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Preview — The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Written by Stephen King in 1970, five years before the publication of his first novel, that sentence opens up a world still unknown to many of his readers. It begins a spectacular seven-volume epic fantasy -- The Dark Tower -- that is sure to become an American classic.
Now, preparing the way for the ...more
Long days and pleasant nights!(less)
There are also diverse opinions about the way he ends the dark tower series but I thought it was very well done and if you like SK books in general, you will like the dark tower books (with the possible exception of "The Gunslinger" which is surreal, vague and confusing - although it has fans for just those reasons. Fortunately it is relatively short.)
I think you should at least read "The Drawing of the Three". If it doesn't hold your interest, don't waste your time reading the remainder of the series. You could probably find a lot of books more rewarding to your personal taste.(less)
A few things you should know before deciding how helpful this review will be for you.
*** I think the Dark Tower series as a whole is a staggering achievement and belongs in any discussion without qualification of the “Greatest Fantasy Series of All Time.”
*** There are no spoilers in this review but I have read the series twice all the way through and am doing a third reading as part of a group read this month. Therefore, my review is colored by my knowledge of ...more
Notes: A discordant blend of flowery, terse and vulgar prose, difficult to follow and insufficient in explaining new concepts.
I've heard many folks describe this as a nice prologue to the series and that, in a sense, the action and story doesn't become investment worthy until book 2. That, coupled with the fact that I did ...more
When I read this novel more than twenty years ago, I did not appreciate it. Clearly, Roland's story did not charmed enough my distracted and teenage mind. Therefore, I decided to prematurely stop the "The Black Tower" series. A few days ago in a bookstore I stumbled on a copy of the new edition of "The Gunslinger", and reading the preface I understood a couple of things. FIRST: not just myself, but also Stephen King was young when he wrote the same edition of...more
Roland Deschain, the last of the Gunslingers, is on a quest for the Dark Tower, a mysterious edifice that is the axle of worlds and holds all existence together. In this, the first volume, Roland pursues his nemesis across the Mohaine Desert. He follows the man in black's trail to a little town called Tull, then through more desert, encountering a boy named Jake from our world, and then into the mountains. Will Roland finally ...more
This western fantasy has to be the most confusing book I’ve read in a long time. Some parts were more interesting than others but overall I was very disappointed.
After hearing everyone rave about this series I have a hard time understanding why. I don’t believe it would be this popular if it wasn’t for Stephen King’s name on it. There I said it!
I didn’t like the story very much nor the writing.
I had been warned that the ...more
It is fantastic, imaginative ... but inconsistent. Amid moments of brilliance there are also islands of abstraction so murky, almost Kafkaesque in absurdity, that I could not follow. But it is interesting enough that I will probably read the sequels.
Of course that is another detraction, this book does not stand alone but leaves the reader with many questions unanswered. Fun questions that lead the reader to seek further, but a work of ...more
The dialogue between characters is Star Wars Episode II level bad, unfortunately. I really enjoyed the world building though, which makes me think that the series may be worth continuing.
Roland Deschain, the last of the Gunslingers, is after the Man in Black. Along the way he meets a young boy named Jake, who appears to be from a world that is different to Roland’s.
Ah, Roland. I had forgotten how difficult it was to like you in The Gunslinger. Some of your decisions are questionable, but that is the price of obsession.
The Gunslinger is so unlike King’s usual style of writing; the prose is beautifully poetic as we are introduced to a world ...more
Beaware that the movie's following the Ending of the Last Book!!!
But in the first book, I suffered the Hard, Dry, Boring read of following a Man in Black you don't know, in a weird hot dry desert in hot August for one reason,
To reach a Dark Tower you don't know where..or why..detailed in too much adverbs and ambiguity.
That didn't help much to start the following 2 books I already bought...
Book one was a true disappointment for me, I never thought it'd be ...more
I was baffled by The Gunslinger when I first read it way back in my high school days. It had been an unobtainable limited edition that had popped up in the title card of King’s other books, and when it finally went into wide release I couldn’t wait to snatch it up. But then I couldn’t make sense of it. There was a ...more
That is the line I remembered for years and years that made me think that someday I would revisit THE GUNSLINGER...As a young teenage girl I read THE GUNSLINGER and really didn't like it that much. I didn't hate it- it just confuuuuuused me. And to review this I will have to take you back to when I first read it as a teen...
