Staff Note: Listen Up is a series of posts reviewing books in their audiobook format, which provides listeners with a unique literary experience. York County Public Library has audiobooks on CD and in downloadable formats.
Stephen King is well-known for his celebrated ability to scare readers around the world. But what some don't realize is that horror isn't his only genre. King has tried his hand at high fantasy with The Dark Tower series with great success.
The Dark Tower series starts with The Gunslinger and follows the exploits of Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger, as he seeks the Dark Tower in an attempt to save his world. But the series becomes so much more as we meet new characters and explore new worlds. From Jake Chambers, the boy Roland comes to love like a son, to two other companions Roland "draws" from different times in our world, King creates a group of leading characters that you will find your self rooting for until the quest comes to an end. With adventure, romance, a fantastical quest and good old-fashioned shoot-outs, this series has something for everyone.
The biggest challenge with this series is the length. Clocking in at 7 books and over 4,000 pages total, the series can be a heavy commitment for some. But that is why we recommend consuming this excellent series through audiobook. You will be surprised how quickly Roland's story passes by just listening during your commute. And the wide variety of characters - of different ages, accents and genders - can be hard to keep straight through regular reading. But the talented narrators who worked on this series do a great job with this. Frank Muller, who narrates our copies of books two through four, does an especially excellent job switching among the many different accents and characters King includes while making it easier to follow the narrative. All seven books in the series are available from the library in compact disc format.
A long-awaited movie version of the series is set to arrive in 2017, so there is no time like the present to discover (or rediscover) this tale. If you are ready to journey to The Dark Tower with Roland and company, request The Gunslinger today by calling 890-5120 or visiting our online catalog. And if you need help keeping track of the order of books in the series, check out Stephen King's website on the series.