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The Gunslinger

(The Dark Tower #1)

by
3.97  ·  Rating details ·  436,816 ratings  ·  16,075 reviews
Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King's epic work of fantasy -- what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus -- has spanned a quarter of a century.

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dar
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Paperback, 231 pages
Published June 24th 2003 by NAL (first published 1982)
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Diego You must continue, don't stop know. Yeah, it's a little hard to understand some points, because they will be clearer after you discover some points!…moreYou must continue, don't stop know. Yeah, it's a little hard to understand some points, because they will be clearer after you discover some points! I've read the entire series and I had the same feeling after finish "The Gunslinger", but the other books are totally different and amazing. I dare you to continue and read "The Drawing of the Three", if you don't like you can stop to read, but I'm pretty sure that you will like, Let me know what you think after read the second book!

Long days and pleasant nights!(less)
Pat C. I say read it. I totally agree with your assessment of "It" and "The Stand". There are so many varying opinions about which books are King's best and…more I say read it. I totally agree with your assessment of "It" and "The Stand". There are so many varying opinions about which books are King's best and a lot of people name "It" and "The Stand". I liked both books ok but they are way down my list of his best books ( in fact, I think "It" gets downright disgusting towards the end). My personal faves are "The Green Mile" and "Black House".
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)

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INTRODUCTION :
A few things you should know before deciding how helpful this review will be for you.
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*** 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 ho
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Chelsea Humphrey
Please don't hate me. I know it seems sacrilegious to give a Stephen King anything less than 4 stars, but this one was SLOOOOWWWW for the first 75%. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but I did find this was an easy book to put down and not feel an urgency to jump back into for days at a time.

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 becom
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Jayson
(B-) 68% | Satisfactory
Notes: A discordant blend of flowery, terse and vulgar prose, difficult to follow and insufficient in explaining new concepts.
Dan Schwent
The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed.

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 c
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Luca Ambrosino
ENGLISH (The Gunslinger) / ITALIANO

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 "

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Kevin Kelsey
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Great world building and atmosphere. Definitely different from anything I've read before. It felt very scattered, like King didn't really have any idea what the next paragraph would hold. I'm sure that probably made it a blast to write, but it could've been better if it wasn't quite so disjointed.

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.
Mohammed Arabey
صدرت بالعربية اخيرا بعنوان الرجل المسلح
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
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Lyn
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
An intriguing book, it draws the reader in little by little.

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
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
All I could think throughout this book was… what the hell am I reading?!

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 fir
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Delee
The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed.

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
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Kemper
The Dark Tower series was one of the great joys of my reading life. However, it also frustrated me to the point where I often wanted to bludgeon Stephen King with a hardback copy of It.

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
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Markus
This is the beginning of Stephen King's famous magnum opus, the Dark Tower. This is where the master of horror writes his great work of fantasy based on a combination of The Lord of the Rings and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

"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.
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Darth J

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.


Apparen
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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

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

You: Why?

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
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Adina
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
My father is currently reading 11/22/63 which I gifted to him on Christmas since he is an admirer of JFK and he once told me he wanted to try King. He is completely mesmerized by King’s writing (rightly so) and I thought it will be a nice idea to tell him about the King’s novel I’ve been reading in the same time. My tentative to explain the plot of Gunslinger went kinda like this: a guy, a Gunslinger, travels through a desolated desert to catch a Man in Black, who is a sort of a sorcerer. The fo ...more
Lala BooksandLala
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I get the popularity, obviously I do. And as a massive King fan, I dish out this rating sadly, for I would have loved nothing more than to tell you this is my new favourite book. Alas, it was not my taste- and as is such with all my reviews, my rating must be based on my own personal enjoyment and less on a novel's possible literary merit. So I can't tell you if this book is objectively good, I just know that I did not find it to be so.
Sr3yas
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Chris
This book is something of an oddity. That being, the first time I read it, I would probably have given it 3-stars, and felt quite generous doing so. It was really "meh" and though I was a King fan, I wasn't pleased with it after the hype. I even delayed reading Book 2 for awhile because I was somewhat turned off. I didn't hate it, but it left me ambivalent for the most part.

