Ah, The Dark Tower, finally available from audible.com. Being lucky enough to have been listening to The Dark Tower since ..Show More »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.
Have you ever wanted so badly to be part of a hype, just to discover that while others are going crazy about it, you are left out in the cold? The f..Show More »irst book of the Dark Tower series makes me feel that way. I really want to be in on the joke, but I just can???t find the punch line.
???The Gunslinger??? is a story containing a mix western, fantasy, horror, blood and gore, fantasy and just plain weirdness. Roland of Gilead, the main character, is a sort of serious Cowboy Don Quixote on an obsessive quest, to catch the mysterious, possibly demonic, ???Man in Black.??? The story is set in a universe akin to ours with references very similar to ours, like ???the man Jesus??? and certain holy days. Yet it soon becomes clear that the story is not set in our world or in a typical wild western environment.
At times it feels that the story cries against all logic. I found Roland to be someone quite difficult to identify with. The way he kills of the whole town of Tull, even his sex partner, Allie, as well as the awkward ???relationship??? that he had with a nine year old boy called Jake are bizarre. Do I understand Stephen King correctly; Roland???s love for the boy was more than just parental love? It is disturbing, to say the least.
At the end of the book you do have an idea what a gunslinger is. You will have realised that Roland is the last gunslinger and that his obsession with catching the ???Man in Black??? against all costs, actually points the ethereal Dark Tower. The listener is left with more questions than after the book, than before.
George Guidall???s interpretative reading was fair. I am not sure if it is Stephen King or Guidall???s way of reading that made me feel detached from the story. I found that I had to re-listen certain parts of the recording to try to understand the story, yet for most of the time I followed Guidall???s reading easily.
Taking into account that this is the first book in ???The Dark Tower??? series, I shall also listen to the second book hoping I will discover the punch line and become part of the hype. But so far, I have mixed feelings about the book. I have learned that you could find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you persevere. This I hope is true in the case of ???The Dark Tower??? series.
I am not sure who the proposed readership of the book is, which also makes it difficult to evaluate the content. I suspect that Stephen King has set the table sufficiently for more to come. It is with hesitation that I laud the book.
The biggest decision most people will have regarding the Dark Tower series is should they continue after the first book, The Gunslinger. While the fir..Show More »st one is fairly marginal, if you read/listen to The Drawing of the Three you'll be in it 'till the Dark Tower.
This is a great story and the first of the series with the brilliant Frank Muller narrating. Books 2-5 are (by far) the best in this series, so enjoy. You probably won't have much to criticize until the last two books.
Are you searching for something to listen to, by a reader that keeps you on the edge of your seat? Well, the solution is simple! Get each and every bo..Show More »ok read by Frank Muller! It is sad to hear that, due to an injury, we may never hear him read again. What a gift he has, and what treasures he has left for us to remember him by. A "wish list" is easy to create... Simply "click" on his name where it says "reader" for this book, and then put every book listed with him as reader into it! You'll not regret it!
This book brings to light Roland?s reason for his tremendous single-minded quest for the Dark Tower. Stephen King has some fun with a Wizard of OZ lik..Show More »e metaphor, and lays to rest forever the thought that Gunslinger Roland is anything but a deeply emotional human being. His treatment of the love relationship between Roland and Susan Delgado is poignant and masterful. The bonds between Jake, Oy, Susana Dean, Eddie, and Roland continue to grow ever deeper as does the strength of their Kef. A must read even for the uninitiated. The beauty of the Dark tower series of books is that due to Stephen Kings brilliant writing style, they each stand on their own and could be re-read often individually or sequentially with continued pleasure. I must add that the narration by Frank Muller is one of if not the best I have ever heard. This book is pure audible gold!
Loved the flash back of Roland's first love, at first I didn't want to leave the present and the main characters of the series, but then I didn't want..Show More » to leave Hambry and come back. Frank Muller gets 5 stars for narration!
