The Gunslinger

The Dark Tower #1

Stephen King

fiction fantasy
adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced

300 pages | first published 1982

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.

This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword.

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dark 86%
adventurous 84%
mysterious 62%
tense 37%
challenging 22%
emotional 16%
reflective 8%
sad 8%
funny 1%
hopeful 1%
inspiring 1%


medium 45%
slow 44%
fast 10%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 46% | A mix: 38% | Plot: 15%

Strong character development?

No: 37% | It's complicated: 32% | Yes: 27% | N/A: 1%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 47% | No: 33% | Yes: 17% | N/A: 1%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 63% | Yes: 25% | It's complicated: 8% | N/A: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 19% | No: 14%

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