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The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (866 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $5.17
You Save: $3.82 (42%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

In 1978 Stephen King introduced the world to the last Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Nothing has been the same since. Over twenty years later the quest for the Dark Tower continues to take readers on a wildly epic ride. Through parallel worlds and across time, Roland must brave desolate wastelands and endless deserts, drifting into the unimaginable and the familiar as the road to the Dark Tower extends beyond its own pages. A classic tale of colossal scope—crossing over terrain from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, ‘Salem’s Lot and other familiar King haunts—the adventure takes hold with the turn of each page.

And the tower awaits…

The First Volume in the Epic DARK TOWER Series…

The Gunslinger

This 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 the lone hero through the ages, from ancient myth to frontier western legend.

The Gunslinger’s quest involves the pursuit of The Man in Black, a liaison with the sexually ravenous Alice, and a friendship with the kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, here is stunning proof of Stephen King’s storytelling sorcery.

Editorial Reviews Review

Thirty-three years, a horrific and life-altering accident, and thousands of desperately rabid fans in the making, Stephen King's quest to complete his magnum opus rivals the quest of Roland and his band of gunslingers who inhabit the Dark Tower series. Loyal DT fans and new readers alike will appreciate this revised edition of The Gunslinger, which breathes new life into Roland of Gilead, and offers readers a "clearer start and slightly easier entry into Roland's world."

King writes both a new introduction and foreword to this revised edition, and the ever-patient, ever-loyal "constant reader" is rewarded with secrets to the series's inception. That a "magic" ream of green paper and a Robert Browning poem, came together to reveal to King his "ka" is no real surprise (this is King after all), but who would have thought that the squinty-eyed trio of Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach would set the author on his true path to the Tower? While King credits Tolkien for inspiring the "quest and magic" that pervades the series, it was Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly that helped create the epic proportions and "almost absurdly majestic western backdrop" of Roland's world.

To King, The Gunslinger demanded revision because once the series was complete it became obvious that "the beginning was out of sync with the ending." While the revision adds only 35 pages, Dark Tower purists will notice the changes to Allie's fate and Roland's interaction with Cort, Jake, and the Man in Black--all stellar scenes that will reignite the hunger for the rest of the series. Newcomers will appreciate the details and insight into Roland's life. The revised Roland of Gilead (nee Deschain) is embodied with more humanity--he loves, he pities, he regrets. What DT fans might miss is the same ambiguity and mystery of the original that gave the original its pulpy underground feel (back when King himself awaited word from Roland's world). --Daphne Durham

From Library Journal

King's (Pet Sematary, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/1/98) fantastical and allegorical "Dark Tower" series commenced in 1982 with the publication of The Gunslinger. Subsequent volumes have appeared about every five years thereafter. The Gunslinger introduces protagonist Roland as he pursues the Man in Black through bleak and tired landscapes in a world that has "moved on." Roland believes that the Man in Black knows and can be made to reveal the secrets of the Dark Tower, which is the ultimate goal of Roland's quest. The Waste Lands sees Roland and his fellow travelers continuing the quest for the Dark Tower. They journey through imaginative landscapes, over astounding obstacles, and meet with and confront a unique and fully drawn cast of characters, both human and nonhuman. Reader Frank Muller gives voice to the characters with a thoroughly engaging precision, accuracy, and great humanity and with an edge that drives the story onward and seems to amplify King's skill as an author. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.?Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 612 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Revised edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well-Done Introduction To Another World May 30, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first installment of Steven King's fantasy series, The Dark Tower, which follows the story of the Gunslinger Roland, the equivalent of an Arthurian knight in the world King has created, and his quest to reach the Dark Tower in order to make the world right again.
This installment tells the story of Roland's search for a mysterious stranger who may be able to help Roland find the Dark Tower. It is long on atmosphere and short on action. Therefore, fans of Steven King's horror works will find this book a distinct change of pace. However, the book will not disappoint you if you try it, especially if you are a fan of fantasy series such as the Lord of the Rings. Furthermore, you will find in later books that elements of King's horror world also exist in Roland's world, and therefore, to have a full understanding of King's horror villains, you have to read this series.
The Gunslinger offers several intriguing views of Roland's dying world. The book is not devoid of action; there is a dramatic shoot out for shadowy reasons which one hopes will be better explained in the concluding volumes of the work. There is a lost child who provides the first direct evidence that Roland's world is connected to our own, and there is the introduction to Roland himself, a man who is capable of fantastic violence but still comes across as human and quite possibly kind (a fact which becomes more clear in later books).
I recommend this book most highly to anyone who enjoys stories involving quests such as Arthurian legends, the Chronicles of Prydain and the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
I did not find The Gunslinger itself to be an enjoyable read, at all. The pacing was odd, the voice was bleak, the writing rather juvenile, even after a clean-up attempt by a much older King, and the ending was nigh incomprehensible to me. After reading it, I had absolutely no plans of pursuing the Dark Tower series further.


