Review of 'The Gunslinger'

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
1st book in the 'The Dark Tower' series

Roland is the last “gunslinger” as he journeys towards the Dark Tower in a land very similar to the “wild west” of early 20th century westerns. We follow him through a series of small adventures as we find he is tracking the “Man in Black”, another gunslinger, who has information vital to Roland and his journey. There are several incidents of extreme violence along the way (including the massacre of an entire village) and a series of people who are not what they seem. We get tantalising glimpses of this world and what has happened - Why does the young boy remember looking into shop windows in a big city?

I can't say that Roland is a terribly sympathetic character with his numerous unanswered questions about both himself and the world he lives in. We only learn a few tantalising hints of his life here so plenty more to come, I am sure.

This is an early novel by King and as such it is not as polished or riveting as his later work (it took me quite a long time to read this 212 page story as I was not always that keen) but it is still an interesting story nonetheless. Through his career he has released several books in this series which he contends is his “epic saga” (my wording). I will be picking up on the series to see how this works out…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2011-05-21

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 1982

Other reviewed books in the 'The Dark Tower' series:

Other reviewed books by Stephen King: