The Dark Tower series, Stephen King's foray into the fantastical wherein Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger, struggles against awesome odds to reach the elusive Tower, repackaged and read by Frank Muller, is offered in three volumes of incremental lengths: The Dark Tower 1: The Gun Slinger (Penguin Audiobooks, $25.95, 0140867163) is six hours, The Dark Tower 2: The Drawing of Three is 12 ($35.95, 0140867155) and The Dark Tower 3: The Wastelands ($45.95, 0140867177) is 16. King-Craver-Autumn-Alert Bag of Bones (Simon ∧ Schuster Audio, $59.95, 22 hours, 0671582348), the hot new Stephen King blockbuster, will be out in September.

Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.

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