Stephen King is special to me. Special because when I first discovered him- it was the first time I went ...more
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."
This simple and beautiful sentence is the opening line, the trademark and even the summary of The Gunslinger. In most ways, this single sentence is what defines this book.
For that is how it all begins. ...more
So here's the deal . . . THE DARK TOWER obliterated my long-running book funk. I read all ten of the original series graphic novels, then I read the five from the spinoff.
FIFTEEN graphic novels. In three days.
Then I had to read the real thing. #cantstopwontstop
B/c after reading all FIFTEEN of the graphic novels, Roland still hadn't made it to the tower. *bangs head against wall*
And after reading THE DARK TOWER (the novel), I discovered that with the addition of ...more
Well, I'm trying this thing where I don't DNF books. Let's face it, I'll probably mess up that resolution though. On a similar note, who here is still hitting the gym? Ha! Thought so. Don't judge me then. Anyway, I know this was a short read but it took me forever to finish it. I think that the idea is fine but it's the writing that is putting me off. I feel the same way about Neil Gaiman, in that I really like the premise and want to read their works but I'm just not feeling their style.
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
And our BR gang followed the gunslinger as he tracked the devil, and when he paused to relax and make camp, he told stories of his latest gunfight, his old world, his childhood training and the tests he went through to become a gunslinger... and we just followed him, you know, like these flamingos!
King has masterfully created a unique world that integrates fantasy genre with American old west: A mysterious world that poses ...more
But this is definitely a book that gets better with time, with re-readings, and with the rest of the series. The second ...more
There is joy and also pain
but the rain in Spain falls on the plain.
Time’s a sheet, life’s a stain,
All the things we know will change
and all those things remain the same,
but be ye mad or only sane,
the rain in Spain falls on the plain.
We walk in love but fly in chains
And the planes in Spain fall in the rain.”
I can not imagine Audrey Hepburn singing this version.
The Gunslinger is Stephen King at his most whimsical and lyrical, not two words you would ...more
Attempt #2 with this went a little better than Attempt #1. During Attempt #1 I made it maybe 6% before giving up. So I'm patting myself on the back here.
I just can't get into this. It's simultaneously weird (in a bad way) & boring & yea I'm almost done but I just really don't want to waste anymore time trying to enjoy this.
Audio Book Note: George Guidall is an excellent narrator so at least the act of listening wasn't also painful.
I'd like to apologize for the times that I've made fun of you in any way, shape or form, including the kid in my English 2 class sophomore year who would not stop raving about you as if you were the only person to ever write a book.
It's not that I think that kid was justified for only ever reading your books and no-one else's, and it's not that I thought you were a horrible writer and now I think you're amazing.
But, this was really quite a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure what ...more
A Second Read. the first time: unimpressed, bored, agitated, gave up. the second time: so much better, a lot to consider, an enjoyable experience...
A Strangely Sparse Narrative, perhaps too much mystery, perhaps too much of a tease and not enough action, perhaps too much to think about, a frustrating lack of detail...
A Tarot Card: THE HANGED MAN...
Sacrifice... Renunciation... Contemplation... ...more
The Gunslinger clambered over the rocks. He knew the Man in Black was close. He could pick up his scent. The Man in Black smelled like charred meat. Evil charred meat. The river to his left was the apotheosis of all rivers; it was watery and wet. The Gunslinger pictured himself lying in the river, being carried backwards in an unending current; lulled by the sweet relentless drifting towards death itself. In a ...more
Typical King, Strange, Really Strange.
Roland, the last gunslinger, is pursuing "the man in black" across the desert. Why? I'm not really sure. Something to do with a Tower and the fact that "the man in black" is evil.
The writing style is typical Stephen King - strange. In this book, he has the habit of starting a chapter with a sentence like: "The boy found the oracle and it almost destroyed him." Then he'll go off on page after page of flashbacks or other none related storylines until at
I don't even know where to start. Probably a good place would be to say I am a huge Stephen King fan, as you can see by my grades for his other books. And everyone kept recommending me to read The Dark Tower. Everyone also said that I need to get past the first book because the series is so good after that.
I don't know about that second part, but the first one: spot on.
As a book, The Gunslinger simply doesn't justify it's existence. It could have as well been part ...more
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Other books in the series
I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.”