Michael's Reviews > The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
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Mar 16, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, obscure-references-book-group, favorites, read-in-2010
Read from March 10 to 14, 2010

It's interesting to go back and read the first installment of Stephen King's magnum opus now that I know how the series all plays out in the other seven novels.

I read "The Gunslinger" when it was first released to the mass market in the 80s and recall being a bit perplexed by it. At the time, it was like nothing else King had written. And yet, as I read about the tale of the Gunslinger pursuing the Man in Black across a vast wasteland, I couldn't help but be intrigued and want more.

Little did I know I'd be devoting twenty or so years to the series and that I'd re-read the first installment multiple times. (I think I've re-read it at least once per new installment coming out and that doesn't even count the revised edition King released when he finally got around to finishing the Dark Tower novels a few years ago).

Yes, I'm an admitted Stephen King fan and his "Dark Tower" novels are among my favorite works by the author. And while "The Gunslinger" is a favorite book of mine, this re-read only helped convince me further that this is a strong prologue, but the real meat of the story is to come. In many ways, "The Drawing of the Three" is a better book, but you can't replace the raw edge of "The Gunslinger."

The story is an entry into the world, setting up the character of Roland and giving us a taste of what's to come. Reading the story now, it's fascinating to catch various elements and threads King will pick up on and run with in later installments of the series. And it's easy to forget that while King expands the cast list in later books that the series began with the long figure of Roland on an epic quest.

The novel is a fascinating blend of King's usual elements and yet also stands alone in the King oeuvre. It's a fascinating, compelling character piece that is the entry point into the larger, more complex and ultimately extremely rewarding story of the quest for the Dark Tower.
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03/12/2010 page 71

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Michelle This is my favorite book series. I miss these characters like they're real people.

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