Book Review 105 // The Gunslinger by Stephen King


Welcome, everyone. I've been searching for a non 40k or Games Workshop related series to enjoy, and I've been struggling. Nothing grabs my interest like the dark gothic of the 40k verse, but I was recommended the Gunslinger by a few people (got your own recommendation? Reach out in the comments). So I grabbed the first book in the series, strapped on my pistols and dove in.

Surprisingly, a smaller book than I was expecting, clocking in at a mere 231 pages. I was surprised to discover, it is more a set of short stories rather than one epic tale. Before writing up my thoughts, let us read the official blurb.

In the first book of this brilliant series, 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 his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland pursues The Man in Black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the Kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

Okay, where do I begin? I found this to be a weird novel, where I am left unsure if I liked or disliked the stories. It felt like it expected me to know what was going on, and a lot of the short tales felt so slow in pace, I felt like I was having to grind my way through every one of them. The entire time, it seemed a bit disjointed and forced, it felt like an overly long prologue leaving me wondering if I should have skipped book one and started with book two? What do you think I should have done? Let me know in the comments below.

The book does have some true highlights, one for me was the Slow Mutants. These creatures are pretty creepy and I hoped they would be in the story longer. These highlights though are few and far between. I  found the Man in Black to be rather dull as a villain, with him playing more of a background role to the world the gunslinger passed through. I found myself being more interested in the world at large and was hoping, we would discover more about that.

Where has that left me with the book? Well, to be honest, I want to try book two; but in no way will I be rushing out to find it in the local thrift store. Did I miss something? Have I been ruined by Bolter violence? Let me know and remember to give me a follow and thanks for stopping by.

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