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The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen…
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The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (original 1982; edition 2016)

by Stephen King (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,840373168 (3.84)1 / 347
Member:Cait86
Title:The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
Authors:Stephen King (Author)
Info:Scribner (2016), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Obtained 2017, Read in 2018

Work details

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (1982)

  1. 71
    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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Showing 1-5 of 355 (next | show all)
This was the first Stephan King book I have read. I can see why he has such worldwide success! what an amazing story teller! There was not a single moment in this book where I thought he compromised for his readers. This is the story he wanted to tell, and he told it the way he wanted to tell it, and what a story it is! I listened to an audiobook of it, and started a while ago actually, only just picking it up again in the last few days. It reminds me of when I was rolling ice-cream when I worked at the movies. That is when I listened to it last. I would just prop it down and roll away; getting lost in the original world. ( )
  Zaccer | Jan 2, 2019 |
This was the first Stephan King book I have read. I can see why he has such worldwide success! what an amazing story teller! There was not a single moment in this book where I thought he compromised for his readers. This is the story he wanted to tell, and he told it the way he wanted to tell it, and what a story it is! I listened to an audiobook of it, and started a while ago actually, only just picking it up again in the last few days. It reminds me of when I was rolling ice-cream when I worked at the movies. That is when I listened to it last. I would just prop it down and roll away; getting lost in the original world. ( )
  Zaccer | Jan 2, 2019 |
This was the first Stephan King book I have read. I can see why he has such worldwide success! what an amazing story teller! There was not a single moment in this book where I thought he compromised for his readers. This is the story he wanted to tell, and he told it the way he wanted to tell it, and what a story it is! I listened to an audiobook of it, and started a while ago actually, only just picking it up again in the last few days. It reminds me of when I was rolling ice-cream when I worked at the movies. That is when I listened to it last. I would just prop it down and roll away; getting lost in the original world. ( )
  Zaccer | Jan 2, 2019 |
This book, and the series it starts, have been a part of the public consciousness for a while now. I've never read any of them before, though, so with this being my first time through, I'm aware of how highly it's regarded by some whose opinions matter to me. All of which has led to a certain degree of expectation...and I'm not sure if this book met it.

To be clear: There's a strong sense from this book that there's SO MUCH MORE to come, and you don't (or I didn't) come away feeling ambivalent about the journey. I'm excited, I'm in. I'm just...nervous, maybe? No, more likely cautious. ( )
  Ubiquitine | Nov 24, 2018 |
I liked quite literally nothing in this book, so why is it that I'm planning on reading Book 2?

Stephen King himself has apparently said that he wrote this in college, and it's not very good - so I don't feel so bad about ripping on it. Now, sure, King isn't Tolstoy, and never will be: but usually his prose flows well with a darkly comic edge, and an ability to info-dump without it seeming obvious. Not so here. The prose is gangly and uneven, the characters less-than-one-dimensional, and the plot largely incoherent. (The only thing that is successfully conveyed is description of location: whatever the logic may be behind these primitive-yet-post-apocalyptic world, King's inspiration must surely have come from his desire to paint a desolated America, cf [b:The Stand|149267|The Stand|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1213131305s/149267.jpg|1742269])

There are only a handful of characters in the book anyway, but none of them stand out. The only one given a story is the 'protagonist', but he's such a grey figure that there's little to be learned. (In the final section of the book, King makes him seem really stupid when he has to keep asking "what does that word mean?". He's trying to show that there is a disconnect between our world and the character's, but what hero - confronted with their greatest enemy - doesn't occasionally try and process a word in context rather than admit they didn't understand it, particularly when it wasn't germane to the point of the sentence?).

And whatever does it all mean? Obviously, as the start of a seven book series, I don't expect answers handed on a platter. But all of the sequences set during the gunslinger's childhood are rabidly incoherent, as no context is given for what is happening. Most importantly, this robs the scenes of any emotional weight, since the seemingly complex actions of those around our protagonist fail to have any meaning.

The final sequence hints at some ideas for future books, and certainly suggests an epic canvas. I'm reading Book 2 because everyone has told me that it gets much better, and I don't want to miss the boat if this really is something to write home about. At the end of the day, this entire book seems like one of those fifteen-page introductions that start off most epic novels: it makes little sense out of context, but has an oppressive atmosphere that makes you intrigued. It's a pity that King chose to expand that fifteen-page introduction to a couple of hundred pages, because it wasn't for the best. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 355 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 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.
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(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)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This heroic fantasy is set in a world of ominous landscape and macabre menace that is a dark mirror of our own. A spellbinding tale of good versus evil, it features one of Stephen King's most powerful creations--The Gunslinger, a haunting figure who embodies the qualities of the lone hero through the ages from ancient myth to frontier western legend. His pursuit of The Man in Black, his liaison with the sexually ravenous Alice, his friendship with the kid from Earth called Jake, are part of the drama that is both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, an alchemy of storytelling sorcery.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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