Stephen King's Dark Tower series is his finest work ever. Mr. King has a storytellers gift. If you are fan of his other work you will like this series.
I was never a fan of Stephen King's first book in the Dark Tower series; in fact, I stopped reading the book twice before finally pushing through to the end. Every book since has been great. This revised and expanded edition helps tie the first book to the rest of the books in series and is not as choppy as before. George Guidall is a good reader, but I would have preferred a "younger" voice for Roland; still, it's definately worth listening to.
The Book Conjurer
I'm probably the only person on Earth that dislikes Stephen King and still manages to read one or two of his books a year. He certainly knows how to craft a page-turner and he shows occasional brilliance in character development, but most of his work is chock-full of ham-fisted imagery, ill-fitting pop culture references, and over-moist sex scenes. That said, "The Gunslinger" is Stephen King at his best with little of the mediocrity that plagues many of his other books.
Roland's relentless pursuit of the man in black echoes events and characters from Browning's Childe Roland. It combines the desperation of Elliott's Waste Land with the imagery and violence of a spaghetti western. But most importantly, it works! The Gunslinger has the gravity of an old myth and is grittily satisfying.
The other Dark Tower books are nowhere near as subtle or well-crafted. Take for example, the asinine antagonist of the third book: a sentient, evil locomotive ("Blaine the Train is a pain"), or the Wizard of Oz rubbish tacked onto the end of the fourth book. These grotesque elements are garish lipstick smeared on a corpse by an over-eager mortician. How can the Roland we have come to know and love in "The Gunslinger" maintain his dignity in the face of such laughable adversities?
If you're a fan of King's early work or even if you've tried later Dark Tower books and disliked them, you should absolutely give this book a listen, but I recommend you avoid later books in the series.
Random utterly disturbing things would creep up that really weren't necessary. I am scarred for life.
Well, I defiantly won't be picking up another Stephen King novel on a whim. That guy obviously has a sick mind.
It was lifeless. He didn't string the words or sentences together smoothy so it was awkward.
All of them!! There was not one redeeming character. In my opinion, this book should have been re-worked entirely.
Needless to say I deleted this book from my computer.
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 bought this book because it was recommended by someone who is normally spot on when comparing his taste to mine. I was skeptical more than halfway through the book because it doesn't really seem to be going anywhere.
There are slow, methodical descriptions of both the environment the story takes place in and of the characters in the story. I kept on reading despite how rambling it becomes at times because I'm looking for a payoff at some point.
I will confess that by the end of the book I am intrigued by where the story may go but wherever it goes you must know that this kind of story can only be done by a well-established author because it's was the most incomplete book 1 I've ever seen. Most authors can't do that because they never know if they can sell a complete series like this. Especially when so little story and character development takes place. They normally have to choose an ending that has SOME closure but which can still be continued at some point. This book doesn't come anywhere near closure.
Still, something about the last eighth of the book hooked me. I have to see where it goes next...
Before you read this, you should make sure you can stomach a book with a distant payoff which may be several volumes away.
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.
The story was a big disappointment. It is not classic King, which is okay. It was more like The Talisman, but not as good. At least with The Talisman, the story picked up and caught my interest. The Gunslinger was like a sleeping pill.
The story needed to move along more quickly. When I finally stopped listening, I had no more clue about the gunslinger's goal than when I started.
Absolutely! Both were as slow as maple sap in January.
I absolutely fell in love with audible since day 1!! My favorites are psychological murders and thrillers!!
I don't know if this is just me, but this book is so horribly read that I don't understand a thing that's going on. I'm on my third time starting it over. Is anyone else having trouble reading this?