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May 2011 – ‘The Gunslinger’

Welcome to the May Virtual Book Group meet. This month’s read The Gunslinger is the first in a series of six books in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Begun during Stephen King’s college years, The Gunslinger was completed over a period of twelve years of intermittent work, during which Stephen King published his early novels and became known as one of the best selling authors of all time.

The Gunslinger does not belong in King’s horror genre. It is a tale of respect and determination straight from the wild west weaving fantasy elements such as wizards, magic, strange creatures and sceret doors.

The main character is a cowboy-style gunslinger. Yet the world he lives is not as we know it; but an apparition of what our world could one day become. Cold, determined and emotionless, the gunslinger pursues an elusive sorcerer, “the man in black,” and seeks out “the dark tower.” The gunslinger knows little of the dark tower, but knows that there he can save himself and his world. Only death can stop him, and he risk his life at the hands of a violent mob at the sorcery-crazed town of Tull and faces that harsh desert that he must cross.

While crossing the desert, the gunslinger comes across a ghost like figure Jake, a boy who died beneath the wheels of a New York Cadillac, claiming to have been deliberately pushed into the street by the man in black. How his death led to his appearance in the desert of the gunslinger’s is a mystery. Together they begin a terrifying journey through a mountain train tunnel, and at the end the gunslinger is tested as he is forced to choose between the boy’s life and his pursuit of the dark tower.

What do you think to the character of the The Gunslinger?

How does the Gunslinger contrast to Jake?

What did you think about the award-winning illustrations by Michael Whelan?

Some say this book is light on plot and difficult to follow – do you agree?

Comment here and tell us what you think!

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  1. This is a brilliant book! full of adventure and gore, there are some great philosphical points also well worth a look

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