“The Gunslinger” by Stephen King

The Dark Tower – Book 1

Star Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars


Synopsis: The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

That’s about it. A man named Roland, called The Gunslinger, travels across a desert in order to catch up to a man only known as “The Man in Black”.  No explanations are given for why he chases him, just vague assumptions.

The Man in Black is implied to be evil, a liar, and quite equal to a devil character.  But, there is nothing in this novel that supports those implications. He has strong magic, and he is practically all-knowing/all-seeing as a god would be.  Still not detailed enough to describe any further.

The Gunslinger is a man from a group of people who are also gunslingers. It is this group’s purpose in life to be gunslingers. Nothing about what gunslingers are, what their purpose is, or really any details are provided to add any context.  Realistically, nothing is given context.

The Gunslinger meets a boy from another dimension named Jake.  The dimension being our current world.  There is no true explanation as to why he’s there or what his purpose is either.

God, I hate this book.

Opinion: The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

I just need to say right here that this is absolutely one of the best opening lines of almost any book I have read until this moment.  This opening line is incredibly famous due to its simplicity, and yet it fully describes the entire book… even, as I am told, the entire series.  How many authors can say they have done that so succinctly? So accurately? So simply?  It’s perfection. Pure Perfection.

But this is where the praise stops. The story is trash. It’s boring. It has no detail. It gives no explanations. It has no meaning.  And King spends entirely too much time describing the groin area of the gunslinger.  He quite literally talks about it every other page.  In response to a lover – in response to the wind – in response to seeing the Man in Black – in response to facing death – in response to looking at the desert…. how many times do we have to hear about his groin stirring? Literally every… other… page.  Ugh!

I hate this book.  I hate it. It’s terrible. King needs to stick to thrillers. He’s terrible at fantasy.  No, I will not read on with this series unless I’m forced to by gunpoint.  I suggest you don’t pick this up.  Watch the movie with Matthew McConaghey and Idris Elba. It looks a million times better than this book was just by the trailer.

Goodreads.com Link: “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King

Amazon.com Link: “The Gunslinger” by Stepben King