Book Review: The Gunslinger

by Stephen King Quasi-Spoiler Warning

As promised, wrapped this book up just a few days ago. Certainly wasn't the smartest thing to dive into the week of finals...but somehow it all worked out in the end.

This book came recommended to me by Chris, The Dark Tower being his all time favorite series. Although a very graphic and at times terrifying book, I found myself quickly sucked into this world. I have to admit, most of the draw in the first book is simply the curiosity to learn more about Roland's past and what drives him to find the Dark Tower.

I was told when I first started the book that by the end I would hate Roland, so much so that I might not want to continue the series. As I got into the book I realized that Roland is so determined to catch up with the Man in Black and ultimately find the Dark Tower that he is willing to kill anything and everyone in his way to do so, guilty and innocent alike. You get brief glimpses into his past that hint at why he grows into the man he is. But more importantly you get an image painted of the life he had before the world moved on, once lush and filled with a culture that was ruthless and demanding but still good, his home became a strange land where the Earth is barren and the people are treacherous. I think anyone that survived this kind of shift, losing everyone and everything they cared about, would lose a certain amount of humanity. Trust, Love, Friendship and Innocence are all dangerous things for him to have on his journey so he allows the death of the one that represented all of those things to him. I have a hard time hating him for it because I know there must be more behind it then simply what the first book says. That and knowing the Man in Black created this trap for him anyway. (goodness, it's hard to write about a book and its meaning to you without totally giving important stuff away!!!)

I give this book an 8/10, it is sometimes unnecessarily graphic and I'm currently really lost as to why he's seeking the Dark Tower in the first place...but that's more on my own lack of patience and overwhelming curiosity.

Next book: The Drawing of the Three: The Dark Tower II