Sunday Salon: Join the Ka-Tet! A Dark Tower Readalong

Many of you know that Jenny and I are ardent and unapologetic Stephen King fans. And we’re especially big fans of his seven-volume epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower. Roland, the last gunslinger of the lost kingdom of Gilead, journeys through Mid-World with his ka-tet (a group of people bound by fate), seeking the Dark Tower that is the nexus of all the worlds—worlds that appear to be coming apart. It’s an extraordinary series, inspired by stories of  a hero’s journey, spaghetti westerns, and the poetry of Robert Browning. King fans will recognize echoes of his other work here, especially The Stand, Insomnia, and Salem’s Lot.

Jenny and I have been wanting to reread the whole series for a while, and with a new book, The Wind Through the Keyhole, coming next year, and a movie/TV series going into production, this seems like a good time to do it. We invite you to join our little ka-tet and read along.

Our plan is to keep this very casual and low-key. Starting in May, we’ll be reading one book a month for the next seven months. Toward the end of each month, we’ll do a conversation post on that month’s book and invite others to share links to their own posts. Here’s the schedule:

  • May: The Gunslinger
  • June: The Drawing of the Three
  • July: The Waste Lands
  • August: Wizard and Glass
  • September: Wolves of the Calla
  • October: Song of Susannah
  • November: The Dark Tower

If you’re a long-time fan or a Mid-World newbie, we hope you’ll consider joining in!

Edited to Add: We now have a button. Feel free to display on your blog and in posts!

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26 Responses to Sunday Salon: Join the Ka-Tet! A Dark Tower Readalong

  1. Ellen Rhudy says:

    Yikes, this is ambitious…also oddly appealing. I’m a Stephen King fan but have never read any of the Dark Tower books. Sounds like this may be the best time for me to start reading, so mark me down as a “maybe” participant – if I can get up the nerve to tackle these.

    • Teresa says:

      If it helps at all, the first three books are pretty short, so you can always plan to just try those, and if you like them, you’ll probably be hooked and want to continue.

  2. cbjames says:

    Do you tend to get a little anxious when you hear that a Stephen King book is going to be made into a movie? There have been some very good ones, but there have been so many awful ones…..

    Your read-a-long sounds fun. I hope you get lots of sign-ups. Are you making a button for it?

    • Teresa says:

      It seems like the better books make the better movies, but I’m really nervous about The Dark Tower. I like the movie/TV concept, but the thought of Ron Howard directing… Color me skeptical.

      We haven’t made a button–all part of our keeping it low-key mentality :) I may play around with some ideas, and I’d welcome a button design from someone with more expertise than me.

      I didn’t think to mention it in the post, but an argument could be made that The Gunslinger would fit in your Western readalong. It’s definitely inspired by the Man with No Name trilogy.

  3. Caitie F says:

    I have read the first six books…I really need to read the seventh but the sixth was so eh that it has been difficult to get into it!

    I may reread some of the books with 2-5 :)

    • Teresa says:

      I know several people didn’t like the final books a much as the earlier ones. I enjoyed them, but I just couldn’t get enough of the characters and had to see what happened.

  4. Chelsea says:

    I’m so in for a read-a-long! That’s my mom’s favorite book series and she’s always begging me to read them. Thanks for a great post and a great read-a-long idea!

  5. Gavin says:

    I read the first one years ago and always meant to read the rest. I am really tempted to join you but may have to play catch up in June.

  6. Steph says:

    We have the first four or five books in the series sitting on the shelves because those are the ones Tony liked best! I haven’t read them myself, however, so this might be just the right time to do so! I’m going to a conference in Florida the second week in May, so this might be perfect reading to bring along for when I duck out and head to the beach! ;)

  7. Looks like fun! I’m not sure I’ll be able to join, but I am looking forward to the discussions. This is on fantasy series I considered, but never ended up actually reading.

  8. petekarnas says:

    This looks like fun. Like you, I’m an unabashed Stephen King fan – I’ve read almost everything he’s ever written. I went through the Dark Tower series about two years ago, but it might be fun to do it again, especially on a one-book-a-month basis.

    • Teresa says:

      I think Jenny’s read just about all his books, but I’m a late enough convert that I have a lot more to cover (and I let Jenny point me to the better ones). I think one book a month will be nice. I find it a good pace for a series.

  9. gaskella says:

    I’ve not read any Stephen King for years, and never read this series – so I’ll join you … for the first volume at least!

    • Teresa says:

      Yay! I hope you manage at least at few books. The first is quite good but different from the rest, so it might take a couple of books to get hooked.

  10. James says:

    I’ve only read two Stephen King books – The Stand and On Writing. I enjoyed them both and I’m not really sure why I haven’t read more of his books. This readalong seems like the perfect opportunity for me to rectify this. Count me in!

  11. Excellent! I am definitely going to join in!

  12. Pingback: Stephen King’s Dark Tower Readalong #3 « Gaskella

  13. Kiki Reina says:

    Stephen King is my favorite author of all time … I thank him for keeping me sane while i was in Guam … he let me escape a torment that had to pass … and while i was there i became quite prolific in what now has become my business … my favorite book is Insomnia … I LOVE RALPH … the gunslinger is a series that i doubt could be surpassed in greatness … the second book in particular made me fall in love with Roland and tell me if any one else didn’t want some butter for the lobstrocities!?

  14. Marga says:

    Did you know that a new book is coming out next year? OMG, I’m so excited, these are probably my favorite Stephen King books!

  15. Terri B. says:

    I just discovered your read-a-long for Dark Tower. I’ve only read a few King novels, but am loving Dark Tower. Currently on Book 4, so I’m not too far behind schedule! Glad to find some other DT fans :)

  16. Pingback: Stephen King’s Dark Tower #3 – Annabookbel

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