The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger

Book - 2003
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Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea. Roland is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange singlemindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape. The people he encounters are left behind, or worse-left dead. At a way station, however, he meets Jake, a boy from a particular time (1977) and a particular place (New York City), and soon the two are joined-khef, ka, and ka-tet. The mountains lie before them. So does the man in black and, somewhere far beyond...the Dark Tower.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2003.
Edition: Rev. and expanded
ISBN: 9780670032549
Characteristics: xxv, 231 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Whelan, Michael 1950-- Illustrator


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IndyPL_DarrenS Feb 28, 2019

As a beginning to King's Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger is a good way to start things off. It introduces a number of characters that are important to the story, including our main hero Roland Deschain and villain Randall Flagg. It's a very quick read that is a great primer for things to come later on in the series.

Feb 12, 2019

Try as I might - Stephen King always leaves me frustrated with his prose

SPPL_János Mar 13, 2018

In King's genre-bending magnum opus, a western-style gunslinger journeys across a post-apocalyptic world, joined by allies from the New York City of our world, in his quest for the Dark Tower at the center of it all. The series must be read in order.

alburke47 Jan 25, 2018

So, on my second read, my opinion has changed. Maybe I lacked the patience 25 years ago when I first read it, or maybe it just makes more sense now that I'm in my 40s, but the Gunslinger was a terrific read, well worth sitting through until the end. The first third or so did drag a little as it set the tone, but the it built up to a superb finish in the final confrontation. Book two, anyone?

Oct 05, 2017

The Gunslinger was very detailed. If you have patience with the book it will get interesting. It started out slow and kept going back to his past which got a little confusing and you had to read carefully to figure it out. Along with switching back to the past, the dialogue was hard. It was strange to transition from modern day English to the way people might have said back then. It's very unique. Even though the dialogue was a little difficult, though it may not be to others, I appreciated that King made it different. A lot of things set The Gunslinger apart like switching from past to present, dialogue and how detailed it is. Overall, The Gunslinger is a good book. It surprised me in a few spots and left me eager to read the next book.

Aug 14, 2017

This book is incredible. While not quite as good as the Drawing of Three in my opinion, the Gunslinger is still a great quick read. The ending of this story both confused and fascinated me. I formerly avoided King's works, thinking he only wrote horror, but the Gunslinger made me an instant fan. I'm currently reading Full Dark No Stars as a result of this book.

Jul 15, 2017

Entombing. This is the only way I can describe this book in one word. I was raised on Spaghetti Westerns and Mary Poppins. The Dark Tower series is a mash-up of the elements that made up those films. The thrill of the kill and the arresting personalities of the old western characters. Then the bizarre fantastical feeling that Julie Andrews brought with her umbrella and carpet bag to Cherry Tree Lane. You are stuck in that world for maybe a week or more after reading The Gunslinger. Roland, the gunslinger, is one of those legendary book characters you can hardly find anymore. He has the aloof factor that leaves you absolutely smitten when you get to see even a sliver of his inner life. You're so focused on the amazing story that you hardly notice the phenomenal writing. You know you have a good book in your hands when the writing isn't just writing. It's so fluid that you're not reading it anymore, you're watching it. If you were buried alive by this book you'll be damned by the next.

KateHillier Jul 05, 2017

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed."

King had me from there and never let go, even through the insanity of the later books. This was nothing like I'd ever read before back when I first read it in high school and I stand by that statement here. This is a fantasy that is more like a Western but is also horrific. It's a slow burn here, a real slow burn, and there are far more questions than answers but you can't help but get behind Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger. You can't help but get attached to Jake Chambers, and you can't help but want the Man in Black dead even though you don't quite get why. I'm thrilled to be taking this journey again and I'm more than pumped for the upcoming film as well.

May 29, 2017

The first chapter of King's best work. I believe that's enough said.

May 20, 2017

First read this series years ago and couldn't put it down. It seemed to be a pleasant change from Stephen King's usual style. I have read the series three times and hope the movie does it justice.
Apart from the Lord of the Rings series, Dark Tower by King and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Donaldson are the only series of books that I could not put down for any length of time. The style of writing invited me into the story and had me live it with the characters.

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awebster92 Aug 21, 2016

awebster92 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 28, 2013

scarara thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 04, 2013

bambi99 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Quote
Nov 08, 2012

“Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard.”
― Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Nov 08, 2012

“Was there ever a trap to match the trap of love?”
― Stephen King, The Gunslinger


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