Monday, July 18, 2011

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower series, book 1), Stephen King

Posted by lea at 12:08 PM
I wanted to like this book. I knew it was Stephen King's magnum opus that he'd invested 12 years into, and I liked the idea of a western-style gunslinger in a sci-fi story.

I'm really disappointed to say it just doesn't deliver. The writing is unnecessarily windy and poetic... but not the good kind of poetic, the clunky type you write in college in the early morning that you think is really good until you read it sober the next day.

There isn't too much to say about it because there really isn't too much to the book. The gunslinger is on the trail of the man in black for purposes to do with his past and presumably the destruction of the world he knew and grew up in. Not everything is revealed to us in the first book.

From the reviews I've read (to figure out whether to persevere with the rest of the series), I figure it does actually get better, then it gets kinda bad.

You can read the New York Times review in its entirety if you want, but here's an excerpt:

"That's not to say there is nothing to enjoy about ''The Dark Tower.'' For starters, there is the sheer absurdity of its existence. You're left astonished at the devotion of the readers who will follow King down his labyrinthine pathways of plot, through the thickets of ALL CAPS paragraphs, only to emerge from a story within a story...

The revelation of the penultimate book was that King had put himself into the book as a character. Roland shows up in Maine in 1977 and hypnotizes a young horror writer, telling him he must finish the ''Dark Tower'' story because the fate of the world depends upon it."

Egotistical much?

Which is weird because King doesn't really seem like an egomaniac - at least not from my reading of On Writing, which I really liked.

Anyway, not planning to continue with the series. But if you've read it and think it's worthwhile, please let me know.


ShaunaKelleyWrites on January 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM said...

I am glad to stumble on this review. I've been told about twenty eight million times that I HAVE TO read this book. I am sort of glad not everyone out there is rabid about it.

Brasil on February 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM said...

I am not a graphic novel reader, but being a Stephen King obsessed fan I did read the first collection of the Dark Tower. Overall the interpretation was pretty good, even thought the dialogue seems stiff at times. The drawings are wonderful and are just how I pictured everything in my head when I read the books.

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