THE NUMBER ONE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER. For readers new to The Dark Tower, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis. This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.) Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother's death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a 'skin man,' Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the 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.' And stories like these, they live for us. The back cover of the UK hardcover edition features some 8,000 faces of those who entered the StephenKingFaces competition. These faces are indiscernible to the naked eye on the actual covers but they can be found and identified with the zoom mechanism on http:www.stephenkingfaces.com
'At the age of 19 Stephen decided he would like to write an epic similar to The Lord of the Rings. The 'spaghetti Westerns' of that time [specifically The Good, the Bad and the Ugly] and a poem written by Robert Browning, 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came', became the inspiration for his magnum opus. The series written and published separately over a period of 22 years consists of seven books and the short story, 'The Little Sisters of Eluria' published in his short story collection, EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL.' From the author's website.