Author: Stephen King
Date Published: First published in June 1982
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Page Count: 264 pages
Challenge: The Dark Tower Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."
And so begins one of my favorite book series of all time and another one of Uncle Stevie's masterpieces.
Meet Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger in a world that's moved on.
Goodreads Synopsis: In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
That sums it up better than I ever could.
There were so many things that I loved about this book. There are a lot of people that complain that this book is boring, but I really don't agree with that. Well, I can see how some people would think that, but it really does set you up for the rest of the series and it sets you up very well for the next book in the series, which is equally amazing.
The book is told in alternating viewpoints, part from the present and then part of flashbacks. Through the flashbacks, we learn a little bit of why Roland is seeking the man in black, but we don't know the whole story. We also learn about Roland's coming of age, which makes you like Roland just a little bit more. The landscape of the desert and talks of how the world has 'moved on' is also one of the things that really makes this book, it gives you such a solitary feeling and you begin to see what his quest is going to be like.
One of the most memorable lines of the book comes from Jake Chambers, a boy who ends up at a way station in the desert, with no recollection of how he got there. Roland learns to love the boy, but has to decide if he is a trap that the man in black has left for him. I love Jake's character, he's strong for a child and at the thought of being abandoned by the gunslinger, he says "Go then, there are other worlds than these."
Another line I loved was from the man in black:
"Only equals speak the truth, that’s my thought on’t. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard. How tiresome!"So basically, I love this book, love this series. This was supposed to be a revised and expanded edition that I read, and the first version I read was the original one, but I honestly didn't find too much to be different. I also read the foreword, which is something that I almost never do. Anyway, 5 stars. Read it.
Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com The Gunslinger