Hi there, as many of you may know, one of my reading plans for this year was to finally read The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (much to my better half’s delight). If you were not aware and you’d like to read more then you can read all about it here. So I suppose this is the first of a potential seven – part review series?
January’s The Dark Tower read is the first book in the series; The Gunslinger. If any of you are American Horror Story fans then you’re aware of the feeling of being left with a million questions after the first episode but filled with the excitement of what happens next. This is the feeling I was left with after finishing this read. Let me take you back to the beginning!
“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.”
I’m not usually one for reading the introduction and foreword / author’s letter at the beginning of a book, that was until I read Pet Sematary (again by Stephen King) back in October of 2018. Mr King’s forewords are powerful and inspirational must reads. The introduction of The Dark Tower was written reflecting on when Stephen was progressing into the writing world and the personal journey he has taken to get where he is now. He admits to being a big Tolkien’s fan and wanting to have the magical mystery of Tolkien within a ‘The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’ setting; I must admit that he got that atmosphere spot on!
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
The storyline focuses on the gunslinger hunting down the mysterious man in black with the purpose of revenge, you can clearly feel the angry tension Roland (gunslinger) feels; very cat and mouse, yet he always misses him; after years without getting any closer. With the companionship of Jake, a young boy who has arrived from New York, Roland must overcome obstacles emotional and physical; such as a run in with a lonely and needy Alice.
This is a read about choosing between salvation and damnation, which provides the questions that I have ben told with good faith will be answered throughout the series, The Gunslinger provides a fictional stepping stone into the world of Roland. Think of this read as a taster, a compressed version of the series (?) where the following books will flesh it out and bring it substance.
The characters and descriptions depicted within the storyline are vividly described with a book that can be categorised as sci-fi fantasy with a dash of horror because it wouldn’t be a King read without any blood, gore and violence! You’ll be spoilt with many *gasp* moments, as well as areas where you can’t help but feel sorry for the solidary life Roland lives.
Really well written, well obviously it’s Stephen King’s work! I can’t wait to read The Drawing of The Three which I believe focuses on the three key areas that were pointed out in this book, we will have to wait and see in February. So, I guess, to be continued?
Have you / are you reading The Gunslinger? What are your thoughts? Comment and let me know!