The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) The Gunslinger question


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I find this book boring. Help?
Paperadventures Paperadventures Jul 23, 2014 06:43AM
I'm on page 20-50 (can't remember which exact page). Many rave about how good the other books in the series are. Is it worth it to read the first book, or could I skip it/read a summary? Should I read the series at all?

For some context, I usually don't like high fantasy, but I loved reading the Hobbit. I also don't like western. I don't like novels that have war as the main subject (Battle of Hogwarts was interesting, Lord of the Rings wasn't interesting to me, at least compared to the Hobbit).

I know this book is a western/fantasy, but if most of the scenes aren't battles and war scenes, I'll consider reading it.



I also found the first book to be a bit boring, but it's important to the series as a whole. The second book is better by leaps and bounds, so even if you don't finish the first I would definitely recommend starting the second. You might even go back to the first book after reading some of the others.


I only made it halfway through this book when I had to put it away. There was no flow to the book, it jumped around in a choppy manner that made it hard to follow. The characters were shallow and forgettable, so forgettable that every time a character went away for a few chapters and then was brought up again I'd have to search back through the book and refresh my memory of who they were.

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Elisa Brogan There are only a few books that I have not completed and with pleasure given away to someone ....This is one of them
Oct 04, 2018 11:01PM
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Rohit Naidu King was around 19 years old when he wrote The Gunslinger. So there's that. I cannot read this book though. I'm gonna watch a YouTube summary and read ...more
Dec 31, 2018 02:19AM

Not to make serious fans of James Joyce angry (I loved Dubliners!), but read, oh - about 7 pages of "Ulysses" and come back to "The Gunslinger". It will not seem boring then. :p Also, I have noticed that some people's comments are able to be replied to while others are not. Can anyone tell me why? Thank you.


I love this series, but my general view is that there is always another book out there and each person will like some more than others. Give a book a fair chance, but after that, if you don't like it, there's no real reason to force yourself through it.


I've read most of Stephen King's writings but I'm afraid the Gunslinger is not one of my favourite reads. I think it's a personal thing with me as I love western movies but find most western fiction to be lacking somewhat.


My advice is to power though it because the the subsequent books are way better, but the foundation needs to be laid with this first book. No doubt that the first book is by far the weakest in the series.


It's okay to dislike a book people usually find good.

I liked the first three but the fourth book was a real pain.

If you don't like it, it's okay, just stop reading. There are too many books out there to lose your time on things you don't like.


i dont blame the folks who found this boring. i found it intolerable. did not matter what page i was on- though at last count i crossed 180- ev erything seemed static. Hated this- maybe the folks who loved this book have a bent of intellect that defies definition.Wish i had that too.


I find this book deadly dull too. I read it once in High School and again in October or so, and snoozed through it both times. I had to rely on an audiobook to actually get to the end this time.

Not every book is for every person. But I certainly wouldn't read any of the others in the series based on how dull I found this book.

That said, i loved "Ulysses", so what do I know?


I think the first book varies greatly from the rest of the series. However, it's important in establishing Roland's and Jake's characters, so try to plow through if you're finding the book difficult to read.

That being said, if you've decided to put the book aside, give Wizard and Glass a try. It stands alone out of the series and is a fantastic novel. It's my favorite of the Dark Tower books, by far.


I found it incredibly slow. I had never read King before and since I'm a fan of westerns a buddy recommended this one. I thought it was painfully boring, but due to the writing style and extreme way he describes characters. In that regard he reminded me of Melville. I really actually liked the book to an extent but it could have gotten to the same place with 100 fewer pages. Sad to say I may never read King again.


After several stabs at it, I could not get into THE DARK TOWER series. I don't know why; I LOVE every other thing SK has written.... Some of them I've read 6 times....


i do agree that the first book does take while to get in to but it really does pick up and i was straight on to the next one! loved it! stick with it dude ....its gets better.


I loved this series. The first one is kind of hard to wrap your mind around but so worth it. If you can make it to 100 pages or so you'll see what is trying to be told to you so you'll understand it. I could hardly wait for the other books to be written. Loved it!


One of the few books I wasn't able to make it through. Just did not engage me at all.


deleted member Jul 23, 2014 07:45AM   0 votes
If you're not a fan of the first book it is doubtful that you'll like the rest of them. With the possible exception of Wizard and Glass because it varies quite heavily from the others.

The fantasy elements are not important. The western is a backdrop more than a setting.

You could finish out the first book and start the second to see if you like it after the introduction of more characters, I guess.


I think you should always read at least 100 pages before you decide to put a book down. The first 100 pages are usually set up and introductions but after that is where the meat of the story really takes place.


Diego (last edited Aug 22, 2014 10:51AM ) Aug 22, 2014 10:49AM   0 votes
The first book is very forgettable. When I finished it I was like: I have no idea of what I've just read. Years later I gave Drawing of the Three a shot. I had to look for a summary of the first book to get familiarized with the setting before starting. And yes it was much better. The third one is the best I've read so far. I had to start Wizard and Glass right away, because the third one ends in a cliffhanger (I don't usually read two books from the same series one after another). Unfortunately the fourth one get's boring at the second part, and I gave it up. I'm willing to grab it up when I feel like reading fantasy again.

