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The Gunslinger (Revised Edition): The Dark Tower I Paperback – Jun 24 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 352 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Revised edition (June 24 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452284694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452284692
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 1.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 352 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Finally, after thirty-three years, a horrific and life-altering accident, and thousands of desperately rabid fans in the making, Stephen King's quest to complete his magnum opus rivals the quest of Roland and his band of gunslingers who inhabit the Dark Tower series. Loyal DT fans and new readers alike will appreciate this revised edition of The Gunslinger, which breathes new life into Roland of Gilead, and offers readers a "clearer start and slightly easier entry into Roland's world."

King writes both a new introduction and foreword to this revised edition, and the ever-patient, ever-loyal "constant reader" is rewarded with secrets to the series's inception. That a "magic" ream of green paper and a Robert Browning poem, came together to reveal to King his true "ka" is no real surprise (this is King after all), but who would have thought that the squinty-eyed trio of Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach would set the author on his true path to the Tower? While King credits Tolkien for inspiring the "quest and magic" that pervades the series, it was Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly that helped create the epic proportions and "almost absurdly majestic western backdrop" of Roland's world.

To King, The Gunslinger demanded revision because once the series was complete it became obvious that "the beginning was out of sync with the ending." While the revision adds only 35 pages, Dark Tower purists will notice the changes to Allie's fate and Roland's interaction with Cort, Jake, and the Man in Black--all stellar scenes that will reignite the hunger for the rest of the series. Newcomers will appreciate the details and insight into Roland's life. The revised Roland of Gilead (nee Deschain) is embodied with more humanity--he loves, he pities, he regrets. What DT fans might miss is the same ambiguity and mystery of the original that gave the original its pulpy underground feel (back when King himself awaited word from Roland's world). --Daphne Durham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By A Customer on July 9 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was held captive by this book, in a way that few stories have had the ability to command my attention. I would write more, but having just reached the end of the beginning, I must trudge on. The Drawing of The Three beckons me. Fantasy at its best.
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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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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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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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