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5.0 out of 5 stars wow
First off, let me say I have not read the revised version, but I have read all seven books in the series. I personally believe revision was not necessary - the point is to enjoy a good story, not pick it apart (I hate that). While some would argue the first book is dull and tedious, all it did for me was whet my appetite for more to answer the questions raised by the...
Published on March 17 2005

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the original version
The original Gunslinger had a gritty, anti hero in Roland and was set in a world slightly mirroring our own, enshrouded in mystery. This new version turns Roland into a wuss, and takes away a good deal of the mystery. Roland, prior to book 1, has been on his quest for over 1000 years; why does nothing he sees or does remind him of anything but the time he spent in Mejis...
Published on June 19 2004


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the original version, June 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
The original Gunslinger had a gritty, anti hero in Roland and was set in a world slightly mirroring our own, enshrouded in mystery. This new version turns Roland into a wuss, and takes away a good deal of the mystery. Roland, prior to book 1, has been on his quest for over 1000 years; why does nothing he sees or does remind him of anything but the time he spent in Mejis (book 4)? Staying with Book 4, there was a pianoplayer there that he also sees in book 1. I liked the fact that there was no communication between the two in "the original" book 1, it heightened the mystery of how real Roland's quest is and was a great example of how things aren't what they seem in Roland's world. In this new version however, not only does Roland kill this theme by approaching this character, "hey have I seen you before" but then proceeds to beat the corpse with a stick by engaging in a full blown conversation, summarizing how the piano player got from Mejis to Tull - not as interesting. I didn't like the changes, he threw 19 in all over the place as expected, but there is also a problem with that as well; 19 is nonexistant in books 2-4; is he going to rewrite and revise those as well? I do not also accept the fact that Walter, Marten, Randall Flagg and John Farson (who I preferred as a human messed up in the head and under the influence of the evil forces at work) are all one and the same, even though some of these characters have appeared and had conversations with eachother. Basically this book was just written so that book 7 will match up with book 1, but I, as a follower of this series since the 80's, would have preferred the original storyline he had created, rather than this new rehashed one, and I don't think I'm alone in this opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow, March 17 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
First off, let me say I have not read the revised version, but I have read all seven books in the series. I personally believe revision was not necessary - the point is to enjoy a good story, not pick it apart (I hate that). While some would argue the first book is dull and tedious, all it did for me was whet my appetite for more to answer the questions raised by the first book. Roland was an enigma in the first book and I fell in love with him and his story immediately. Both of my kids read and loved the original and the debates we had over it were great. Mr. King, you have done a disservice to yourself by revising a book that truly didn't need it. Ladies, in Roland you will find a man very like the one we all hold in our secret heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, a must read, July 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
This has to be my favorite book of all time. It is the beginning to an epic saga, in my opinion, much greater than Tolkins. The scenes and characters (however minor) stick with you long after you have put this remarkable book down. The righting is vivid and detailed, it feels as if you are right there with Roland pursuing the Man in Black and later his quest for the Tower. One of the remarkable things about this epic series is the world (or worlds) that are its settings. The imagination used to create the setting in these volumes is incredible. There is, in my mind, only one major flaw in The Dark Tower series, and that is that it has to end. The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower series is a must have for any reader. I urge you to by this book. I guarantee you will be engrossed in this amazing epic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good But What's The Plot/Point?, July 14 2004
By 
Leprechaun (Bedford, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
This is a really nice and well written novel but I had much trouble understanding what was supposed to happen. I am guessing that this book was to set up for the rest of the series but it didn't exactly set up anything. For 300 pages, this nice character, who occasionally (for unknown reasons) goes postal and slaughters everyone in sight, seeks a man in black. He finally finds him and I don't know if it's just me but I had absolutely no idea what the man in black said to him. The writing isn't too complicated, the ideas are just extremely far-fetched and different; this isn't necessarily a bad thing but to enjoy the read, you have to have an open mind. So, overall, very well written; very confusing at parts, and no true feat to be accomplished.
This may seem like a high rating for a not so great review, but this is because 1. I'm not going to trash a book just because I couldn't completely understand it and 2. Every series has to have a first book to explain everything.
Definitely read because even if you don't like this, it's worth it so you can continue the rest of the great series.
Hope this helps! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genesis of Stephen King's Epic Series, July 9 2004
By 
Tetsuya Akira (Fayetteville, NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
To say that The Gunslinger is a grand western tale would be wrong. To say that it is a grant fantasy would be wrong. The same goes for science fiction.
Well, what is this strange thing?
