Nenia Campbell's Reviews > The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
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Mar 06, 14

bookshelves: survival, the-horror
Read on March 21, 2011

Taking place in a Western world that shadows our own, The Gunslinger is about a man called--guess what?--The Gunslinger, who is chasing an evil sorcerer called The Man in Black in his quest to locate the Dark Tower.

I really enjoyed the way Stephen King explored the relationships between his characters. He once said that his characters basically write themselves once he fleshes them out, and I can believe that. Even his villains tend to be human, which isn't typical of the horror/fantasy genres (which tend to favor the laughing villain trope).

The action was a little lacking, but I feel that this book was meant to serve as backstory for the books to come. The Gunslinger's history is fleshed out, showing his coming of age, and what his life was like in training. Full of hardships, cruelty, and betrayals, it really helps you understand how he came to be the stoic, silent type he is today.

And his descriptions of the waystations, small towns, and merciless desert were amazing. My favorite scene was when they're in the mountains, and the Gunslinger enters the stone circle where the oracle is kept prisoner. My version of the story had color illustrations by Michael Whalen, featuring a lush, misty landscape that wouldn't be out of place in fantasy MMORPGs like World of Warcraft.

I look forward to seeing what King does with later installments in the series. The Drawing of the Three is definitely going on my to-read list!
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