Paperback Perils: The Gunslinger


Title: The Gunslinger

Author: Stephen King

Publication Date: 1982

Publishing House: It’s complicated 

Okay, I’m embarrassingly behind on my reading. My boyfriend and I are moving, yay! And that has been keeping me busy. However, I have plenty of time for audio books as I pack and drive. The most recent audio book that I finished was Stephen King’s The Gunslinger. Many of you have probably already read this book so bare with me a bit.

The Gunslinger is the first book of The Dark Tower series. This is also the first Stephen King book that I’ve ‘read.’ I found it very dry. I believe that is in part because of the main character who admits at one point that he does not have a sense of humor. Let me back up a bit.

The first book of King’s Dark Tower series follows the Gunslinger as he follows the man in black across a dying world. As he travels and tracks his quarry the Gunslinger runs into many instances of the man in blacks passage, from camps to traps. Scattered throughout the fairly short novel are flashbacks and stories that help the reader understand a little bit of the mysterious past of the Gunslinger.

This book is very matter-of-fact about a variety of topics that some might consider sensitive or taboo. King’s characters are murders and magicians. They play with life and death in the forms of resurrection and sacrifice. There are casual lovers and prostitutes along with some questionable parenting techniques.   

In this day and age maybe some of these actions are not as scandalous as they might have been at one time. However, what surprised me was that they lacked passion, at least initially on the part of the Gunslinger. The actions seemed to have been done because that was what needed doing at the time and were not fueled by emotions.

Final thoughts: I did enjoy this book but I can’t promise that I’ll dive into the others anytime soon. I am curious as to how the story continues though so eventually The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three will make its way onto my reading list. This book was probably a good introduction to Stephen King because it is fairly short and not intimidatingly long like Under the Dome.

What are your thoughts on The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower series?

5 comments on “Paperback Perils: The Gunslinger”

  1. I tried reading this series when I was in a really strong Stephen King mood but frankly? I really didn’t like them much? I think I even stopped reading the series in the middle of the second book. I am curious to know how you would find the books. I found out quickly that these weren’t for me. Other works of Stephen King are seriously so much better, at least in my opinion.

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    1. I actually tried reading this book but I couldn’t get through it, the audio book was the only way I could finish it. So I can definitely see your point.

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  2. I enjoyed the first three but then they really fall off a cliff. He waited many many years to finish the series and in my opinion, totally screwed up the last ones. Hundreds of loose ends left everywhere. I would devote a lot more time to this series personally, although I feel it had a lot of missed potential.

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