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FREE BOOK ¹ The Gunslinger ô 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 Back Cover I don t like people They fuck me up Roland Deschain, the last of the Gunslingers, is after the Man in Black Along the way he meets a young boy named Jake, who appears to be from a world that is different to Roland s.Ah, Roland I had forgotten how difficult it was to like you in The Gunslinger Some of your decisions are questionable, but that is the price of obsession.The Gunslinger is so unlike King s usual style of writing the prose is beautifully poetic as we are introduced to a world that is starkly different to ours, yet some similarities remain The differences in language and terms used, as well as the general workings of this world, are a bit jarring on the first read, but a reread is really so satisfying and rewarding The Gunslinger works perfectly as a prologue to the series itself It s an introduction to this other world, and Roland himself we get glimpses into his past, his present, and even a few subtle hints into what his future may hold Roland is initially portrayed as the strong silent Clint Eastwood type thinking of Tony Soprano here LOL , but over the course of the series he becomes so muchthan this, and evolves into one of the most complex characters I ve ever encountered in literature Thank you, King, for such a fantastic character.I will never cease to be amazed and intrigued by the world that the Dark Tower series is set in And although I feel like The Gunslinger works as a pretty great prologue and sets the scene for the series, there are still a huge number of parts that are iconic to the story itself We have Roland s past in Gilead with his mother and friends, we also have an epic demonstration of his gunslinging abilities in Tull, and of course, our introduction to Jake Chambers and his journey with Roland through the mountains, which is eventful in itself And then the book culminates with the Man in Black having a palaver with Roland, where he is told his future This part in particular is so enjoyable on a reread, picking up on the different predictions mades and ALLLL the foreshadowing It s fantastic.On my first journey to the Dark Tower, and also on this one, I read the revised edition of The Gunslinger, as King went back to the original and made some some amendments to make it both an easier read and to fix some consistencies I really want to get my hands on a copy of the original version so that I can compare Such incredible world building and I feel like King intrigues you enough to make you want to pick up the next book right away But I won t be as I am waiting until February like the good readalong host that I am Yes I deserve some credit I m giving this rating only because I know what is yet to come can t wait to carry on with my reread of my most favourite book series 4 stars. INTRODUCTION A few things you should know before deciding how helpful this review will be for you. I think the Dark Tower series as a whole is a staggering achievement and belongs in any discussion without qualification of the Greatest Fantasy Series of All Time There are no spoilers in this review but I have read the series twice all the way through and am doing a third reading as part of a group read this month Therefore, my review is colored by my knowledge of how the rest of the series is Hence, I only give this book 4 stars because in comparison to the rest of the series, I thought this book was by far the weakest In a vacuum, I would have probably given this 5 stars due to the Chilly Palmer Josey Wales awesomeness of the character of Roland Roland Deschain is THE MAN and belongs among the truly ICONIC figures in 20th century literature and is certainly among my top ten favorite characters of all time I think this is evenastounding given the Roland himself was initially patterned on the classic, iconic western gunfighter Yet, through the series, I thought he grew beyond his original programming and became a truly unique figure I have read a number of Stephen King books beyond the Dark Tower series and have really liked some The Stand, The Green Mile, The Night Shift and really disliked some Dreamcatcher, Cujo and The Dark Half I just wanted to be clear that I like Stephen King but am not a everything he writes is gold fanboy..beyond the Dark Tower series that is I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the ending of the series don t worry, no spoilers I can not think of a better way to have ended this epic series and believe that it created a muchpowerful memory of the journey through all 7 books I think Stephen King should be applauded for allowing the story to take on such MYTHIC importance as I think he achieved with the way he ended this series I know that MANY and I mean MANY disagree with me on this one and I can understand where they are coming from psssst however, just between us.they are all wrong and I m right but shhhhhh I have listened to all 7 books are audio the first 4 read by the late Frank Muller and the last 3 read by George Guidall I believe that anyone who has read the books and not listened to these stories on audio is REALLY MISSING SOMETHING WONDERFUL Those who have listened to the Dune series on audio can understand the incredible quality and enhancement that a superb reading of a great story can bring.As mentioned in the above introduction, this book only gets 4 stars from me In large part this is due to both the quality of the later books and also the fact that it is plagued by some inconsistencies that arose due to changes that King made in the later books I applaud King for going back and re writing this story to resolve these conflicts, but I still think this book suffers from the fact that King did not know how LARGE the story would become when he wrote this That said, this book is an absolute essential read as it introduced the world to Roland Deschain of Gilead, Son of Steven, Gunslinger, Champion of the White, Descendant of the line of Arthur Eld, Bane of the Man in Black and Seeker of the Dark Tower How best to describe Roland Physically, he was inspired by Clint Eastwood s The Man with No Name and so a younger Clint Eastwood is an excellent way to visualize him From there, you need to mix in a little MYSTICAL TEACHER WARRIOR MASTER SLOGAN DISPENSER.Add a helping of NOBLE KNIGHT LEADER And then top it off with a large triple shot of BAD ASS MOFO ..with the end result being one of the most intriguing, layered though it takes some time to peel those layers back and complex figures in all of literature in my opinion In this first installment, which is quite short compared to subsequent volumes we are introduced to Roland and the world he lives in as he is chasing the Man in Black Roland s world appears like a deranged version of the Old West but with occasional references to an older world that was muchtechnologically advanced We are left with the impression of a very ancient world that is fading and running down As Roland describes it, his world has moved on We also come to find that Roland s world is not our world but that there are strange similarities between the two e.g., Arthur Eld the great hero of Roland s world would seem to be their version of King Arthur both world s have a version of the song Hey Jude , etc In addition, we learn that it is possible though difficult to travel between the worlds which is a fundamental aspect of the rest of the series It is in this story that Roland first meets Jake Chambers who arrives in Roland s world from a version of our New York City I will leave you to learn for yourself the circumstances surrounding Jake s appearance and the results Through a lengthy flashback in the city of JethroTull we learn of both the mad skills of Roland as a Gunslinger and the otherworldly powers of the Man in Black My takeaway, Roland can shoot the eyes out of hummingbird and 50 paces From there, the book moves ahead briskly until the inevitable final showdown between Roland and the Man in Black The details, the interesting nuggets and the time spent with Jake are best experienced fresh so I will avoid spoilers Overall, a good introduction to Roland and his world but merely an appetizer to the warm buttery goodness that is to follow and the epic tale of the Gunslinger really gets going in the next book The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed And you should follow to, all the way to the end of the story and discover the wonders of this most original journey HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. Please don t hate me I know it seems sacrilegious to give a Stephen King anything less than 4 stars, but this one was SLOOOOWWWW for the first 75% That s not to say I didn t enjoy it, but I did find this was an easy book to put down and not feel an urgency to jump back into for days at a time I ve heard many folks describe this as a nice prologue to the series and that, in a sense, the action and story doesn t become investment worthy until book 2 That, coupled with the fact that I did become very involved in the final 25% or so of this book has me itching to continue on with Roland because DEAR GOD THAT ENDING I was just coasting, coasting, coasting, and then then I had to reread the final couple of pages a few times to make sure I was following along properly All in all, I got the sense that this is a really special series and worthy of the high praise it has received for decades, and I expect my future reviews will holdgushing and fangirling than this one didPS my prim and proper mother we lovingly refer to her as Nonni is the one who initially convinced me to read this series and also invest in The Stand because she read both way back in her day Who knew Nonni was so cool and hip and in the know B 68% Satisfactory NotesA discordant blend of flowery, terse and vulgar prose, difficult to follow and insufficient in explaining new concepts.