Book Review: The Dark Tower 1, The Gunslinger


By Camron Gall, Reporter

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

The Dark Tower series spans eight novels by Stephen King, each a length that fits their respective stories. For example, this novel, The Gunslinger, is very short; later on in the series, the novels graduate to the length of eight hundred pages. The Dark Tower series also spans every genre- from horror to romance, fantasy to young adult. Everyone can find a book in this series that will fit their go-to-genre.

Roland Deschain is the main protagonist of this novel and the series. He can with thought and whispers in conversions. He’s a man with a past… In The Gunslinger, we follow Roland on his quest to follow and beat the Man in Black across the land of Mid-World to the Dark Tower, while the fate of Roland’s world is at stake.

Stephen King is often known for his horror works such as It, The Shining, Pet Semetary, Carrie, The Stand, and a slew of other novels and short stories. But he isn’t only a horror writer- the most known examples of King deviating from the horror works are The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, dealing with the lives of prisoners. The Dark Tower series, as I said above, has different genres. The Gunslinger spans two genres- adventure and thriller. Most of the novel is an adventure, chasing a wizard across a desert, but also has frighting moments in it, ones in which I will not spoil, but I promise will make your skin crawl, in usual Stephen King fashion. But the quieter moments stand out more. The moments of conversion between two characters, that’s the fire that really shows in the dark.

The Gunslinger is a short novel that packs a few punches and clam kisses. This novel is only the begging of the series and future novels expanded on Roland as a character with his tragic past; and encounters with familiar characters of other stories by King. The Dark Tower is not just the center of Mid-world, but all of Stephen King’s works. The Dark Tower series is his magnums opus, one that everybody should read, not just King’s hardcore fans.

The Gunslinger is a long train ride before getting to the end but that train ride is fast, really fast!