"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

THE DARK TOWER 1: THE GUNSLINGER by Stephen King

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

6 comments:

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!