Top critical review
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not as good as the original version
on June 19, 2004
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.