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on 5 July 2015
250 others having already submitted reviews, I'm sure there's nothing I can add; it forms the introductory jumping-off point of the series, and as such is short both in length, and maybe on real excitement by comparison to others. It does contain one of King's most compelling, resonant lines: 'Go then - there are other worlds than these.' And of course, the iconic opening sentence.
I have long owned all the series in illustrated print editions (the first 4 paperbacks; whopping hardbacks of the others). For whatever strange psychological reason, I want neither to read print books any more, nor to get rid of my beloved ones. Hence I have felt compelled to buy the Kindle editions of this, King's meisterwerk, and read it yet again. They don't have the illustrations, but perhaps they're the better for that - why pin down the reader's imagination to that of an artist? Obviously I've seen the pics and can't now un-see them, but if there are new readers who haven't, so much the better for them.
That's all I have to say, really....
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 March 2014
In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

So along with the BookLikes crew (as I now refer to them) I have started a re-read of The Dark Tower series from Mr King with the first volume – The Gunslinger.

We’ll get the bad out of the way first – this is not my favourite of the novels in this series. In fact I will be honest and say the first time I read it I ALMOST did not continue, despite my absolute regard and love for the writing of Stephen King…I thought that perhaps his epic fantasy would not be for me. I was utterly wrong of course, so very wrong and I now stand here corrected.

The second reading of this gave me much more – possibly because I know what is coming, I absolutely think this is a must read – however I would still tell anyone coming at this for the first time, this was written when the author was young and whilst it has been updated and expanded, it remains in this readers opinion the weakest of the Dark Tower Series. That is not to say that it is bad, it is in fact extremely good. Still, you may be tempted, like me, to abandon the rest – don’t do it. Keep going. If only because you will then one day experience the sheer brilliance of Wizard and Glass.

In this volume we meet Roland as he crosses the desert in pursuit of the man in black – as we follow him on his journey we get hints of his past and possibly his future – and soon his quest for The Dark Tower will truly begin.

As usual its Mr King’s imagery that will get you – every single time. The bleak landscapes, the terrifying encounters and as always a strong and beating heart at the centre of the tale, this sets the scene for a truly magnificent quest that will take over your life until you are done.

All in all a decent read, see the caveats above and dive in. Ultimately this is a journey worth taking.

Happy Reading Folks!
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on 26 July 2015
I concur with others who have identified this as the 'best' of the series, although imo, all are vital parts of the whole.
All I wish to add to other reviews I've read, is a word concerning the Kindle editions vs. print. Having owned the full set in print for many-a, I argued with myself, after re-reading The Gunslinger in the revised Kindle edn, as to whether I needed to re-purchase them all as e-books. But when starting on my print edition of each book, especially this one, which even though not in hardback, is huge, I soon remembered why I so love my Kindle Paperwhite. Big print tomes are unwieldy, scarcely portable, and worst of all, need a good light and the firm grip of two hands, when lying in bed. After the second or third time I tried to turn a paper page by tapping the right-hand margin, I gave in and bought the Kindle one.
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on 7 August 2017
I had never read King before but took a chance on this series after reading reviews about the upcoming movie, which where negative but said consistently the books are engrossing. This is exactly what I found to be the case and enthralling pseudo western world with this first book full of intrigue, mystery and flash backs. Now onto book two!
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on 29 March 2016
With the recent news that Stephen King's own unabridged audiobook recording of DESPERATION is soon to be released at last I was browsing some reviews of the book and came across many comments about it being a bad book. Various reviewers associated it with DOLORES CLAIBORNE and I was really surprised to see how they considered this to be one of his worst books. I am a lazy reader, so enjoy the unabridged Stephen King audio catalogue, which I can listen to during my many hours of driving. DOLORES CLAIBORNE is undoubtedly one of my favourites: I bought the Frances Sternhagen recording on cassette when it was first released and updated this to CD when it became available. I did read the book myself when it was first published and perhaps I can understand why many readers did not immediately "click" with it, its first-person narrative style not being the easiest to read. However, to hear the piece performed by an amazing actress brings the text to life in a way that my own mind couldn't on first reading. For those King fans who have never given this book a second chance I strongly urge you to try this recording, which brings the character and story fully to life.
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on 6 November 2014
ok you can put down the pitch forks and that torch, and you can stop measuring me for a coffin.

