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.
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?
I think Mr. King was playing with a great idea here. It was simply a struggle to get through this book and in the end I hated the main character. I actually attempted to read several years ago and stopped with 10 pages to go...I simply didn't care what happened to the gunslinger.
After some heavy encouragement by a friend, I muscled through this book a second time. Still didn't like it, however, the payoff I am seeing in the books that follow make it worth while.
Essentially The Gunslinger is your price of admission to the amusement park that is the Dark Tower series.
A plot that can be followed
something by Lee Child
He was great BUT he needed an understandable tale to narrate
the writing was brilliant, the words ,just, flowed but there was nowhere to flow to. King's writing kept you turning the pages BUT, the next page was as disappointing as the last.
No real story , tale, substance. a well written boring novel
It is among the bottom 50%.
This is a very early King novel, and it shows. I think it is important to anyone who wants to master the whole huge Gunslinger series, but it drags Quite a Lot.
Great job throughout. He voiced even the dullest characters well, and kept me listening even for the long stretches of nothingness that occupy a bit too much of this book.
Really, only the Gunslinger has dimension as a person, and he doesn't have much.
I think this is probably the best format to get the first book in the Dark Tower series under one's belt. I think King is a remarkable writer, and he has done a lot with this series, so I think someone who cares about mastering it is going to find this audible version the easiest way of getting through what is probably the least interesting of the books in it.