The Gunslinger

Stephen King
The Gunslinger Cover

The Gunslinger (Audio version)


The man in black fled across the desert and the Gunslinger followed.

This is the beginning of the Stephen King's fantasy saga 'The Dark Tower' which stands out from the rest of his books but at the same time encompasses the very best of King. I've already read some of the books from the Tower series but decided to give the audio version a go. To tell you the truth, I decided to give audio books a go.

This is where the journey of Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger, starts. At least for the reader, as we do not know yet of all the whys and wherefores. The reader follows the gunslinger in his chase of the man in black and the mysterious Tower in a dreamy, deserted world that 'has moved on'. This world resembles the Western movies but at the same time it is different, somewhat magical, and much darker. Roland meets various interesting characters: a lonely hippie-like farmer living with a talking crow, a scarred woman with the dark past, a charming boy-son he never had, amongst others, all seemingly by chance. But in reality everything is predestined. Both the gunslinger and the reader keep wondering if there is any free will at all in the world.

I really enjoy King's storytelling, his attention to detail, and strong character development. Roland is a solitary character with a mysterious past but determined on his quest to the Tower. He is tough, not much of a talker, and also a survivor. Roland is not a very likeable character, as he seems quite cold, and distant to others. He is able to make sacrifices without blinking an eye, if that is required for his purpose.

The audio version narrated by George Guidall is great. Not as good as the one by Frank Muller (currently out of print) but still extremely lively, colourful and enjoyable. This book is for all those who enjoy a good and original dark fantasy story, and for those who want to read an different story by the Master of Horror.