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The Gunslinger [Unknown Binding]

Stephen King
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Oct 2003
"The Gunslinger" is a man in tattered black on a quest in an alternative world. By the process of passing through the gate into the other universe, he collects a crew of misfits to join him.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (a) (10 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451210840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451210845
  • ASIN: 0786548118
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 651,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description


Pulse-poundingly engaging (Sunday Express on SONG OF SUSANNAH)

King's magnificent uberstory is finally complete... King's achievement is startling; his characters fresh... his plot sharply drawn... It is magic. (Daily Express on THE DARK TOWER)

Join the quest before it's too late (Independent on Sunday on SONG OF SUSANNAH)

Classic King, fine characters, compellingly written in a gripping, well-honed plot (Daily Express on WOLVES OF THE CALLA)

Superbly energetic, it's King at his best (Mail on Sunday on WIZARD AND GLASS) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The first novel in Stephen King's unique, bestselling epic fantasy quest - now revised and expanded, and relaunched in a new series look. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good starter for this epic fantasy. 8 Aug 2006
`The Gunslinger' is the first instalment for Stephen King's fantasy epic series `The Dark Tower'. Written over a period of almost 30 years, over seven books, spanning for a total of 3712 pages, this really is an epic saga.

This is the shortest book of the series, lasting for a mere 238 pages. The book introduces the reader to Roland (the Gunslinger) whose journey to reach the dark tower is first set in motion.

The novel builds up slowly, allowing the reader to become accustomed to King's Dark Tower world. Characterization takes on an important role throughout the novel, getting the reader to know and feel for Roland and the few other characters that appear in the pages. With the journey the reader is taken on through the seven books, this first novel does the task of setting the scene and introducing the complex and original character of Roland perfectly. The book is often described as the prologue to the series, which seems a suitable comment to make.

As a stand alone novel, `The Gunslinger' is a rather slow and laborious novel, that gradually builds to the next platform of the saga. But the book is an important introduction to this gripping epic, giving you a good entrance to the series.

The new and revised version of this book includes the story having been expanded and revised along with a sixteen page Introduction & Forward as well as a 28 page excerpt from the beginning of the second book in the series `The Drawing Of The Three'.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling imaginary world 2 Jun 2012
The Gunslinger, the first in Stephen King's epic Dark Tower series, is a beautifully crafted novel which mixes genres. It's a western, horror, fantasy, and by the end philosophical novel. The hero, Roland of Gilead, is a cross between a Clint Eastwood character and the archetypal traveller, on a long quest through a strange world. His adventures are enthralling and tinged with melancholy, as we gradually learn tidbits about his mission. As this is the first in a series it ends on a "to be continued" note and numerous questions are left unanswered, but the book isn't meant to be read by itself, with no curiosity about what happens after.
Here King establishes an imaginary world with the breadth and depth of vision all great storytellers share. He doesn't spend chapter after chapter explaining the magic, but lets each strange development speak for itself. The narrative uncoils not like a snake or a machine but a flower, revealing its essence leaf by leaf, its scent teasing you. A barroom resurrection and an encounter with a lusty oracle left me in awe of this place King paints.
The plot is simple: Roland, the gunslinger, chases the man in black, a mischievous sorcerer, through an apocalyptic waste land. Come to think of it, the whole plot can be summed up in the book's first sentence: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." Along the way Roland meets a friendly hermit, a troubled boy and the hopeless residents of Tull, a lonesome tumbleweed town. Each adventure is more exciting and mysterious than the last. In this novel (short, for Stephen King, at 238 pages) Roland faces everything from religious fanaticism to carnivorous mutants.
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65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Resumption" 9 Sep 2003
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reader from Tokyo 31 May 2000
By A Customer
I'm not really a Stephen King fan, but his Dark Tower series has changed all that. Four books have been published so far, this being the first, followed by "The Drawing of the Three", "The Waste Lands" and "Wizard and Glass". Written over a space of 12? 20? years, King admits freely the difficulty he's had in actually writing down the story that wants to tell itself. The series follows the quest of one Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger, as he searches for the Tower, and is dark and gritty and painful. Faint touches of the classic spaghetti Westerns, poetry, quests, and science fiction. Unfortunately, maybe due to the long periods in between, the fourth novel does not have the same urgency as the first two, and the series loses steam a little into the fourth book. The storyline is gripping, and the introductions tell you as much about the background of the story as as the book itself does. Does anyone know if King has written books of this genre before? Highly recommended. I also found the series similar in feel to David Gemmell's Jerusalem Man series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What a pointless sample Amazon! Openhearted and fascinating as ...
What a pointless sample Amazon! Openhearted and fascinating as King's introduction to this book is, this sample doesn't let you read any of the actual story so is pointless.
Published 21 days ago by C. O'HARA
5.0 out of 5 stars Best fantasy series I have ever read.
The start of something very special indeed.

This book, although short, can be a little tough to get through but by the middle of book 2 you're in love with the... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mr T J E Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift
bought as a present he loved it.
Published 1 month ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgot I had this
I downloaded this on my original kindle and had forgotten about it. I'm glad I found it in my library as it's a good introduction to the Gunslinger, Roland. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tam L
3.0 out of 5 stars Mix King with Western Genre
There are two kind of Stephen King fans - the ones who love the Dark Tower Series and the ones who….just can't get on with it. I admit that I belong to the latter. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Pegster
1.0 out of 5 stars rubbish
Don't wast your time on this book.Having just read another of king's books,'11 22 63',which was brilliant, I was loking forward to the dark tower series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by django1uk
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work
Was told I had to read this but I find I'm a bit bored. Will give the rest of the series a miss I think
Published 2 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to an epic series
What can i say i read this and was hooked into the series. Be warned after the third book they get really thick. This one is very manageable. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Bagley
5.0 out of 5 stars Gunslinger Stephen King
I had been trying to get this book for ages and was so pleased to be able to get it through Amazon. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Phil Alsop
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!
Bored me to tears, this book was obviously setting the scene for the rest of the books to come. Not sure I even finished this book!
Published 3 months ago by Lastadt
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