The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)
Author: Stephen King
Rated M for a complex, multi-dimensional mindfuck that you just can’t put down because you really want to figure it out more than that puzzle box from Hellraiser.
“The man in black fled across the dessert and the gunslinger followed.”
In a desolate reality that mirrors ours in horrifying ways. A lone gunslinger going by the name of Roland makes his way across the desert land with Jake from our reality. As a gunslinger, Roland is charged with protecting good, or whatever is left of it. His world has ‘moved on’ and the only way to salvage what’s left of it is to catch the man in black.
While the journey has been a long one already, Roland knows that the man in black has all of the answers and secrets that will guide him. See, this is only the beginning of the gunslinger’s journey toward the Dark Tower.
The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 1 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)
How do I begin with this one?
This really was a complex mindfuck. With the utmost originality that can only come out of the mind of the King, this is a series of some epic fantasy. It doesn’t touch Lord of the Rings or any other fantasy series because it’s a league of its own. I don’t say that because this is better than them. It’s not. It’s on the level. I say it because it lives on a plane all its own with its own mythology, language, world. It has a universe all to itself that doesn’t touch anything else. It’s an original work.
I both enjoyed and disliked The Dark Tower. When I finished it, I decided that this came across as a primer/prologue than it did a book in series. You spend more time getting to know Roland and his world and what his journey will entail thden you do actually moving in any form of progression.
So, here comes the downside. While taking in what this series would entail, I found the book to be drawn out in detail. There were times where I thought I could fall asleep from boredom because it was so lengthy. I love attention to detail. It makes the story extremely immersive, but it felt overdone, like a burnt piece of barbeque. It comes across as dull at times and I just wanted to move forward.
Racing to catch up with the man in black proved to be tricky for Roland. There were many obstacles, some of which were put in place by the man in black. Dark and totally on the mark, Roland didn’t let anything get in his way to get to his objective. For me, it was haunting. I wonder if everything he did was worth what he got.
Side Note: I have seen the film for The Dark Tower and I must say it didn’t live up to what I imagined. One day, I hope to see this picked up by HBO or Starz or even Netflix so it can receive the amazing glory and following of that like GOT. It deserves to have the time it takes to tell an intricate tale like this.
Reading this book was like starring at a piece of artwork, in a museum, that you don’t understand. But, you’re going to stand there and stare at it until you discover it because it’s beautiful and it whispers some kind of secret and meaning. That’s kind of how it went down. Not a bad read, but damn if I wasn’t enthralled with semi-glazed over eyes. Don’t mistake that for me thinking this book royally sucked. It didn’t. It was fantastic. It’ll definitely need another read though.
“Nineteen would open the secret. Nineteen was the secret.” (p. 56)
“While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul.” (p. 141)
“Time’s the thief of memory.” (p. 177)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Aron Wright.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.