So, in my humble opinion, yes, I think you could just skip the first one. Just read the wikipedia summary, and then go with The Drawing of the Three


I had to force myself to read 100 pages a day to get through the book. I actually enjoyed it after I finished it. It was great once you look back on it. I just started The Drawing of the Three. It is way better.


I had trouble getting into The Gunslinger, but kept reading and ended up enjoying it.

I think part of the problem is not understanding what's going on. Where is he and why is he doing things. Once you begin to understand the nature of his quest, it begins to make sense and everything starts to fall into place.

Once you get into the overall story, you'll see why those of us who started reading when it first came out could hardly wait until King wrote the next book...and sometimes it took a few years. :)


wizard and glass was by far the most boring but like janese said once I got to the middle of the gunslinger it grabbed me


I think if you don't have any concept of what the world of The Dark Tower will end up looking like (the accordion kaleidoscope of King's lore) this first book would just seem like a tepid fantasy cowboy story. I knew what was coming next when I started this series (a abridged version by has an intro by King which helps contextualize the world and the breadth of the story) , and that this story only scratched at the surface of the whole only served to intrigue me. Also, compared to many other things King has written this just isn't as verbose and overloaded with words and descriptions. I appreciated the stark direct approach and maybe at a different time he considered these for release under his alternate name Bachman.


till now, The gunslinger is my fav of the Dark tower saga, but I'm on Wizards and glass at the moment, so maybe will change...but I don't think it'll fall down so much, because I really loved this book. It's the beginning of a great story, and it couldn't be better *__* I loved it so much!


I see a lot of people had a hard time getting into this book. I don't get it. I was in love from the very first sentence, which happens to be my favorite opening line of any book I've read so far.


I had a little trouble with Gunslinger, powered through the second two and jumped right into Wizard and Glass because of the cliffhanger. I got half way through Wizard and Glass where there's an easy stopping point. Things were slowing down and I had something else I wanted to read, so I stopped. That was maybe 8 years ago? Nothing has managed to pull me back.


I had a hard time with it too at first, I'd say keep reading it gets a lot better.


I read the first 4 books when they were first published about 30 years ago, but never read the last 3 when they came out many years later. When I was moving out of a large house to a small apartment recently I got rid of a lot of stuff, but I couldn't toss my copies of The Dark Tower series. Roland has stuck with me all these years even though I only read them once. I have recently reread the first 2 books and enjoyed them just as much as I did back then, and I will finally finished the series after all these years.

My advice to you is continue reading. The beginning is a bit slow, but as Roland continues further on his quest the story draws you in and things that happened before he became a Gunslinger play into his future.

It's funny that you mention not wanting to read it if there are lots of "battle and war scenes". If I were describing the story I would never use those words. My description would be.....A lone man on a quest to defeat a perceived evil and save the world. It is kind of a western/fantasy mix. If you are reading the new revised edition and read the forward by Stephen King he explains that some of his inspiration for Roland came from watching Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly movie (and the subsequent ones in that series). And that may be why I connect with Roland because I grew up watching and loving those same movies.
So try to finish and I'll bet you will be anxious to see what happens next to Roland (and his companions).


I wasn't a huge fan of The Gunslinger when I first read it. I loved Drawing of the Three though and count the series amongst my favourite of all time. Stick with it. The book does get better and it gives a lot of information that you'll need for the rest to make sense.


Paperadventures wrote: "I'm on page 20-50 (can't remember which exact page). Many rave about how good the other books in the series are. Is it worth it to read the first book, or could I skip it/read a summary? Should I r..."

You could start reading the graphic novel called The gunslinger born, which is a prequel to the first book, and it helps you visualize every character and the world. Also, you can read The Battle of Tull another graphic novel to the dark tower.


I was about to stop reading the whole book three times. A friend told me to continue, the second book is all the way better. So, continue. I´ve finished the whole black tower and I´m satisfied.


I liked it, but I was `13 at the time I read this book. If I recall correctly books 2 and 3 are much better. Book 4 didn't exist at the time.


If you don't like a western setting, this might not be the right series for you. Many of the other books have the same feel to them as The Gunslinger, with a rural or wilderness environment, though some parts of the series take place in an urban setting. I still have two more books to read in this series, myself, but from what I've read of it so far, I can say that there are battles and confrontations, but some of the battles are those fought by the characters from within themselves. This is a slow moving series with bursts of action after many pages devoted to what amounts to traveling on an epic journey as part of a quest. If you're still undecided after whatever advice you get here, why not finish the book which does pick up, and maybe read the next book which is completely different from the first and one of the best books in the series in my opinion. But just as a warning, this series does require much patience.


I am a huge King fan but had a hard time getting rolling on this series too. I did it as an audiobook until the later volumes.


