Stephen King

The Gunslinger


The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) By: Stephen King


Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King’s epic work of fantasy — what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus — has spanned a quarter of a century.

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

Book I In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.


I want so desperately to like Stephen King. I really do. He’s so popular and everyone loves him and knows his work. It would be awesome to have read something that other people have read and be able to talk about it. I’m not a horror fan but I’ve read a couple of his books and I dislike each one, The Gunslinger was not an exception.

In the forward he said he was inspired by the Lord of the Rings and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Both awesome things so I was excited to read this series. I can tell you right now I’m not going to read past this one.

It was boring and dragged a lot. He was overly descriptive and for someone who hates adverbs he used his fair share. The main character seemed to have redeeming qualities, but then didn’t. The world was such a horrible place, the people were horrible, everything was just awful. Not a world I want to read more about because you can already tell it is not going to be redeemed.

He constantly referred back to a female character that he killed and whenever he did he always said her name and the name of the town she was from. Like he was reminding you who she was, which was annoying. I just read that part I don’t need to be reminded every few pages where she was from.

The story bounced around from past to present a lot, but that wasn’t the confusing part. He didn’t explain the world you just had to try and figure it out. Which is not uncommon in fantasy but I thought he could have gone about it better. For someone who describes everything he did a poor job of describing what I actually cared about. It was always the desert and his surroundings, rarely magic and how the world became the way it was.

This book was not for me. This book was for Stephen King and his fans.


On Writing

on-writingOn Writing By Stephen King

Pg. 57 “when you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story”…”When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

Several message boards recommended this book to new writers or writers looking for a book on how to write. So I thought I’d check it out. I’m not a Stephen King fan, in fact I’ve only read one book by him and I don’t remember being very impressed by it. Still lots of people love him and he’s sold quite a few books so he must know something.

I feel conflicted after reading this book. So many places I’ve read say that everyone has their own approach to writing and what works for one person might not work for another. The way he writes doesn’t seem to lean that way. It’s possible that I missed something, I’ve had to read the book in snatches between taking care of Charlotte and I’m not getting as much sleep as I’m use to.

He definitely said some things I’m going to try next time I’m writing. I’m going to try and rely more on my characters and not mapping out a plot. I’m going to set aside what I’ve written for a time before I begin the editing process too. There were a few other words of advice that I want to follow but I can’t remember what they were right now, something about not using adverbs.

I did wonder about his getting published recommendations, they seemed a bit dated and I’m not sure if they still work, though they still could.

It’s  very obvious after reading this that he really loves his wife, which is sweet.

3.5/5 stars

This was originally posted on my blog