But this is definitely a book that gets better with time, with re-readings, and with the rest of the series. The second tim
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Mark
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fiction
The first book of Stephen King's epic fantasy series will not disappoint but may frustrate - stick with me here.

The Gunslinger is a rare book for fantasy lovers, it reads like a Clint Eastwood western - perhaps The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Pale Rider or even Unforgiven. Our protagonist is indeed the Gunslinger, starting out on a mission that has plagued him from his childhood and his Father before him. A quest the he 'earns' the right to pursue, indeed he may well be the last Gunslinger alive
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Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
“The rain in Spain falls on the plain.
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 as
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1), Stephen King
The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King and is the first volume in the Dark Tower series.
عنوانها: تفنگدار؛ هفت تیر کش؛ نویسنده: استیون کینگ؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آوریل سال 2009 میلادی
عنوان: تفنگدار؛ اثر: استیون کینگ؛ برگردان: کتایون نصیری مجد؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر زهره، 1387، در 296 ص، شابک: 9789642981052؛ کتاب نخست از هفتگانه برج تاریک؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م
عنوان: تفنگدار؛ اثر: استیون کینگ؛ برگردان:
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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
DNF @ 75%

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.
Blake Crouch
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
At a loss for words when it comes to this book. There is something that feels so new and fresh in terms of genre. Western. Fantasy. Coming-of-age. And possibly sci-fi. All things I love. And having now read this, and knowing it was first published in 1982, I'm pretty sure one of my other favorite writers, the great Cormac McCarthy, drew inspiration from The Gunslinger in both Blood Meridian and The Road. One of the most original stories I've ever read. Cannot wait to continue this series!
Taylor
Mar 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure seekers, people who like stories centered around a hero
Recommended to Taylor by: Tim
Dear Stephen King,

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
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mark monday
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to mark by: Dan, Kemper, Stephen
A Gunslinger, a Man in Black, a Child Out of Time & Space, the Beginning of a Cryptic Saga...

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... Waiting
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Kyle
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 so

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Raeleen Lemay
For me, this was a super fun read with terrible pacing. I found the first third of the book to be a bit of a drag and I just wanted to know more about the world (which we only really get a good glimpse of at the end). The middle third was my favorite bit, as that's when Jake was introduced and I found him to be the most interesting aspect of the story. The final third had some answers, but I still found the pacing to be a bit too slow for me. I'm definitely interested to continue the series thou ...more
Will M.
Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, is on a mysterious quest for the mysterious Dark Tower. Aside from that, he was also in a quest to follow the man in black, for answers. With his trusty companion, the child named Jake, he sets on an unforgettable adventure.

The synopsis was really short and vague, but once I finished the book, everything seemed to clear up. This novel was about a man's quest for something meaningful to him, and he was so desperate, desperate enough to do unimaginab
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Carol
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it! Glad I purchased the revised and expanded edition with the new introduction and forward by KING. (which I wasn't aware of at the time) He really set up the book enticingly. Only 6 more to go. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Update: May 15, 2017 - Wow! Dark Tower fans.....Check out the new movie trailer - Excellent - Coming August 4th.

karen
Apr 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i made a kinda-sorta readalike list for the dark tower series here:

https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/236304

childe harold, get your gun!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born
  • The Regulators
  • Everville (Book of the Art #2)
  • Legends
  • Shadowland
  • The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death
  • The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus
  • Swan Song
  • Sea of Silver Light (Otherland, #4)
  • The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3)
468,047 followers
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

Other books in the series

The Dark Tower (8 books)
  • The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, #2)
  • The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3)
  • Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4)
  • The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5)
  • Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5)
  • Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6)
  • The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7)
“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” 2032 likes
“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
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.”
1438 likes
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