THE DARK TOWER: The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King, Donald M. Grant Books, Artist Edition, $78, 336 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
This is a limited edition of 5000 copies signed by the artist, Jae Lee. It is a fetching companion piece to the other Grant editions of this marvelous series that King started writing in 1970. It is issued in a green faux snake skin (or could it be dragon skin?) foil embossed slipcase that blends in well with the other seven volumes.
In this volume, which King calls volume 4.5, Roland and his group must take refuge from a storm and in order to pass the time, Roland tells them a story about his past. While relaying the story, he also tells the story of The Wind Through the Keyhole, a story from The Book of Eld that his mother read to him at bedtime.
Shortly after his mother’s death, he and Jason are dispatched to a town that is being devastated by a “skin-man”, a shapeshifter. The only surviving witness is Bill Streeter, the terrified boy who was able to hide but obtain a clue to the “skin-man’s” identity. Roland tells Bill the story in order to help bolster his courage and calm him as they attempt to identify the shapeshifter.
Roland also fills in some details concerning his mother and the events that led up to her death.
King seems to take on another persona while writing the Dark Tower books. Even though the Mid-World that Roland inhabits seems like a faraway place, the glimpses of our time and always find a way into the story.
I don’t know if King will return to Mid-World and Roland in the near future. One can only hope there are more adventures to be told.
Ordering information is available at http://www.grantbooks.com. A trade edition is due from Scribners.