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 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.
Ah, The Dark Tower, finally available from audible.com. Being lucky enough to have been listening to The Dark Tower since 1988 when the original NAL Penguin audio version of The Gunslinger was released, unabridged and read by the author on 4 cassette tapes, I have been in its grip for about 15 years now. I have been happy there and one of the very many "constant readers" frustrated by the fact that it has been so long in coming.
The Dark Tower, which a young Stephen King began writing in 1970, will finally conclude in November 2004 with the publication of the 7th and final volume, The Dark Tower. When it is complete, it will be the measure of the career of one of the finest authors in history. It will include not only all of its own strange and wonderful landscapes, but also reveal the author's humanity through its imperfection and his genius, especially with in how he manages to interweave, to a greater or lesser degree, almost every other story he has ever written!
The Gunslinger, both the original version and the version wholly rewritten by King for the June 2003 re-publication, is the first book in the series but really is a "way station" smack in the middle of the road to the Dark Tower. Short and brutal, The Gunslinger introduces us to Roland of Gilead, the last in a line of knights sworn to protect a realm of lawfulness and light. He is on a quest to put right a wrong that not only has destroyed his world, but threatens all worlds. We get glimpses of a past that is orderly and beautiful, if still post-apocalyptic and still "moving on."
Borrowing heavily on other sources for inspiration: Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, T.S. Elliott's The Waste Lands, and Clifford D. Simak's Ring Around the Sun, The Dark Tower is the epic tale of the 21st century.
Review continues with The Drawing of the Three...
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.
I just finished listening to the third book in this series and I must say that so far this series is (in my opinion) rivaling The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I recommend these books to anyone who loves action mixed with fantasy. It is written in a way that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to download the next book. I hope that everyone loves this series as much as I do. I cant wait for the last book to come out.
I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus
This saga is astounding, compelling, moving and fun! Though the story drifts into occasional tedium, and what King story doesn't, the quest for the rider in black draws you in with its clever interplay of similar (though markedly different) worlds, well-drawn characters and King's ability to spring the unexpected on the reader in an acceptable manner. I have listened to all the volumes and rate this one the best and can't wait for the next installment due soon. The narration is masterful. Don't miss this one! I rate this 5 stars (only the third I have given in over 200 Audible titles).
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.
Subtle but great improvements on (what I concider) his greatest story. I have the audio and paper version of the previous version and have loved and abused them for years. This new version ties in more of the full story and leaves you yearning for more,... more than ever. A great book, well read, simply the best.
Wow. Worth it!
Well, this is my first Stephen King novel and I am nothing less than completely satisfied.
The Gunslinger is a vague and atmospheric character that will hold your attention and help set the mood of the world he travels. His is a world of what seems to be a post-apocalyptic earth, but there are also traces of magic and the supernatural, a dusty and nostaligic dream world...it made me want water!
The story seems to wander a bit, it scatters and goes in different directions, takes on different moods and dilemmas, yet as the pages turned, I found the randomness gripping my attention and not letting go. It is like moving through a western movie set that had been abandoned and reinhabited with King's subconscious fragments...you'll love it! You are in good hands with this story and character.
I couldn't wait to get to the end. When I did, I realized it was, after all, only the beginning!
Can't wait to finish Book II...heard its even better!
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 will admit this book is by far the hardest read of the Dark Tower series. However, it does give an excellent introduction to the character of Roland and give you a basis for understanding the Dark Tower. Kings revisions have made the book flow much better than the original version and you will find this a very entertaining read that prepares you fully for the real adventure that starts in the second novel.
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