Where does Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga begin?

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Answered by: Zachary, An Expert in the Reviews of Books Category
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed." With such an in auspicious start, King lays the ground work for his seven book epic The Dark Tower. The first book of this series, entitled The Gunslinger, follows the character Roland in his pursuit of the mysterious man in black. This book is pretty straight forward, and requires little of what Roland later refers to as "thinking around corners" (which he professes he was never very good at).

Following the Gunslinger across the vast, empty desert has an odd effect reader. Almost immediately one finds themselves enthralled by the Gunslingers dogged determination to catch the man in black and, ultimately, gain his Dark Tower. As the story progresses, one finds that as Roland staggers on in a dangerous state of dehydration, as a reader one cannot drink enough water. In fact Kings writing makes you believe for just a split second that you, the reader, are dying of thirst on an endless trek across a sprawling desert.

The Gunslinger does come across water, acquiring a boy named Jake as a travelling companion. As the two cross the desert and begin to see the mountains in the distance, Roland begins to realize that he has come to love Jake like a son. The two weary travelers finally reach the blessed coolness(and water!) of the foothills of an enormous mountain range(King does not do things small). After days more travel and many adventures, our two travelers catch up to the man in black. He taunts the Gunslinger and dashes into a cave. The Gunslinger and Jake pursue him into the cave and on a terrifying underground journey. When the Gunslinger finally catches up to the man in black, they hold a long discussion about the why and what of The Dark Tower.

King leaves us here with more questions that answers, and a fate like urge to follow this tale to its conclusion. Mr. King has once again hooked our imagination and caused us many longs nights where we are captivated and terrified by the products of his imagination. Of course there are many things that I have left out of this review, both for the sake of brevity and also because where's the fun in someone spoiling the story. The adventures of Roland will captivate the mind and stretch the imagination of even the most seasoned reader.

In typical King fashion, we find ourselves loving and hating (sometimes at the same time) Roland and his compatriots. We find ourselves scarred, moved, happy, and sad, often while still on the same page. King has mastered the art of catching his readers emotions and doing with them what he will. The story of Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger of a long forgotten place will surely continue to captivate the minds of readers for many generations to come. Roland's quest for the Tower continues in The Drawing of the Three which picks up immediately where The Gunslinger leaves off, but as Roland would say, that is a tale for a different day.

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