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The Gunslinger by Stephen King
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The Gunslinger (1982)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dark Tower (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,840323133 (3.86)1 / 275
  1. 61
    The Dark Tower, Books 1-3: The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, and The Waste Lands by Stephen King (Valjeanne)
    Valjeanne: While The Gunslinger Book 1 is not one of my favorite books by Stephen King, one should read it to provide the backdrop to the sequels. The Drawing of the Three (especially) and The Waste Lands are much more engaging and two of King's most brilliant novels.… (more)
  2. 41
    Insomnia by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Insomnia introduces the Crimson King, the big baddie from The Dark Tower series.
  3. 20
    Wizard And Glass by Stephen King (Morteana)
  4. 10
    The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree by S. A. Hunt (emren)
    emren: Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree is a love letter to the Dark Tower series. Now read the original!
  5. 10
    A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (Anonymous user)
  6. 12
    Hyperion by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
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English (303)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  Italian (2)  French (2)  German (1)  All (1)  Swedish (1)  All (320)
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I have read several books by Stephen King that I really enjoyed, the Green Mile for one. The Gunslinger was a disappointment. I won't continue the series. ( )
  nngrey | Jan 13, 2017 |
The Gunslinger, Roland, lives in a harrowing landscape of a world that was; a world with similarities to our own but clearly in a later, possibly post-apocalyptic time, with occasional relics from the world we know. His immediate goal is to track down the man in black. His ultimate quest is to find the Dark Tower. He believes if he can confront the man in black he can make him reveal what he know about the Tower and aid him in his quest. His pursuit of the man takes him through a seemingly unending bleak desert landscape and encounters with desperate, worn out people, as well as some creatures who are not quite, or no longer, human. He also finds a boy named Jake living in a shack in the middle of the desert, who he must bring along on his trek in order to save him from certain death. Despite all hardships, Roland continues doggedly on, single-mindedly refusing to be deterred from what he seeks.

I resisted reading this book when it was published in 1982. While I had many friends who raved about it, and I loved King's other works at that time, this sounded like a western, and I don't like westerns. I should have realized that if King wrote it, I would indeed like it. And it's not really a western anyway. I started this book on my morning commute and finished it before going to sleep that same day, because with King one always has to know what happens next.

King wrote an Afterward that I particularly enjoyed as he spoke about various characters Roland remembers and wondered himself what their stories were. I found it fascinating to think that the author himself was waiting to see who these people were and their importance in his story. I have the second book of the series in the house and while it's not on my regular list, I have a feeling it will make my overflow list this year. I really enjoyed it. ( )
  LeslieHurd | Jan 11, 2017 |



I've never read the Dark Tower series, so it was with some trepidation that I tackled another Stephen King universe.

Suffice to say that by the end of it, I wanted to read the full series, which I've just added to my TBR pile.

It's quite noticeable that “Little Sisters” is nothing but an interlude in an overall broader canvas. Nevertheless I was hooked from the get-go of the story, despite the fact that's it has more action than I'd expect considering for much of the story Roland is bed-ridden and paralyzed by drugs.

One of the things that I always tend to look for in a story is how well an author is able to depict a strong sense of place. In a King story the settings are so well portrayed that they expand like real and fully coloured vistas in the mind's eye. Stephen Kind can describe the natural world in a way that neither a geologist nor a naturalist might describe it. It's all in the architecture of the world that King is able to envisage.

His descriptions have depth from which images arise in the reader's mind that are in fact quite poetic.

I intend to read all of the Dark Series before Ron Howard gets his teeth into it... I don't like spoiled surprises..." ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
It was just too sloggy and boring. I don't want to read about some guy chasing another guy while the world is dying around them. Every word seemed to drip with apathy, lethargy and hopelessness the character[s] waswere feeling. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
I always hate discovering and enjoying the inaugural novel in a book series and realizing that there are seven to follow. The Dark Tower series begin with The Gunfighter, the protagonist, Roland of Gilead and involves his initial quest for the man in black. This novel is set in a parallel universe which resembles the Old West. Confronting the man in black is only an interim task before reaching is final destination of the Dark Tower. This novel provides few clues regarding Roland's motivation. I have recently read that the series is being produced for a television series. ( )
  John_Warner | Nov 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a leaf, a stone, a door. And of all the forgotten faces.
Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb, we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?

...O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.
--Thomas Wolfe Look Homeward, Angel
Dedication
To Ed Ferman, who took a chance on these stories, one by one.
First words
The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The story centers upon Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger who has been chasing after his adversary, "the man in black", for many years. The novel follows Roland's trek through a vast desert and beyond in search of the man in black. Roland meets several people along his journey, including a boy named Jake Chambers who travels with him part of the way.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452284694, Paperback)

Thirty-three years, a horrific and life-altering accident, and thousands of desperately rabid fans in the making, Stephen King's quest to complete his magnum opus rivals the quest of Roland and his band of gunslingers who inhabit the Dark Tower series. Loyal DT fans and new readers alike will appreciate this revised edition of The Gunslinger, which breathes new life into Roland of Gilead, and offers readers a "clearer start and slightly easier entry into Roland's world."

King writes both a new introduction and foreword to this revised edition, and the ever-patient, ever-loyal "constant reader" is rewarded with secrets to the series's inception. That a "magic" ream of green paper and a Robert Browning poem, came together to reveal to King his "ka" is no real surprise (this is King after all), but who would have thought that the squinty-eyed trio of Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach would set the author on his true path to the Tower? While King credits Tolkien for inspiring the "quest and magic" that pervades the series, it was Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly that helped create the epic proportions and "almost absurdly majestic western backdrop" of Roland's world.

To King, The Gunslinger demanded revision because once the series was complete it became obvious that "the beginning was out of sync with the ending." While the revision adds only 35 pages, Dark Tower purists will notice the changes to Allie's fate and Roland's interaction with Cort, Jake, and the Man in Black--all stellar scenes that will reignite the hunger for the rest of the series. Newcomers will appreciate the details and insight into Roland's life. The revised Roland of Gilead (nee Deschain) is embodied with more humanity--he loves, he pities, he regrets. What DT fans might miss is the same ambiguity and mystery of the original that gave the original its pulpy underground feel (back when King himself awaited word from Roland's world). --Daphne Durham

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:42 -0400)

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First portion of an epic story of a fantastic world of good versus evil in which the hero, The Gunslinger, pursues The Man in Black.

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