A co-worker was cleaning his bookshelves and graciously gave me the first five books in The Dark Tower series. A good day for me it was. I decided that since I was participating in The Stephen King Project that this would be a perfect way to get started on that challenge.
I’m familiar with this series and was surprised to find myself a little slow in getting into the story. In fact, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Nothing much happens in this first book is what I’m getting at.
The Gunslinger is coming out of the desert when he meets a man with a raven. The man takes him in for the night and the Gunslinger tells him about the town he just came from and the destruction left behind. He spends one night with the man and moves on, keeping on the heels of the man in black, the man he’s after. Along the way, he meets a young boy who seems out of time and place. He feels sorry for the boy and takes him with him on his search for the man in black. There is nothing that will keep him from the man in black.
I was compelled to keep reading even though this was turning out to be nothing more than watching two people walk in the same direction, and yes, it’s obviously all setup for the next book. It’s a series after all but I did feel slightly disappointed that more wasn’t explained.
The Gunslinger is an interesting character but not so fast on the uptake. There are hints he should be picking up on but it sometimes take a minute for him to see things clearly. The young boy, Jake, is an oddity not only in the story but in character. He seems to be some sort of time traveler, remembering things that were and blurting out answers to things he shouldn’t know. I became attached to Jake and I should never have done that. This is a King book after all and I should have known better. No, that’s not some sort of spoiler.
I’ve been told by the co-workers that shared these books that the story does pick up so, on I go with the series. Besides, I’m pretty much incapable of stopping after the first book in a series anyway.
Have you read this book or the series? What should I expect?
The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower 1
By Stephen King
A Signet Book