I have read many of Stephen King’s books and I have quite a few favorites (The Stand, It, The Green Mile, Mr. Mercedes, The Shawshank Redemption,) to name a few. I will be reviewing a few Stephen King books through my blogging journey.
I have read the Dark Tower series a few times, as well as listen to them on audio (obsessed much!). I just finished reading it once again, because the movie will be released in August, Starring Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black (I’m so excited).
“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” This one line says it all (gives me goosebumps every time I say or read it). It sums up King’s magnum opus, capturing the obsession of the Gunslinger.
“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. The desert was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky for what looked like eternity in all directions. It was white and blinding and waterless and without feature save for the faint, cloudy haze of the mountains which sketched themselves on the horizon and the devil-grass which brought sweet dreams, nightmares, death. An occasional tombstone sign pointed the way, for once the drifted track that cut its way through the thick crust of alkali had been a highway. Coaches and buckas had followed it. The world had moved on since then. The world had emptied.”
This Dark Tower series has it all: fantasy, science fiction, horror and western. You will be transported into a fantasy world, where at once you’ll be exhilarated, angry and crying your eyes out.
Stephen King has come up with his own version of the English language in these books. If you are a Stephen King fan, you will recognize some of it (like Can-Ta from Desperation). For as you know, many characters appear throughout some of his books.
I love the language, King came up with for this book, it will have you walking around wanting to say “lets palaver, yes Sai, do it please ya, you’ve forgotten the face of your father” – and so much more.
The first time I read this book, I wanted to know more about Roland immediately, it gripped me from the beginning. However, because of the ending, or “non-ending”, it made me want to curse and spit fire at Stephen King (I’m over it now, maybe). For the person beginning this series, it may not make a whole lot of sense to you – it may seem like gibberish to you at first – or maybe it will. However, the good news is that all these books can be read as standalone and you do not have to begin with the Gunslinger. You can start with The Drawing of the Three if you like, but in my humble opinion, it all comes together nonetheless.
The series revolves around Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger on a relentless journey to find and protect the Dark Tower, within his own as well as our world. He faces an agonizing choice between damnation and salvation as he pursues the Man in Black.
Roland is a good man, but he leaves only death in his wake.
So now cullies, if you wish to begin with the Gunslinger, I’d advise getting a 2003 copy or later. It’s been edited and revised to better follow the other books and perhaps make better sense for first timers reading the Gunslinger.
We begin by seeing Roland fleeing across the desert after the Man in Black, an evil being that can bring the dead back to life, not from the goodness of his non-existing heart but because he can. The gunslinger remembers the man in black as a wizard named Marten. Within the vast desert of nothingness, the gunslinger carries on.
He meets Jake who isn’t of the gunslinger’s world. But can vaguely remember dying in another world, a world where he watched “teevee”, listened to music and went to school, do ya ken it? I know, dying in another world, I mean can you imagine remembering your own death in any way? It is kinda cool though, to live in other possible worlds.
Jake is a good boy, whom the gunslinger does not yet deserve.
What is a “gunslinger” in this world? Not a cowboy with a pistol, as we would think. Roland Deschain comes from the heart of In-World. From Gilead in New Canaan. A city of castles.
“Yar!” He paused. “When I was your age, I lived in a walled city, did I tell you that?”
Well, these castles are ruled by knights called “Gunslingers.” Why? Because of the “Big Irons” (big guns), they carry, a mark of their office. Roland’s father Steven Deschain was a direct descendant of Arthur Eld and Lord of his version of Camelot.
“My father had by then taken control of his ka-tet, you must ken – the Tet of the Gun – and was on the verge of becoming Dinh of Gilead, if not all In-World”.
However, the world has moved on by the gods, and Roland is the last gunslinger, he’s on a mission to fixed all worlds. To find the Dark Tower. All else is but a distraction, family, love, even his very soul are but voices in the wind.
Do you wish to meet Roland and join him on his journey with his Ka-tet?
Do you see it? “See it very well I beg ya and I say thank ya.”
Well, are you going, to begin with, The Gunslinger, or move on to book 2, The Drawing of the Three?
Long days and pleasant nights, Constant Readers.