The Gunslinger – The Dark Tower, Book 1
Themes & Genres: Suspense, Fantasy
Roland is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey toward the mysterious Dark Tower, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.
On his quest, Roland begins a friendship with a kid from New York named Jake, encounters an alluring woman and faces an agonising choice between damnation and salvation as he pursues the Man in Black.
What I think of the book:
As I’ve said before, my mom is a huge fan of The Dark Tower series and after reading The Gunslinger I can’t really figure out why.
It wasn’t a book I disliked, but when I think of it, I think “it was okay”. That’s it.
The way Stephen King writes is good and there were some interesting comparisons, but everything moved too slowly for me.
We start off with the Gunslinger tracking down his enemy. This should, be exciting, right? A chase scene. But we get all those descriptions of the sand, and the wind, and so on. Since the book takes place in a world similar, but not exactly like the one we live in today, I know this is necessary. But there’s just too much of it for me. There’s so much description that when we do get to something other than him walking happening, the action doesn’t bring out tension in me.
Maybe this is because I’m used to more modern authors (The Gunslinger was published in 1982, I believe) who write fast-paced books for the audience in the fast-paced world we live in. Then again, I also enjoy classical books that are slow-paced. Then again again (or should that be “Then then again”?), I expect the classics to be slow-paced and I expected a Stephen King book to move faster.
Another thing I disliked was that even though there are so many descriptions, there are actually some words/terms connected to this world that aren’t explained when we first see them. It’s like reading in a foreign language and occasionally coming upon a word I don’t know, except I don’t have a dictionary to look the meaning up. These are few and they don’t interfere with the plot too much so this is more of a pet peeve.
These few terms and pacing aside, no other faults stuck out to me.
The descriptions, although too long for my taste, are well-done and allow me to feel like I see what the Gunslinger sees; they also give me a better understanding of him by focusing on what he focuses, thereby showing me what’s important to him. I can imagine the world, but even as I’m writing this, I’m still thinking just “it was okay.”
Who I would recommend this book to? If you like those old Westerns where the characters stare at each other a lot and the camera zooms in on their eyes and we spend several seconds looking at that, but want to combine them with a more paranormal vibe, then I think you’d enjoy The Gunslinger.
My rating: (4 out of 5 guns)
Would I re-read this book? Maybe, but probably not.
Am I interested in other books by this author? Yes. I want to finish the series.
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (link takes you straight to the book)
Add The Gunslinger to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)
Have you read any books in The Dark Tower series?
What did you think of them?
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