Synopses & Reviews
AN ALL-NEW COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANTLY CONSTRUCTED WORLDS IN ALL OF FICTION
Stephen King’s bestselling multi-volume Dark Tower series is the author’s most inspired and imaginative creation. The story of Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger, and his lifelong quest to reach the tower and save humanity across infinite parallel worlds is one that has consumed King throughout his career as characters and concepts crossed back and forth between the series and the rest of his fictional universe. The mythos continues to be chronicled and expanded in graphic novels overseen by King, interactive adventures on his website, a proposed film adaptation, and in a new Dark Tower novel.
The Dark Tower Companion is the ultimate compendium to King’s evolving magnum opus, presenting the mythology, history, and geography of this epic fantasy that has captivated generations of readers. Featuring interviews with Stephen King, Ron Howard, Dark Tower expert Robin Furth and others, Bev Vincent reveals The Dark Tower’s influential literary origins, examines its connections to the vast majority of King’s other novels, explores the expanded universe, catalogs the major characters, locations and concepts, and includes a travel guide to the story’s real-world locations, giving fans who have followed Roland’s journey—or those who are discovering it for the first time—a fascinating overview of the series and an inside look at the creative process of one of the world’s most popular authors.
Praise for The Road to The Dark Tower
“Wonderful…opens doors to Roland’s world that not even I knew existed. If you like The Dark Tower books, you’ll like this one. Enthusiastically recommended.”—Stephen King
“Bev Vincent is a true King insider....His book is essential to every reader of Stephen King’s magnificent work.”—Peter Straub
“Vincent proves himself a master of the Dark Tower world.” —Publishers Weekly
“There’s much…literature on Stephen King’s work, but most of it can be skipped. Not so with Vincent’s The Road to the Dark Tower, the first full-length study of King’s thirty-year opus, a book-by-book summary with explanations and commentary.” —Charles N. Brown, Locus
In 1970, Stephen King embarked on what would become the crowning achievement in his literary career-the Dark Tower. The seven-volume series, written and published over a period of 30 years, was inspired by Robert Browning's poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," as well as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and the spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone.
With the full cooperation of Stephen King himself, The Road to the Dark Tower examines the epic journey of the author to complete a story that threatened to overwhelm him. In this indispensable companion, Bev Vincent presents a book-by-book analysis of each volume in the series, tracing the Dark Tower's connections to King's other novels including The Stand, Insomnia, and Hearts in Atlantis, and offering insights from the author about the creative process involved in crafting his lifelong work-a work that has consumed not only Stephen King, but his legion of devoted readers. This is essential reading for any Dark Tower-or Stephen King-fan.
About the Author
Bev Vincent is the author of over two dozen short stories and the Stephen King column, News from the Dead Zone, featured in Cemetery Dance magazine.
Table of Contents
The Road To The Dark Tower Key To Referenced Works
Introduction: More Worlds Than These
Chapter 1: The Long Journey to the Tower
Chapter 2: The Gunslinger (Resumption)
Chapter 3: The Drawing of the Three (Renewal)
Chapter 4: The Waste Lands (Redemption)
Chapter 5: Wizard and Glass (Regard)
Chapter 6: Wolves of the Calla (Resistance)
Chapter 7: Song of Susannah (Reproduction)
Chapter 8: The Dark Tower (Resumption)
Chapter 9: Related Works
The Eyes of the Dragon
Desperation and the Regulators
"The Little Sisters of Eluria"
"Low Men in Yellow Coats" (Hearts in Atlantis)
The Talisman and Black House
Chapter 10: Dramatis Personae
Roland Deschain of Gilead
John "Jake" Chambers
Eddie Dean (Edward Cantor Dean)
Susannah Dean, Odetta Susannah Holmes, Detta Susannah Walker, Mia
Father Donald Frank Callahan
The Men in Black, Walter o'Dim, Marten Broadcloak, Randall Flagg . . .
The Crimson King (Ram Abbalah)
Chapter 11: Epics, Influences and Ka
Chapter 12: Art and the Act of Creation
Argument: Magnum Opus?
Appendix I: Timeline (Fact) Appendix II: Timeline (Fiction) Part 1: Mid-World
Part 2: Keystone Earth
Appendix III: Mid-World Glossary
Appendix IV: The Dark Tower on the Web
Stephen King Fan Pages
Appendix V: Synopses and notes form The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Appendix VI: "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"
References and Acknowledgments