The Gunslinger, the old version (Stephen King)

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

Book One: The Gunslinger

(con’t from the last post)

I just made a bit of a discovery. The Gunslinger edition that I just read was published in 1982. The Gunslinger edition that I am now listening to was published later and the book is different..!

I really didn’t know that authors change fictional books before they re-publish sometimes. Some part of me thought the story was immutable, like to change it would be sacrilege. But no, there is a lot added to the later edition so I was essentially missing out on part of the story. I’m so glad I decided to listen to it also, and that the edition I listened to was a later version.

The Gunslinger (1982)The illustrated edition on the left is the one I read.

Turns out, you can read about the differences between the two versions on The Gunslinger Wikipedia page:

“King revised The Gunslinger in 2003. In his introduction to the new edition, King stated that he felt that the original version was ‘dry’ and difficult for new readers to access. He also made the storytelling more linear as well as making the plot of the book more consistent with the series’ ending. Other changes were made in order to resolve continuity errors introduced by later volumes. The added material was over 9000 words (35 pages) in length.”

It then lists some of the major differences.

This explains a lot. Several times when listening to the book (a later version unbeknownst to me) I said to myself, how did I not catch that when I read it? Such as the scene when Roland kills Allie, his friend/lover, in Tull. A whole new twist was added to the story to make it a “compassionate” killing. Effective too, and a great addition to the storyline.

But I still have to say…I wish I had known this!!!!

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