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 Active 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 Why Chew Through The Restraints? 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 Active 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.
  9. Evil Queen

    Evil Queen Well-Known Member

    I read the original version. I really liked it.
  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.
    blunthead, Neesy, Shoe and 1 other person 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.

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