The Wind through the Keyhole by Stephen King
Roland Deschain and his ka-tet—Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler—encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two…and in so doing, casts new 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 investigate evidence of a murderous shape-shifter, a “skin-man” preying upon the population around Debaria. Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, the brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Only a teenager himself, Roland calms the boy and prepares him for the following day’s trials by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother often read to him at bedtime. “A person’s never too old for stories,” Roland says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.” And indeed, the tale that Roland unfolds, the legend of Tim Stoutheart, is a timeless treasure for all ages, a story that lives for us.
If you expect to read more about the Ka-Tet from the Dark Tower series, you gotta be disappointed. This is not a tale about Roland and his friends, but one of his past life and a story he was told when he was younger.
It is a story within a story within a story 😀 Sounds complicated but it is not and for me it worked. I knew what to expect before I bought the book and therefore wasn’t disappointed. The first story is indeed about Roland, Jake and the others and takes place after the events of Wizard and Glass and right before The Wolves of Calla. The Ka-Tet is waiting out a storm (a ‘starkblast’) and Roland uses the time to tell a story about a mission he and his mate Jamie DeCurry went on when they were younger.
In this story Roland tells another story, a kind of fairytale, to a boy living in the village they were sent to. This tale takes up most of the space in the book and I really loved it as it deals with many different topics like deceit, courage, love and has a great young protagonist as well as a truly magical setting. We also meet some well-known characters from the Dark Tower series.
What I also enjoyed was that all 3 stories share a common theme and work very well together. I would love to read it again some day.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival.
Yayy, the second part following my beloved The Shining and we meet Danny/Dan as a grown-up! I was happy with the book and loved to read about Dan Torrance again, what happened to him after the hotel-incident and how his life developed. Sadly, not too well, as one might expect. Also, we get introduced to a new character, Abra, who has the shining as well. I loved the interactions between Abra & Dan and how we get to know Abra through various glimpses at her life. It was very well done and I could relate to both Dan and Abra.
What didn’t work well for me was the horror-part of this book.. The evil people were not threatening enough and I didn’t feel like any of the main characters were in danger throughout the book.
Still, it was all in all a good read.
Oh, and I love quotes relating to King’s other works..
“There are other worlds than these.”