The Gunslinger is truly a unique reading experience, successfully managing to roll off as one genre and then promptly switching to another. This story, the tale of Roland the Gunslinger and his search through a dizzying wasteland for the elusive Man in Black, is enigmatic in itself, simply a small appetizer for the real complexity of the series. All to often it has been singled out for its utter weirdness, its individuality from King's other works and also of the rest of the series. It is a very distanced and forshadowing tale, best read alone, perhaps with a popkin (sandwich) on one side of you and light from a devil-grass fire. This, being Stephen King's grant epic and all, could only be compared to the works of Tolkien or Peake of the Gormenghast series as being a tale of magic and quest, but as for everything else... The Gunslinger, just as its cold hero, stands out in the crowd. The breath-taking realism of the characters in this strange world is almost scary: the border-dweller Brown, the sexual bar-keeper Alice, the mad preacher Sylvia Pittson, and of course, the boy from New York Jake. Roland himself, in his stubornly narrow view of anything in the world besides the Man in Black and his Tower, is a study in the western loner (think Eastwood's "Man With No Name") so openly simple and yet mind-numbingly complex in nature. An instant classic, this revised version of the 1981 book is a true joy for all fans of the quest, the magic, the horror, and the western. Become a Tower-Junkie with the rest of us.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Gunslinger followed, July 2 2004
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." So starts Stephen King's Dark Tower series, which has become a modern fantasy classic. This raw dark fantasy seriesstarts off in "The Gunslinger," a fragmented but compelling story of the last gunslinger, Roland.
As the story opens, the last gunslinger Roland is travelling across a world that has "moved on." He's hunting a mysterious man in black, who holds the key to a secret Roland has been hunting for his entire life. He stops in a town full of druggies and religious fanatics, only to leave it partly ruined -- and still in pursuit of the man in black.
But a part of our own world enters: Jake, a young boy who was killed in a horrible traffic accident. The gunslinger takes Jake under his wing, and along on his quest. Together they cross horrors and dangers -- until they find the Man in Black, and the doom that waits for Jake a second time. All for the sake of finding one thing: The Dark Tower, the linchpin of the universe.
"Gunslinger" is only a small sliver of the vast story that the Dark Tower series has become, and it's also the most fragmented. For a long time the story-line meanders from one ominous thing to another, speckled with Roland's reminiscences about his not-so-pleasant childhood. Things only become earth-shaking in the last part of the book, where Roland catches up to the Man in Black.
The world King creates is a nasty, desert-like place, part medieval, part postapocalyptic horror, and part old west. Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll ("Hey Jude"), religion and long-ago politics are mixed in with the basic quest. King's writing is detailed, raw and vivid, with plenty of shoot-'em-up action, succubi and mutated monsters to keep readers on their toes.
The Gunslinger is like a dark fantasy version of those gritty P.I.s that Humphrey Bogart sometimes played. He's rough, tough, dark, he doesn't reveal much of his feelings, but he has the occasional soft spot, and his hidden feelings seep out rather than being obvious. Jake is a good sidekick, kind of naive, and completely clueless about this strange world he's been hurled into.
"The Gunslinger" is perhaps the weakest of King's Dark Tower books, but the ending hints at the future outstanding developments. Dark, fragmented, and genuinely creepy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Gunslinger Revisited, June 29 2004
By 
MacBee "smcleodbry" (Mt. Pleasant, SC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
This was an intriguing beginning to the Dark Tower series. Though King's revision seems an improvement on the original version, it still seems unnecessary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kings best and most obscure, June 22 2004
By 
Richard (syracuse,new york) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
The series was mostly in the shadow of kings other works based on the notion that its a western. However the series takes place on many diffrent landscapes and worlds and is a clash of the desolate land Roland the gunslinger is now traveling in and ours. Roland is hot on the tails of the Man in Black who Rolands believes has a key to his true goal the mythical Dark Tower which is in fact existence and the trouble over there is causing problems in his world and many others. The book shows a man who is so determined to reach the tower youll be suprised of the sacrifices he makes and the horrors hes ready to commit for it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AAAAAAAAAGGGGGRRRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, June 18 2004
By 
J. Carlos Padron (The Bronx, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
I didn't want to pick it up. I knew it would happen. Like that damned Corona Beer, I got addicted. Great book, Mr. King.
In one week I have followed Roland passed the way station, the three doors and now I'm with him and eddie and Sussanah shooting satalite dishes off gate gaurdians. I bought the paperbacks. I'm getting the hardcovers for my daughter. Thanks for the Tower. I travel there every time my boss opens her mouth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Man in Black fled across the desert...., June 10 2004
This review is from: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition (Hardcover)
And the Gunslinger followed. Thus begins the greatest collection of books ever written. (At least in my humble opinion) Mr. King weaves a tale of knights, adventure, and romance stretching across the centuries, as Roland of Gilead begins his pursuit of the evasive Man in Black. The first book in the Dark Tower saga, The Gunslinger, is a modest opening stanza in a tale where the following books were much better.
It is the tale of Roland, the last Gunslinger, a kind of Knight/Cowboy who is chasing the Man in Black. This however is just a means to an end, as his ultimate chase is for The Dark Tower. Along his trek through the desert, he comes across a boy names Jake Chambers, who died in another reality. Eventually, Roland catches the Man in Black, sans Jake, whom he has sacrificed to reach said Man in Black. The Man in Black tells of Rolands future with a deck of tarot cards. Three cards are drawn to Roland attention: The Prisoner, The Lady of Shadows, and Death. ("but not for you Gunslinger.") Roland is left sitting on the edge of the Western Sea, pondering the future.
Be careful if reading the original version of this book however, as the dialogue is dated and does not really match that of the later novels. I recommend the revised version, although I really enjoyed the original.
The above is a general overview of the first book, and really should be read by any fan of either Stephen King, or any fan of the fantasy genre.
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The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition
The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger, Expanded and Revised Edition by Stephen King (Hardcover - June 24 2003)
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