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Showing 1-10 of 21 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
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on April 25, 2000
After hearing all my friends rave about this series i finally decided to pick it up. I had been reading all of his books with Randall Flagg in them to get some background. What you get here is a scattered, slow as molaaaassssessss story, that you have to force yourself to read. You are given bits and pieces of stories, with nothing explained. This story does NOT build to a climax, in fact, it doesn't build at all. The ending...supposedly a climax... seemed very hokey to me (but lets face it steven king has been known to let you down after a great book with a cheezy ending. I finally picked up the second and subsequent books (i waited so long b/c i didnt care for this one, and yes i am a HUGE stephen king fan)... and i was hooked. The sequels are great, and YES you must trudge through this book before you read the rest of them. This book is a necessarry introduction to the rest of the series. After reading the wizard and glass i reread this and it makes more sense b/c that book explains all (most)of the questions this book creates. For my second reading i give it 3 and 1/2 stars
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 1999
The title says it all. The Dark Tower series on the whole is magnificent, but it starts off the wrong way. This book is just 200 pages of drivel where nothing important happens and next to nothing is explained. Borrow it just for the conversation with Walter at the end (which still doesn't explain or clarify anything; if it relates to the rest of the story at all I haven't yet seen how), but everything before it is pointless. I'm glad I gave the other books in the series a chance. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they're not nearly as bad as this one.
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on November 29, 1998
Generally, when I read a book, I know who I am reading about, and am going from place to place in a logical and chronological sequence, with sufficient reason given whenever an unexpected timeshift occurs. Instead, I am given a character whom I know NOTHING about (his name isn't even given until midway through!), chasing someone for god-only-knows-what reason, going somewhere with no area description at all, and randomly switching time periods to somewhere and somewhen which, again, we know nothing about. How ANYONE is expected to be able to follow this is beyond comprehension.
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on February 12, 1999
Stephen King is one of the greatsest writers, alive or dead. However, when I came to read the start of what I thought was going to be a fantastice, un-put-downable series, I was sorely disappointed. I read it all in one hour, in the hope of finding a half decent paragraph which made any sense, but I didn't. Never mind, King, one failure out of many successes isn't so bad, but still.....
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2000
After hearing all my friends rave about this series i finally decided to pick it up. I had been reading all of his books with Randall Flagg in them to get some background. What you get here is a scattered, slow as molaaaassssessss story, that you have to force yourself to read. You are given bits and pieces of stories, with nothing explained. This story does NOT build to a climax, in fact, it doesn't build at all. The ending...supposedly a climax... seemed very hokey to me (but lets face it steven king has been known to let you down after a great book with a cheezy ending. I finally picked up the second and subsequent books (i waited so long b/c i didnt care for this one, and yes i am a HUGE stephen king fan)... and i was hooked. The sequels are great, and YES you must trudge through this book before you read the rest of them. This book is a necessarry introduction to the rest of the series. After reading the wizard and glass i reread this and it makes more sense b/c that book explains all (most)of the questions this book creates. For my second reading i give it 3 and 1/2 stars
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2004
On the previous review page, I saw that many people enjoyed this book. All that I can think is that perhaps I missed something. I found this to be one of the most disappointing books that I have read in quite some time. The characters were uninteresting, the plot read like a re-hashed version of a bad futuristic sci-fi movie, and I never found myself caring for anything that King wrote about. The best way to summarise the plot would be to say that a man walks through a desert for 300 pages {'it's hot, I'm thirsty, it's hot, I'm alone, etc. etc.} and then meets a man, falls asleep {which is what I kept doing throughout this book} and then . . . sequel? Eugh. Maybe this is all necessary for the rest of the series, but it's put me off them.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2003
Gunslinger is the worst book I have ever had the mispleasure of reading. DON'T believe all the gushing reviews that praise this trash. The characters are flat, the story is skeletal and the book reads like fan fiction. It was probably King's grade school writing assignment -- no kidding. The grammar is awful. The book abounds with errors and incosnistencies. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2003
---Now First of All I Want to Say I Don't Mean Any Offense By This Review----
Ok, so i picked up The Gunslinger at the library and was eager to check it out since I read all the wonderful reviews given to the book on Amazon. I took the book home and began reading. The chapters are easy and the pages fly.
Well, I got to about page 200 and by then I was so confused and frustrated that I had to stop reading the book.
There was so much background knowledge which the characters refer to and which King doesn't tell the reader that while reading I found myself saying "What. I don't understand."
I think I mainly didn't like The Gunslinger because it just wasn't the type of book I like. I loved Lord of the Rings, but this book is NOT like LTR no matter what anyone says. It's Louis L'Amor meets The Stand, except unlike in The Stand, King doesn't really allow the reader to get to know the characters.
So, if you're a traditional Stephen King fan and enjoy his novels such as The Shining, Salem's Lot, Christine, etc. don't read the Gunslinger.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2003
Here's the sum of this novel: The gunslinger travels across the desert after the man in black.
That's it. Along the way, he has some little 'adventures' i guess you could say, but they're completely pointless to the story. He stops at a village. Decides it's cool, and stays there for awhile, bedding the tavernkeeper in the meantime... romance you say? If that's what you call romance, i feel sorry for your significant other. Then the whole town turns on him for no apparent reason, and he kills everybody in the town. Ooook.
He meets a boy names Jake across the desert. Now is his bond with the kid suppose to be meaningful to us? Are we suppose to feel the tender and loving side of the Gunslinger? If so, i never did. Are we suppose to feel that Jake's death at the end of the novel was a sacrifice that should tear our heart and makes us weep? It sure didn't do it to me. Infact, i never felt a single emotion between their relationship. I'm not a big reader of Stephen King, but if this is reflective of his ability do develop characters and their relationships, then i'm seriously clueless as to how and why he is so popular.
I admit, i may have enjoyed this book if was 15 years younger and a teen or younger, but i'm not. It literally took me 3 tries to complete this book. I gave up on it the first time after reading only a hundred pages or so... second time was about a year later, and i didn't get much further. This time i was adamant on reading it, since apparently he has another installment coming out soon, and everybody's been raving about it, and i did force myself to finish it, but was completely disappointed. The other books in the series are *somewhat* better, but still don't deserve anything more than a 2. I'll be reviewing those other books as well.
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