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The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger v. 1 Paperback – Aug 1 1988

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (Aug. 1 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747400997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747400998
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,333,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Library Journal

King's (Pet Sematary, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/1/98) fantastical and allegorical "Dark Tower" series commenced in 1982 with the publication of The Gunslinger. Subsequent volumes have appeared about every five years thereafter. The Gunslinger introduces protagonist Roland as he pursues the Man in Black through bleak and tired landscapes in a world that has "moved on." Roland believes that the Man in Black knows and can be made to reveal the secrets of the Dark Tower, which is the ultimate goal of Roland's quest. The Waste Lands sees Roland and his fellow travelers continuing the quest for the Dark Tower. They journey through imaginative landscapes, over astounding obstacles, and meet with and confront a unique and fully drawn cast of characters, both human and nonhuman. Reader Frank Muller gives voice to the characters with a thoroughly engaging precision, accuracy, and great humanity and with an edge that drives the story onward and seems to amplify King's skill as an author. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.?Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Pulse-poundingly engaging' -- Sunday Express on SONG OF SUSANNAH King's magnificent uberstory is finally complete... King's achievement is startling; his characters fresh... his plot sharply drawn... It is magic. -- Daily Express on THE DARK TOWER 'Join the quest before it's too late' -- Independent on Sunday on SONG OF SUSANNAH 'Classic King, fine characters, compellingly written in a gripping, well-honed plot' -- Daily Express on WOLVES OF THE CALLA 'Superbly energetic, it's King at his best' -- Mail on Sunday on WIZARD AND GLASS --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Feb. 20 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the first in a wonderous series about Roland the Gunslinger. Roland hails from Gilead, an ancient or possibly future civilization where the blood-line of King Arthur Eld is highly regarded as protectors of the world. Unfortunately, by the time we meet up with Roland, the world has moved on.
Roland is following the man in black. We don't know who this mysterious figure is until the end of the book, but we do know that he holds the first clues for Roland on the quest for the Dark Tower.
What is the Dark Tower? Amazingly enough, a lot of it is explained in this book, though it's hard to grasp the concept until one has read further into the series. The series opens us up to the concept of multiple worlds in multiple universes, all held together with beams, which are breaking and thus, the Tower is being destroyed.
The Dark Tower series is also held together by beams. These beams are other King works. Any King fan should read this series because it opens up so many treats for the "constant reader." There are tie-ins everywhere. The Gunslinger is linked to the rest of the books in the series, which are linked to other King books such as Salem's Lot, The Stand, Insomnia, From a Buick 8, and Rose Madder (which is linked to Desperation and Regulators).
Wow! All this depth and a great story to boot! As we follow Roland, his quest becomes our quest.
Every journey starts with one step. The first step is "The Gunslinger."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 1 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just completed the first in The Dark Tower Series, and I have to say, I think, this is one of King's best told stories yet. I was a little disappointed to see one review suggesting that this book is "a guy thing"; so, ladies especially, I wanted you to know (coming from a woman, mother, wife, etc. and long-time King fan) that this book has a little bit of everything told in a parallel world that will keep you turning the pages, in true Stephen King style. Roland, the last Gunslinger, is a likeable, and realistic character who shares a wide range of feelings and reflections that will make you love and hate him. His dealings with his women, his mentors, and his too brief travel mate, Jake, make him a rugged, yet soft-hearted hero, one that I will not too soon forget. The book is hard to put down, and will make you long for the next pages in the saga, even before you've finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 18 2004
Format: Paperback
Unlike many people who have left reviews here, I view Stephen King's first Dark Tower novel, "The Gunslinger" not as something to be suffered through in order to get at the riches which lay beyond, but as an excellent stand alone novel.
Lousy at some may think it is, I actually fell in love with that old version of "The Gunslinger". No, it's not your typical, linear, run of the mill story. If that frightens you, stay away from this book. It's written in an artistic, vague, almost pretentious way (King edited some of this out in the new version, but the core stil remains). Obviously some people find this annoying, but I love it. To me it is almost the novel equivalent of a Sergio Leone movie, because his movies can be described much the same way. Needless to say, I was more than understanding of King's admission that "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" was an inspiration for this story.
So I very much surprised when I learned that King had gone and "revised and expanded" this novel which I loved. Blasphemy! I thought. Of course, I went and bought it anyway. My feelings on the new version are mixed. I like the additional scenes (almost like watching the cut-scenes on a DVD), but overall the novel seems to have lost something to me... lost a bit of that original pretentious magic.
Slowly but surely, King has degenerated his Dark Tower story into just another one of his crazy romps where seemingly anything and everything goes. I, for one, will always prefer that mysterious, haunting image of the last gunslinger, following across the desert. But that's just me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on May 17 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a huge fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series of books. I think that "Wizard and Glass" is possibly the best book he has written so far. I am always evangelizing others on the greatness of King's massive uber-story. Yet book one, "The Gunslinger," seems to be one heck of a stumbling block for most folks.
This is understandable. The story begins with Roland (the main protagonist of the series) in his darkest place. He has become hardened, unable to love. The story ends with him making the most heartless of decisions. "The Gunslinger puts the capital "G" in Grim.
Yet this almost unbearably bleak backdrop is essential to what the story of Roland and the Dark Tower becomes. In it we learn of what Roland is--a "Gunslinger"--and how he became one. We learn of the treachery that has set the course of Roland's destiny in motion.
Most of "The Gunslinger" comes off like a flashback wrapped inside a horrible hallucination. Bad things happen and there is no fulfilling end to this part of the tale. It understandably turns a lot of folks off to going any further with The Dark Tower.
I am here to tell you to keep on pressing on. King's story is, in my opinion, turning into one of the most epic and worthwhile tales ever written. The dryness of the Gunslinger is more than compensated for in the following books.
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