My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I thought this was a reread for me from way back when in my late h.s./early college days. After reading it, I either entirely forgot it (and trust me this is a very forgettable book) or this is one of the things I skimmed so I would have something to talk about with the rest of the geeks. Looking at other GR reviews, they say the rest of the Dark Tower series gets better and to power on past book one.
I’d say it would have to get better because this is one of the most boring Stephen King books I have ever read. It was actually a handful of novellas with characters that don’t pick up a hint of nuance until half way in. It also made me wonder what was going on in King’s life back in the late 60s and 70s (since he mentioned it took twelve years to get this published and it was done in 78) because this is one of the most misogynistic thing I’ve ever read by him. There aren’t many women in it and the three predominate ones are all sexually aggressive, manipulative betrayers. Seriously they exist only to trade sex for information (two of them) and to be the catalyst of betrayal of the titular Gunslinger (his mother).
The first two novellas have the gunslinger chasing the man in black across an unrelenting desert which seems otherworldly but has aspects of Earth (especially religion and music) in it. We’re not sure why the gunslinger is chasing the man in black other than he wants to kill him (we’re not sure why). Then the man in black (somewhat magical) puts a young boy (who is from another dimension) in the gunslinger’s path, hoping to tug on what remains of the gunslinger’s heart strings.
As the man in black runs and the gunslinger (and Jake) follow, we do learn more about the gunslinger’s life and what brought him to this point and of the mysterious Dark tower their path is taking them toward.
But honestly, I didn’t care. It wasn’t that interesting to me at all. I didn’t like the characters, the world or their goals. That made me a bit sad as I know how important the Dark Tower series is in King’s oeuvre and I wanted to like it. I didn’t and it certainly didn’t make me want to read on.
View all my reviews