Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is unlike anything you've ever heard. Here is Stephen King's most visionary piece of storytelling, a magical mix of fantasy and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. Don't miss the other volumes of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
©1982 and 2003 Stephen King; (P)2003 Penguin Audiobooks and Recorded Books, LLC
"Brilliant, fresh, and compelling...will leave you panting for more." (Booklist)
"An impressive work of mythic magnitude. May turn out to be Stephen King's greatest literary achievement." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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.
I would, after I finish the series. Rolands character is captivating and I found myself being addicted to his chase for the man in black just as he himself is
When he meets the man in black and they talk of the wonders of the universe
Great to listen to. I'm disappointed that the same narrator doesn't return until later in the series, but I am still excited to move onto the next story.
The world of the Dark Tower is every bit as vast as LOTR or Star Wars or any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy I have read.
It is not so easy as a turn off your brain and read series. Some of it is crude, but that's King's style for you, and it works.
The character of the Gunslinger is one of the most amazing hero/anti-hero characters I've known. He kicks butt, he's gruff, he's got a kindness but he can be as hard as steel. his single minded quest for the Dark Tower make him interesting.
Perhaps the series is not for everyone. Some people don't like anything no matter what is said. Either they don't get it, or it's not their taste.
Those that read Gunslinger need to remember it was written by King before his first book Carrie was big. The rest of the series is written more recently. Give them a try. I listen to them over and over.
One thing that I have noticed after reading all of the reviews that are posted on this site boils down to the same thing. 1 Yes this is a long series after al it is a work of love. 2. As the series progresses you learn to know and love the characters. 3 you need a brain to understand the path of the beam and relate it to history, ( using metaphors) 4 This series is not for the “Brain Dead Drones” I have read the entire series and now have it on audio and I come back to it time after time.
The Gunslinger series is responsible for getting me hooked on Audio Books and Audible. This first volume took some time to catch on, but I've listened to it several times now and always enjoy it just a little more than the last. Be warned... I couldn't hold out for my regular scheduled monthly downloads and needed to buy a couple of the books in the series before I planned to. Most addictive.
This is the first of the Dark Tower series of stories, but it was written by King in the early 1970's. He had yet to acquire his incredible visionary writing style that he is most known for, so this story, however amazing, is not his best work. However, the Dark Tower series absolutely is his best! So in order to read the remaining stories and understand everything about them, The Gunslinger is a must read.
I found this book to be difficult to get through. The plot seemed slow and I just kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen (I wasn't sure what). But the reader is excellent, and that helped me to keep on listening. I AM SO GLAD I DID! By the end of this book, I still wasn't overly impressed, but I liked it well enough to give the second in the series a try. I have LOVED all of the rest of the books! I don't think you can skip this book and still appreciate the others, so I think this book is a worthy investment for many, many hours of great listening from the rest of the series.
One last note, I want to mention again that the reader (George Guidall) is EXCELLENT. I have listened to many books read by Guidall, and as always, the narration was wonderful.
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.
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.
The Dark Tower Series is one of the best I have ever read. Unfortunately, you have to read this book in order to get the background information for the rest of the series. The first half of the book is fast and confusing. (I always go over something a second time if I don't understand it the first time. Don't bother, it is not important in the rest of the book/series.) You don't really understand what happens until the end when everything is tied together. The second half of the book goes slower and gives more explanation as to who Roland is, and why he acts as he does. (You finally understand him in book 4, 'Wizard and Glass') Basically, Roland is in a world that is parallel to ours. It seems like he is in the days of Billy The Kid, but then he talks of music playing on a juke box. (I'm not giving away anything significant, just something that throws the reader off) So it is hard to place him in a specific time frame. This is something that is important to me (I have no idea why) and I was frustrated by it.
In the very end of it all, I really didn't like the book and considered not finishing the series. I had already downloaded the rest of the books on a recomendation of a friend, so I picked up the next one. It was worth reading this first one so that I could enjoy the rest of the series.
So my recomendation is this:
Download the book and spend the few hours listening to it. It may not make sense in the beginning, but wraps up well in the end. It will be worth it all when you read the next book, 'The Drawing of the Three'.
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