I read the short story The Gunslinger by Stephen King (40 pages and 3, 25 minute train rides with intermittent naps throughout). As always, I love the way that Stephen King writes: great descriptions of the scene around the main character, intriguing character development, and always some sort of savage killing scene, often told in a perspective that is very dream-like. This story was no exception. The gunslinger is a gun-toting badass who’s on the chase trying to track down a sorcerer across the desert. Most of the story however, is told through a flashback of his visit to the town of Tull (just before the desert and recently visited by the sorcerer) where he meets a man that the sorcerer had brought back to life in a bar. All of the things in this town may or may not be traps laid by the sorcerer, trying to slow down the gunslinger’s chase. So in the mean time, the gunslinger sleeps with the bartender/owner several times, meets the town preacher (who was impregnated by the sorcerer who told her that he was actually an angel), then the gunslinger performs an abortion (with his handgun?!?!), and then on his way out of the town he gets attacked and subsequently kills everyone who lives in the town. He gets stabbed several times in the process but kills several men, women, and even children.
The way the story was told (dream-like, flashback, science-fictiony and sort of post-apocalyptic) was very cool but I wasn’t bought into the fact that he had to kill everyone in the town in order to escape, I found it lacked a little creativity (just shoot ALL YOUR AMMO and people will love it). I expected him to have to kill a few people and do something interesting to make his escape but when the entire town suddenly went crazy and he had to kill everyone, I kind of lost my taste for the story. I mean I like rambo, shoot-em-up stories as much as anyone, but I felt the ending and escape from Tull was a bit lacking. I’ve heard though that the rest of the Dark Tower series is awesome and totally worth reading despite the lackluster storytelling in the first book.
About the Author Stephen King:
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything’s Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. (Courtesy of Amazon.com)
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