and now thats out of the way my thoughts it just didnt grab me now i know its a part one of a longer story but after finishing it i thought it was quite a bad start, the lead character is not likeable, the story didn't really go anywhere and for the most part i felt as if i was watching season two of a show after missing season one and the only hints i was getting as to what had happened in season one was the odd dream sequence the lead character was having and even that was half of one episode out of a 15 episode run.

all in all the book reminded me of the bits from The Two Towers (book) where Aragorn and co are tracking the Uruk-hai across the land but stretch out to fill out 200 pages and then theres no real pay off at the end just a see you in the next book.

now i will be getting the next book as i want to see if it gets any better but if it goes on like the gunsling has i doubt ill finish it.
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on 2 April 2014
This is a novel from Stephen King which I absolutely loved as it combines 'real life and suspense/drama with the supernatural. As so often with King, everyday common objects (in this case a painting) have supernatural powers or are involved in supernatural events. Contrary to common believe, Stephen King does not only write horror and bloods/guts. This book is not his only novel which features domestic abuse. (Dolores Clairbone comes to mind as the other main one, but I do know there are others who have some features of domestic violence in them).

Rosie has suffered from domestic abuse on the hands of her husband Norman for many years, she ben lost her child while pregnant. But her husband is a cop, and she just knows that he will track her down. But one day, something just clicks, and she runs away. First stop - local bus station. Where to go? She has no money but took his credit card. All she can think of is how to best disappear and make him not find her, she is that much terrified. She eventually arrives in a city and is lucky enough to encounter kind people and ends up in a women's shelter where she makes friends which will be her lifeline in the following months. Rosie than goes to a pawn shop and is strangely attracted to an old painting, she has to take it with her. And she will learn that the painting has a life of its own and she is able to travel into the painting. Inside the painting, she will meet people who resemble her real life. The people she will meet in the painting will take her into a different world. And all the while, her husband Norman is on the hunt for her and it isn't long before he can sniff her out.

I so much felt for Rosie, and I felt her fear which was terrifying. The horrors of domestic violence and living with someone who is a psycho abuser. She knows he is hell-bend on tracking her down and trying to kill her. How great did I feel for her when she did start her new life. King made me feel all the emotions with Rosie. A new man does come into Rosie's life, but for me, he was almost a secondary character and only served for the purpose of the book as one of the persons who will be there for Rosie, same as the friends she makes in the women's shelter. Important, but really, for me the story is all about Rosie. And than comes the painting. What an idea… being able to step into a painting, but what will Rosie find,
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on 27 April 2016
The "Gunslinger" series is an epic story with characters that you really, really care about, a great story of a long journey, with plenty of adventure on the way and relationships that develop in a fully believable way.

There's plenty of excitement, excellent use of time/history to keep you wondering exactly when this might be taking place and some effective use of invented language, with just enough humour to occasionally relieve the tension. I can't read the books in this series fast enough!
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on 6 February 2018
Stephen King is a consistently terrific, not to mention prolific, writer. However, his "Dark Tower" series, which he began writing at age 17, far over-reaches all of his other writings. He himself refers to it as his grand masterpiece, and I fully agree. This series is much less gory than many of his works, yet filled to the brim with thrills and nightmares, hopes and dreams, and even love. Even if you have shunned King in the past, you must beg, borrow, or steal (well, you don't have to go that far!) to get your hands on this series. By the end of the first paragraph you will be hooked, and you won't be able to put them down until you've read the last one...and then you'll probably want to start all over again, as I did!!
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on 23 October 2015
** REVIEW ON http://escapefromrealities.com **

I really liked this book although it did confused me in some places. I thought there was always something I was missing and had to re read certain parts. I will probably have to re read this book again. I think there may be something about Stephen King writing that makes it slightly harder for me to get into. I am going to look at carrying on with this series,maybe giving this book a 2nd read before doing to make sure I fully understand what is going on. Roland was a good character and I liked that we got quite a bit of his background in the story. I will probably do a better more detailed review once I have re-read it. I still give it a 4 star rating though as the bits i understood where really good.
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