Stephen King's series about the Dark Tower is epic. It has spanned decades between release of this first book and the most recent which comes out Nov. 4th. This is a slightly expanded version of the original and I believe makes it a much more stand alone book. This series is far and away my favorite of King's work. The character Roland is very powerful. I am sure if you get this book you will be drawn to the rest in the series, which audible has recently added along with "Wolves of the Calla" which is coming soon. The sheer scope and volume of the completed works even so far are awesome, each book leaves you knowing more about Roland and his "ka-tet" but wanting to know even more. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series. I sincerely hope that Audible plans to add the final two volumes as they come out next year.
I'm reading the second book in the series as I write the review of the first. The second is so much more enjoyable and accessible. So I'm glad I slogged through the first one, which sets the scene and explains the back story. Sometimes you have to take your medicine to make progress. That's how this book felt. I probably could have started with book two, but my brain does not work that way. So I'm glad I read The Gunslinger, even if I found it painfully difficult to get through.
This book is the opening salvo of the series I consider to be the best of any I have read. I waited a couple of years to let my brain fully absorb and digest the saga in totality- no small feat given the very nature of the series. I will begin with a warning: The Dark Tower will change how you view many aspects of the world, along with elevate your expectations of other works.
After that paragraph, I'm sitting here staring at the screen not sure how to encapsulate the book without giving spoilers or a simple plot summary. It is further *insanely* difficult to write a review without the long term series ending in mind. I have endless things I want to say, but can't without the reader knowing where it all ends, without spoiling the surprise. And that is something I cannot do for it would render the saga pointless. With that in mind, forgive my brevity in the following paragraphs.
It is an atmospheric intro to the world of Roland of Gilead. Over the course of the book, set extensively in what feels like an old west wasteland, the listener is immediately drawn into the story. Roland is a cloaked and stoic character, a gunslinger with hand cannons. The first book tracks his journey through this wasteland.
The story is filled with magic and mysticism. Broad horizons that expand the potentials of story telling. Flashbacks are used to flesh out characters. In the end, we are left with more questions than answers (which is a theme throughout the series). But, most importantly, we are introduced to Roland's quest for the Dark Tower. We see what he will do to achieve his goal.
Highest marks and worth the read. But remember, it is addicting and you are signing up for nearly 100 hours of listening over the whole series. It is worth it, I promise.
I have been an avid fan of Stephen King's since I read my first novel about 15 years ago (Thinner). He is right on par with his usually vivid desciptions in this volume of the dark tower, but he is out of character in drawing out the story. I have already read and listenend to the second volume of this series, The Drawing of the Three (OUTSTANDING), and I now understand all of the fine points of this text. This book is a must read/hear for the rest of an outstaning series although it is just "good" compare to King's usual work. Trust me, once you hear volume II, you will be hooked.
Keep in mind that I'm not King's biggest fan when reading my review. This is only my third Stephen King book (also read Bag of Bones and Dreamcatcher (both of which I really enjoyed)) but I can't seem to get into the book. Normally I can't wait to hear the next 30 minutes of a book now I just can't wait till the end of the month so I get another 2 credits to buy another book. Who knows maybe I'm missing something. The story is very well written and you can truely picture the setting but as I said, I can't get into the story.
I read this book for the first time roughly 20 years ago, and I loved it. Of course, I borrowed it from the local library and never owned the book. This is the first book I acquired as a member of Audible Gold, and it was everything I remembered and more. I was so drawn to Roland's story, and it never seemed too long to me. Stephen King develops every character that we meet, and the glimpses into Roland's life are important to understanding what happens in the next books in the series. So, for those of you who didn't like it, and felt like you had to struggle through, I highly suggest you continue on with the other books in the series. You will not be sorry. I for one am glad to have rediscovered Roland, his pain, his torture, and his tower.
Go ahead. Allow yourself to be sucked in to the Dark Tower series.
The first book takes a little while to get going, but you have to think of it as an investment in the epic series that it is.
This is a great story. By the time you get to the 7th book, you'll be really disappointed that your time with these characters is up.
Two thums up. Both of 'em.
Without a doubt one of the greatest reading pleasures of my life. I have read everything Stephen King has published but this series is King at his best. You can feel how much he cares about his characters. Roland is one of my personal hero's and one of the best drawn literary figures I have ever encountered. All of the Dark Tower volumes stand by themselves but pay particular attention to "The Drawing of the Three" and "Wizards and Glass". You can expect to read them over and over again. Thank you Stephen King.
When I first started to enjoy reading books as a teenager, Stephen King was often my choice. I have read nearly every book he has written over the years. I have many favorites out of his many books, but it has always been The Dark Tower series that I've been most excited about. Since this first book, I always couldn't wait for the next in the series. I would have dreams about Roland and his friends at night after reading. These books are what got me into reading fantasy books, and they will always be my favorites.
After reading the series more than a few times, they were of course some of the first I downloaded as audiobooks. Listening to them only brought new joy to each book. I highly recommend The Dark Tower Books.
The first time I tried to read this I just wasn't in the mindset and couldn't do it; I tried twice more. Then I listened to it and was immediately intrigued! I listened to the next six books in the series and enjoyed every minute of it and both narrators [Frank Muller is missed!]. Get this book!