Review – The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)

By Stephen King

SummaryThis heroic fantasy is set in a world of ominous landscape and macabre menace that is a dark mirror of our own. A spellbinding tale of good versus evil, it features one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations – The Gunslinger, a haunting figure who embodies the qualities of a lone hero through the ages, from ancient myth to frontier western legend.

Source: I purchased a paperback from a used bookstore.

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I’m a fan of Stephen King, but I will admit some books are better than others. Friends of mine who are also fans have recommended that I read this series for awhile now, so I finally picked up the first book since it’d been on my shelf for ages. It’s not really horror, but more fantasy, which excited me because I LOVED The Talisman and consider that to be one of King’s more fantasy-like books. 

So.. Here’s the thing…..

I have heard the first book leaves a lot to be desired and the series gets better. I certainly hope that’s true because I didn’t care for The Gunslinger much at all. As a lover of fantasy, I expected more from an author I enjoy. He’s wowed with me with every genre he’s written, even his short science fiction story, The Jaunt. If I didn’t know King was a great author, I would have said that The Gunslinger seems to be written by someone unfamiliar with how to write good fantasy OR it’s written in a way to appeal to people who don’t typically enjoy the wordy and detailed descriptions that typically make up a fantasy novel. Either way, it wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been.

I expect King to expand on the plot, which is what I am sticking around for. I know he has it in him and I know that this series evolved into what it is now, so I’m open minded. I know enough about his writing process and the way ideas evolve for him, so I’m optimistic that it will get better like everyone said. If I didn’t know that and I had to judge the series based on this book, I don’t know that I would be so eager to continue.

Hopefully, once I get further in the series, I can revisit this review and say “Guys! It gets better, don’t judge the series based off of book 1!” But for now, I’m skeptically moving forward. I’ve ordered book two and will continue the series once it arrives!

Star 3


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