1. Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King’s one of my favorite writers. Most people, when they hear his name, go to The Shining, The Stand, IT, Cujo, Carrie, and Needful Things. Okay, maybe not that last one. For me, though, King’s best works are Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, The Body, The Running Man, Black House, Insomnia, IT, and The Dark Tower series.
The Dark Tower.
I started reading this series when I was twelve and finished when I was twenty-six. I was lucky enough to be frustrated by the gaps in publication that happen when you’re reading something as it’s being written. I remember King’s car accident in 1999 and wondering to myself and friends if the Tower would ever be finished. Luckily enough it was, to the delight of some and the chagrin of others. As with the ending of any epic story there were a number of gripes about the resolution, but I enjoyed every word of the series. I loved reading about Roland, Roland’s world, and the relationships he forged with those he brought along on his quest. I loved (and still love) sharing this enthusiasm with others. When he published the final novels in 2006, I was fine with the conclusion. Marvel published a series of comics following that that filled in the gaps of Roland’s early days, and those are well worth reading as well.
Imagine my delight when King announced that he’d written another Dark Tower book, The Wind Through the Keyhole. Falling in-between books 4 and 5 of the proper Dark Tower series, The Wind Through The Keyhole gives service to the ka-tet we know and love, while taking the bulk of the story to tell two beautiful tales; one of Roland’s youth and another fairy tale, buried within the first. To a fan of the Dark Tower, it’s wonderful. It’s rich with the verse and dialiect that only Mid-World can have. It’s more.
King can really put a sentence together.
To celebrate its publication, here’s an unrelated short story by King, My Pretty Pony, read by Jerry Garcia. I’m a fan of the Grateful Dead, so these two things fit right into my “hug zone”, but even if you’re not I think you’ll see that Garcia’s voice lends itself really well to the telling of this story.