The Gunslinger by Stephen King post by Ben Weber

Well here I am again talking about another book I have read and mostly enjoyed. As you read this you may be thinking, “Oh here comes some complicated explanation of a fantasy book that I am never going to read”. Surprising, even myself, this is not the case. I am actually going against my better judgement, and aligning with my Dad’s, and reading a Stephen King book, The Gunslinger to be exact. Anyway now that the creative introduction is finished, I am just going to jump right into the blog post of the first third.

The way that I just am jumping right into the blog post is half of what I am writing about today, King’s intro. Instead of giving detailed background, like most authors do, King gives you just enough information to answer your most prevailing question but not share everything. This helps the story flow and allows the reader not to have to read those long intro sections. (I have been known to skip them on occasion to get to the story). Besides just moving the story along, it also give the reader a yearning to continue reading . The best way to portray this  yearning is a quote by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying, “A Compelling whirlpool of a story that draws one irretrievably to its center”. The questions that you still have about the main character Roland or about his quest to capture the mysterious black man always laying traps for Roland will have to wait until King brings them.  At times this frustrates me and makes my fingers itch to wikipedia, I want to read the information as it comes along in the story. Reading it straight through helps with the mystery and the unraveling of the quest letting it play out perfectly.

At first I was wary about reading this novel, because of how the Stephen King books are talked about. This one is not that freaky, and it is more dark humor than horror. Here just so I don’t have to explain this concept is a semi-funny letter from the man in black. It was to Allie (a person that is not important because they die) after he raises a man from the dead, and it goes, “You want to know about Death. I left him a word. That word is NINETEEN. If you say it to him his mind will be opened. He will tell you what lies beyond. He will tell you what he saw. The word is NINETEEN. Knowing will drive you mad. But sooner or later you will ask. You won’t be able to help yourself. Have a nice day!☺”(King 41). Though this is the start of a unforeseen dark turn of Toland having to kill a whole town, it is hilarious how the “have a nice day” and even the smiley face is put in there. I gives a much needed relief from the pressure of the story before hand. This in itself, though King usually writes horror novels, shows he knows how to relieve the stress of a scene.

So don’t be scared and come closer to see this great author at work. Stay away from IT because that is actually a horror novel, but stay with the gunslinger series for it will make you “have a nice day!” It may be a little slow moving at the beginning of the first chapter, but it speeds up with major character development of Roland. I have only read the first chapter on the other hand so what can I say.

(Sorry for the short post the first third was just 74 pages.)

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9 responses to “The Gunslinger by Stephen King post by Ben Weber

  1. Ya know, Ben and I have had the same thinking for these book reports a lot lately, the Mistborn series was entirely mapped out by the both of us and now, well, Ben took all the stuff I was going to say (darn it!)! But I will make due, so far this book has been enthralling and much better than a certain group project book we read last semester *Cough* code name verity *Cough*.

    ANYWAYS, like what Ben said, Stephen King made the beginning a wonderful hook, giving you just enough detail to know the gist of what’s happening, yet still leaves you in the dark about many of the details that are usually in an introduction, for example, the gunslinger’s actual name. But this is great for people like Ben and I that we cannot just skip to the end to learn what happens because it starts out so vaguely. So overall, I’m hooked.

    Like Ben, I also heard about IT and was extremely terrified of reading this book. But after getting into this book, I started to get into this story and had to continue reading, in fact, it was nearly impossible to stop reading and to just start typing this review, so overall, this is one of my best reads I’ve read this year.

    So just like what Ben says, this book is worth the read, don’t be scared of reading it just because Stephen King wrote the horrifying terror novel IT. So while you may feel scared you should give this book a try, its well worh the read.

  2. Sorry for taking all your ideas and the emojis on my post where supposed to be smiley faces. The emojis change computer to computer so sorry if that was weird for you. I also agree to all the items that Chris addressed his his blog post as well.

  3. benweber55713

    The second third of The Gunslinger by Stephen King

    First, I would like to start out by officially apologizing to Chris, for taking all of his ideas for the first third of the book. I am quite certain that we have different blog posts for this third. The only reason I thought of writing about this topic is because before I read the book my dad with a mischievous smile said that I should try and figure out what time period the book is set in. I thought this was a silly question. How hard could it be to figure out the time period? I was extremely wrong. So in this blog post I am going to give the evidence that I have come up with, and show the creative world that Stephen King has created in a short 166 pages.
    During the first third of the novel the time period was very self explanatory. It was in a western theme with saloons, pistols being used as weapons, and flint and steel. Though this gives the reader many hints to the time period the facts that are given only give a vague large time period. That was until I realized that the biggest hint, that King gave the reader, was on no other than page one. While gunslinger still walking the narrator says, “Coaches and Buckas had followed [ruts]” (King 3). With further research I found that coaches started to be used in the 1600’s and ended with the invention of cars which was after the western age. It would make sense that there would be the ruts of a coach but not an actually coach because at the time coaches were going out of style. By the end of the first third I thought I had it all worked out. I hadn’t.
    The second third is really what threw me off with the introduction of another character named Jake. Jake seems to be a new arrival to the house that he was living in, and is losing his memory. The Gunslinger asks what he remembers and Jake responds, “There was a statue in the water … A lady with a crown and a torch and . . . I think . . . a book” (King 89). Why does The statue of Liberty have to screw everything up. From the story that Jake gave, iit has to be at least 1886. For that is when the statue was finished. However later on in Jake’s memory he describes high tech car close to the ones we have today, and maybe even more advanced. This creates a big gap in the time continuum. Then again Jake does describe himself dyeing as well so I am not really sure. Jake died in the future and then some technology from the future sent him to the past?
    The time period is not the only oddity in Stephen King’s The Gunslinger, there are demons as well. The Gunslinger, to get information, has to let a demon have a go at him before he could get the information about the man in black that he needed. I thought I was about to get some precious information from the demon, but it ended up being cryptic so only Roland the gunslinger was able to understand. Then again Stephen King always had an overactive mind when he wrote his books so you never know what was going through his mind while he was writing the novel. Anyway now that I have hurt your brain with the space time continuum I am going to recommend The Gunslinger, and end this odd blog post.

