Stephen King, Author
Book 11 in A to Z challenge
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
Thus begins the story of Roland Deschain, the gunslinger, and what many consider the magnum opus of Stephen King. The story follows Roland as he treks across the desert in slow chase of the Man in Black, and taunts the reader with hints of a world much bigger than this single story. The setting is a world that has moved on, a post-apocalyptic wasteland of isolated pockets of civilization where scarcity is driven hard into the reader. Scarcity of food, life, humanity. The walking dead, a boy from our own world and creatures of myth populate the world, and nail down a message that seems to permeate the entire story. This world is broken. It is a place where worlds can be seen through open doors, and time is inconsistent at best, and at the center of it all is the Dark Tower.
I can't really complain about King's writing. He aggravates me with his tangents, but keeps me glued to every word, no matter how many pages it takes. His prose perfectly captures the feeling of this world, and the people who inhabit it. People do awful things--Roland does awful things--and you understand. As he kills dozens, you know that this is what must be. As he chooses his own quest over saving the life of another, you understand. Anyone can write about a man drowning a puppy. King can make you sympathize and forgive.
I will issue a bit of warning regarding the rest of the series. King doesn't seem to have planned the series out in advance, or even each book as he wrote it, and it does show. You may spend a hundred pages on something that will never matter to the story, but you will probably enjoy reading it.
This was a solid start to a series filled with ups and downs, and at a mere 300 pages, it's worth adding to your to-read list.