A friend (to whom I am eternally indebted) practically force-fed me the second book of the series, The Drawing of the Three, and from there I was hooked. The rest of the series captivated me. It made me laugh and (toward the end) cry so hard that I occasionally had to put the book down and compose myself before I could keep reading. These days I'm an evangelical DT fan, pestering everyone I know to try the series. It's just such a bother that I have to tell everyone "You won't like this, but read it, the other six are amazing."
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158 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagination to paper takes time May 3, 2000
By "vaoy"
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At under 300 pages, "The Gunslinger" - the first book from Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series - may seem oddly short, especially when compared to the latest volume from the epic, weighing in at around 700 pages. And still, Constant Reader, there are thousands more to go!
According to the afterword from this book, it took King twelve years to complete the writings. He wrote the opening line, "The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed" while an undergraduate, the middle portions when "`Salem's Lot" was going bad, and was inspired with another concurrent writing: "The Stand." For King to have kept the Gunslinger, the Man in Black, Jake, and the other characters - and really the entire world of the Dark Tower - alive for so long in his mind is a testament to not only the power that this held over the author, but holds over us - his Constant Readers. Moreover, since the first publishing of "The Gunslinger," around twenty years have passed, a number of newer volumes in this series have come and gone - yet with this first, partially inspired by Robert Browning's poem, "Childe Roland," and partially inspired by reams of green paper (read the afterword to the book), you know that this was a very special creation indeed.
I am not a fan of King's horror fiction. But when he gets down to writing about "other worlds than these," such as "The Stand," "Insomnia," "The Green Mile," and "The Talisman" (co-authored with Peter Straub) - there is no one better. His is an imagination to be jealous of. There is always a feeling that alternate universes exist, next to our own.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So many questions, so few answers September 12, 2003
The hype surrounding the Dark Tower series finally got to me and I picked up The Gunslinger, unsure of what I would find. What I found was a stark, fresh, somewhat surreal and demanding (yet light!) experience that left me wanting more, much more.
This first novel in the series finds the hero (for wont of a better word!), The Gunslinger, slugging across the desert in search of the mysterious Man in Black. The desert is bleak and so our the words - yet they have a definite beauty. Along the way The Gunslinger meets a couple of people (are they alive or dead?) and reveals some of his back history - a strange massacre in a town, his childhood friends and mentors and hints at a Dark Tower.
Death permeates this book. We're not sure who's dead or alive. Something strange has happened with time - the main search right now is for this cause - and strange fragments of the "real" world appear through the fog - Hey Jude playing in a Western Saloon is one of the strange and wonderful images we encounter. Time itself is an illusion it seems and still the Man in Black is ahead of us.
My one reservation about the book is that the final meeting with the Man in Black is a little anticlimactic. Perhaps that's because it's been building up but after the meeting we wonder why he was running at all. However, there is a lot of backstory missing in the book - obviously slated for the later books - so perhaps issues like this will be resolved. All in all a most strange but powerful book - well worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Awesome start, have a feeling the series is all fantastic, we'll see! Can't wait to read them all! Good work
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Only Stephen king book I didn't like
I'm a big fan of Stephen king but this is the first book of his that I didn't like. I would describe it as too much science fiction with old English and fictitious words. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Rita Tucker
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic King.
this is not the first time I have read this book. The Dark Tower draws me to it every so often. I enjoy the fact that it is western and mythical at the same time. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Karen M Hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome...
This is the second time I'm reading the Dark Tower series, and it's just gets better the next time around ;)
Published 4 days ago by nolan
4.0 out of 5 stars good intro
While his book is pretty short, it sets up some great possibilities to come later in the series. Can't wait to keep going!
Published 6 days ago by Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars The Promise of Greater Things to Come
One of the world’s greatest novelists brings, arguably, his magnum opus series The Dark Tower to life with the first of the series, The Gunslinger. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Rachael Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Please bring back the tower
when is the movie coming out? I'm hooked forever on the Dark Tower series. Loved these books. I can actually see Oy.
Published 7 days ago by Laverne Kimble
5.0 out of 5 stars The new version of Gunslinger
It has been years since I read the old version. It has been years since I finished THE DARK TOWER series. I think this one is a bit smoother and easier to follow. Read more
Published 7 days ago by John D. Elder
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent I can't wait to start the next book
How wonderful to see the beginning of the authors quest, in his own youth. And what must have been his own beliefs of the universe and God.
Published 10 days ago by Bruce Osterberg
1.0 out of 5 stars stupid
King admits starting this early . . . then revised. Hopelessly. The book is a long slog of dreamy nonsense. How it proceeds--and why--can only be an exercise in delusion. Read more
Published 13 days ago by truth wise
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More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Useless kindle sample
I agree. I recently downloaded a sample that contained nothing but the title, publisher and author info pages. How is that helpful to me in deciding if I'm interested in the content? Samples should contain at least a portion of the first chapter if not the whole thing.
Jan 24, 2012 by Philip E. Deason |  See all 3 posts
Are there parts missing from the original, first edition?
I don't know if you've made the leap yet, but here are my thoughts...
The new version is more in line with how the series evolved over the decades. There are a LOT of small changes (I've seen it said that almost every sentence was changed in some minor way), and some of the foreshadowing was... Read more
Aug 12, 2009 by Cole |  See all 2 posts
Do Kindle editions come with illustrations?
Dec 5, 2011 by king_m1k3 |  See all 2 posts
Should I skip this and just got to the 2nd book?
Mar 2, 2007 by carnage |  See all 17 posts
Plume editions?
If you're referring to the version of the Gunslinger put out by Plume with a purple-ish border on the cover then yes, there are "matching" books for I-IV.

The Gunslinger - purple border
The Drawing Of The Three - blue border
The Waste Lands - green border
Wizard And Glass - maroon... Read more
Feb 15, 2010 by J. Cramer |  See all 2 posts
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