  4. Professor Layton :3

    I’m sick and have a broken voice,k so why not go and lake about the second 3rd of the gun slinger?

    This book continues to please and while it add much to talk about, It still is REALLY good and has an amazing plot and story that I wont talk about because SPOILERS (This post would be like 3 paragraphs long if I felt better and if I could talk about stuff without spoilers.

    But overall, I retain all previous statements and still believe that the Gunslinger is a really good book (right know its cruising of a 8/10 or so)

  5. Professor Layton :3

    For some reason my post failed and misnamed me :p the post above was from Chirs

  6. Professor Layton :3

    Also, I’m gonna continue my previous post know that Ben’s added more info on his post, and I’m also kinda confused on how that happened, but I digress.

    So, again, Ben’s points were *almost* spot on with my opinions, except for a couple details that range from big to small. While I agree on how the fist part ended, with it being self-explanatory and normal on the time period, but what I disagree on is how Jake himself messes up this. In my opinion, Jake is used to add a layer of mystery to the book, as so we are kept on our toes while dealing with the time period, and while it may confuse some people, it is a good way to keep the reader hooked and helps to make start to think and congregate what has happened and how (i.e. Ben speculating that Jake used a time machine). But, other than that, I have no other arguments against Ben’s really accurate opinion on The Gunslinger.

    So, as I stated in the ealier post, I feel like The Gunsliger is a really good book and that its worth the read if you like mysteries with plot twists like Gravity Falls (its a tv show) or something to do with mass speculation.

    • benweber55713

      Well Chris. I did not say that Jake had a time machinw, but in this world when you you die you go to a different world. We know that Jake died, but this explains how he is still alive. The Gunslinger’s backstory also supports this as he was always getting into fights.

  7. benweber55713

    Hey guys, here is my latest thoughts on The Gunslinger. Nevermind I have many things to talk about and only a certain amount I want to write. Now that I have finished The Gunslinger by Stephen King, I am feeling content, a little frustrated, and a little sad. Since mostly I am content with my enjoyment in this novel I would rate it an 8 out of 10. The book loses two point because of the vague ending and the death that takes place on page 222.
    First I would like to talk about the character development that King creates throughout the story. At the beginning of the novel the reader does not even know the name of the main character. Even after the name is given he is still shown as a heartless creature that will kill a whole town without reason. This at first turned me away from the novel. Until Roland changed with one event. This one event is the introduction of Jake from about the middle of the novel. Roland then shows a unspoken love for Jake that immediately lightens his character. This is mainly shown when Roland and Jake finally catch up with the man in black, the person that they have been chasing throughout the book. Finally, when they catch up with the man in black he tells Roland to do one thing and all of his goals will be meet. The interest that Roland shows is prevalent as he quickly asks what he could do. His enthusiasm is immediately dropped when the man in black asks him to sacrifice Jake “the child.” Roland, despite the great opportunity, turns it down to save Jake. This is a large, positive change compared to the man that killed a whole town.
    This leads to one of the reasons that I dropped the rating down to an eight. Spoiler alert for the next paragraph. After the two companions come out of a mine shaft, to meet the man in black, is when a death occurs, and my rating dropped. Roland is given a choice between going with the man in black and letting Jake fall to his death, or save Jake from deathly plummet but let the man get away again. I thought after what all Jack and Roland had been through he would choose the later option, I was sadly wrong. Jake then “plummet(s)” with “no cry” (King 222). My feelings towards this death are self explanatory, so I do not want to write about this any longer. The other item that dropped the score of this book is the ending of the novel. The book just ends with the man in black and Roland camping. There is no resolution to the Jake problem, and he is not even mention him again. I find this, without a better word, stupid since I get no resolution. I turned the page and there was the acknowledgements. I now understand why there are many many sequels, but King at least give some closure to your novel. Do not leave us hanging like you did.
    Though besides the last forty pages, the novel was quite enjoyable and worth a read. Once again look out for the dark humor and the weird timeline. Above all else do not overlook paragraphs at a time. King may write a book that is 251 pages, but every word counts. So without further adieu, enjoy reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King.

  8. christophersun1

    So again, ME AND BEN HAVE ALMOST NEARLY SIMILAR IDEAS WHY IS THIS HAPPENING GRUMP >:(. But, this time we have very different supporting evidence so at least there’s that.

    First, I want to talk about the *spoilers* OH NO CHOICE SAD MOMENT DEATH part. I, like Ben (geez, this is like a clique now) REALLY hated how they build up Roland and Jake as a pair of cool people. Also *spoilers* there’s this part were Roland literally prevents a death vision with Jake getting killed and a horde of what are basically zombies from capturing Jake just to end up sacrificing him. This moment completely destroys the entire point that Ben points out earlier, the point of character development. Why build these two characters into a pair of friends when afterwards one of the characters sacrifices the other just for revenge. In other words, THIS MOMENT COMPLETELY DESTROYS THE POINT OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! So while I agree with Ben that the character development WAS good, this one point alone is what completely ruins the point of it.

    So, did I end up hating this book? No. But did I lose a lot of respect for this book? Yes. So while the first 2/3rds of the book is GREAT and a good page turner, the part that me and Ben both mentioned kinda ruined it. So while this book was mainly okay, I still have to (regretfully) give it a 7.5 out of 10 stars due to (spoilers!) the death of Jake.

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