*UPDATED for grammar & typos. Sorry…
I just finished reading The Gunslinger, the first book from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. First let me confess that I’ve never been a big reader of fiction. Especially the so-called “Fantasy” genre. Reading fiction always felt like a waste of time because I wrongly assumed I could be reading non-fiction and learning something “true” instead. Even now, I don’t consider myself a fan of the genre. I do like the science fiction genre because the stories are plausible, if not inevitable. But monsters & witches? Ghouls & goblins? Hobbits? Not so much. I don’t believe in ghosts or spirits either, so stories like that have never moved me. But after finishing this book, I have to say that my mind has been slammed wide opened.
I should also note that this book contains no ghosts or silly fantasy elements. At least not overtly. It has a science fiction tinge to it mixed with the perceived honor of the American old west. It’s a dusty tale that manages to feel crisp and clean. The world King illustrates makes you feel like you are looking through a stranger’s eyes, which are looking down in to a snow globe, but instead of seeing delicate white flakes, you see empty bullet shells tumbling through the sand and mixed up amongst human bones, all laid out in a desert wasteland on what appears to be a future earth. If this sounds jarring, it is, because we get to experience inter-dimensional time travel in both the characters realities and in their memories. It’s trippy but coherent. I was tuned in the entire time. And since the film version is being worked on, I suggest you get up to speed on this opus.
For the record, let me say that Stephen King is a BAD ASS. This dude… I mean what a heavy BAD ASS. I know he’s already popular and respected but I can’t believe how well he writes. It’s jaw dropping and vivid and compelling and original and imaginative beyond anything I have ever experienced. It’s so good, I’ve already started on the second book, The Dark Tower 2: The Drawing of the Three.
1 down, 6 more to go…
BTW… NBC Universal (with Ron Howard Directing) is bringing this story to life via multiple films and even a television series. I can’t wait to see how they pull this off. I’m honestly stumped as to how they will do it.
- FILM – http://www.stephenking.com/promo/dark_tower_film_and_tv/news_tracker/
- Press Release – http://www.stephenking.com/darktower/pdfs/dark_tower_pr1.pdf