Stephen King's The Dark Tower A Concordance, vol.1 (2003) Robin Furth, Hodder & Stoughton,
£12.99, hrdbk, 365pp, ISBN 0-340-83062-X
Originally hired as a research assistant for Stephen King, in order to help him keep his Dark Tower universe straight, Robin Furth has now had her concordance published to co-incide with the publication of the final three volumes in the series (volume two of the concordance will be published in Autumn next year). It is certainly a thorough work and, considering that it has taken some 24 years to publish the whole of The Dark Tower, it will quite possibly prove very helpful to those who cannot encompass the scope of the whole series in their minds. The first volume of the concordance covers volumes I-IV of the series and contains a complete list of all the characters (including very minor ones), all places in Mid-World and "Our" world, all the portals and gateways between the universes, maps, festivals, and a glossary of Mid-World speech. Due to the nature of The Dark Tower's story, other King novels are mentioned, though not yet all the ones that could be considered to be pendant novels, but including The Stand, Eyes of the Dragon, 'Salem's Lot, The Talisman (written with Peter Straub) and Insomnia. Presumably volume two of the concordance will also include The Regulators, Hearts in Atlantis and Black House (also with Straub), to name but a few. Probably the most useful aspect of the concordance is to point out the differences between the original version of the first volume of the series, The Gunslinger (1982 US/1988 UK), and the revised version published earlier this year. Of course, the best way of keeping it all straight in your head would be to wait until the final volume of the series is published next year, and then read all seven in one go! I'm not a fan of concordances myself, but I'm sure this will appeal to King fans.
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