The Wind Through the Keyhole (Stephen King)

The Wind Through the Keyhole is an extra novel in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King that is set between the fourth – Wizard and Glass – and the fifth novel – Wolves of the Calla without actually advancing the major plot. It was also written after the seven actual novels of the series were finished.
Finished on: 28.7.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Plot:
The ka-tet Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy get trapped in a storm, a starkblast. As they wait it out, Roland tells them the story of when he and Jaime De Curry were sent west to Debaria as young men to investigate the claims of a town that a shapeshifter is terrorizing them. In Debaria Roland finds that the only person who might be able to identify the shapeshifter is a young boy, Bill. They, too, have to wait for a bit, so Roland tells Bill a story he heard in his own childhood, of Tim Ross and his magical quest to avenge his father.

I liked this interlude that provides us with yet another look at Roland’s youth. In fact, it might be one of my favorites of the series – although mostly for the story within the story within the story that was a beautiful fairy tale.

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Wizard and Glass (Stephen King)

Wizard and Glass is the fourth novel in the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Finished on: 11.7.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Plot:
Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah and Oy manage to defeat Blaine and arrive at the Topeka railway station, Kansas. Only it’s not the Kansas of Jake’s, Eddie’s and Susannah’s world. Something awful has happened here. As they leave the city, they come close to something Roland calls a “thinny”, an eerie hole in the dimensional fabric. As they camp for the night, Roland tells them the story of where he encountered a thinny for the first time, which is also the story of his first big love, Susan Delgado.

Most of Wizard and Glass is spent in Roland’s past, a “detour” from the quest I very much enjoyed, even though I had some issues here and there with a couple of things.

[SPOILERS]

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The Waste Lands (Stephen King)

The Waste Lands is the third novel in the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Finished on: 9.5.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Plot:
Roland has found Eddie and Susannah, and together they start moving through Mid-World in the direction of the Dark Tower. They know they are on the right path when they hit one of the Beams, including its guardian that spread out from the Tower itself. But while the direction is now clear, something else becomes apparent: Roland’s mind is starting to fall apart. Jake in New York City is equally struggling as his part in the story simply isn’t over yet.

The Waste Lands digs deeper in the story and the quest and it feels a bit like the actual story is getting started now – like the preliminiaries are now dealt with and we can really get to it. As usual there were some things about it that I didn’t particularly like, but I’m still very much invested in the story.

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The Drawing of the Three (Stephen King)

The Drawing of the Three is the second novel in the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. [Here’s my review of the first one, The Gunslinger.]
Finished on: 7.10.2016

Plot:
After the encounter with the Man in Black, Roland wakes on a beach, the Man in Black’s tarot reading of his fate still ringing in his ear. Before Roland can get his bearings, he is attacked and injured by lobstrosities. In an increasingly weakened state, he starts to move along the beach in search of the Three that were announced to him as his partners. It’s then that he stumbles upon a door that stands on its own on the beach. When Roland opens it, he is transported to another world, New York City, which is deeply connected to his own.

The Drawing of the Three is an exciting read that left me wanting more (fortunately there is more), although there were also things I didn’t exactly like about it.

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The Gunslinger (Stephen King)

The Gunslinger is the first novel in the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I read the revised and expanded edition.
Finished on: 23.2.2016

Plot:
The Gunslinger Roland is after the Man in Black. He knows he will get him, even at the edge of a giant deserht, he is slowly gaining on the Man in Black. Roland knows it’s his destiny to get the Man in Black and move on to the The Dark Tower. But it is certainly not an easy thing to fulfill this destiny.

I have read a lot of Stephen King, but somehow I never got around to reading The Dark Tower series. With the adaptation looming around the corner (and can I just take a second to squeal about the casting perfection that is Idris Elba?!), I thought I better get cracking. The Gunslinger was a good, if slightly uneven read set in an absolutely intriguing world – even for someone like me who doesn’t dig Westerns all that much.

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Riding the Bullet (2004)

Riding the Bullet
Director: Mick Garris
Writer: Mick Garris
Based on: Stephen King‘s novella
Cast: Jonathan Jackson, David Arquette, Barbara Hershey, Matt Frewer, Erika Christensen

Plot:
After his girlfriend Jessica (Erika Christensen) pretends to break up with him to surprise him with his birthday party, art student Alan (Jonathan Jackson) tries to commit suicide and is only stopped by the arrival of said surprise guests. When he leaves the hospital, things don’t get much better: instead of going to the John Lennon concert Jessica got him tickets for, Alan is informed that his mother (Barbara Hershey) had a stroke and is in the hospital. Alan decides to hike back home to visit her, but the night he spends on the road is more than a little off.

I rather liked Riding the Bullet. It’s certainly not the best at anything, but it does  have some nice visuals and a very decent cast.

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Misery (1990)

Misery
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: William Goldman
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall

Plot:
Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is a successful author. He became famous writing a series of novels about Misery, but he’s had enough of her. In his latest, soon to be published book, he killed her off and just finished his first none-Misery book, when he gets into a car crash. He is pulled out of the wreck by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), his self-professed number one fan. But it’s only when Annie discovers that Misery dies that the actual degree of Annie’s obsession becomes apparent.

It is obvious why Misery really put Kathy Bates on the acting map. She owned that film and stole every scene she was in. Altogether it’s a really strong film with a tense atmosphere that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

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Carrie (2013)

Carrie
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Alex Russell, Judy Greer

Plot:
Growing up with her ultra-religious, mentally ill mother (Julianne Moore), Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an outcast at her school who lacks vital information. Like what a period is. So when she gets it, she’s understandably distressed, a fact her classmates use to bring the bullying to the next level. But what they don’t know is that Carrie also has strange powers that she’s slowly getting the hang of.

Carrie has a strong, tense first half, but especially the showdown really doesn’t work anymore.

carrie

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Under the Dome (Stephen King)

Under the Dome is a novel by Stephen King.

Plot:
Chester’s Mill is a small town in Maine that is one day suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible, impenetrable dome. While people are still trying to grasp what happened and figure out how they could get out of their predicament, the town’s Second Selectman and unofficial leader, Big Jim Rennie, sees his chance to grab even more power. Former army Captain Dale Barbara, who gets stranded in Chester’s Mill quite by chance, tries his best to calm the situation, but things keep escalating further and further.

Under the Dome is a mammoth of a book. I like long novels, but they always have difficulties keeping the tension. In that, Under the Dome succeeds admirably and manages to keep the book engaging to the very last, even if the ending is a bit of a let-down.

underthedome

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The Night Flier (1997)

The Night Flier is Mark Pavia‘s adaptation of a Stephen King story, written by Mark Pavia and Jack O’Donnell and starring Miguel Ferrer and Julie Entwisle.

Plot:
A killer is on the lose – flying from small airport to small airport and killing whoever is working there that night. Seasoned tabloid reporter Richard Dees (Miguel Ferrer) doesn’t think the story is extremely interesting but when new assistant Katherine (Julie Entwisle) convinces their boss that the story is worth pursuing, Richard gets put on the case. While he’s less than overjoyed at first, he soon discovers that there might be more to the “Night Flier” than just a psychotic killer.

The Night Flier neatly fits into the slew of most Stephen King adaptations: It’s fine, it has a nice B-Cast, it gets a bit cheesy, but in the end you see it with probably half of your attention, it entertains and then you forget it pretty much right away.

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