I just started reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King today. First impression: very, very, very interesting. I know that most fantasy books have reviews on them that say something like: “This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read.” All due respect to those books, The Gunslinger really is unlike anything you’ve ever read.
The story begins with Roland Deschain, a character chiefly based on Clint Eastwood’s classic “Man With No Name.” Roland explores a vast desert world in pursuit of the enigmatic Man In Black, a sorcerer who has a talent for evil. Along the way he meets a man with a talking raven and a man risen from the dead, among other fascinating characters.
Already I’m beginning to see some interesting similarities between Roland’s world and ours. For example, at the first saloon he stops in, the patrons are sining along to “Hey Jude” on the piano. It’s little details like this that make The Gunslinger special. Often in literature, it seems that authors like to write little nods and homages to other works of literature. King does the opposite, writing in homages to real life. I think this really helps to set the world up as a different (yet not entirely distant) place.
Can’t wait to read the rest. Yet another classic by one of my favorite authors. Keep ’em coming, Steve!