April Reads

I read four books in April. Here are my rapid-fire thoughts on them.

The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud

I heard about this newly released book on TikTok and bought it on a whim. It's about a colony on Mars that loses all communication with Earth. It reads like a Western, but with ghosts, rogue robots, and on Mars. The pacing was excellent and well-written, but ultimately left me wanting more.

Butcher's Crossing by John Williams

This book should be required reading in school. It occurs in the 1870s and centers around Will Andrews, a second-year Harvard student who drops out of college seeking "an original relation to nature." He ends up in a small town called Butcher's Crossing, where he's convinced to go hunting for buffalo in Colorado.

Andrews hopes to use nature as a means to find himself but quickly finds out that nature is under no obligation to oblige. Nature doesn't care and is relentless. The book almost paints nature as an indifferent antagonist who is uncompromising above all else.

The story is beautifully written and heartbreakingly relatable.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The first book in the Dark Tower series reads more like a setup for the rest of the series. The prose is a bit strange compared to some of the other Stephen King books I've read, but by the end, I was left extremely curious about how the rest of the series will play out. I struggled to follow the story at times and felt like it was jumping around a bit too much.

The book feels like a Western set in a fantasy world and centers around the last gunslinger, Roland. He's on a mission to the Dark Tower while chasing the Man in Black.

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Needless to say, The Gunslinger did its job, and boy am I glad I read this book. It is light years better than the first book. I could not put this one down. The story, the pacing, the characters. Nearly everything in this book was damn near perfect. The way the story introduces Eddie Dean is probably some of the best storytelling I've ever read. I want more! Luckily for me, there are six more books for me to read.