Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: The Gunslinger – Stephen King

The Gunslinger – Stephen King

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King's most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. 
In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the Man in Black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

Review: Stephen King is the master of creepy books, and this one is no exception.

The Gunslinger is book #1 of the eight-book Dark Tower series. It follows a Gunslinger, Roland, as he tracks his enemy through a harsh landscape that is very similar to—and very different from—the American west.

The imagery in this novel is stunning. It’s so vivid and so bizarre that I had to keep reading. I couldn’t get enough of this world, and I’m excited to read the next book in the series because I need to see more of it.

The writing style is another of the book’s strengths. This series was inspired by a poem, and that clearly shows. The writing is more poetic than the writing in Stephen King’s other books. It’s beautiful, and strange, and eerie, and I love it. I read most of The Gunslinger in a few hours because the writing is so captivating. I didn’t want to put the book down and take myself out of its world.

My only issue with this novel is the confused and unsettled feeling that it creates in the reader. I don’t mind this feeling for a little while, but if it goes on too long, I start to get annoyed. The confused feeling lasted through the entire book for me. I know that this is book #1 of a giant series, but I wanted more backstory and more explanation. A lot of characters are mentioned briefly, and their significance to the story is never explained. I was so interested in this world and these characters that I wanted to know more immediately. The lack of backstory quickly became frustrating.

It was frustrating because I love the characters. They are all broken and imperfect. I’m looking forward to finding out what happened to them in the past and what they do next.

If the rest of the series is anything like this book, I know I’m going to enjoy it. 


  1. I loved Cinder and the rest of the books in The Lunar Chronicles series. I hope you enjoy it! :)

    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover

  2. I just found your blog and it turns out that we feel pretty similarly about this book. I've been meaning to read The Dark Tower series for ages and I was pleased to find this book at the library. While I did really enjoy it, in general, and the creepy, off-kilter atmosphere that was created, I couldn't help but feel that it could've been something MORE. In any case, I'll definitely be continuing with the series because I've heard that it gets way better in the second and third books.