Winter has settled in here in the Midwest and it is usually this time of year I find myself something to read. One year it was the Bible cover to cover then it was “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy”, “Harry Potter series” and yes, my daughter even got me into “Twilight” (woot, team Jacob)and “The Hunger Games”. This year is a new challenge: to read the entire “Dark Tower series” including all the books that lead into each other. At the rate Minnesota winters last, this should be no problem.
It: a group of kids (the Losers Club) returns to their home town of Derry as adults to battle an evil they thought vanquished from their past. Introduction to “The Turtle”, “Deadlights”, “The Crimson King” and “The Rose”.
Night Shift: (Jerusalem’s Lot) this is a prequel to “Salem’s Lot”.
Salem’s Lot: a class one vampire is sucking the town dry and only a handful of people try to end the spreading “plague”. Introduction to Father Callahan (Pere Callahan).
Night Shift: (One For The Road) the sequel to “Salem’s Lot”
: (Night Surf) a short story introducing you to the superflu and “Captain Tripps” leads you into the next book.
The Stand: A virus escapes a secret government facility and it isn’t long until it disseminates 98% of the population. It is up to a handful of survivors; one side good, the other evil led by a mysterious “walkin’ dude”. Introduces you to the Gunslinger’s nemesis-Randall Flagg (man in black) who serves the Crimson King.
Eyes of the Dragon: different versions of the characters from The Dark Tower told in a different vein. This is how fairy tales are told a la Stephen King.
Everything’s Eventual: (Little Sisters of Eluria) This is the unofficial start of The Dark Tower. The last Gunslinger Roland Deschain is wounded in his battle with the slow mutants. He awakes in a “hospital” run by blood sucking nurses.
The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger: Roland is chasing the “man in black”, the beginning of his quest for the Dark Tower. He lives in Mid-World where everything has moved on. He has lost everything but gains a companion he pulls from another world.
The Dark Tower 2: The Drawing of The Three: Roland has pulled in two others to join his quest. Eddie Dean a heroin addict and Odetta/Detta/Sussanah/Mia Walker.
The Dark Tower 3: The Wastelands: The group is in the decrepit town of Lud and must continue their journey on an insane monorail out of the wastelands, but Roland must draw someone from his past.
Insomnia: Back in the city of Derry; Ed is a widower and can’t seem to sleep. It worsens each night and he suddenly becomes aware of “the doctors” whom serve the Purpose, and he comes face to face with The Crimson King, and he must save the life of a special child Patrick Danville whom serves a much higher purpose.
The Dark Tower 4: Wizard and Glass: Our ka-tet ends up in Topeka, Kansas where the superflu from “the Stand” has wiped out the population. They meet up with Randall Flagg and Roland tells his friends about his past.
Hearts In Atlantis: We are introduced to Ted Brautigan, a fugitive running from the Crimson King whom enslaved Ted to be a “breaker”. Ted hides at a tenement house and befriends the young boy downstairs. He is soon discovered by “The Low Men In Yellow Coats”.
The Dark Tower 5: Wolves of the Calla: Our Gunslingin’ friends have made their way to Calla Bryn Sturgis where the people are being ravaged by horse riding wolves whom steal their children away and return them “roont”. The Ka-Tet completes their group when they meet Pere Callahan of “Salem’s Lot”.
The Dark Tower 6: Song of Susannah: Susannah is pregnant and is possessed by the demon Mia. She goes to New York City 1999 to a vampire ridden restaurant called the Dixie Pig. Some of the team go to rescue Susannah and the rest go to Maine 1977 and meet up with Stephen King.
Black House: Jack Sawyer of “The Talisman” is now a retired cop living in a border town in Wisconsin. But there have been children missing, and all the clues lead up to an old man and a mysterious black house. This ties in right after “Song of Susannah” and also mentions the Crimson King and Breakers.
Skeleton Crew: (The Mist) a secret government lab rips a hole (thinny) and things from another dimension wreak havoc upon survivors trapped in a grocery store. This explains what a “Thinny” is.
Everything’s Eventual: (Everything’s Eventual) this is the story of Dinky Earnshaw who gets a job from a mysterious company. He only has to email or snail mail a given target and something bad happens to them. Dinky becomes a breaker with Ted Brautigan.
The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower: our Ka-tet are coming to the end of their journeys. All things close and are revealed. Ka is a wheel afterall.
There are other books connected with The Dark Tower in some way or another such as:
The Talisman: Young Jack Sawyer is holed up in the Agincort Inn (the Dark Tower’s twin) with his mother whom seems to be dying from a cancer-like illness. Jack learns to “flip” into a different world.
Rose Madder: An abused woman gets her revenge through a painting that just may be a portal into Mid-World.
Bag of Bones: a widower/writer goes to his old vacation spot “Sara Laughs”(Cara Laughs Twin of the Dark Tower). He goes to heal and hopefully break his writers block. He meets a woman and her daughter who are being terrorized by the richest man in town.
From a Buick 8: A low man abandons a car which is really a portal to the todash dimension where creatures escape.