36

There are a considerable number of properties relating to Stephen King's Dark Tower; The original novels as well as various media such as a prequel and sequel-comic series, short stories, mentions in other King novels as well as a PC game.

What is the correct reading order for the Dark Tower series and where do the tie-in products fit into this?

  • You have everything you need in the answers. I stopped also for a long time after the same one. Then when restarting the series, I read it again to immerse myself back in the Mid-World and continued up to the last one. I did read tons of books but this one is clearly for me one of the best worked-out world(s) and story. I really urge you to continue your journey with Roland and his ka-tet. – LudoMC Apr 21 '11 at 20:34
  • Here's another list, alluding to the author's suggestions: honkmahfah.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/… – AncientSwordRage Dec 9 '14 at 15:34
  • I wrote an answer on a similar (possibly duplicate?) question that might also be interesting to you: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/153469/23384 – tobiasvl Mar 2 '17 at 22:25
  • @AncientSwordRage - the corrected link due to the blog's having moved: the-dark-tower-suggested-reading-order_2128.html – wbogacz Aug 11 '17 at 14:40
19

Per Wikipedia:

  1. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
  2. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
  3. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
  4. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
  5. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
  6. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
  7. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
  8. (4.5) The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole

So to answer the question, you have 2 options. Wait for the next novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole, to be released (currently scheduled for 2012), or read Wolves of the Calla next.

  • Huh, reading more into it, the new book isn't going to take place after "The Dark Tower". Fixed the chronology. – user1027 Apr 21 '11 at 20:53
  • And for your edit, I would go reading Wolves of the Calla and finish the story before the release of the 8th book which is quite not there yet... There is no such big hole that it's an issue following the whole plot. – LudoMC Apr 22 '11 at 16:45
  • @LudoMC yeah the Wikipedia page says that King found a sort of small crack in the story where he didn't explicitly have things happen and decided that's where he wanted to write the next novel. – user1027 Apr 22 '11 at 16:55
  • Yes I've seen this following your link. But I don't know why, I'm not really waiting for the movies... :-/ Hope they won't ruin the whole story. – LudoMC Apr 22 '11 at 17:08
  • I was expecting you to update this with the additional tie-in novels...? – Valorum Dec 22 '14 at 23:11
8

I would suggest that you read the actual Dark Tower books in the order in which they were published. You can then move on to the comics and the short story about the Little Sisters of Eluria.

It would be incredibly difficult and time consuming to read all of the related secondary works - that list includes the majority of King's books: It, Insomnia, The Stand, 'Salem's Lot, Hearts in Atlantis, The Mist, The Eyes of the Dragon, Everything's Eventual, Rose Madder, The Talisman, From a Buick 8, Firestarter, Dreamcatcher, Cujo, The Long Walk, Misery, The Dead Zone, and many, many more.

In my own personal opinion, of the secondary books that I have read (It, Insomnia, Misery, The Dead Zone, 'Salem's Lot, Eyes of the Dragon, Firestarter, The Long Walk, The Stand), it seems that the most important ones are as follows:

  • The Stand
  • Insomnia
  • The Eyes of the Dragon
  • 'Salem's Lot

You won't miss many important points if you don't read any of these books, but they do help to provide some background information that enriches the story of the actual Dark Tower series.

The order in which you read the books is ultimately up to you as the reader. I imagine that many people would recommend reading the secondary stuff first, then starting on the Dark Tower books, comics, etc, but really, it doesn't make much difference.

The books of the Dark Tower series tend to jump back and forth between different timelines and the chronology is not particularly consistent. For example, most of book IV (Wizard and Glass) takes place in Roland's childhood; some of the events of book VIII (The Wind Through the Keyhole) take place between the end of book IV and the beginning of book V, but the main story is also set in Roland's youth. More generally, all of the books include passages in which Roland reminisces about the past and tells stories about what the world was like before it "moved on".

In short, the best advice I can offer you is to read the books in whatever order seems best to you. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy this epic saga. The only important thing is to immerse yourself in the story and become part of Roland's world.


Note: There really isn't a correct answer to this question. It is all a matter of opinion. As if to prove this point, here is a list compiled by someone else, showing their own recommended reading list and order in which he/she thinks they should be read. One of the most interesting features of this list is that it very cleverly suggests reading The Gunslinger (i.e., Book I) again after finishing the series - this suggestion makes a lot of sense to those of us who have read the series. However, it is very important that I point out that this list contains TWENTY FIVE BOOKS. This just goes to show you how much secondary material there is to read.

Another list, apparently written before the publication of The Wind Through the Keyhole (Book VIII), is slightly different from the previous one.

  • 2
    PS: While the first edition of The Gunslinger (book I) contains many inconsistencies relative to the other books, it is far superior to the more consistent second edition. I would also advise you to try to get the unrevised versions of the other books, because at least some of them were edited to improve the consistency of the speech and minor plot points relative to the later books. – Wad Cheber Jun 20 '15 at 22:56
-6

Dark tower gunslinger. ...dark tower II drawing of the Three... Dark Tower III Wastelands...Salem's lot... Dark Tower IV Wizards and Glass... Wind through the key hole even though it came out after dt7. Dark Tower V, then VI then VII. Then Insomnia right after DT7.

  • 1
    Is this based on anything other than your own opinion? – Valorum Apr 3 '15 at 0:06
-6

My two cents: The Gunslinger Everything's Eventual (For the purpose of Dark Tower, only read "Little Sisters of Eluria") The Drawing of the Three Eyes of the Dragon The Stand The Wastelands The Talisman Wizard and Glass The Wind Through the Keyhole Salem's Lot Wolves of the Calla Black House Song of Susannah Hearts in Atlantis Everything's Eventual (Again, for DT, the story "Everything's Eventual") Insomnia The Dark Tower

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.