The Gunslinger (Dark Tower Series #1)

The Gunslinger (Dark Tower Series #1)

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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Now a major motion picture starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba

“An impressive work of mythic magnitude that may turn out to be Stephen King’s greatest literary achievement” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), The Gunslinger is the first volume in the epic Dark Tower Series.

A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.

Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” The Gunslinger is “a compelling whirlpool of a story that draws one irretrievable to its center” (Milwaukee Sentinel). It is “brilliant and fresh…and will leave you panting for more” (Booklist).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508230748
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Series: Dark Tower Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 279,899
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and an AT&T Audience Network original television series). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.


Bangor, Maine

Date of Birth:

September 21, 1947

Place of Birth:

Portland, Maine


B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

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Gunslinger 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 951 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I thought this was a good story, it is definitely weird. In my opinion, it was a little slow at times, but it definitely picked up at other times. The book appears to be setting up a great story. I will definitely read the rest of the series. By the way, the 175 page book is the expanded edition, and is not a sample. King added around 30 pages. I had the original ebook version which was around 130 pages. Keep in mind, the number of ebook pages are generally less than paperback.
Erin Zink More than 1 year ago
Unlike previous reviewers have stated, this is not a mere sample of the book. It is the full book, and it is fantastic. I began the series about 15 years ago and was only able to read the first 4 books since the others had not yet been written. I am excited to go back and start the series over knowing that I will be rewarded with an epic conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best series of books ever. I do not read at all. Video game type of guy. Fast and hard are the only things that keeps my attention. Except for this. I read every book until i ran out and had to wait on the next one, Wolves of the Colla. I have four of the seven and i am waiting until i can get all hard copies before I start reading again. Look, its a journey! Do yourself a favor and start here. Best choice you will ever make.
JeffNewman More than 1 year ago
I read before bed for about 30min to an hour until I can't fight it anymore and just fall asleep. Do not, I repeat do not read this book in that manner. It is meant to be read in one sitting. I read through the entire book and when finished was wondering if I had interpreted everything correctly or if I had missed a chapter here or there. Breaking it up into different sittings didn't help this issue. I later read a detailed review of the book and it is all clear now. The book is very subtle if that is the right word. Explanations are given then immediately followed up by the main character wondering if what was just said "is the truth or not", thus leaving the comment to be interpreted by you. Maybe mysterious is a better word. The Gunslinger himself is not described very well and I had a hard time trying to envision him during this journey. Most of all the time/frame and setting is never really explained until the end. Is this a future earth, is it earth in another dimension, is it an entirely different fantasy land. It is all left for your interpretation. After initially finishing the book I felt let down but now as I write this review the fact that it has caused me to put in this much thought is right now getting me slightly excited about seeing what the next installment has to offer.
Ian Sawyer More than 1 year ago
Was sometimes a little slow but it was needed for the later novels. Also it is the full book it was just compressed a little. It was still all there.
Obinerin More than 1 year ago
First off, I loved the Dark Tower series - really great stuff. It got a bit weird as it went along, but whatever. I read The Gunslinger years ago, in high school. So I was excited to get into it again, and just recently picked up this version. I also just recently returned it - here's why: King did something I hate. He took the original novel and revised it. Reading the first section, I was aghast to see that it wasn't some minor factual errors or grammar mistakes he had corrected. Instead, he had basically rewritten the book, changing scenes, characters, dialogue, and the plot. It's just like what they did with the Star Wars movies, but worse. It's a different book, written by a different man, King today as opposed to King in the 70's. I hate this kind of revisionism. What was done cannot and should not be changed. What's more, I found some of his revisions laughable and absurd. I'll go back and find the original. Shame on you, Mr. King, for a lack of artistic integrity - and for this book, you'll not get my money. Hope this helps someone.
Roni-Night More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Stephen King fan and I bought this book on a whim. I'd read a bunch of review saying it wasn't very good (I disagree, just so you know) but I figured that it was a King book so it had to be good. I was way wrong. It wasn't good it was GREAT. I'm now addicted to this series and I can't wait to read the rest. Christmas can't come quick enough! If you like fantasy or horror or just Stephen King you have GOT to read this book. It was amazing and I might even read it again while I'm waiting to get the rest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am halfway through the 4th book in The Dark Tower Series and i cannot put these books down! im a highschool student and i was supposed to read 2000 pages this semester so i decided to red stephen king novels and im well over 2500 and the semesters not done yet! normally i have trouble reading books for school but i had no trouble reading this series. i would recommend the series to anyone that is a stephen king fan or interested in action, mystery, suspense and adventure. To start with the first book in the series is sort of a slower book to read and you really have to pay attention to what you read or you'll get lost in whats happening. i would say that to read this book you also have to be tolerant to bad language and have a good set of vocabulary and comprehension skills. stephen king does a great job keeping the reader guessing throughout this novel and not losing the readers interest throughout.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own the actuall book and it is great. It has so many different twists and turns you never know what to expect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone interested in fantasy/science fiction will be captivated
beyondapointofthought More than 1 year ago
