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

King’s most ambitious work starts out in a manner that almost seems intended to put some readers off. The first book, which introduces The Gunslinger and his mysterious mission, is rather short and offers more questions than answers. Our main character proves capable not only of mass slaughter but of surprising acts of betrayal (if that is the word). Hypnotically strange and very poetic, though. I’ve grown to love this book, but please don’t give up on the series if the start fails to grab you. There’s more to the tower than depressing deserts.

The Gunslinger has now also been released in a revised version.