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The Gunslinger Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; abridged edition edition (May 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140867163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140867169
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 11.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,121,753 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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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: Mass Market Paperback
The Dark Tower starts out with the catchy opening line of "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." Unfortunately, Stephen King doesn't make it really clear as to WHY the gunslinger is chasing the dark man in the first place. One can only presume that the gunslinger is the good guy and that the dark man is the bad guy that needs to be killed ASAP.
For the first hundred or so pages you read about the gunslinger hanging around wasted towns in the middle of some Sahara desert from hell. The next hundred pages or so deal with Jake, some kid that comes from our world. In addition to that, Jake and the gunslinger start chasing the dark man through the desert. In the final three hundred pages the two main characters follow the dark man to a large mountain, where the gunslinger finally confronts him.
The last chapter, "The Gunslinger and the Dark Man" is one of the more interesting parts of the book. The two of them have a discussion along the lines of "what if our universe were just a speck of dust on a blade of grass, and that blade of grass was inside another universe, and that universe was inside ANOTHER one", etc.
So with that in mind, if I look at the BIG PICTURE, The Dark Tower is just another novel in a universe filled with novels. To me, there was nothing in this book that made it outshine anything else. While reading this book I got the feeling that Stephen King wasn't sure what he wanted this book to be--Western (The Gunslinger), Fantasy (Tarot cards and a primitive setting), Literature (Childe Roland to the dark tower came . . .), or Horror (The Dark Man, the Slow Mutants). Stephen King also borrows a little from the Bible (Abraham and Isaac = Gunslinger and Jake), which isn't surprising, since he's done it before.
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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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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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