I read From a Buick 8 a few months back. I went into the book looking for connections to the DT. The book was slow to me and I didn't love it. The only connection I could come up with was the car and the mysterious man who first arrives in the car, came from one of the worlds SK references. If anybody has spotted more obvious connections in From a Buick 8, please share. Thanks.
"One of the most common questions I get asked is "What other Stephen King books do I need to read to find out more about the Dark Tower?" and "What order should I read them in?"
Recently, I sat down and really gave these questions some thought. What I came up with is a roadmap for reading The Dark Tower. It shows in which order (I think) you should read King's other stories to best understand what's going on in the King Universe.
Reading the map is easy. Before you read any of the books listed, make sure you have finished the ones which point to it. This will make sure that you don't come across any spoilers and will understand references made to previous books. Start with The Gunslinger and work your way down the list following the arrows.
The numbers do NOT specify the order that you should read the books. They are just there as reference points for the explanations below.
You'll find that I've explained exactly how the books are connected to one another. Reading past the map itself will ruin the story for you if you haven't already read them. Read past the map at your own risk!
1. As constant readers know, 19 comes to play a critical role in the revised edition of The Gunslinger and the last three Tower books. Bag of Bones is the first novel in which King highlights the importance of 19. In it, the number often appears throughout the text and helps Mike Noonan solve the mystery of Sarah Laughs.
2. At the end of Eyes of the Dragon, Dennis and Thomas are last seen following the trail of Flagg. In The Drawing of the Three, Roland remembers the fall of Gilead and briefly seeing a creature that called itself Flagg. "Hot on his heels had come two young men who looked desperate and yet grim, men named Dennis and Thomas" (II.418).
3. At the end of The Wastelands Flagg rescues the Tick-Tock Man from Ludd.
4. The connection between Skeleton Crew and the Tower series has often been debated ever since King officially announced that the two are indeed connected.
Originally, my guess was the short story "The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands." The number 19 factors in (slightly) to the story. However, the more concrete connection is that it takes place in the same club as in "The Breathing Method." The Club has an "infinite" feel to it. It has hundreds and hundreds of shelves of books; one book is titled Breakers. Also, Stevens, the butler, has been around for many years and has not aged at all. This is erriely similar to the "long-timers" mentioned in Insomnia. What made me doubt this connection is that Different Seasons, which contains "The Breathing Method," is not listed by King as an officially connected.
Recently, we finally found out the answer (sort of). The connected story is "The Mist." Although how it connects is anyone's guess. I'm placing it next to Wizard and Glass and saying that they both contain thinnys.
5. Wolves of the Calla tells the story of how Father Callahan found his way to the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis where he joins Roland's ka-tet.
6. In Song of Susannah, Roland and Calvin Tower briefly discuss Roland's grandfather, Alaric Deschain:
7. "Of Alaric, aye," Roland said, "him of the red hair."
8. "I don't know anything about his hair, but I know why he
9. went to Garlan. Do you?"
10. "To slay a dragon."
11. "And did he?"
12. "No, he was too late. The last in that part of the world had been slain by another king, one who was later murdered." (VI.197)
Roland is referring to the story of how King Roland of Delain slayed a dragon in Eyes of the Dragon before he was killed.
13. Dinky Earnshaw from Everything's Eventual is a Breaker working for the Crimson King in The Dark Tower.
14. These two books are mirror images of each other. Alter egos if you will. One can't be read without the other.
15. It is one of many King novels which take place in Derry, Maine. There are lots of small connections as well. One of the larger ones is that the Turtle, the most important Beam Guardian, is mentioned quite often in It. Also, Stan says that "In this universe there might grow roses which sing," (p411) which alludes to the Rose in the vacant lot.
16. Insomnia also takes place in Derry, Maine.
17. While inside of the painting (which is really a doorway to another world), Rosie meets with Dorcas and Rose Madder. Dorcus says that she has seen "bodies on fire and heads by the hundreds poked onto poles along the streets of the City of Lud." Also, Rose Madder talks to her about ka.
18. Both stories take place in the Desotoya Mountains. Also, the "doctor bugs" from Eluria speak the same language as Tak from Desperation.
19. In Insomnia Ralph Roberts battles the Crimson King in order to save the life of Patrick Danville. In Hearts in Atlantis Ted Brautigan faces off against the Low Men - the Crimson King's henchmen. He also explains to Bobby about the Beams and Breakers.
20.Black House is the sequel to The Talisman.
21. During the palaver between Parkus, Jack, and Sophie in Black House, Parkus warns that they must be gone before nightfall so they can avoid the Little Sisters, who have built a tent nearby.
22. A low man leaves the Buick 8 behind.
23. Parkus explains to Jack about the Breakers, the Crimson King and his plan for destroying the Beams. These ideas were first written about in Hearts in Atlantis.
24. Black House's information about the Beams, Breakers, and the Crimson King are further explained in Song of Susannah.
25. This is the name King and Straub jokingly use to refer to the third book in Jack Sawyer's story. Straub has said that they have mapped out what happens to Jack in the third (and final) story, which takes place primarily in the Territories. However, there are no concrete plans for when (if) the book will be written."
I'm not sure who gets the credit for this but it is a good guide with well reasoned placement.