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Thread: Why do people have a problem with The Gunslinger?

  1. #26
    Gunslinger Apprentice noal will become famous soon enough noal will become famous soon enough noal's Avatar

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    I've never read the original version.

    Would anybody recommend I pick up a copy or should I leave it be?
    They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

    Red Cloud

  2. #27
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    I totally recommend the original. I didn't like it, but I think it fits the whole perfectly. If it sounds a contradiction, the book - the whole of TDT - is consistently contradictory.

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #28
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    Thanks Jean; I'll go and order it now.

    I can't call myself a DT junkie until I have.

    Oh, and for the record, I really liked The Gunslinger. It was intriguing and made me want to read more about this strange world(and man).
    Tonally it was different but then the whole series is. It's not like he wrote it in 4-5 years; it evolved with the writer as he aged and took longer than even he himself would have expected I assume. But well worth it in the end!
    They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

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  4. #29
    Traveler Dragonston19 is on a distinguished road

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    I've read the Gunslinger twice, (started the series once, now finishing it), and I loved it. I could definitely tell that SK was new to writing, as the story didn't have the articulateness that it does now. But I recommend reading it, if you want to start the series.

  5. #30
    Citizen of Gilead pixiedark76 will become famous soon enough pixiedark76 will become famous soon enough pixiedark76's Avatar

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    I enjoyed The Gunslinger "The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed" How could you not love that! I love "The Gunslinger" because it is such a major head trip. When I first read it I did not know whether I was reading a western, or a sci-fi post apocalyptic novel. (Turned out it was both) I love the strange language of the first unrevised version. I think it was a great beginning to a great series.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixiedark76 View Post
    I enjoyed The Gunslinger "The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed" How could you not love that!
    Absoloutely. I love this line, and, in fact, every single line in The Gunsliner - the way I sometimes love a line in free verse. But a novel-long free verse seems way too long.

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. #32
    Gunslinger Apprentice mtdman has a spectacular aura about mtdman has a spectacular aura about mtdman's Avatar

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    Here's the thing about the Gunslinger. The book is sparse. It doesn't yet have King's 'diarrhea of the mouth' thing going on with it. Not a lot of extraneous descriptions, or even a whole lot of character development. It's a pretty solitary book, not a lot of insights into who Roland is, who Jake really is, the Man in Black, etc. It's very much a western, yet also a sci fi/post apocalyptic book. In other words, imo, the book fits the character of Roland at that point in the story. He's a solitary dude, he doesn't have any friends, he doesn't let people get close to him. The book fits Roland.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtdman View Post
    The book fits Roland.
    very true

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #34
    Traveler BobbyOodle is on a distinguished road

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    I have always loved it, but I think people don't enjoy it as much because it's slower, has less action, less fantasy or Science Fiction aspects, many questions unanswered, and is mostly, a Western.

    Don't get me wrong, i loved it. Exactly the way it was.

    Also, the only characters that are explored in depth, are basically Jake and Roland.
    Roland being an emotionless, weathered soldier basically.
    And Jake being a timid, panicky, confused and lost kid.
    Both to their extremes, so it seems like an odd choice of characters, but I was glad that King went with making Roland an "anti-hero" protagonist.

  10. #35
    Gunslinger Apprentice Bryant Burnette will become famous soon enough Bryant Burnette's Avatar

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    The Gunslinger is my favorite novel in the series. Both versions are great, but I prefer the original.

  11. #36
    Fundraiser Emeritus Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryant Burnette View Post
    The Gunslinger is my favorite novel in the series. Both versions are great, but I prefer the original.
    I have come to prefer the revised edition, but then again I find it difficult to pinpoint the differences between the two. In the end, I guess I just go with the revised because King felt that was a better version. IMO

  12. #37
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    I guess I'm a traditionalist, but I vastly prefer the original. It has a more surreal feel to it.

    John

  13. #38
    Along the Path of the Beam rico567 is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtdman View Post
    Here's the thing about the Gunslinger. The book is sparse. It doesn't yet have King's 'diarrhea of the mouth' thing going on with it. Not a lot of extraneous descriptions, or even a whole lot of character development. It's a pretty solitary book, not a lot of insights into who Roland is, who Jake really is, the Man in Black, etc. It's very much a western, yet also a sci fi/post apocalyptic book. In other words, imo, the book fits the character of Roland at that point in the story. He's a solitary dude, he doesn't have any friends, he doesn't let people get close to him. The book fits Roland.
    Bingo. This book establishes the character of the main protagonist of the series, whether King had any intentions (or even dreams) of the extended series that the Dark Tower turned out to be. And one can examine the character of Roland through the series* and it falls back on that solitary, obsessed figure pursuing his nemesis across the wasteland. The first book is the sine qua non to the character of Roland Deschain throughout.

    NB: I'll not argue versions, revisions, or etc. As I remarked concerning another author, what he does with his work is his prerogative.

