My girlfriend gave me the complete set of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series for Christmas 2009. I was extremely excited because I had not really read any of the series despite reading a large amount of Stephen King. I am labeling this review “retrospective” because it has been some months since I read it; however, it has been less than 7 months since the book was completed, so I feel my opinions are still valid. 🙂
I first began the first volume of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger, in late high school when someone else urged me to begin the series. However, I got about twenty pages in and just could not continue. I could not “get into” the book, which was unlike my experiences with other Stephen King books. This time around, the book affected me drastically differently. In this book, the gunslinger named Roland, the last of his kind, is tracking “the man in black” across the desert. We hear of the town(s) and people he encounters, including a young boy named Jake who came from current-day New York City (in a different place and time from Roland’s world).
While the book is admittedly a little slow-paced at the beginning, it is riveting. King’s initial dehumanizing language really sets the tone of the gunslinger’s purpose. Roland is only referred to as “the gunslinger” when the book starts; Walter is “the man in black”; Jake is “the boy.” It is clear from the beginning that Roland is emotionally detached and will do anything to accomplish his mission. A shocking occurrence near the end of the book proves this, and the reader feels conflicted about the protagonist. He is strong, determined, and comical, but he can also be cold and seemingly heartless. The Gunslinger was a great start to King’s truly epic series, and I could not wait to begin the next volume.
Where did I get this book? Christmas (2009) gift from girlfriend
1982 (2003 revision and expansion). New York: Signet. 300 pages.