Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"The Man in Black Fled Across the Desert and the Gunslinger Followed"

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed."

This sentence is a hook to end all hooks. After all, the questions are endless. Who is the man in black? Who is the gunslinger? What is a gunslinger, anyway? Why a desert? Why is the man in black fleeing? What does the gunslinger want from him? Have the two met before? Is this just a game? What the heck genre does this book fit into, anyway?

Having read the line (and the book and the series) probably at least a hundred times, I know the answers to most of those questions (well, I know my answers ... whether or not those are correct ... who am I to judge?).

If you have read the book before, what stood out to you the most about it? What made you decide to keep reading?

If you have never read the book, does it make you want to head to the library or bookstore and pick up a copy?


  1. I have not completely read the series (yes, I know I should have by now), but what immediately intrigued me was how different the subject matter is. It's not exactly horror, its not completely fantasy, its not completely a Western. The unique storytelling, background, and characters are what captured my attention immediately.

  2. The greatest opening line to a book ever. love the blog.

  3. I have only read the first book, so I still don't know the answers to most of those questions, but that was one of the most powerful opening sentences I've ever read. I made a list of great first sentences and this one was #4 on it.

    Apart from the way King has combined different genres in the book, for me, this sentence was the aspect of the book that struck me the most.

  4. Wait 'til you read the last one ;)

  5. Klo, I was thinking the same thing.

    Since I read the first book the line was repeating in my head, over and over...

    I finished the books, and still it repeats.

  6. Ka is the reason I kept reading.

  7. Roland was, and still is, simply the perfect flawed hero, looking for redemption and revenge, trying to accomplish both simultaneously. I began reading Stephen King's books much earlier than I probably was mentally ready, which is why i have gone back and read many of them multiple times, because each time, you get a little more of a glimpse into how he views the world.

    Having read a large percentage of King's printed word, it seems to me that this story and the Tower itself represents his white whale, so thoroughly are his themes of the Tower, and it's supporting characters woven through his work. It is that dedication/obsession that has always had me so enthralled with King's work.

  8. There is one other opening line that has always been a favorite. "I've seen though his eyes and I have listened through his ears and I tell you he is the one."