I’ve been reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King. Finally got ’round to it, and I’m enjoying it. It is written in an almost biblical language, similar to how Cormac McCarthy writes. Maybe it’s just desert writing.
Of course, I should’ve read this many years ago. My brother read most of the series almost a million years ago and suggested I read it as well, but he was into fantasy those years, and I’d been reading too many Stephen King books, so it didn’t happen. When my son also suggested more recently that I read it (particularly in a way that did not immediately feel like a mere suggestion), I figured I’d give it a go. And I’m glad I did.
The first sentence certainly is intriguing:
The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.
Here it is night in the desert and the gunslinger is dreaming:
The wind moaned, a witch with cancer in her belly. Every now and then a perverse down draft would make the smoke whirl and puff toward him and he breathed some of it in. It built dreams in the same way that a small irritant may build a pearl in an oyster. The gunslinger occasionally moaned with the wind. The stars were as indifferent to this as they were to wars, crucifixions, resurrections. This also would have pleased him.
A description of a weedeater (devil-grass is a kind of drug in the story):
It was a terrible face. The odor of devil-grass was a rank miasma. The eyes were damned, the staring, glaring eyes of one who sees but does not see, eyes ever turned inward to the sterile hell of dreams beyond control, dreams unleashed, risen out of the stinking swamps of the unconscious.
I like this description of wind in the desert, the bleakness of it:
The wind walked restlessly, told its tale to no one.
I think I may read more in this series.