|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Published: 1982 (2003- revised & expanded edition)
Genre: Series, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Start Date: July 10, 2011
Finished Date: Aug. 4, 2011 (26 days)
Where Found: Chapters-Indigo
Why Read: On my TBR list; I also devour anything by Stephen King
Read For: Stephen King challenge (4/6), 1st in a Series challenge (6/6)
Summary: In the dystopian world of Gilead, a wandering rebel, Roland, seeks the mysterious Man in Black in the vast desert terrain reflects on his prior and present encounters that alter their memories and fates.
I don't believe it. I never thought I would meet a Stephen King book that didn't quite meet my expectations. As exciting as it is for a favourite author to dip a toe into a different kind of genre, the western-dystopian subgenre was just too uneven a match for the master of horror fiction for this fan.
While I commend King's attempt (the dystopian angle of the story was actually intriguing and the prose, as usual, was interesting and cutting edge), but the western is better suited for the helmsman he cites as inspiration in the introduction--Sergio Leone. Or maybe Louis L'Amour (though I've never read his work, but he is the only novelist in the western genre I can think of at the moment). The genre is difficult to write and keep reader interest alive. There is much lingering tension, self-reflection, and travails both on the mind from one's past and on the horizon in one's future. It won't leap off the page and keep them turning without a masterful hand.
As much as I've heard that King's later books in the Dark Tower series are better than the earlier installments, this one failed to keep my attention, and plodded along to the end, leaving me perfectly willing to forego continuing on with the series to find out Roland's fate. I honestly did not find him all that interesting a character. Oh well...you win some, you lose some. I'm still a huge Stephen King fan nonetheless and will continue to read anything else he writes. Just not this.
Rank: (C)- Just Okay