I didn't mind that there was little to no resolution by the end. Why? Because I was told from the very beginning that there would be no resolution. A lot of the poor reviews of this book seem to be written by people who ignored every 10th line from our intrepid, if old, reporters saying that there was "no through-line" and no solution to this mysterious mystery.
I read the book as a bit of a pithy F-U to many of King's detractors who criticize him for his endings... how oftentimes his ending is no ending at all. And, Vince and David (Bowie, thank you very much) seem to get a bit of a kick out of explaining to Stephanie that, while this mystery is the truest mystery she may ever hear, most people are not smart enough to deal with a resolution-less story.
Take that, critics. Dave Bowie thinks you're a nitwit.(less)
UPDATED REVIEW: I finally returned to the beginning of The Dark Tower and re-read The Gunslinger, and it is incredible. I stand by my review that it m...moreUPDATED REVIEW: I finally returned to the beginning of The Dark Tower and re-read The Gunslinger, and it is incredible. I stand by my review that it may be less incredible on first-reading, but as a completion to the cycle (as in read 1-7... and then 1 again), it's pure genius, as only King could manage.
Previous review: My 3-star rating is based on what I remember thinking about the book when I read it nearly four years ago. I was not all that impressed by the Gunslinger nor by his endless quest across a barren wasteland.
I was so unimpressed, in fact, that I did not pick up the second book in the Dark Tower series until 2006.
HOWEVER... having finished the Dark Tower series (and having found it a life-altering experience), I think I should return to the Gunslinger's origins and re-read this book to give it another evaluation.
The Gunslinger is NOT full of your typical Stephen King fare (not much of The Dark Tower series is...). There's a decided lack of gore and psychoses throughout most of the books... I think maybe I was expecting the typical King when I read The Gunslinger, so when it turned out to be atypical, I was disappointed. Knowing what I know now, though, I am prepared to try it again.(less)