January 9, 2009


Book Report: The Gunslinger

I've just finished reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King. It is an amazing story! I wouldn't say its a horror in the typical sense of the genre. Although it deals in truly terrifying subject matter: such as being forced to make terrible decisions, and brutality in desperate world. The Gunslinger is more a story of a journey, but one that seems even more grave and desperate than the path of Frodo and Samwise in Lord of the Rings.

The story begins in a harsh apocalyptic world where the protagonist, Roland Deschain, goes on a quest to track the man in black. When he finally reaches him the story has led up a brilliant climax that you would think to be the sort of thing Stephen Hawking would fantasize about. The situations in The Gunslinger are so desperate; its a world where the reader is painfully aware of the harsh conditions which give much contrast to characters' very human emotions.

Even though this is the first piece of writing by King I've read, many of his works have become movies that I've seen, and some that I have really enjoyed; the Shawshank Redemption for example. In the beginning of the somewhat recent film The Mist (IMDb) (based on a short story by King, and directed by Frank Darapont who has worked with King before, directing The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) there is a shot where the protagonist, an artist who does movie posters for a living, is painting an image of Roland with the Dark Tower in the background. I assumed when I saw this that it must be a tease to suggest a future movie adaptation of The Gunslinger, or the whole series. While doing a little research online there seems to be rumors floating around that JJ Abrams (the guy behind the tv show LOST, the monster film Cloverfield, and directing the upcoming remake/prequel of Star Trek) would be involved, and that King is a fan of Abram's work on LOST. LOST itself has a very cinematic feel to it, so be it an adaptation for the film or small screen, either way it would likely be something to look forward to!

I looking forward to reading the next story in the series, The Drawing of the Three. But first I have to read a sequel to Ender's Game, called Ender's Shadow, loaned to me by Allison. I had loaned her my copy of Ender's Game as well as some Neil Gaiman novels. I loved Ender's Game but I haven't read any sequels to it. Ender's Shadow follows the same time frame as Game, but Shadow follows a different character's point of view. There's been rumors about a movie adaptation for Ender as well, and that it would draw upon both Game and Shadow for its story.

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