Why You Should Read The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

Discover Stephen King's spellbinding, shocking and sensational Dark Tower series, which has now been adapted into a major film and TV show. See below for all the reasons we think you can't miss the engrossing Dark Tower books, guaranteed to provide a thrilling and unforgettable adventure...

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What's it all about?

The first book of the series begins with the iconic line: 'The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.' This intriguing sentence sets the very first scene of the Last Gunslinger's epic adventure.

The 'gunslinger' is Roland of Gilead, an enigmatic but powerful individual intent on undertaking a perilous journey towards the Dark Tower, pursuing the 'Man in Black'.

The world through which he must travel is desolate and wild, and features unsettling resonances with our own.

But Roland will not remain alone. In the first book, he meets a kid from New York named Jake with whom he forges a close friendship, and throughout the books, he encounters a diverse range of characters, including sinister strangers, vital companions, and, of course, killers...

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So why should you read the series?

1) Whether you're into science fiction, fantasy, Western, horror, adventure... this series has something for you!

The saga brilliantly fuses elements from a range of popular genres, so it's no wonder it's garnered such a vast and varied fan-base. Plus, with eight Dark Tower novels to enjoy, this is a series you can truly immerse yourself in.

2) It's been adapted into a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

It's always better to read the books first though, so be sure to get reading before seeing the film! But that's not all: a TV series based on the fourth Dark Tower book, Wizard and Glass, will follow the film (and it's sure to be binge-worthy).

3) The Dark Tower series is thought to be Stephen King's 'magnum opus' - the author has said so himself.

So, whether you're already a Stephen King fan or new to his ingenious, imaginative works, this is the next series for you!

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4) If you're a Harry Potter fan, you can't miss these books. Just look out for the references to J. K. Rowling's own spellbinding series...

In the fifth Dark Tower book, Wolves of the Calla, the font used for the chapter titles is used in all 7 Harry Potter books. Plus, the golden grenades the eponymous wolves use are called 'sneetches' (sound familiar to a certain Quidditch essential...?) and are stamped with the serial number 465-11-AA HPJKR (standing for Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling).

5) The Dark Tower series is highly-acclaimed with outstanding reviews from critics.

For example, James Smythe of the Guardian concludes his review of the first book, The Gunslinger, by writing: 'The first line is near-perfect; and the rest of the book follows suit.' Joe Hartlaub of Book Reporter writes that the 'epic tale of Roland the Gunslinger and his pursuit of the Dark Tower stands on its own as an exciting tale that is full of mystery and told in rich and descriptive language'. Tasha Robinson of A. V. Club writes that 'The Dark Tower is a monumental adventure that echoes King's best work'.

So... what are you waiting for? Check out the Dark Tower series - a fantastical, phenomenal, weird and wondrous Wild West adventure - and lose yourself in Stephen King's striking saga.

The Dark Tower books in order:

1. The Gunslinger (first published 1982; revised edition 2003)

2. The Drawing of the Three (1987)

3. The Waste Lands (1991)

4. Wizard and Glass (1997)

4.5. The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012)

5. Wolves of the Calla (2003)

6. Song of Susannah (2004)

7. The Dark Tower (2004)

...or buy The Dark Tower Collection and get them all in one go.

