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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

TITLE: The Gunslinger (Revised and Expanded Edition) 
SERIES: The Dark Tower, Book #1
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: George Guidall
PUBLISHER:  Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: June 23, 2003 (first published 1982)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 7 hrs and 24 mins
GENRE: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780142800379
Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea in the first volume of The Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange single-mindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape of good and evil. The people he encounters are left behind, or worse, left dead. At a way station, however, he meets Jake, a boy from a particular time (1977) and a particular place (New York City), and soon the two are joined, khef, ka, and ka-tet. The mountains lie before them. So does the man in black and, somewhere far beyond...the Dark Tower. Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is unlike anything you've ever heard. Here is Stephen King's most visionary piece of storytelling, a magical mix of fantasy and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. Don't miss the other volumes of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.


This series has been on my TBR list since I was a teenager! I own multiple copies of the books in the series: Bound copies on my shelves, Kindle copies, and also audiobooks. Yet, I have never read them! I have finally taken the plunge into the series, and it was not at all what I expected! I was hoping for the “creep factor” that I have experienced in other King novels, but it was missing here.

In the first installment of The Dark Tower series, we are introduced to Roland Deschain, a Gunslinger whose sole purpose is to meet up with The Man In Black. In his journey along the way, he meets up with a boy named Jake and takes him under his wing.

Parts of the book really dragged for me and, even though I finished book, I still feel a bit lost! I will continue on with the series and hope that I get hooked with the next one. This is definitely my least favourite King book, and I much prefer his horror books to this fantasy series so far. However, I am trying to be optimistic that the series will pick up given its popularity. I like the whole good versus evil vibe, and I am hoping that I won’t be disappointed!

This is my first narration by George Guidall, and his voice was a nice choice for the book. However, his reading does tend to speed up during the more exciting scenes, and I actually had to put my iPod on ½ speed to follow along at a regular pace. 

2 stars!! Meh, it was just "ok". 

This book qualifies as: 


  1. I read the the Dark Tower series a few years ago. I had a hard time getting throught the first few chapters in The Gunslinger but once I did I ended up loving it. I read the whole series back to back! It took me the whole summer that year. lol I thought it would have more creep factor also but horror is not my favorite genre so it had just the right amount of creepiness for me. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

    1. Hi, mamabunny13! I'm glad to hear that you did end up enjoying the series even though The Gunslinger was hard to get into. Others have assured me that I'll be hooked by Book #3, so I hope so!

  2. It took a second reading of The Gunslinger for me to really get it and enjoy it. I read it initially several years ago. I'm already liking The Drawing of the Three so I think there's hope that this is going to be a series I'll like. I hope you will stay with me on the series. Maybe you will start liking it better.

    I'm behind on the read-a-long so will be posting Discussion 1 & 2 together on Sunday. yeah, I'm terrible. =O(

    1. Hi, Michelle! I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying The Drawing of the Three. I am going to hang in there with you!

      I'm behind on the read-a-long as well, and I haven't yet started the next book! I have a couple of review books to finish first.

  3. I also have had this book waiting to be read for an age! I'm always put off by the first in the series although I really do want to read it and so many of my friends of told me I'd like it. I understand from others that the first is not the best in the Dark Towers and to press on as this doesn't represent the rest of the story. I almost was tempted to skip the first book and see if I could start on No.2 but somebody told me I had to read it properly, and in order! I guess I will pick it up eventually because I want to read the others although your review certainly doesn't want to make me rush! Thanks though, pretty much as I suspected to be honest.
    Lynn :D

    1. Hi, Lynn. Don't rush, LOL! However, now that I've started the series, I'm committed to continuing so let's hope Book 2 is an improvement!

  4. Hi Darlene,

    I'm stopping by from The Book Vixen. It seems we are the only two who have kept up with the Oct list! :-)

    I read The Gunslinger and the first few books in The Dark Tower series when they first came out, and I always did want to finish the series, but King took so long to write the subsequent novels, I never did.

    I would like to go back one day - maybe next year - and try to read the series.

    I do remember when I first read the book that I also found it initially dragged in places... but once I got into the story, I really wanted to find out where it was going!

    Love how you list all of those challenges at the end of your review! I am definitely going to have to explore them for 2013!

    Have a great weekend!

    Create With Joy

    P.S. It's been forever since I have tried an audio book and I may have to add this on my list to do too. In the past though I know I have preferred reading the books to hearing the books read (although I might enjoy hearing a reading by the actual author!)


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