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The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1) by…

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1) (original 1982; edition 2003)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,272305141 (3.87)1 / 266
Title:The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1)
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Plume (2003), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 264 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (1982)

  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. 20
    Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell (qofd)
  5. 10
    A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (Anonymous user)
  6. 10
    The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree (The Outlaw King) (Volume 1) by S. A. Hunt (emren)
    emren: Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree is a love letter to the Dark Tower series. Now read the original!
  7. 12
    Hyperion by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)

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Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I think my expectations were very high for The Gunslinger, probably far too high. But I've been told for years I should read this series and that I would simply LOVE this series. So it's hard not to get your expectations sky-high.

It was a weird experience for me. I've finished this book last week, and still don't really know how to feel about it. The style was different and quite nice, but it took me a very long time before I felt any connection with the story. (I'm not sure there is any actually). I haven't read enough books by Stephen King to get a lot of the references (and I love references to other books), but I know the Dark Towers series is crowded with them. I don't have the nostalgic feeling either, as this is my first read. I'll definitely continue the series, as I've been told that the first book is the worst in the series, and hope I'll like the other books better! ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
The Gunslinger is the first novel in the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I read the revised and expanded edition.

The Gunslinger Roland is after the Man in Black. He knows he will get him, even at the edge of a giant deserht, he is slowly gaining on the Man in Black. Roland knows it’s his destiny to get the Man in Black and move on to the The Dark Tower. But it is certainly not an easy thing to fulfill this destiny.

I have read a lot of Stephen King, but somehow I never got around to reading The Dark Tower series. With the adaptation looming around the corner (and can I just take a second to squeal about the casting perfection that is Idris Elba?!), I thought I better get cracking. The Gunslinger was a good, if slightly uneven read set in an absolutely intriguing world – even for someone like me who doesn’t dig Westerns all that much.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2016/04/23/the-gunslinger-stephen-king/ ( )
  kalafudra | May 10, 2016 |
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

I'd like to start us off with a confession, just to level with you: before this week, I had never read anything by Stephen King. The closest I’d come was watching The Shining during a particularly bleak winter. So, come with me on this journey, erase all knowledge of the master of thrills from your memory, and imagine reading King for the first time. This may be easier for some of you.

So, fresh-faced and starry-eyed, we open The Gunslinger to read what is arguably one of the best opening sentences ever written:

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

In twelve words, King has given us our protagonist, his quest, the setting, and a whole slew of questions waiting to be answered. Immediately I knew why King is so well renowned for his thrillers – he builds mystery and suspense with just a few words. Each sentence leaves the reader with more questions than they started with. But at the same time, miraculously, he builds three-dimensional characters that are relatable while remaining mysterious. We don’t learn the titular Gunslinger’s name until page 80, but as we follow his gritty, purposeful plod through the desert, this detail seems unimportant.

The details of this world are revealed to us in pieces, through the Gunslinger’s interactions with it’s denizens. While not everything is revealed, we can piece together that the Gunslinger lives in a universe similar to ours, but occupies a potential future where the world is desiccated and dying. The human race is struggling, on the brink of extinction. There are remnants of the world we know, such as the song “Hey Jude” and the presence of a long-abandoned subway. But there are only these small pieces to link it to present-day Earth.

As the Gunslinger Roland travels across the desert in pursuit of the man in black, he recalls the days when he was young, when he lived someplace verdant and thriving. The Gunslingers were a longstanding profession, but as the world declined so did they – Roland is the last. His adversary, the man in black, is a remnant from this time as well. We don’t learn until the last pages why the Gunslinger is hell-bent on catching this man, but King metes out enough clues to keep us on the edge of our seats, wanting to find out.

I’ll mention at this point that reading the Foreword and Introduction by Stephen King added an interesting perspective – the Dark Tower series took more than 20 years to complete. This first novel was published as a whole in 1982, and the last in the series wan’t released until 2003. Upon publishing the last one, King went back and heavily edited and revised the earlier books to better reflect the series as a whole. This book was written by a young, ambitious author, and there’s still a bit of pretension hanging in the corners – but it comes across as concise, collected, and well-planned. I’m eager to see how the writing and the universe evolve over the series.

The ending of this first installment leaves much to be desired – there is the conclusion of a character arc but, like the rest of book, the dénouement raises more questions than it answers. I have to say it was extremely unsatisfying, but I also have faith that it sets up the rest of the novels spectacularly. I’d imagine that reading just the first book would be akin to assembling the ingredients to bake a cake, and then… just walking away.

King has assembled here all the ingredients for a masterful fantasy epic in a vivid, visceral world that hearkens not from European folklore but from Americana. It is an extremely refreshing and enjoyable read and I am eager to follow the eponymous Gunslinger to his demise.

Fun fact: Dogs enjoy this book too. Mine found it quite tasty.

(www.FictionForesight.com) ( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
Short book, strange also.
In the begining, it was difficult to guess that "the dark tower" would be so good! and different from the usual stories of S King.
I liked it a lot! ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” That’s the story. King's powers of description are revelatory and apt and shockingly good. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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...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
To Ed Ferman, who took a chance on these stories, one by one.
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The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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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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