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    In this first novel in his epic fantasy masterpiece, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey into good and evil, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.In his first step towards the powerful and mysterious Dark Tower, Roland encounters an alluring woman named Alice, begins a friendship with Jake, a kid from New York, and faces an agonising choice between damnation and salvation as he pursues the Man in Black. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, THE GUNSLINGER leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.And the Tower is closer...
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    The final volume sees gunslinger Roland on a roller-coaster mix of exhilarating triumph and aching loss in his unrelenting quest to reach the dark tower.Roland's band of pilgrims remains united, though scattered. Susannah-Mia has been carried off to New York to give birth, Terrified of what may happen, Jake, Father Callahan and Oy follow.Roland and Eddie are in Maine, looking for the site which will lead them to Susannah. As he finally closes in on the tower, Roland's every step is shadowed by a terrible and sinister creation. And finally, he realises, he may have to walk the last dark strait alone...You've come this far, Come a little farther, Come all the way, The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower.
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    In the fourth powerful novel in Stephen King's bestselling fantasy quest, The Dark Tower beckons Roland, the Last Gunslinger, and the four companions he has gathered along the road.And, having narrowly escaped one world, they set out on a terrifying journey across the scarred urban wasteland to brave a new world where hidden dangers lie at every junction: a malevolent computer-run monorail hurtling towards self-destruction, Roland's relentlessly cunning old enemy, and the temptation of the wizard's diabolical glass ball, a powerful force in Roland's first love affair. A tale of long-ago love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado.And the Tower is closer...
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    In the second novel of King's bestselling fantasy masterpiece, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, encounters three doors which open to 1980s America. Here he joins forces with the defiant Eddie Dean and courageous, volatile Odetta Holmes. And confronts deadly serial killer Jack Mort. As the titanic forces gather, a savage struggle between underworld evil and otherworldly enemies conspire to bring an end to Roland's quest for the Dark Tower...Masterfully weaving dark fantasy and icy realism, THE DRAWING OF THE THREE compulsively propels readers toward the next chapter. And the Tower is closer...
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    In the fifth novel in King's bestselling epic fantasy series, the farming community in the fertile lands of the East has been warned the wolves are coming back. Four gunslingers, led by Roland of Gilead, are also coming their way. And the farmers of the Calla want to enlist some hard calibers.Torn between protecting the innocent community and his urgent quest, Roland faces his most deadly perils as he journey through the Mid-World towards the Dark Tower.
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    In the third novel in King's epic fantasy masterpiece, Roland, the Last Gunslinger, is moving ever closer to the Dark Tower, which haunts his dreams and nightmares. Pursued by the Ageless Stranger, he and his friends follow the perilous path to Lud, an urban wasteland. And crossing a desert of damnation in this macabre new world, revelations begin to unfold about who - and what - is driving him forward. A blend of riveting action and powerful drama, The Waste Lands leaves readers breathlessly awaiting the next chapter.
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    The pivotal sixth instalment in King's bestselling epic fantasy saga provides the key to the quest that defines Roland's life.In the next part of their journey to the tower, Roland and his band of followers face adversity from every side: Susannah Dean has been taken over by a demon-mother and uses the power of Black Thirteen to get from the Mid-World New York City. But who is the father of her child? And what role will the Crimson King play?Roland sends Jake to break Susannah's date with destiny, while he himself uses 'the persistence of magic' to get to Maine in the Summer of 1977. It is a terrible world: for one thing it is real and bullets are flying. For another, it is inhabited by the author of a novel called 'SALEM'S LOT.SONG OF SUSANNAH is driven by revelation and by suspense. It continues THE DARK TOWER series seamlessly from WOLVES OF THE CALLA and the dramatic climax will leave readers desperate to read the quest's conclusion.
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    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/
  • The Dark Tower Collection - Collection - 9781473671355 - Stephen King
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    • Just £3.75 per book
    Starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, the adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower will be one of the fantasy film events of the year. This is the entire collection of novels that inspired the film and you can get your hands on it for a simply unbelievable Book People price.

    The Gunslinger has one of the most iconic opening lines of all time ('The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.') and introduces Roland of Gilead, a loner known as the Last Gunslinger who finds himself on a journey towards the Dark Tower...

    While on his journey, Roland forms a friendship with Jake, an inquisitive child from New York, and then faces a choice between damnation and salvation...

    Stephen King is known for novels including Carrie, The Shining and It, but The Dark Tower series is often cited as his finest work. With eight books to read through, you'll be intrigued and entertained for hours on end with this slipcased collection.