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->"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

'''''The Gunslinger''''' is the first book in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series. The story opens with TheGunslinger Roland Deschain trekking across a desert that appears to be in [[TheWestern the Old West]] but [[WriterInducedFanon may actually be]] our own world [[AfterTheEnd in the distant future]]. {{Flashback}}s tell a HighFantasy tale of Roland's childhood.

Followed by ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheThree''.
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!!''The Gunslinger'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AfterTheEnd: "The World has moved on." (Also the ArcWords)
* {{Badass}}: Roland
* BadassAndChildDuo: Roland and Jake.
* BigBeautifulWoman: Sylvia Pittston is described in this manner, with big dark eyes, "creamy, unmarked, lovely" skin, massive white thighs and "breasts like earthworks". Even Roland finds himself getting turned on when he sees her preaching and has to look away.
* BlackCloak: The man in black, obviously.
* ChekhovsGun: The ancient jawbone.
* CombatPragmatist: Roland's weapon of choice in his gunslinger trial is [[spoiler:David, his trained hawk]]. He's also mastered the art of [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty fighting dirty]], which makes [[SadistTeacher Cort]] proud.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Allie. While watching the Man in Black [[spoiler:revive Nort]], Allie, who is fascinated with the idea of what lies beyond death, apparently becomes aroused and takes care of things right there at the bar while Walter does his thing. This is communicated to us with a single line: "Under the bar, her hands worked faster."
* DieLaughing: [[spoiler:Walter]]'s skeleton appears this way.
* TheDogShotFirst: Allie is held as a shield and hostage by Sheb as the residents of Tull attack Roland. Originally, Roland kills her out of pure instinct; his trained hands react quicker than his mind. She screams at him not to shoot, but it's too late, and the guilt of her death sits on Roland throughout the rest of the story. In the revised edition, there is a convoluted subplot in which after Walter resurrects Nort, he tells Allie that if she says "nineteen" to Nort, he will tell her what he saw on the other side. Knowing will drive her crazy, [[ShmuckBait but so will not knowing]]. Later, during the shootout, she begs Roland to kill her because she has spoken nineteen to Sheb and can't bear the horrors that he whispered back to her. As she dies King says that "the last expression on her face might have been gratitude."
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Not only is this book much shorter than the others in the series; it has a much more disjointed, poetic style. The narrative flow is much more linear in later books, which justify the different style by emphasizing that Roland went a ''little bit nuts'' during his long solo journey. We also have Marten Broadcloak, Walter O'Dim and John Farson the Good Man presented as three separate characters, when they're later presented as various guises of Flagg.
* TheEndOfTheBeginning: The man in black tells Roland this.
* EvilChancellor: Marten
* EvilLaugh: The man in black
* FriendOrIdolDecision: The Boy or the Tower? [[spoiler:The Tower.]]
* FriendToAllChildren: Hax the cook. Subverted when he turns out [[spoiler:to be a traitor]].
* TheGunslinger: Not the trope namer, but it could have been. Certainly a TropeCodifier.
* GunsAkimbo: [[spoiler: Afterward, Roland loses two fingers and can't properly take the position again.]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Roland and Cuthbert, while they were kids at least.
* HumanoidAbomination: The Slow Mutants.
* ImmuneToBullets: Walter. Despite his ImprobableAimingSkills, when Roland fires at him, he misses him with all twelve shots.
* {{Jerkass}}: [[SadistTeacher Cort]]. Though Cort is eventually shown to be an effective teacher who is genuinely concerned with training his pupils and earns untold respect from Roland and his first Ka-Tet.
* MoodDissonance: Walter o' Dim includes a little smiley face ☺ in his letter to Alice telling her the incomprehensible, indescribable PsychologicalHorror that would happen to her if she told Nort his TriggerPhrase.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The final test to become a gunslinger is a public fight between the candidate and his teacher, wherein they both pull out all the stops. Roland beats the everliving shit out of Cort before the latter yields, and afterwards he falls into a coma.
* OedipusComplex: Lampshaded.
* PatchworkStory: The book was originally published as a series of short stories and novellas, hence its somewhat episodic nature.
* PrecisionFStrike: In contrast to the ClusterFBomb of the other books.
* RedOniBlueOni: Cuthbert is the red to Alain's blue.
* ShootTheHostage: Sheb uses Roland's lover, Allie as a HumanShield and hostage. Roland kills her out of pure instinct; his trained hands react quicker than his mind. [[TheDogShotFirst Changed]] in the revised edition.
* [[spoiler:TimeSkip]]: Happened ''during'' the story. At the very end, Roland wakes up after [[spoiler:ten years to find Walter o' Dim dead as a skeleton]].
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Averted. During the showdown in Tull, a small knife is thrown at Roland, which strikes him in the head. Though the aim is dead on, it hits him by the hilt, bloodying him but causing no serious damage.
* TrainingFromHell: How Cort trains the young gunslingers for their test.
* TriggerPhrase: Nineteen (in the revised edition).
* VillainHasAPoint: John Farson, the "Good Man", is a cruel, power-hungry despot, [[InformedAttribute or so we're told]]. However, he's right that the Affiliation is ruled by a cabal of thugs with vague aristocratic pretensions who maintain power largely by having the best guns.
* WouldHitAGirl/ WouldHurtAChild: Roland kills every inhabitant of Tull, men, women and children. To be fair, they were all trying to kill him.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: When the two finally meet, Walter, the man in black, congratulates Roland [[spoiler:on letting Jake fall to his death in order to reach his goal]]. Roland's responds by attempting once again to shoot Walter.
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