The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger


Stephen King’s novel, the first in “The Dark Tower” series, flows like a poem. A poem with a perfect rhythm. A cadence of words without fault, a strange poem, with lyrics that make sense only when they are spoken aloud.

The novel begins alert. “The Man In Black fled across the desert and The Gunslinger followed.” In the first few pages Stephen King introduces us into a strange world, where tombstones marks the path of Roland Deschain, the last of his people, to The Dark Tower.

From a structural point of view, the novel is studded with stories from the Gunslinger’s past that justify both the actions and motivation of the main character. But instead of being upsetting, the flashbacks are more like stones that animates a sluggish river stream. Stephen King seems to know better than anyone to dose a story with such moments.

The pursuit of the elusive Man In Black is the central story of this first part, but the destiny of The Gunslinger goes further than that, to The Dark Tower. Roland’s journey through the desert is filled with characters and situations of the most unexpected. Lonely people, at the edge of their mental health, abandoned houses taken into possession by demons or even talking animals. All this creates a dark universe, where time loses its meaning and where nothing remains constant.

What surprised with this book, was the feeling that I’m not just reading a story about a journey, but I myself am part of it. It’s really easy to lose sense of reality and be convinced that you are the one who hears the story about the events of Tull directly from the mouth of the Gunslinger. An excellent read.

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