The last of the his kind, Roland Deschain, is the only remaining Gunslinger, pursuing The Man in Black across the desert. The Gunslinger recounts his time in the little town of Tull, gathering clues on The Man in Black’s trail, to a farmer and his raven. On the road, he meets a young boy named Jake, before heading into the mountains.

Equal parts western, horror, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic dystopia, The Dark Tower is a mysterious and engaging drama. The old west world which the Gunslinger inhabits appears to be loosely connected to our own reality, with traces of the song “Hey Jude” and the children’s rhyme “Beans, beans, the magical fruit”. The fantasy elements of hypnotism and resurrection, a wizard and an oracle succubus, combined with traditional western tropes only serve to enhance the surreal world of the Gunslinger.

If you enjoy feeling secure in a clear world with well-defined rules, The Dark Tower probably isn’t for you. For me, though, I love the imaginative, captivating imagery, and the whimsical take on traditional western world building. The Man in Black is a mysterious but ubiquitous presence, whose supernatural powers seem to only grow as the book progresses, in whom the Gunslinger’s past, present, and future is irreparably entangled, and I cannot wait to find out how.

Highly recommended for fans of genre-bending speculative fiction ahead of its time! Nineteen!

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed….”