SJay's Reviews: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
I entered this book with very high expectations. I had in mind that it'll be one of the best books I'd ever read. However, thank God I read Stephen King's Foreword - I read the newest expanded and revised edition - and that, at least, helped give this book 3 stars, not 2.
This is a nice story, don't get me wrong. A very nice tale. But as Stephen King himself says in his foreword that he was prone to overdoing it with the adjectives and the choppy style. I mean, I am a high fantasy fan, I have read for some of the most complicated authors and I was still left dumbfounded while reading The Gunslinger. Not dumbfounded from the story, but from lack of understanding.
Issue #1: What the hell are you talking about?
I get that he was trying to be ambiguous. But it's too much. There are way too many vague references, that supposedly add to Roland's mysterious past and nonchalant character. Except they don't make me feel intrigued. They just make me feel, "I'm missing something, did I skip something? *flips pages back to find nothing*" Also, the scenes aren't so clear. At some points, he describes way too much with metaphors, and then all of a sudden, at other points, he barely gives you enough info to build a clear scene in your mind. Is Roland on the street now or did he enter the bar? Is he eating a burger or is it meat or is it some metaphor to mean he's not eating?
Also, what's with the slang? I get it's Wild Wild West inspired, but there are way too many words used by Roland that I just didn't understand. I understood that they are world-relevant, but never got what they meant.
Issue #2: Someone just died!... Yea, whatever.
I'm supposed to be scared of this man in black, or at least apprehensive. But I'm not. I should really get attached to the boy Jake. But, nope. And I should feel for Roland something. I don't. I am left absolutely empty after reading this book, it's almost a waste of time.
However, the story, the idea, and what we're left with in preparation for the second book, these are what will get me to read on. First, I'm not one to leave a series unfinished - Fifty Shades being the exception, cause my IQ suffered - and second, I'm one to see the potential in a good story and a good plotline, and I think King does not disappoint.
This series has a reputation for being epic, and despite me not seeing that in the 1st book, I'll be looking forward to the 2nd.