The Gunslinger - Stephen King 3 - 3.5 stars. This was an interesting read. I'm not generally a huge fan of Stephen King, but this genre mishmash of western, horror, and fantasy sounded unique enough to check out. I like the way King blended his sources and the enigmatic figure of Roland the Gunslinger, last of his kind, is someone I want to learn more about. We are given just enough details about his pseudo-Arthurian background to keep us wondering and to make him seem more than just a taciturn cowboy stereotype, though there are times when he is in danger of falling into that.

The bleak world across which Roland pursues his quarry, the sorcerous Man in Black, combines the almost archetypal elements of the stark primary world of a multiverse with enough details and real human figures to make it rise a step above the merely representative. One wonders how these lonely individuals Roland comes across came into this world, for it doesn't seem to be one for which humanity was made, and I was left reminded of the enigmatic Island of 'Lost'...hopefully King is able to pull together the disparate strands and mysteries of his story in a more coherent way than the writers of that series were. I'm somewhat dubious of this, though, given the varied rumours I've heard about the Dark Tower series as a whole. It seems that you either love it uncritically, or find yourself disappointed with the final resolution. I guess we'll see where I find myself six more books from now.

For the time being I enjoyed it, but wasn't yet blown away.