"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


End of the year, and I'm catching up on some reviews...

Of course, I've heard about these books for years, but I never considered myself much of a Stephen King reader. Sure, I read some collections of short stories, and I loved THE SHINING and THE STAND (movies), but the length of the novels always kept me at arm's length. But, when I was looking for my next audio book listen, someone recommended this series, so I decided to give the first book a try.

THE DARK TOWER 1: THE GUNSLINGER by Stephen King (1982 (orig); Plume, June 24, 2003 (revised))

(This is a great summary of the book) From Amazon:

In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland pursues The Man in Black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the Kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, "The Gunslinger" leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.


As for the book itself, I loved the simplicity of the world Stephen King created in this first novel. The struggle within the main character came through perfectly, and when the young boy Jake was introduced, I was hooked. I wanted to know how Jake's world tied in with Roland's and why Roland was so intent on his pursuit of the man in black. I also truly appreciated how few words were used to create this world and the characters. As far as the audio book goes, this was a great choice. The narration was great, and the story moved along at a nice clip for audio listening.

I'd recommend this one for people curious about the series and those who, like me, are not die-hard Stephen King fans. The concept of the books is fascinating and compelling and left me wanting more of the same.

Source of book: Purchased from Audible.com


Angela Brown said...

I've got to tell ya, me and Stephen King were not on speaking terms for a while because of this series. I first read The Gunslinger in junior high, borrowed it from the school library. I'm no Stephen King disciple, but I devoured the next books like I was a junkie and they were the drug. It took King forever to get the next book out, which turned me into a sourpuss regarding him, but can't deny the man is a writing genius.

PJ Hoover said...

I totally know that feeling, Angela! There is nothing better than when you finish a book and want to read the next book and it is already out.

K. C. Blake said...

This first book bored me a little, but I loved the rest of them. It is my favorite series to this day.

Heather said...

I read the first three Dark Tower books and he kind of lost me after that. It has been many years though so maybe it's time I gave them another shot!

Christina Farley said...

I haven't read any Stephen King in a while but he's a master storyteller.

PJ Hoover said...

K.C., I had the opposite reaction. I started book 2 but haven't picked it back up since.

They get so long, heather. How he can write so many words amazes me :)

i loved his On Writing, Christina. Did you read that one? And agree!