Let's not forget that at the time, I believe SK was in a different place (anyone remember the famous chastising of the readers for wanting an ending to the Dark Tower story?), I think he was out to prove that the journey can sometimes be better than the reward. And ya know what? He, at least with this book, was right. I loved this book for the characters, funny, complex and almost real enough to reach out and touch. As far as I am concerned this book was worth the read. I have read it 3 times and have listened to Jeffrey DeMunn read it over and over. If you can, (just try your local library) give it a listen. Mr. DeMunn does a good book a great service.