This 3-star rating is for the audio version read by Frank Muller. This is actually the second time I've dropped a star because of Frank's reading... I didn't much care for his reading of The Gunslinger, but I enjoyed both The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands. This one though was just a bit much.
Frank is rather drawly, and his interpretation of the patois of the people of Mejis just didn't work for me. Sheemie especially. I think this is probably one of those situations where someone else would absolutely love this audio for all of the reasons that I disliked it. But I just heard so much of it differently in my head when I read it for myself. For instance, I heard the people of Mejis as having a kind of Irish/Mexican mixed accent. You wouldn't think that this would really go together, but it really does. Unfortunately, Frank didn't agree with me, and went for raspy hillbilly idjit. *sigh*
His Susan voice sounded like Jake, and she sounded so much more... indecisive than I heard her in my head.
I do love seeing young Roland and his Ka-tet, and love the subtle cat & mouse game they play. I love the nuance of this story, and how so many small things are really huge important things in the scope of a 14 year old Gunslinger's life, and in the scope of a battle, a war between light and dark, good and evil.
I do think that the young love section of the book dragged on a bit longer than necessary, but that is a small issue. Overall, I really enjoyed the book... I'll read it for myself next time though. Frank just didn't blow my skirt up with this reading! ;)