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The Gunslinger: Gunslinger v. 1 (Dark Tower) [Paperback]

Stephen King
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Nov 2005 Dark Tower

In THE GUNSLINGER, Stephen King introduces readers 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 readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

And the Tower is closer...

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340896213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340896211
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 15.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,723,259 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)

Book Description

The first novel in King's magnificent epic, relaunched in trade paperback to accompany trade paperbacks of the final 3 volumes in the series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 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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64 of 70 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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5 of 5 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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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant ... but
I think Stephen King is a brilliant writer - his stories hook me from the "off".
The Dark Tower is no exception, but I did feel that in some parts, and certainly... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Newbiegran
4.0 out of 5 stars Too short!
Really enjoyed this first instalment but found it too short! Have bought the second one, as Mr. King's characterisation is yet again flawless and I am beyond hooked. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Tower Series
Second time of reading I love this series it is so full of imagination and keeps you riveted to read more
Published 18 days ago by John Ross
3.0 out of 5 stars good but slightly heavy going
I believe this was king when he first started which may explain why the language seems a bit overly complicated in parts, suggesting he was probably trying hard to impress. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Westy
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read but not the best of the series
In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Liz Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars totally hooked
Should of started these years ago I've been a king fan for over 25 years ,didn't think it was my cup of tea I was totally wrong.
Published 1 month ago by sadie lench
5.0 out of 5 stars mystery
Having read the Dark Tower series in hard back twice. I can now take the whole series on holiday thanks to Kindle.
Published 1 month ago by Alex. M
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gunslinger
As with all this series absolutely fantastic you get to the end of the series and want to start it again, One of his most clever bits of writing
Published 1 month ago by MRS P A CONROY
5.0 out of 5 stars Forever a Fan
I have always loved Stephen Kings books, and this is no exception, this captivating and thrilling story line it is a must read for any lover of books.
Published 1 month ago by PandathatWas
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the whole series, I'd been told this book was good, but my lord was that an understatement.
Published 2 months ago by Los Connor
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