This book is derived from a series of short stories written by King between 1978 and 1982 for The Magazine of Fantasy and as such, it is a little disjointed in places, while keeping a common thread. It is really a scene setter for the books that follow (The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands & Wizard and Glass) in which Roland of Gilead (The Gunslinger) continues his quest to find the Dark Tower. The style in which the book is written is part fantasy, part sci-fi, part western but all genius. King departs into the world of fantasy fiction rarely and keeps us waiting for what seems like aeons for the next Dark Tower instalment, yet when they arrive, its always worth the wait. He's mentioned that he thinks there will be about 7 books to the series and at the current rate it could well be 15 years before we see this tale draw to its conclusion - its been 18 years since this episode was published - but like wine, it will improve still further with ageing. Whether you are a fan of King or not, this is one novel that you really should try, and if you like Clive Barkers Imagica/Quiddity books or even Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels, then you should find The Gunslinger entertaining at the least.....just dont expect elephants in space!