The Quest for the Dark Tower Pt. 3: Greenwich Village/Dunhill

***Spoiler warning! Though I've made every attempt to avoid giving away key plot points during this quest, it's still very possible that information discussed herein may spoil a new reader's experience, so consider yourself warned! ***

Wow. A lot of Dark Tower-y goodness to process this week!

That would be the sneak preview of the two-page Foreword and first five pages of story from The Wind Through the Keyhole, as well as samples of the book's artwork (both the interior art and limited edition cover by Jae Lee and the mass-market cover art by Rex Bonomelli).

I've already read over the text of those seven pages at least a dozen times this week, flipped through what I think are the most important related chapters and segments from the existing books and hope to throw together a quick study guide. Hopefully, it will help prepare both old and new readers wanting to learn as much about certain characters before diving in when the new book hits shelves on April 24, 2012. Until then though, all I can really say is "Thankya big-big, Sai King" for the best Christmas present a Tower junkie could ask for!

. . . and now back to our regularly scheduled Dark Tower subject matter:

For the second time in just minutes, Roland had quickly and violently subdued the two police officers that had been tracking him outside of Katz's Pharmacy and then robbed them of their prowl car. Having no knowledge of motor-vehicles or even a sense of direction in this strange city, Roland has to let Jack Mort operate it. He relaxes his control over Mort's body and directs him to drive toward "The Village."

Once Mort manages to navigate the stolen police cruiser south toward Greenwich Village, Roland instructs him to drive to the subway station where Mort had - many years earlier - pushed Odetta Holmes into an oncoming train severing both her legs right above the knee. Mort tries to resist, but ultimately, he's powerless to deny the gunslinger's command.

Outside of the IRT subway stairs, Roland is again accosted by two officers of the NYPD; one whose name changes from Norris Weaver on pages 380-1 of the original trade paperback of The Drawing of the Three to Norris Wheaton on pages 382 and 384 (perhaps an unconscious reference to Wil Wheaton, star of Stand By Me? The cover to the movie tie-in edition of Different Seasons would seem to support that theory); the other officer, named Andrew Staunton throughout, shoots to kill.

Fortunately, Jack Mort's predilection for luxury brand name products (Rolex watch, Gucci loafers, Arrow shirts, etc.) winds up saving Roland's life when the bullet intended for Mort's heart instead smashes into the $200 silver lighter he had purchased at Dunhill. Once again, Roland manipulates the chaos that ensues to his advantage. Playing possum while the ignited fluid in the lighter quickly catches fire to Mort's shirt, Roland waits until the police officers drop their guard before delivering a sucker-punch and running full-tilt - chest still on fire - down the stairs of Christopher Street Station.

It's here that Roland intends to end Jack Mort's murderous hobby of pushing before he can harm yet another member of his ka-tet by flinging his burnt and broken body before an oncoming train as he himself carries his precious parcels of medicine and ammunition through the mystic doorway leading back to the beach of the Western Sea.

Long days, pleasant nights!


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