Revised Version vs Original Version of The Gunslinger

Discussion in 'The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger' started by taylor29, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. taylor29

    taylor29 Well-Known Member

    Now that I've finished the series I am wondering how the revised edition of the Gunslinger differs from the original and if I should re-read it. Were the revisions solely for consistency's sake?
  2. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    Some of them were. Others cleaned up the narrative--cut adverbs, reworded some things. The biggest change is how
    the death of Ally (I think that was her name--it's been a while since I read either version)
    was handled.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN was worth buying and the read...
  4. Spideyman

    Spideyman Uber Member

    It is an interesting read, but I prefer the original.
  5. Bev Vincent

    Bev Vincent Well-Known Member

    For me, the biggest change was

    the way Jake's character is treated. When he wrote the book, King may not have realized how important Jake was going to be, or even that he'd return to the series, so in the original version, Jake is weak and compliant, diffident. In the revised version he suffers the same fate but he is more vocal--a much stronger character
  6. Shoe

    Shoe Ka 'n' stuff

    There was no revised version when I first read The Gunslinger. I have read it in it's place on some of the many rereads I have done with the Tower quest. I like to view as
    hints, although subtle and minor, that things can change slowly, bit by bit, for Roland with each different turn of the wheel.
  7. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I did too, Spidey.
  8. taylor29

    taylor29 Well-Known Member

    I think King mentioned that between the first and last novels there was bound to be inconsistencies and the first one was essentially cleaned up a little based on later books. What's interesting to me is that once we've read the series all the way through, we're sort of sent back through the cycle that same as Roland because now we've got to go back and revisit the desert. Funny how ka works.
    kingricefan, blunthead, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  9. Evil Queen

    Evil Queen Well-Known Member

    I read the original version. I really liked it.
    kingricefan, blunthead, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  10. cat in a bag

    cat in a bag Well-Known Member

    I prefer the original version. I was surprised at the amount of foreshadowing in the revision, I felt that it gave away too much about some things. I just thought that if I was a reader going on the journey for the first time, some of the events in the later books wouldn't have held as much of a punch.
    kingricefan, blunthead, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  11. I've re-read the original version more than any other King novel--or any other book, for that matter. I certainly understand why he revised it--continuity issues, narrative dead-ends, etc.--but something was lost in the polish. In the revised version, that fever dream quality is gone, as is much of the raw, pulsing language I associate only with young King--the original is similar in some ways to Rage and The Long Walk, particularly the first two sections of the novel.

    So: as a coherent part of the entire series, yes--go for the revised. As a stand-alone work and a glimpse into the mind of a young writer on the cusp of so much--the original, all the way. It's magical.
  12. Neil W

    Neil W Well-Known Member

    I've had the revised version for several years now, but haven't read it as I have so much other stuff to read, and I had trouble with the original when I first read it.
    kingricefan and Neesy like this.
  13. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Nothing will ever match the feeling I had after I turned the last page of the original version. I bought it on the secondary market about a year after the second Grant printing was released (and quickly sold out!). This was after it was listed in the front of the Pet Semetary hardback with the other 'known' King books at that time. If you weren't part of the sci-fi crowd back then and didn't subscribe to any of the sci-fi magazines there was no way of knowing that King had even published this book, so it was a shock to us 'constant readers' that there was another novel out there. The book was (is) unlike anything King had written up to that point. It's words were sparse, dry, and hard- like the desert in which it takes place. King stripped it down to the bare bones, wasting not one word. I prefer the original version because it casts a spell on you. Main reason I don't like the revised version- the over use of the word 'Yar.'.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    Neesy and king family fan like this.
  14. FlakeNoir

    FlakeNoir Beta/Moderator Moderator

    I'll try harder not to...
  15. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Sweetie, I don't mind it at all when you do it. I just felt it was overkill in the revision. I promise I won't jump down your throat about it. :biggrin2:
    king family fan, Neesy and FlakeNoir like this.

Share This Page

Finders Keepers