When I first heard that King had rewritten the first part of the Dark Tower series I have to admit that I was a little annoyed.
When authors/directors/artists start playing around with there work, and releasing new versions of it, I get board. At the end of the day if they were not happy with the book/film/what ever in the first place, why release it at all? Why not take the time to get it right in the first place?
Well, it's not always that easy - or for that matter possible. Sometimes it becomes necessary to review past works in the light of experience.
In the two new introductions that the revised edition of The Gunslinger now sports, King acknowledges the fact that on reflection the first part of his masterwork was sadly lacking in several areas - and in many respects didn't quite fit in with the other books. As he points out he was twenty-two when he started writing about Roland and his quest for the Tower. He was not yet the seasoned writer he has become.
Dark Towers fans will probably all agree that of the four Dark Tower books in print (currently), The Gunslinger is the hardest to read, and lacks the style that King has developed. It also had the feel of a very untidy book, in that it was simply five novella linked together.
It's clear right from the beginning that King has done more then just update the language, and tidy up areas of the text. It's not a case of cut material being restored to the text of the book (as in the case of The Stand), this re-release of The Gunslinger address many of the continuity problems between the first part, and the subsequent parts of the story. In many respects it's a new book. King has not only revised the material, but in some places completely re-written it. Rather then being five loosely held together novella, this book now fits together as one story - and fits in very well with the other parts of the series.
Although I had doubts about the wisdom of a new edition of The Gunslinger, I not only found the new edition an easier read, but a much more comfortable one - and one that has a few surprises for readers. If you are new to the Dark Tower, then read this edition of The Gunslinger rather then the old. If you a fan, like myself, then pick up a copy because this is way The Gunslinger should have been all along.
What more can I say then; it's fantastic.