Overview (No Spoilers):
With the movie adaption of The Gunslinger being released I thought that it was the perfect timing to finally make my long delayed introduction to The Dark Tower series. Leading up to The Gunslinger, I had read many, many of King’s books and had yet encountered one that I did not thoroughly enjoy. With that being said, I hardly recognized King in this incredibly slow paced novel. Acknowledging the broad fan base for this series, I found myself full of self doubt that I must be missing something or perhaps daydreaming through dialogue that would have hooked me. The key aspects of this novel that drew forth my curiosity were the flashbacks by the Gunslinger, especially to his youth that served to partly draw back the veil of mystery surrounding our protagonist. As the Gunslinger continued on his pursuit, inch by ever crawling inch, the story would resume relatively normal paces in the aforementioned flashbacks. I would have to imagine the narrative of this story picks up the pace in subsequent installments of The Dark Towers series due to the following and hype surrounding this series. Additionally, the shallow depth of the world building in this novel left the reader feeling as though they were traveling through a foggy dream world where time is relative and different cities/places are hazily connected. Overall, the end of this novel piqued my curiosity as I have a hard time anticipating the direction this tale is headed and have to image the following novels would add a bit of concrete to this vague literary realm.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- If Jake was indeed killed by the Man in Black, how does this man pass between worlds? Was Jake actually alive in the Gunslinger’s realm? Was the boy killed by the Man in Black in his own world specifically to tempt the Gunslinger? Did Jake actually die again?
- What happened in the Gunslinger’s youth to cause his father’s realm to be overthrown? Why/How did the Gunslinger kill his Mother?
- Where will the Gunslinger go next in his quest for the Tower? Why is he perusing the Tower?
- It was stated several times that the ‘world has moved on’ however Jake came from a world that was comparable to ours. I thought it was an interesting note that people were worshiping an old gas station pump with the label ‘Amico’. There were also many mentions to mutations. What caused this world to ‘move on’? How did Jake get here?
- What powers does the Man in Black have? What powers other than wielding guns and hypnosis does the Gunslinger have?
- Was the Man in Black actually dead in the end of the book? What powers do the bones have?
- What is going on regarding the two demons that the Gunslinger encounters? What are their powers?