Gunslinger Series, Stephen King, Review
Ah. Stephen King. Not my favourite of authors. For my horror I have often preffered the like of Clive Barker, more often than not because of the sheer size of Kings books - I like mine shorter and punchier.
So why do I rates Kings Gunslinger series so highly? Well, they sucked me in. Read over several years, and only recently completed, the story of Roland of Gilead and his Ka-Tet, is a compelling one, and the worlds they visit memorising.
I guess abig reason is I am a fan of alternative history books, like Fatherland for example. I am intrigued to discover how things might have turned out differently in our world, and what concequences this has for the characters in the books.
King is a master of giving the reader little tasters of the altered past that have led to the circumstances in his novels. The robots that keep popping up, hundreds of years old, that noone knows how to repair anymore, yet they are still functioning. The old bunkers and subway stations. Why were they abandoned? How did our world fall apart to become the one that we find Roland the Gunslinger in?
King also mixes in a large amount of fantasy and magic, technology and super-human powers, a great combination in my opinion. Although too long in places, King keeps the reader enthralled with amazing events and happenings. In fact in most of the Gunslinger books 90% of the book is just a build-up to a cataclysmic event at the end, when the story is resolved and our heroes move on.
So what's it about? Well, Roland is the hero, and he is on a mission to find the Dark Tower. The Dark Tower holds our universe together, and if he fails to get there, the world will be plunged into Darkness and evil. But Rolands mission is an obsession, he will expend anyone or anything to get there, it is his reason to be, and the Gunslinger books take us on that adventure, as he gathers a posse together, and they travel through his world (and ours) to reach their goal.
The Gunslinger books are a challenge to finish. Once you start, if you are an obsessive reader like me, they will dominate your reading life, but you will not be sorry. Up there with The Lord of the Rings, Stephen Kings Gunslinger series is a classic.
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