- Mar 18, 2014
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?
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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.'.
I read the original way back when, then didn't touch the series until it was done--by which time I'd lost the original, and had forgotten half its content. So when I went on the REAL journey, do ya, I started with the revised. Don't think it hurt the tale any, IMO.
I feel a re-read comin on--can feel that 'wind' every time I pass that line of books, calling to me. This'd make fifth or sixth time, but the first with Keyhole wedged in there.
As far as I'm concerned, ol boy can go back and revise, re-edit, add (please) all he wants. Let the other books follow the sure-fire formulas of today's stale fiction; this opus is King's baby--his world, his imagination, his ever-expanding canvas upon which he may toss whatever colors he wants.
And, for the record, I liked the ending.
For me, I didn't like the ending. Not so much, because of the plot twists, which were fine, but I felt the narrative felt forced. He had just been hit by a van, and he was worried that he might not live to finish the tale. If he were to return to the Dark Tower, and re-write the whole tale in an unhurried manner, I could easily imagine it being much better.
Perhaps. But then again, and I'm willing to bet, he could write a whole new ending and there'd be plenty of folks still think it sucks. Van or no van, Uncle Stevie's always had trouble with endings; or, rather, the readers do. Especially the epic bricks--people read one of those, 800-1000 + page tomes, they expect some kinda holy, life changing Oh Henry Shammalanna corker as a reward for all the time they've spent on it. Or something--tell ya, I think many folks are confused about endings and just what it is they're supposed to do. They need to read more literature, and turn off the glass teat.
The Journey, do ya. The only thing endings really do is just that--end.