This week I read The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger for the second time. It took most of the week because I had a lot going on with my daughters’ last few days of school. But to be honest, I could’ve finished it in one day of uninterrupted reading. Is it that good? That’s certainly a matter of perspective. I can’t say I was as riveted by it this second time around as I remember being the first time. But I have changed in the past few years as a reader…the world has moved on.
In this first installment we are introduced to Roland Deschain, born in New Canaan. His land is long gone as are the people in it. The world has moved on and his life’s quest now is to find the dark tower. To do so he must capture the man in black, who we are led to believe is a type of magician. In this first part of the saga the reader isn’t given much in the way of explanations. We learn some of Roland’s past and get a glimpse of his hardships. We’re told a small bit of what has made him the man he has become. We meet Jake, who plays a much bigger part later, and we lose him before the end.
I remember the first time I read this book that I hated Roland at the end. I was very upset about Jake and no insight to Roland’s motivations or psyche could appease my anger at him. This time, knowing more about Jake and Roland as I do, it wasn’t nearly as emotional a journey for me. I can’t say if that’s a good thing or not.
I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t read it yet, but I do encourage you to do so. Whether you’re a Stephen King fan or not, if you enjoy a good story then read this series. It’s described as “Part sci-fi novel, part futuristic dystopia, part spaghetti Western, and part high fantasy vision,” on the website. I’ll have to agree. It’s not like anything else I’ve read before or since, but it’s certainly an adventure.
Are you reading along with me? Post your thoughts in the comments, or link to your own review.