Stephen King's epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a major movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Due in cinemas February 17, 2017 USA.
In this first novel in his epic fantasy masterpiece, Stephen King introduces listeners to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey into good and evil, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.
In his first step towards the powerful and mysterious Dark Tower, Roland encounters an alluring woman named Alice, begins a friendship with Jake, a kid from New York, and faces an agonising choice between damnation and salvation as he pursues the Man in Black.
Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves listeners eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
And the Tower is closer....
©1982 Stephen King (P)2003 Penguin Audiobooks
I've read long winded series and love the attention to detail in series like wheel of time game of thrones, lord of the rings etc.but this book has so much detail about stuff that doesn't matter that it ends up having no substance.
I really struggled listening to George as he told the story.
I first read this story in its original format when I was 19 - 30 years ago now. I've read the current format and all the books as they were released in Australia. I love this epic tale of Roland BUT George's voice was terrible. His attempts to differentiate between each character was just awful and as such..I listened for the story, not for the story teller.
I am saddened to see that he has narrated other books in this series. I am unsure now if I want to continue to listen in this format or return to the voices in my bed as I read it myself.
Half way through now, heart pumping and finding myself turning up the volume. George (the narrator) paints a picture with his voice, it's rusky and harsh, matching the feel of the book perfectly. It's a captivating story that I can just tell sets the scene for the rest of the series.
couldn't finish, slow, and un engaging characters. might be better as a read, than listened to in the car
"A Surrealistic Western that almost feels familiar"
Have you ever wanted so badly to be part of a hype, just to discover that while others are going crazy about it, you are left out in the cold? The first book of the Dark Tower series makes me feel that way. I really want to be in on the joke, but I just can???t find the punch line.
???The Gunslinger??? is a story containing a mix western, fantasy, horror, blood and gore, fantasy and just plain weirdness. Roland of Gilead, the main character, is a sort of serious Cowboy Don Quixote on an obsessive quest, to catch the mysterious, possibly demonic, ???Man in Black.??? The story is set in a universe akin to ours with references very similar to ours, like ???the man Jesus??? and certain holy days. Yet it soon becomes clear that the story is not set in our world or in a typical wild western environment.
At times it feels that the story cries against all logic. I found Roland to be someone quite difficult to identify with. The way he kills of the whole town of Tull, even his sex partner, Allie, as well as the awkward ???relationship??? that he had with a nine year old boy called Jake are bizarre. Do I understand Stephen King correctly; Roland???s love for the boy was more than just parental love? It is disturbing, to say the least.
At the end of the book you do have an idea what a gunslinger is. You will have realised that Roland is the last gunslinger and that his obsession with catching the ???Man in Black??? against all costs, actually points the ethereal Dark Tower. The listener is left with more questions than after the book, than before.
George Guidall???s interpretative reading was fair. I am not sure if it is Stephen King or Guidall???s way of reading that made me feel detached from the story. I found that I had to re-listen certain parts of the recording to try to understand the story, yet for most of the time I followed Guidall???s reading easily.
Taking into account that this is the first book in ???The Dark Tower??? series, I shall also listen to the second book hoping I will discover the punch line and become part of the hype. But so far, I have mixed feelings about the book. I have learned that you could find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you persevere. This I hope is true in the case of ???The Dark Tower??? series.
I am not sure who the proposed readership of the book is, which also makes it difficult to evaluate the content. I suspect that Stephen King has set the table sufficiently for more to come. It is with hesitation that I laud the book.
"A Stephen King saga"
No, not again.
I got into this as it was written by Stephen King, I found this hard to get into but will continue for the whole series for if anything, Stephen King will draw you in eventually, twist and turn you and spit you out with you knowing you have been through something. I have a high hope for the other books
"Great start for a great tale"
The development of the character of Roland, from a mysterious unknown character into a man with a dark past, and a dark long journey to travel.
Gravelly voice, just what you'd imagine a gunslinger to sound like.
Wild west meets the end of the world
"Surprised that I didn't like it"
I was surprised to find I didn't enjoy this book. I found it boring and had difficulty paying attention. I've not read much Stephen King but I was eager to get into a popular story of his.
"Great beginning of the fantasy saga"
This is where the journey of Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger, starts. The reader follows the gunslinger in his chase of the man in black and the mysterious Tower in a dreamy, deserted world that 'has moved on'. This world resembles the Western movies but at the same time it is different, somewhat magical, and much darker.
I really enjoy King’s storytelling, his attention to detail, and strong character development. Roland is a solitary character and also a survivor. Roland is not a very likeable character, as he seems quite cold, and distant to others. He is able to make sacrifices without blinking an eye, if that is required for his purpose.
The audio version is great, even though I prefer Frank Muller's version (currently out of print). I'd recommend this book is for all who enjoy a good and original dark fantasy story, and for those who want to read an different story by the Master of Horror.
great book. liked it much. king is really a master of his craft :) also extra words for 20 word quota.
"Another king journey book"
I was surprised how good the Gunslinger story was. This initial book of the series sets up the story of The Dark Tower and it's significance for Roland our hero. As with other King novels the battle of good against evil emerges with a blurring of boundaries. The reader is able to recognise that not all good is "good". Positioned thus the reader then can choose to continue Roland's journey. I think I will continue with Roland and see what becomes of him.
