The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King that he began in collage in 1970. It was the first volume in what became the Dark Tower series. It was first published in 1982, bringing together five short stories that had been published between 1978 and 1981. The version in print today was revised again in 2003.
The Dark Tower is a series of eight books using multiple genres, including dark fantasy, science fantasy, horror, and Western. This first book should be important to understanding this body of work by Stephen King. His writing style and use of many different genres makes for an interesting Western, but it is a little confusing trying to understand why the Dark Tower is such an obsession in this first book.
The gunslinger’s obsession with the tower is more than just a physical one but is revealed with a great deal of metaphorical references. One of these that is memorable is "Go then, there are other worlds than these".
Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, has been chasing "the man in black", for many years. Roland sometimes speaks in what is called “high-speech”. Perhaps this is due to his implied aristocratic state and the man in black implied state as a sorcerer and pure evil.
The book is a very unique and interesting Western. It was a slow read and harder to follow than what I expected from Stephen King.
Quotes from the Book
“where the world ends is where you must begin”
“The mystery of the universe is not time but size.”
“the man in black travels with your soul in his pocket.”
“Beyond the reach of human rage
A drop of hell, a touch of strange ...”