The Gunslinger – Stephen King | A Book Review

The Gunslinger - Stephen King

Title: The Gunslinger

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: It’s the first novel in a series called The Dark Tower.

First impressions: I’ve read King before, so I had high expectations. My edition included a foreword where King talked about writing, which I loved reading. To be honest, I didn’t know what was going on at first. Fortunately, the story got more interesting and less confusing.

Summary: The gunslinger, Roland, pursues the man in black across a desert. The latter has answers the former is seeking.

Characters: I liked getting to know Roland, especially learning more about his past. Near the end, the gunslinger catches up with the man in black who remains a mystery for most of the novel. Along the way, Roland meets others. Even though the conversations included unique slang I didn’t always understand, I enjoyed the interactions nonetheless.


“What hurt you once will hurt you twice.”

Conflict: I found the plot moved at a slow pace.

Writing: It’s well written. I feel like this story and perhaps the series as a whole is quite particular in that you either love it, hate it, or don’t get it. I feel like I’m in the last camp. For most of the book, I felt lost more than anything.

I see some parallels to our real world, but other than that, a lot of the scenes went over my head.

Despite my ignorance, King still did a fine job with the description and dialogue.

Final thoughts: In my opinion, the ending might be the best part of the story. It answered questions and posed new ones for the next novel. That said, I probably won’t continue with this series.

I didn’t love it, but I’m sure there are individuals out there who would love The Gunslinger and all the other books. Besides, the first one isn’t too long.

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4 thoughts on “The Gunslinger – Stephen King | A Book Review

  1. I heard the 1st book, The Gunslinger on a CD( unabridged ) many summers ago. My Better Half and I would lie across the bed on afternoons that hit 100 degrees, with the fan blowing across the bed, and the CD was so well read aloud that we didn’t doze off. The same reader read through book three or so, and then he passed away and King said he would never let anyone else read his series .”Blaine the Train” was fascinating and horrifying. About a year and a half ago, I finally got back to the series and read books four five, six and recently saw the movie which revealed the ending of book seven. I still have VII to read and fully intend to. When King did not have a reader reading the book, he began including an introduction that caught you up from the previous book (Kind of like, “Previously on…whatever TV show”) so you can really plug in anywhere. Book V and Book IV (I read them out of order) were my favorites. Book VI was ok, but…and King himself becomes a character in the book while Roland and Eddie muse over, “Are we real or figments of this man’s imagination?”–very philosophical in Book VI, a novel, which I doubt other authors have done. You can see I’m a big fan–not necessarily of everything he writes, but definitely of The Dark Tower series.


    1. That’s neat. I need to look into listening to audiobooks. I feel hearing it being narrated changes the experience completely. Oh no. Who the reader is also makes a huge difference. Now I’m interested in the rest of the series. If I get the chance, I might try to watch the movie. Oh, smart thinking. You’re making me want to read the other books. Thanks. Ah, for sure. I’m not the biggest fan of everything he writes either.

      Liked by 1 person

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