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The Dark Tower I

The Gunslinger
Narrated by: George Guidall
Series: The Dark Tower, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (27,051 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba!

In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces listeners to one of his most powerful creations: Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.

Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves listeners eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

©1993, 2003 Stephen King (P)2003 Penguin Audio and Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"An impressive work of mythic magnitude. May turn out to be Stephen King's greatest literary achievement." ( Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"A compelling whirlpool of a story that draws one irretrievably to its center." ( Milwaukee Sentinel)
"Brilliant, fresh and compelling - will leave you panting for more." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Abrupt Ending...

No Spoiler: This book was better than I imagined it would be. Of course, you will find some disturbing images, but overall, it was less vulgar and better paced than I expected a King novel to be. As usual, he introduces characters, but takes his sweet time to develop them. I had tried to read this before but was bored with it until I saw the movie trailer and that prompted me to give it another try and having the knowledge it involved sci-fi items and having faces with the characters really helped me enjoy this. The only thing I didn't like was the abrupt ending. I understand now that this was a series of short stories in the beginning and I see why it was that way, but I wasn't prepared for no closure or answers at the end. The narration was really well done and I listened at 1.5X speed to save some time. If any of this was helpful, please click YES below. Later.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite book.

This is the first book of Stephen King's Magnum Opus. It is a combination of spaghetti western, occult, and science fiction all tied together by romantic and philosophical ideals.

It is very short and gets very dark at certain points: this paired with the wonderful narration of George Guidall is why I believe all should give it a listen.

81 of 97 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just as good as I remember

Loved this book decades ago and it still holds up. Can't wait for the movie version!

95 of 116 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

LIKE A DULL AX THROUGH A CALF'S BRAIN

Y IS A CROOKED LETTER AND CAN'T BE MADE STRAIGHT
This recording, which replaced the old recording is, I believe the same, old recording, only with King's introduction taken out. An intro in which King said he did not know where this series was going. For me that showed big time in the feel of the story. I enjoyed the first chapter which was, more of a novelette. After that, the story is told mostly in dreams and remembering. Even the first chapter is Roland telling his story to another man.

DO SOME MEN EVER GROW UP OR ONLY COME OF AGE?
This series has a huge following, but it is more for those who like descriptive language, dreamy wild scenes, but no plot. If horror was a main subject and not a sub of fiction, this would be under Weird Western. Joe R. Lansdale and Jack Ketchum write in that genre a lot. This story was just a little too abstract for my taste.

LONG DAYS, PLEASANT NIGHTS
Guidall is the father of narrators and one of the best still. He makes the story better.

226 of 279 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Book 1 of an Epic Tale

This is just the first book in one of the greatest stories ever written. This is a masterpiece. If the first book seems slow, be patient. Like all good epics, it takes time to play out the tale. But to me this book is not slow, it is gripping and detailed. Some of the genius will only come through to you with rereading the series at a later date.

41 of 50 people found this review helpful

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A good listen after reading this a long time ago.

Great series, and listening is a pleasant way to revisit this series while I'm stuck in the car. Well read by the narrator, too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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should have been a short story

little of this book has any significance other than to convey the mood of the world. The story, when, it finally arrives in one burst of information, is intriguing and very nearly makes the previous monotonous reading worthwhile.

79 of 98 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I almost quit couple of times.

At no point of the story I felt that I cared too much for the protagonist. I felt that the novellas with backstory were meant to tell me something, but the whole point was lost on me.

115 of 143 people found this review helpful

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  • Jkoe
  • Peachtree Corners, GA
  • 06-04-17

Not great

What disappointed you about The Gunslinger?

This book was one of the most boring things I have ever experienced. I toughed it out because everyone said how great the series is. I almost quit several times because it was so slow. I did enjoy book 2 more than this one, so I'm glad I got through this. It was rough.

158 of 198 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A long prologue

I was really excited to start this series, but now after reading the first book I can tell that I have a long ways to go. This book had moments of fun, but in the end it was just an introduction to a much larger story.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful