… And the Gunslinger Followed
I was recently convinced to read Stephen King’s The Gunslinger by a coworker. (No doubt many of the fantasy fans out there are now wondering if there is something wrong with me because I required convincing.)
I was wary of picking it up – I have read a fair amount of fantasy books and so I am acutely aware that some of them are fantastic, and quite a few of them are truly horrendous. I’ve also never been a huge fan of Stephen King. Suffice to say that I was completely wrong. The Dark Tower series is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read, right up there with the Wheel of Time and the Song of Ice and Fire.
As Tom noted in his review of The Big Sleep, some believe that America has contributed only two characters to the literary landscape, cowboys and private detectives. Well if America writ large has contributed the concept of cowboys, then Stephen King has created the master blueprint in The Gunslinger and its sequels. The tale of how “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came” grips you and draws you into its worlds. Yes, I said ‘worlds’, plural. In one fell swoop Mr. King questions the reality of our universe; spins a tale of selfishness, selflessness, obsession, and self-reflection; and draws up the lines of battle between good, evil, and madness.
Now I made you want to go read it, didn’t I? Anyway, in the feverish process of buying one of the books, I was ecstatic to learn that there is a series of graphic novels set in the world of the Dark Tower. I plan to investigate over the next few weeks, and invite any and all true guardians of the White to join me.