"The first step is the hardest"
While this is a very involved, rewarding saga overall, this first book can be very difficult to get into. Based in a world not quite like our own, but with confusing tidbits which make it seem like the future, or perhaps the past, or perhaps an alternate dimension??? This book raises a great deal of questions and provides virtually no answers so unless you can stick with it for the entire 7 novels of the Dark Tower saga it won't seem worthwhile.
"For a 1st part in a series, this was underwhelming"
But having read The Stand I'm going to give the rest a go.
I have every faith in S. King as a master storyteller so I'm guessing this will pay off in the future. The story isn't all bad of course. In fact it's pretty good. Just not something you'll remember next week. If at all.
But do not fret. There are 6 more. And if the reviews are anything to go by, this should get very interesting.
A note on the performance.
I doubt anyone could fit the story better than this narrator. I felt continually reminded of Johnny Cash singing the song, The Man Comes Around.
I've seldom found a narrator and a story fit so well toghether.
"Stick With It - Believe in Stephen King"
I found the main character so dark and melancholy that I wondered how I could possibly read a series of seven books with him as the lead. The story was dismal with nothing more than trial and tribulation. I reserved my opinion of this first in the series until I had read the second book which I had purchased at the same time.
The reason for my perseverance was my faith in the immense talent of Stephen King. If he calls this is magnum opus then I trust him to bring his usual storytelling brilliance to the fore. I am so glad I continued on the journey because things changed dramatically shortly after starting the second book and now the first book is making more sense.
I recommend that if you find this first book an ordeal because of its misery and darkness stick with it - it will be worth it. Trust Stephen King to give you a experience to remember.
The whole book felt like a prologue to a tale yet to be told. Entertaining enough but lacking substance.
"A must for any Stephen King fan !!"
This is the first book of The Dark Tower Series
The audio book is very well read and is great as an introduction to the Dark Tower Series. Once you have finished this audio book you will be hooked and downloading the rest of the series
A must for any Stephen King fan !!
"Post apocolypse,Sci fi, alternative dimension?"
Such a hard book to describe, it is I believe a book you can come back to at the end of the series and on re reading it make a lot more sense of what is going on. That does not detract from it being a great read first time around without any prior knowledge, which is where I am at the moment. in my teens I read a bit of Stephen King and really I remember none of his previous books I have tried being anything like this. I found with previous Stephen King books that there tends to be more of a linear plot that you can predict to some degree, that is not the case at all here. I have no idea where this plot is going, but I cannot wait to find out.
I loved this audiobook. The Dark Tower novels are my favourite of Stephen King's work. This, the first book in the series, is an understated beginning to Roland's journey toward the Dark Tower, his pursuit of the man in black intercut with tales of his childhood and how he became a Gunslinger. The narrator's pacing and earthy voice really bring the story to life, and I'm already on to the second audiobook in the series. Highly recommended.
"Join the Journey"
This is among my top 5.
I cannot wait to listen to the rest of the series.
I never read the books cause I could not get into them but George Guidall is amazing. I am now reading the book after listening.
"Tough going... But persevere through to book 2..."
I seem to be at odds with some and in agreement with others. I found this the hardest Stephen King (audio) book to like. Normally I find everything by Stephen King absolutely gripping - but this felt like it was the beginning of a long and somewhat abstract journey (so far so SK in many respects) but without the somehow gripping narrative he usually demonstrates.
As it went on I found it more appealing - and by book 2 I was hooked and it was back to business as usual. So - do listen, do persevere (you might find it easier than I did) and before you know it you're right back in Mr. King's amazing worlds. Science fiction, fantasy, magic, unpleasantness more than horror (so far...) All good.
"Quite a good listen. "
Difficult at first, but then riveting to the end. Not sure where I going to start with what with the changing scenarios Wild West, Modern New York Medieval England but starts to fall in place quite ingeniously as the story develops. Can hardly wait to see how the saga develops. Oh and kudos to the narrator Mr George Guidall for keeping the intensity flowing with his wonderful tones. Big thumbs up.
"A true journey for the child inside of you."
Stephen king manages to take you on a journey of pure, unbridled fun from start to finish. The gunslinger is a tuff but lovable man. As for the world building, King smoothly places the image of a worndown, dust world in which you feel the true sting of every step the gunslinger has to take along his journey. The ending of the book is what makes this read for me. A true thinking man's adventure novel.
One last thing about the narrator; he is spot on the entire time and never fails to deliver on a single line, I hope that he narrates the over books in this series as I will be getting the next one ASAP.
"this is not a western"
I was expecting a western and then realised... must confess the story was a little confusing at times, but nevertheless worth a listen, not sure if going to get the next one...
"Essential but rubbish read !"
So, this book is OK, nothing special... but the series is really good and so this is essential reading to start you on the journey to The Dark Tower.
My advice is to read this book and then dive straight into book 2. If you're not hooked by the end of book 2 then don't bother reading any further but it gets better and better as it goes along. This is a slow burner and it really starts to grow on you as you progress through the series.
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