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Publisher's Summary

Stephen King's epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is being made into a major movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Due in cinemas February 17, 2017 USA.
In this first novel in his epic fantasy masterpiece, Stephen King introduces listeners to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey into good and evil, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.
In his first step towards the powerful and mysterious Dark Tower, Roland encounters an alluring woman named Alice, begins a friendship with Jake, a kid from New York, and faces an agonising choice between damnation and salvation as he pursues the Man in Black.
Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves listeners eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
And the Tower is closer....
©1982 Stephen King (P)2003 Penguin Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jacobus on 06-19-12

A Surrealistic Western that almost feels familiar

Have you ever wanted so badly to be part of a hype, just to discover that while others are going crazy about it, you are left out in the cold? The first book of the Dark Tower series makes me feel that way. I really want to be in on the joke, but I just can???t find the punch line.

???The Gunslinger??? is a story containing a mix western, fantasy, horror, blood and gore, fantasy and just plain weirdness. Roland of Gilead, the main character, is a sort of serious Cowboy Don Quixote on an obsessive quest, to catch the mysterious, possibly demonic, ???Man in Black.??? The story is set in a universe akin to ours with references very similar to ours, like ???the man Jesus??? and certain holy days. Yet it soon becomes clear that the story is not set in our world or in a typical wild western environment.

At times it feels that the story cries against all logic. I found Roland to be someone quite difficult to identify with. The way he kills of the whole town of Tull, even his sex partner, Allie, as well as the awkward ???relationship??? that he had with a nine year old boy called Jake are bizarre. Do I understand Stephen King correctly; Roland???s love for the boy was more than just parental love? It is disturbing, to say the least.

At the end of the book you do have an idea what a gunslinger is. You will have realised that Roland is the last gunslinger and that his obsession with catching the ???Man in Black??? against all costs, actually points the ethereal Dark Tower. The listener is left with more questions than after the book, than before.

George Guidall???s interpretative reading was fair. I am not sure if it is Stephen King or Guidall???s way of reading that made me feel detached from the story. I found that I had to re-listen certain parts of the recording to try to understand the story, yet for most of the time I followed Guidall???s reading easily.

Taking into account that this is the first book in ???The Dark Tower??? series, I shall also listen to the second book hoping I will discover the punch line and become part of the hype. But so far, I have mixed feelings about the book. I have learned that you could find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you persevere. This I hope is true in the case of ???The Dark Tower??? series.

I am not sure who the proposed readership of the book is, which also makes it difficult to evaluate the content. I suspect that Stephen King has set the table sufficiently for more to come. It is with hesitation that I laud the book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Bryan on 09-24-12

Great start for a great tale

What did you like best about this story?

The development of the character of Roland, from a mysterious unknown character into a man with a dark past, and a dark long journey to travel.

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Gravelly voice, just what you'd imagine a gunslinger to sound like.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Wild west meets the end of the world

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 10-28-16

Tough going... But persevere through to book 2...

I seem to be at odds with some and in agreement with others. I found this the hardest Stephen King (audio) book to like. Normally I find everything by Stephen King absolutely gripping - but this felt like it was the beginning of a long and somewhat abstract journey (so far so SK in many respects) but without the somehow gripping narrative he usually demonstrates.

As it went on I found it more appealing - and by book 2 I was hooked and it was back to business as usual. So - do listen, do persevere (you might find it easier than I did) and before you know it you're right back in Mr. King's amazing worlds. Science fiction, fantasy, magic, unpleasantness more than horror (so far...) All good.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mr on 12-27-12

Very atmospheric

I loved this audiobook. The Dark Tower novels are my favourite of Stephen King's work. This, the first book in the series, is an understated beginning to Roland's journey toward the Dark Tower, his pursuit of the man in black intercut with tales of his childhood and how he became a Gunslinger. The narrator's pacing and earthy voice really bring the story to life, and I'm already on to the second audiobook in the series. Highly recommended.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By rosewart on 07-28-16

Great book ruined by narration

I really struggled listening to George as he told the story.
I first read this story in its original format when I was 19 - 30 years ago now. I've read the current format and all the books as they were released in Australia. I love this epic tale of Roland BUT George's voice was terrible. His attempts to differentiate between each character was just awful and as such..I listened for the story, not for the story teller.

I am saddened to see that he has narrated other books in this series. I am unsure now if I want to continue to listen in this format or return to the voices in my bed as I read it myself.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 08-27-17

Let down.

A story that was interesting at times but had little direction. Feels like to get anywhere this is going to drag out. A lot of seemingly pointless padding included. Perhaps redemption is waiting in the next book? Doubt it

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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