Finally, I'm here with the first discussion! What a day...not a spare moment to post until now. Anyhoo, on with the talk. What did you think of the first chapter? This one is actually a re-read for me, but it's funny, I only vaguely remember it. I must have been half there when I read it last time. I think it was over ten years ago when I read it (or around that) and what a difference time makes. I think my mind is more tuned to dystopian fantasy now than it was before. I relate familiarity with the genre as the reason. I found a reading guide and I've included some questions below to contribute to our discussion. Share your thoughts in the comments and/or leave the link to your blog post.
1. As we come to know him in the opening pages, what initial impressions do we get of the gunslinger? What is the nature of Roland's quest?
2. Discuss Stephen King's writing style in The Gunslinger. To what degree is it a departure from the rest of his work? What are some of the stylistic patterns and thematic concerns that The Gunslinger shares with other Stephen King works?
1. It's hard to get a really good impression of Roland in the beginning. We know he's tough (killed all those townspeople). He's also weary. He strikes me as a lost soul. As far as the nature of his quest, we know that he is after the man in black, but we don't really know the reason yet. Is it revenge or the need to eradicate evil? I'm thinking perhaps it's both.
2. King's writing style in The Gunslinger is different from the rest of his work, but in certain instances we get some of the old King style. Like the section on page 13, "Perhaps the campfires are a message, spelled out letter by letter. Take a powder. Or, the end draweth nigh. Or maybe even, Eat at Joe's." Snicker. "Eat at Joe's." Something King would totally say in his other works. Also, I love Sheb at the saloon playing "Hey Jude" on the piano. I like how this seemingly old west style ghost town on this world that is not our own is playing that song, not some old time saloon tunes. Classic!
I have one final question for you relating to the entire series. There have been rumors for years that there will be a film (or films) based on the books, and more recently I've heard that they're in talks again to actually go ahead with it. I've heard mention of Russell Crowe as Roland. I do like him, but I'm picturing someone more like Christian Bale (channeling a bit of his role in "3:10 to Yuma" with a little bit of batman toughness mixed in). What do you think? Who do you think would be perfect to portray Roland?
I hope you're enjoying the book so far. I'll see you next week for Chapter 2!