Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (CBR-III #14)

Series: The Dark Tower Book I
Cannonball Read III: Book #14/52
Published: 1982
Pages: 264 (5,119 total so far)
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

I actually tried reading The Gunslinger years ago, but never finished it. I really want to try and make it through the entire Dark Tower series, so I decided to try again. Hey, even Stephen King himself in the forward says that you need to get through the first three books before you can really get into the story.

Roland is the last gunslinger (he's possibly very old - this book seems to be very vague on a lot of things) and has been following The Man in Black for a long time. The Man in Black has information that Roland needs in order to find The Dark Tower. Again, it's very vague as to why Roland wants/needs to find the Tower, but I'm assuming that's what the other six books are for.

Along the way, Roland wipes out an entire town, meets a strange man who lives in the desert with his corn patch and pet bird, and rescues a boy who has vague memories of living - and dying - in New York City before he was deposited at an old coach station in the middle of the desert. The boy joins Roland in the rest of his journey to catch up to The Man in Black.

The Gunslinger is different than most King books (I should know - I've read most of them!). It's an adventure story, but I found this first book to really drag in places. Luckily, it's a short book or I probably would have abandoned it again. I really enjoyed the actual adventure parts and wish it would have focused more on Roland's travels or on some of the things he encountered such as the mutants or the Subway ruins.

Again, I found parts of the book slow or hard to follow because you weren't given a lot of information to go on, although I do understand that this is basically an introduction to the series. Hopefully everything will make more sense as the books go along because the core story is pretty interesting, but I don't know if I can read one of the 800 page ones in the series if it's only 50% adventure, 30% rambling, and 20% vagueness.

No comments:

Post a Comment