I first started reading this series almost 6 years ago. I was new to Stephen King and the world of science fiction. I had no idea what to expect but I was sucked into the world that moved on and the wheel of Ka. When I started this I was new to Goodreads and writing reviews. Here is my review from when I fist read this book.
So for years I have heard about this series and wondered if it was really as good as everyone has said. After a brief pause from reading, I finally got the reading bug again and decided I had to give it a try. At first I started reading this knowing full well it was all lead in and it might be slow, but in one sitting I had already finished 100 pages. Still I was unsure if I liked it but as days went by I found that I couldn't stop thinking about this book. I had to know what was going to happen next and I had so many questions that it drew me in every time I picked it up. Stephen King did such a great job with this first book, that even though it is setting the stage for what is yet to come, and it posses more questions than it answers. I was so entertained with each new section that I can't wait to get the second to continue with Roland on his quest for the Dark Tower.I have come a long way in my writing of reviews but this still holds some weight. Ever since I finished the 7th book I have been waiting to read this again. Now that the movie is really going to happen and is in production I figured what better time to get started on my journey to the tower once again and maybe I'll finish in time for the movie.
This is, I think the shortest of the books in the series. Not a whole lot happens in this book because it is setting up the main character. Roland Dechain is the last Gunslinger left in the world and he is chasing after the Man in Black. On this journey we learn a lot about Roland and how he came to be the Gunslinger. There are little bits of his past brought up through memories through the story. On his chase after the Man in Black Roland passes through a town named Tull. Here we not only get little bits of Roland's history, but we get to see bits of the power of the Man in Black. The Man in black does a few things to this poor town. First he brings back a man from the dead and gives him the secrets of death to torment the bar-made who Roland gets close to. He also manipulates everyone else in the town to turn on Roland when he gets there.
This book has an interesting cast of characters but even after two readings I don't feel any of them was important outside of Roland and the Man in Black and Jake. After Tull Roland comes across a man and his odd bird which was kind of interesting but I didn't really see what the purpose of that bit was so if you know please leave me a comment and finally educate me. From this point and after yet more flashbacks we finally get to meet Jake. This is a young boy who will be key in the prophecy surrounding the Ka-Tet that will be formed in the next book.This book is clearly a character study on Roland. Yes, the Man in Black and Jake are important characters but this whole book is Roland's show. This is the man who chases after the Man in Black to avenge his town and his mother. Driven by vengeance we get the story about Roland and how he became a Gunslinger 2 years before any other because he was so driven.
This is a great book but hang in there. There isn't a lot of action but it does an excellent job of setting the stage for what comes next. As I mentioned earlier, this book really made me think and long after I finished it I couldn't stop thinking about it. This began my fandom and I am totally geeking out about the movie. Some of the casting at first made me a little upset due to it being completely opposite of the book, but I've heard some rumors that the movie will be more of a continuation and the original 7 books. I don't want to give to much away because the full theory would give spoilers. I have become such a huge fan that even though I bought these all in paperback, I made it my mission to find all of the hard cover illustrated editions. The art work is incredible as I have shown here. I have searched high and low and I have found this book, 5, 6, and 7. All of these are near mint condition and first editions. Needless to say they are part of the pride of my collection.
If you are still with me and haven't guessed by now I loved this book. The whole series is amazing. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars when I first read it, and I still feel the same way.