new characters. I enjoyed reading how each of these people met with and worked through their challenges.
Although this book is clearly in the middle of the series where Roland’s goal is the reach the elusive Dark Tower, it was also a complete story unto itself as the title so aptly implies. I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior book first as this is not really a stand-alone book. If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.