Story Spotlight: The Gunslinger – Stephen King

Rarely does a story come along that blows me away purely from a writing standpoint. Back in April I wrote about Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, but that story was quite a bit different. While it clearly had a strong showing of style over substance, it also had in-depth character study, which I love.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King is different. It has some character development, but not enough to make me enjoy it for that reason. It has some action, adventure, and mystery, but not so much that those elements kept me turning the pages. And I enjoyed the mashup of the western and fantasy genres, but there are zounds of those out there that I doubt I’ll ever read. No, what I loved about The Gunslinger was the writing, plain and simple.

And that’s just it: this story has a plain and simple style, yet achieves something so elegant. Of particular note was the one scene of gunplay toward the beginning of the book. I’m not normally a fan of action sequences, but this scene had me spellbound. The way it described the character’s fluid, natural relationship with his gun, as merely an extension of his body and mind, was incredible. I don’t believe I’ve ever read an action sequence that felt so organic.

Needless to say, I’ll be checking out the sequels and waiting for a movie to finally be made. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to emulate some of that style in my own writing.

5 stars out of 5

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