The Gunslinger is the first book in the much praised Fantasy fiction series The Darktower written over a span of more than 30 years by none other than the Master Story Maker – Stephen King . The book and the Series are held in high regards by the niche of Book readers all over the world and The Author himself needs no introduction as no matter if you read books or not you have witnessed one of his works or at least heard of his name . So when my friend said that we should read this book Series I had ofcourse no second thoughts about it* I mean What could possibly Go wrong .
*… I mean it’s by Stephen King , it’s a highly praised book , it has a legion of fan following , it is Rated quite well …
Well Apparently Many things can
The Gunslinger is set in a dystopian Future where everybody says that the world has moved on without ever explaining what it means the books shows a future which is filled with people who have forgotten what gasoline is , they have forgotten about the past wars and are now living in a world where water is scant to drink which leads to a further setting similar to movies like the – The Good , The Bad and The Ugly *. In such a place lives the Gunslinger who just like Clint Eastwood in the movies can make shots accurate and quick enough to get the job done . The Gunslinger known as Roland Deschain sets out on a journey to catch the man in black,the man who can make the dead be alive , who can make miracles with a smile . How? we don’t know. why? we don’t know . and Yet Roland takes the journey with his own reasons a mystery as Stephen King starts the epic novel which was supposed to be a single book of two volumes but became a 10 book long series that spanned 30 years and made a angry horde of fans waiting for the next book during that 30 year
*except for the civil war part of course
Although there are some parts in the book that I truly like , for instance the initial idea of Tolkien inspired Quest undertaken mixed with the world made similar to Sergio Leone’s classic Spaghetti westerns was very alluring to me as a reader . The writing style as well was very Fastidious to read . The Added Philosophy was also respectable for my brains but the book always left me unsatisfied and basically disappointed
This was my first ever Stephen King Novel* and right from the beginning the writing was a warm welcome for me but being a fantasy enthusiast the two things that I look for most in a fantasy book – Characters and Environment were both lacking .
*yeah yeah I know , but he has written very few novels that are in my genre of Fantasy /sci-fi and thrillers and basically I have spent my life reading these books along with comics
The Character of Roland came across as a macho gung-ho (who can always figure out what the Man in black is thinking or when a girl can’t keep her loins calm etc etc ) for me he also draws a very confusing role with neither his intentions nor his actions throughout the book were explained nor was there any morality of his character to delve into he just did things and I read it . Sure he seemed goal driven but what was the Goal? and heck even in the End when he found that Goal he didn’t do shit with it . He simply did a lot of Palaver*
*btw if I ever read that book again I am making a count of this particular pointless word which was frustratingly used throughout the book and quite frankly felt unnecessary at times
The Man in Black was apparently supposed to by mysterious and the goal was achieved so no complaints there and the rest of the characters were simply pointless except for Jake who came from some Alternate dimension and was key to the whole Dark Towers and their vastness .
The environment as I said although was well thought-out and resembling the Sphagetti westerns was left basically untouched . Sure we knew they were in Desert which abruptly ended with a mountain and that was it . If you are gonna call it a fantasy than make it one , not just say it’s a desert and count out the various numbers of made up weeds and grasses
Basically as a fantasy the book was very disappointing to me and after watching a few of King’s Interview on YouTube I found that he himself thought that the book wasn’t good until the second one . So while my judgement on the whole Fan favored series remains stagnant for a while this particular book felt like a huge let-down . Maybe i’ll read the next books and than manage to call myself a Stephen King fan afterall *