I would say that your enjoyment of this series probably depends on how big a Stephen King fan you are.....taken as a whole this series defines and explains the backdrop to many characters and themes to numerous King novels....it is truly remarkable from a literary perspective that such an overarching theme would be developed through so many novels written at vastly different times. There is homage paid to westerns, there is fantasy.....there is no true war or battle except by reference unless you count the personal struggle for the Tower to be a battle. I initially couldn't get into these novels when I first tried to read them but came back to them later and loved them. It is hard to judge what people like but I disagree with those who think the first book is sub-par....it is foundational to the whole series. You meet and understand so many of the characters. Good luck in your journey.


I love Steven King but had a hard time getting through these as well. If you do manage to slog through them at the end of the day you'll not feel like you wasted your time because they do all start to come together and it's neat how they tie into his other books.


If I had read this book first, I doubt I would've continued the series. Luckily for me, I started with The Drawing of Three. But then again, I knew most of the story before I picked up The Gunslinger.


I absolutely love The Gunslinger. I had finished reading all of King's older books years ago, and his newer work just seemed to lack the poetic cadence and empathy of his earlier work. So, I finally decided to read The Gunslinger (though I, too, was put off by the western theme), and I am so glad that I did. It was a return to the old King, with lyrical writing that speaks like an old friend. Roland may be difficult to identify with in the beginning, but as the series continues, he becomes one of King's most powerful and unforgettable characters. The last few books do have a rushed feel about them, but overall, I have to say this is one of the best series I have ever read (and definitely contains the best ending King has ever written).


By the way, good to see other people saying that Wizard & Glass is really hard to follow. I thought it was just me. But I think I need to read like 10 other books before returning where I left it.


If you think it's boring, I suggest you find a different book to read. I personally didn't find it boring, but I have found other highly recommended books boring, but I wanted to finish them to see what people liked so much. I didn't enjoy it.


You're not the only one who found The Gunslinger boring. As much as I love Stephen King, I am afraid I just couldn't get into this book at all.



Paperadventures wrote: "I'm on page 20-50 (can't remember which exact page). Many rave about how good the other books in the series are. Is it worth it to read the first book, or could I skip it/read a summary? Should I r..."


I didn't really care for the first book, but I loved all of the others. The first one just seemed to drag, at least for me I do agree with some of the above posts, that it picks up about the middle and gets better as it continues.


The first book isn't that gripping, and it isn't easy to identify with Roland, who's a bit of an enigma. I also found it pretty misogynistic, which isn't King's usual style.

King wrote this when he was 19, and to me, it feels like it. I preferred the other books in the series. If you keep reading, you may get hooked like I did. It does have important background information for the rest of the series.

Most of the rest of the series has an adventure element rather than a battle element, and like King's best work, they focus on the emotion and the characters.


I just finished reading book 1 of the Gunslinger series. My husband assured me that I would love it and the series was second only to Lord of the Rings. I found the book disjointed and a little explanation of what's going on in this universe would be helpful. I will keep reading the series since it's in my TBR pile. Personally, Tolkien has nothing to worry about.


This series was hy far the hardest to get into. It took me 8 months to finish The Gunslinger. Haha usually a book of that length I can finish in a few days. I read it when I was out of new books to read. Once I got through it I was thankful that I pushed myself because the series does get way better! Same with the Black House and the Talisman. I can only suggest to you that read it when you want to and it does get better.


Jaymes (last edited Feb 20, 2018 07:02PM ) Feb 20, 2018 06:59PM   0 votes
Paperadventures, it's possible it's just not your type of book. It's also possible you are just reading it at the wrong point in your life.

When I read Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in late middle school or early high school, I HATED it since Victor "whined" way too much. Was required to read it again for senior year (dreading the task the entire time) and was fascinated by how his self-torment and resulting actions of the monster may have been entirely avoided.

It's entirely possible that King's The Gunslinger might awaken your curiosity and interest a few years down the road. But then again, maybe not.

I first started with King's The Wind Through the Keyhole (a Dark Tower novel) and found it much more compelling. I have not finished the Dark Tower novels yet, but I found it a reasonable stand-alone. It may have even helped me subconsciously adjust to his more relaxed plot-progression pace.


I just finished the whole series (first time) a couple months ago. It was recommended by a friend, and I did find the first book to be... underwhelming. I couldn't say I disliked it, but didn't really like it at all, but I was warned that I should give it 2 books before I decide to stop the series. Yeah, I kept going, it picks up a lot better after the first book (but the first is important to the story).

So that's my help, the same advice I was given, give it until the 2nd book and if you still don't like it after that then move on to another book/series.


Really? Twenty pages in and you're winging? Didn't they make you read "Lord of the Flies" in school? This is a much easier read with tons of awesomeness to follow.

Twenty pages... good grief.


Out of the whole series The Gunslinger was my least favourite. I would definitely recommend you finishing it though as the rest of the books are AWESOME! Seriously they are up there as some of my favourite Stephen Kings reads :)


You have to read a little further, once you go from gunslinger world to our world, there is a big difference. If you don't like this collection. Try to read The Talisman and then Black house, same principle of duel worlds.


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