    *In the interest of full disclosure, "the series" for me ends with Wizard and Glass. I tried to go on, but to no avail, and perhaps someday I'll complete the journey. But not today- today I'm plowing through Principles of Geology by Charles Lyell.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
    Bingo. This book establishes the character of the main protagonist of the series, whether King had any intentions (or even dreams) of the extended series that the Dark Tower turned out to be. And one can examine the character of Roland through the series* and it falls back on that solitary, obsessed figure pursuing his nemesis across the wasteland. The first book is the sine qua non to the character of Roland Deschain throughout.
    This, totally. That's why I learned to love the first book in retrospect, as seen through the other six books, although it bored me to tears first time I read it.

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. #40
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    Funny, I actually read the original stories in F&SF when they were published (I had a subscription) and don't remember being especially impressed by them. I enjoyed them, sure, but they didn't make a lasting impression on me at the time.

    John

  16. #41
    Gunslinger Apprentice Bryant Burnette will become famous soon enough Bryant Burnette's Avatar

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    Here's something I wrote about The Gunslinger in a blog post once:

    " I am somewhat unusual among Towerphiles in that this is my favorite of the books. And yes, in fact, I do prefer the original to the revised version. I have no problems with the revised version, and I love the changes, but there is a sort of rawness about the book -- present in both versions, but even more palpable in the original -- that just utterly captivates me. In some ways, this feels very much like a Richard Bachman novel, which means only that it feels like exactly what it is: early Stephen King, unpolished and ragged but frequently finding the jugular in memorable ways; a powerful talent in search of the proper avenue in which to express itself.

    I love the direction Roland's tale eventually took, but I am enough of a masochist that part of me wishes King had never written any further than this first novel. I can distinctly recall reading the book for the first time, and feeling positively epic feelings about who Roland was and what his quest meant and how it would all turn out ... and knowing that really, in all the vital ways, I could never know those things. This was a novel of questions, not of answers; I wanted to know the answers, but in a way, I wanted to never know them. I love that sort of dark, majestic, unresolvable mystery, and as much as I also love King's later resolutions, I still yearn to be that young man devastated by the thought of Roland sitting on that beach, the Tower distant beyond all hope of approach.

    Actually, that's really not masochism at all, is it? That's just a yearning for the complex pleasure that is mystery."

  17. #42
    Gunslinger Apprentice mtdman has a spectacular aura about mtdman has a spectacular aura about mtdman's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
    Bingo. This book establishes the character of the main protagonist of the series, whether King had any intentions (or even dreams) of the extended series that the Dark Tower turned out to be. And one can examine the character of Roland through the series* and it falls back on that solitary, obsessed figure pursuing his nemesis across the wasteland. The first book is the sine qua non to the character of Roland Deschain throughout.
    This, totally. That's why I learned to love the first book in retrospect, as seen through the other six books, although it bored me to tears first time I read it.
    Me too. I gave up on it at least once. But after reading Drawing I really came to like Gunslinger.

  18. #43
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    it's really funny how it all works in the universe. If I hadn't been in hospital at that moment, with absolutely nothing to read except the Gunslinger and the Drawing, I might have never even gotten to the Drawing. But of course Drawing changed the whole perspective.

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. #44
    Traveler mcrow24 will become famous soon enough mcrow24's Avatar

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    I love The Gunslinger. The prose is awesome in it, IMO. Granted, it is a bit slow and there isn't as much action as the other DT books I've read but I think the value of it is it uniqueness.

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    I really like The Gunslinger. But, for different reasons than I like the rest of the series. I like it because it sets the stage for the rest of the series. It's a hook, basically. It's not WOW THAT WAS GREAT, but it's very, very intriguing.

    But though it's a short read comparatively, it can be a little slow since you're in Roland's head a lot of the time. As others have said, it is a bit dry. But it's important.

  21. #46
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    For me, it's the pacing of The Gunslinger that caused me some issues. First time around, although I'm going back years, I couldn't stand it. Second time (last week), I got into it a lot more, and actually loved bits of it, but I still found that in the second half the pace was a problem. It lost me, but by then I was so keen to catch up to the man in black that I kept going. I think, for me, having the series as a whole to look forward to helped me get through it. Back when all there was was The Gunslinger, there was no extra motivation there.

    I'm onto The Drawing of the Three now and can't put it down.

  22. #47
    Caution: eye irritant Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon has much to be proud of Jon's Avatar

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    Back then, I had no issues with The Gunslinger. I knew nothing else was coming. It was a stand alone book. In canon, I see the inconsistencies did little damage, IMHO.
    “Give me the sense to wonder, to wonder if I'm free."

  23. #48
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    I first read The Gunslinger as the series of novelettes in F&SF (I had a subscription). I grabbed the Grant hardcover as soon as it was published (I just wish I had also grabbed one of the s/l too!) I never had an issue with any of the stories.

    John

  24. #49
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    Still my favorite of the series.

    Death comes for all us all... but you first!

    Quote Originally Posted by Girlystevedave View Post
    I'm just nodding my head the whole time thinking "ok, stop now, please."

  25. #50
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    still my least favorite...

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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