30 September 2012

Review: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Gunslinger by Stephen King book cover
I've been reading and enjoying books from bestselling author Stephen King for years, but have never ventured into his Dark Tower series of books.

Stephen King refers to this as his magnum opus, starting to write it in 1970 and finishing it in approximately 2003. I had heard it was like a spaghetti western, but had previously been overwhelmed by the series of seven books and in particular the covers; it was never clear from the covers which book in the series you were looking at.

When earlier in the year The Wind Through The Keyhole was published, I decided I would make the commitment and read it. It just so happens that Hachette Australia was running a competition on Twitter to win a copy of the entire series and I was the lucky winner, woohoo!!! So now I have a copy of the entire series; see my blog post about the win here, including a photo.

It was obvious quite early on in this slim volume (238 pages) that The Gunslinger was the foundation for a much larger series and therefore contains clues throughout the pages that allude to events that the reader will no doubt learn more about in subsequent novels. There are snippets provided regarding character backstories, that will no doubt be filled out in later novels. Information regarding the existence of the dark tower - from which the series takes its name - is scant, which creates an incentive to read the next book.

King acknowledged J.R.R. Tolkien in his introduction, and in particular the 'sweep of his imagination.' By the end of reading The Gunslinger I had way more questions than answers but I understand that King has set out to create a new world with a set of rules, a quest of sorts and The Gunslinger is just the beginning. 

It was just an 'okay' read for me, but I'm going to persist with the knowledge that this was just the foundation and the hope that the series will take off from here.

My rating = **1/2

Carpe Librum!

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