Russell Crowe Book Club #2 ~ The Gunslinger

The 2nd entry in our Book Club series, The Gunslinger by Stephen King, was  published as a novel for the mass market in 1988. Not King’s usual subject matter at the time, it nonetheless became a cult favorite.

The film version has been in development hell for years now.  In the media, Russell was spoken of with longing at one point for the role of Roland; first he was in talks, then he was not attached.  Then Viggo Mortensen was approached, and then he was not attached.  Then the project was being shopped as a film and tv compilation, which didn’t seem to pan out.  Now we are not sure just where the project stands, except that Ron Howard has said he’s not forgotten about it.  There is still hope that Russell will star as the Last Gunslinger in an alternate, post-apocalyptic world.

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King, and is the first volume in the Dark Tower series, which King considers to be his magnum opus. Initially a fix-up novel that strung together five short stories published between 1978 and 1981, it was first published in book form in 1982……The novel was inspired by the poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Robert Browning, which King read as a sophomore at the University of Maine….

It took King twelve and a half years to finish the novel. The finished product was first published by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. as a limited edition in 1982. In 1988, Plume released it in trade paperback form…..In 2003 the novel was reissued in a revised and expanded version with modified language and added and changed scenes intended to resolve inconsistencies with the later books in the series……

From Stephen King’s website:

The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. So begins Book I of Stephen King’s iconic fantasy series, The Dark Tower. Part sci-fi novel, part futuristic dystopia, part spaghetti Western, and part high fantasy vision, The Gunslinger tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who is tracking an enigmatic magician known only as the man in black. Following his quarry across the demon-infested Mohaine Desert, Roland confronts a mad preacher woman and her murderous flock, holds palaver with a speaking demon, and finally befriends a young boy from our world named Jake Chambers. Jake joins Roland on his quest, but while Roland travels with his young companion Jake, the man in black travels with Roland’s soul in his pocket.



About Tamara & MM

Two fans of Russell Crowe dedicated to saving, archiving, and organizing as much available information about the life and career of this amazing man as is humanly possible. A woman's work is never done....
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One Response to Russell Crowe Book Club #2 ~ The Gunslinger

  1. Mary Anne says:

    Let me say first that I believe Mr. King to be one of the best writers of popular fiction today. He’s inventive, he has an excellent command of the language, and you can tell he lives to put those stories on the page. That said, I don’t really care for the subject matter in most of his novels; I’m not a horror enthusiast. So even though I have a real admiration for the author, I don’t really read his books. I’ve read one or two – just enough to see how good the writing is, and to know that I don’t like them.

    However, I read The Gunslinger when it first came out. I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories, and the whole idea of the last gunslinger in the world chasing some possibly-allegorical villain was intriguing. The culture in the alternate world, the Old West crossed with medieval knights and lords was exciting. And I loved it. Thought it was one of the best books I’d read.

    I re-read it when we started hearing rumors. I have to say, while it is still intriguing, I don’t love it as much as I did the first time. Maybe it’s just the number of years (25? Ack.) since then, and the much larger number of books I’ve read. Maybe it’s because I went on to read #’s 2 & 3 in the series, and stopped there, as it felt to me that it was devolving back into his ordinary type of stories, and I didn’t want to read that. Possibly that ruined it for me. Maybe it’s just because reading it the second time, I knew how it ended.

    I’ll be really excited to see the film, though, whoever plays Roland. Of course I think Russell would be the best choice, but studios and directors possibly have different selection criteria than I do. At least they’ve never asked me for my opinion.

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