Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

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

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1) (edition 2003)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,636None187 (3.9)1 / 223
Title:The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book 1)
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Plume (2003), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 264 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:12, audio, fantasy

Work details

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

adventure (52) American (30) audiobook (35) dark fantasy (56) dark tower (647) ebook (51) epic (80) epic fantasy (34) fantasy (1,420) fiction (1,080) gunslinger (83) horror (733) King (100) novel (104) own (77) paperback (62) post-apocalyptic (94) quest (40) read (219) Roland (42) science fiction (220) series (202) sff (43) Stephen King (251) supernatural (33) suspense (33) thriller (38) to-read (129) unread (65) western (254)
  1. 51
    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. 31
    Insomnia by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Insomnia introduces the Crimson King, the big baddie from The Dark Tower series.
  3. 31
    Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: There are thematic connections between the first story of Hearts in Atlantis and The Dark Tower series.
  4. 10
    Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell (qofd)
  5. 10
    A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (Anonymous user)
  6. 02
    Hyperion by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (226)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (3)  Danish (2)  Italian (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (243)
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
The story of Roland begins. ( )
  LisaFoxRomance | Apr 6, 2014 |
In the last 3 years, I've begun to read pretty much constantly. I've always got one or two novels on the go but recently, I've realized that I had never read anything written by Stephen King. On a recommendation from the internetz, I decided to give the Dark Tower series a go. A pretty ambitious first attempt, I thought where better to start than one of the most widely acclaimed series of all time?

Early after deciding that he wanted to pursue a career as an author, King decided that he wanted to write an epic - something akin to Tolken's Lord of the Rings series. Writing "The Gunslinger" in 5 parts, King had them published in "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction". In total, it took King 12 and a half years to finish the first novel when it became published in 1988. Since then, most specifically in 2003, King reissued the novel "revised and expanded" which included several edits and an additional 9000 words. King did this in an effort to make the book more accessible to a new audience as well as clear up some inconsistencies in regards to the later novels.

Taking place in an alternate universe similar to the Old West, Roland of Gilead continues his quest to catch "The Man in Black". Roland pursues "The Man in Black" as he believes the Man holds the key to his destiny in reaching The Dark Tower itself; his ultimate destination. Along the way, Roland meets various characters that will shape his journey in ways both good and bad.

I'm not actually aware of what King has changed from the original; I couldn't seem to find many glaring changes online in terms of differences from the original story other than the fate of a major character. It seems to be mostly due to what he considered an amateurish writing style in his early days.

I will say this; I loved "The Gunslinger". I did find the writing style a little challenging at first. I've got limited experience when it comes to works of fantasy and science fiction, so a lot of the places and characters were a bit strange and hard to pin down. However, after really getting into the novel, I found it hard to put down and a pretty quick read.

King does a masterful job painting a picture of Roland's world; his descriptive nature is pretty impressive. He gives you the ability to develop a detailed mental picture without going overboard - which is pretty important. As someone who's never read a King novel, it's hard to believe that I somehow avoided him for so long. Roland's battle in the city of Tull around the middle of the novel was riveting, King is easily able to control a battle involving dozens of townsfolk - it's clear why he's so respected and revered, even this early in his career.

It's hard to imagine this successfully transitioning into a movie; it seems too big for film. Then again, you have Peter Jackson's adaptation of Lord of the Rings and James Cameron's recent epic, Avatar. It's pretty clear that we're living in an age where entire worlds can be created out of nothing; it could work. Despite saying that he would rather keep The Dark Tower series within the literary world, King sold the rights to Star Trek director, J.J. Abrams recently and the project is in its beginning stages. It'll be interesting to say the least.

I'm very intrigued to take on the other 6 parts in the 7 part series. Sooner than later, they'll be sitting on my book shelf ready to go. I kind of wish I had purchased the box set; it would have been a lot cheaper.
( )
1 vote branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
This would be 2-star maximum if it weren't for the shootout in Tull. Admit it. ( )
  Algybama | Mar 17, 2014 |
I'm a tad speechless on this. I like it, a lot, and yet I feel uncertain. King outdid himself with this. He has woven a complex time slipping tale with uncertain motivations... which is why while I love the characters, the bleak atmosphere, the sense of deep history, I never feel as if I completely "get it". I mean really, what the heck is going on here?
It's like eating something yummy that has a strange slightly unpleasant aftertaste. Or like seeing a terrific hip stylish outfit on a supermodel only to realize once you put it on that your abundant back fat sort of ruins the effect, and that you don't have the right shoes.
Nevertheless, I'm moving on to the next tale in the gunslinger series with the hope that here I will get some clarity. Hmm. Wish me luck. ( )
  khaalidah | Mar 14, 2014 |
I originally read The Gunslinger back in the mid-80s and fell in love with the world. Over the course of the next 20 years, I read all the other Dark Tower books. I'd usually return back to the originals to refresh my memory of the story, especially since there was a rather long drought between many of the books. Therefore, I'm most familiar with the first two.

Having said that, I was amazed at how much of The Gunslinger I'd forgotten. King's got some an amazing voice anyway, but his literary bulb was a full glow with this first installment. It's a wonderful beginning to a truly epic adventure and the trade paperback version has such wonderful illustrations. ( )
  Jarratt | Feb 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
...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.
First words
The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:03 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
651 avail.
746 wanted
6 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.9)
0.5 15
1 73
1.5 12
2 214
2.5 73
3 636
3.5 181
4 1074
4.5 126
5 1151


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,430,779 books! | Top bar: Always visible