When i first started reading this book, I thought "What is going ON!?" I knew it took place in some kind of arid desert, but it also had a western movie feel to it, as well as magic and sorcery. Intrigued by this interesting mix of options, I kept turning the page one after another, simply fascinated by this world that Stephen King has spent the majority of his life creating. This first book starts off a little slow, I'll give you that, but as it goes on it builds momentum and soon enough you discover that you don't want to put it down because you want to know what happens next. I HIGHLY recommend you read this book. Try not to think too deeply on it- King does all of the work for you- just prepare yourself for one hell of an amazing adventure with some truly remarkable characters. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I will compare this to the legendary Harry Potter- they're both amazing works of art and should not be missed. 
McCarthy92 More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Lord of the Rings and The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly is my second favorite movie of all time, so The Gunslinger is a reading experience that I will never forget. I always enjoyed Stephen King and in this book, and hopefully in the other six Dark Tower books, King writes with great prose that reminded me of Cormac McCarthy. I would definitely recommend this book to others with similar interests as me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephen King is always a favorite author. Big fan of his works.
Refill More than 1 year ago
Reading “The Gunslinger”, the first book in the popular “The Dark Tower” series, expectations were high. An epic series written by one of the most gifted writers, I looked forward to this. Imagine my surprise when I find it is a mess of highly abstract and hard-to-follow characters and situations. Roland Deschain is the titular character, a man chasing an unnamed villain (referred to as the man in black) through an old west world. His journey brings people into his life that he has to determine if he can and will trust due to the trickery of his quarry. Meeting a young boy named Jake proves to be the toughest for him as he wants to protect him while having to fight the urge to distrust (and maybe even sacrifice him). Stephen King is wonderful at character. He builds people that are likeable or unlikeable or both and can push forward the story in fascinating ways. So, how is Roland such an inferior character? He is not likeable or interesting. He distrusts people but continues to put himself in potentially destructive situations. And for what? To chase the man in black? Did I miss the importance of this fight? Should I even care? Or maybe I should root for the man in black considering how unlikeable Roland is. Following the course of the book is challenging. Characters say and do things that are illogical, and the imagination has to work overtime to visualize the world King is trying to create. Or what I think he is trying to create. It is like the characters keep referencing things that we are somehow supposed to understand. Poorly-written is not something I will say often with his books, but “The Gunslinger” is that. Every time I think the story is picking up, it dissolves into some abstract mess. One character sums it up best: “You wouldn’t know what I was talking about. I don’t even know what I’m talking about […].” With enough hype, anytime one goes against the grain, it can feel like being in the wrong, but this book is just plain bad. A fan of King, I will keep reading the series, but I am no longer looking forward to the journey. One star out of five.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fifth time reading this novel and it is still an exciting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mohi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first book in the Dark Tower series. Very different in feel and style than the rest of its sequels, since it was King's second published book and something of an experiment for him. Dark and surreal.
thelibrarina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the only book of King's Dark Tower series to land on my Favorites shelf. From the first page to that final sunset by the sea, this book pulls me in every time."The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." Roland is a gunslinger in a world that has, in his words, "moved on." He is chasing the man in black, who knows more than he will tell about the gunslinger's quest for the Dark Tower, and he is beginning to catch up. Then he finds the boy Jake in an abandoned way-station, and he becomes Roland's traveling companion. They walk on for a long time, but in the end Roland will have to make his choice--the Man in Black and the Dark Tower beyond, or the boy's life?I would recommend scouring your libraries, used book stores, and the Internet to get a copy of the original version. The revised edition feels warped to me, like it's been bent out of shape in order to fit properly with the rest of the books. It's peppered with references to things that don't show up again until Wolves of the Calla, so unless King plans to edit all of the early books (and I hope he doesn't), the revisions aren't even very helpful to the continuity.
ebooker_ben on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow, this is a heavy book that I struggled to get through. I don't like the characters (any of them, not for one bit), I don't like the world that described, I hate the monsters and the philosophy I don't want to discuss. Yet it's a fantastic book that really got to me, it's just that it got to me so much it's been just over a year and I'm only now ready to get on with the next one in the series.
Justin1982 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first installment of The Dark Tower Series, 'The Gunslinger' has an interesting, almost cycling or backwards narrative. Don't let this intimidate you, though. A gripping first step on an epic journey.
wispywillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm re-starting the Dark Tower series after a hiatus of about 3 years. Before, I got 3 books into the series before university took up my time. Now I'm starting again from the beginning with the intention of finishing the series.King truly is a fabulous storyteller... though sometimes his similes and metaphors seem startlingly ugly simply for shock value. I don't mind a bleak metaphor or simile--in fact, they are often a fresh of breath air in a world that often praises "flowery" writers; but one after another is sometimes a bit much.Nonetheless, he weaves a fine tale, and his imagination is a thing to be envied.Only the depiction of women in this book prevents me from giving it another 1/2 star or full star. It seems every woman in this first book is just a sad, desperate person who lust after men because they are the only things that can satisfy their sexual "itch."It's been a while since I've read the female character that comes in later, the black woman in the wheelchair, so I'll hold my tongue about the woman issue for now... though I will say that at this point, it seems women are nothing but vaginas on legs--not in how men treat them (at least, not all of them men), but in how women act and seem to think of themselves.
TexasTam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great read. Far different that most of Stephen Kings novels, but well worth the read.
tahmthelame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First in the Dark Tower series and still my favorite one. Here we're introduced to Roland Deschain, wandering gunslinger. Fabulous.
stipe168 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
just couldn't get into it.. probably because i've read gaiman and garth ennis already.. not as cool as king wants it to be.. violence and drugs are only haphazardly thrown around, just for the sake of it. started good, ended cold.