Calla was a valuable step in the Dark Tower saga, though it seemed a little like a distraction at first. We see more of the history and reality of the..Show More » Tower, the Beams, the Guardians and the Low Men through flash backs and similar devices, with important progression of the ka-tet's mission. Enjoyable, especially because everything really speeds up from here, two books from the end and it really feels like you've hit the peak of a roller coaster, it's all been build up but it's a wild ride from here on in.
Another excellent Steven King story. It doesn't have the same feel as the rest of the Dark Tower series. It's much more stand-alone beginning-middle-e..Show More »nd, because we aren't following most of the characters in this book through 7 novels.
I'd recommend reading this one on paper unless you're accustomed to Stephen King's narration. We were really pampered by George Guidall's vocal range. Stephen King comes across much flatter, and in the beginning his version of Roland's ka-tet can be disconcerting.
I have not listend to any other books in the Dark Tower series exept this one. At the beginning I thought I had made a mistake but after about 2 hour..Show More »s the story just sucked me in. I would like to get more books in the series but I would like to start with number 1 (The Gunslinger) and it is not available at the moment (please do something about this Audible!). The story is quite interesting and I must say that I liked it a lot. The author reads it himself and I kind of wished he had not done that. He actually did it quite well but I found myself comparing him to the late and great Frank Muller and he was just one of a kind. Rest in peace Frank, you still live on millions of Ipods.
The penultimate entry in the Dark Tower saga is also one of the shorter books, but lacks nothing for its comparative brevity. With a fine performance..Show More » by George Guidall, this rates up there as one of my favourite audiobook experiences ever...
The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla opens with a prologue that introduces listeners to the folken of Calla Bryn Sturgis, people in need..Show More » of ?hard calibers?; people in need of help from Gunslingers. The residents of the Calla are farmers and ranchers but as listeners quickly learn, they are themselves a crop of sorts, harvested every 20 odd years by the wolves. Roland and his band are engaged to put an end to the raids of the wolves forever.
The narrative elapsed time in Wolves of the Calla spans about the space of a month but it is packed with action, back story and tantalizing links to other worlds in Stephen King?s universe. One of the leaders of the Calla folken is a man called Pere Callahan. In a former life, he was known to a small New England town called Jerusalem?s Lot as Father Donald Callahan.
As the Gunslingers prepare to defend the Calla from the oncoming attack of the wolves, listeners learn more about what is going wrong at the Dark Tower and find new ways to travel between the worlds. We also see the true gunslingers in a maturing Eddie Dean and soon to be tested Jake Chambers. In addition, Susannah Dean is about to face her greatest trial. You will have to listen to the story to find out what happens?
George Guidall does a great job of reading this 5th volume of The Dark Tower. Listeners will definitely miss Frank Muller?s voice for the first hour or so, as Stephen King himself acknowledges in the Afterword, but Mr. Guidall is an excellent choice to take up this spectacular tale in Mr. Muller?s sad absence.
Must read Stephen King books that link directly to Wolves of the Calla: Salem?s Lot and Hearts In Atlantis, the second of which is available from audible.com. Other King books related to The Dark Tower include: Eyes of the Dragon, and Insomnia, to name but a couple.
Review continues, Summer 2004, with Song of Susannah?
This series just keeps getting better as the pages pass... now we have revealed the ultimate writer's paradox, a story that takes on it's own life - w..Show More »hose character's ask the writer to keep writing! I, for one, don't want this series to ever end. In this book, Stephen King (with the help of his characters) starts to pull all of the loose strings together. You won't want to miss this one. However, you can't start with this book - read the previous 5 first or you will be lost for sure!
This is by far the best book I have read in a very long time. Matter of fact, it may even be the best. All of your questions are answered, there are n..Show More »o loose strings, and most of all, I was so engrossed in the book that I forgot to take my lunch break. So, if you're contemplating downloading this book, than you've already read the first six, (If not, you're lost- Go download 'The Gunslinger') and you don't need this review, because you're going to download it anyway- Resistance is futile. Let's just say that all of my co-workers are fighing over who gets to borrow the cd when I am done with it.
Long days and pleasant nights to you all, and happy listening.