Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Source:  Purchased
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Horror
Publisher: Plume
Date Published: June 10, 1982 (original pub. date)
Number of Pages: 231
Book 1 in The Dark Tower series

Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King's epic work of fantasy -- what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus -- has spanned a quarter of a century.
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.
Book I
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.
This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword. It also includes four full-color illustrations in the hardcover and trade paperback formats.  (from Goodreads)

This is probably the most complicated book I have ever tried to review.  My feelings for this book literally went from "eff this book!" to "this is really good" to "I can't finish it! My brain! Reading slump!" to "What the heck is going on, guys?!"

This was a "Hubby Rec" so he is truly the only reason I finished it.  And I don't want to say that this is a horrible book, because once your done with it you really don't think that it is a horrible book.  Sure it is awful to get through, but once you're done you really feel for the characters and want to continue on in the series.

The Gunslinger (or Roland as he is sometimes called) is one of the most complex characters I have ever read.  He truly does grow as a character throughout the novel.  While a good 3/4 of the book is flashbacks to Roland's past, I really loved his conversations with others.  I think that's what makes me rate this novel the way I do.

I don't want to say that it gave me the feels, cause honestly it only did a few short moments and most of them were the feels for Jake, the teenager he meets along the way.  Jake definitely made this an enjoyable read for a good portion of it.

Don't be put off by the first 50 pages or so.  It really does get better!  My husband tells me he needs to reread the Dark Tower series but doesn't think he can get through this one again, but I know he probably will. 

The language is daunting, I know.  When describing it to a friend, I described it as "Imagine a pimp and a 15th century woman got it on, this book would be their bastard child."  Because it is literally so out there.  Sometimes I didn't even know what was going on because of how it was worded, but my husband tells me the other books get better about that.  

If you are a fan of Stephen King, or like fantasy, then I would give this one a try!

3 out of 5 Happy Clouds :)


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