Frank Muller Reading of The Gunslinger Audiobook has Mysteriously Disappeared
The Frank Muller reading of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger has mysteriously disappeared from the face of the planet. You can’t find it anywhere.
Instead, Audible, the audiobook giant from Amazon, has replaced Muller’s masterful performance with a new one by George Guidall.
A Who’s Who of Gunslinger Narrators
Over the years, we’ve had 3 narrators for The Gunslinger novel.
- In 1988, Stephen King narrated the first edition himself!
- Stage and voice actor Frank Muller narrated The Gunslinger, Drawing of the Three, Waste Lands, and Wizard and Glass — parts I, II, III, and IV of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, respectively.
- Frank Muller got into a horrific motorcycle accident
- Voice actor George Guidall finished up the series (books 5-7) following Muller’s incapacitation
- Recently, Audible switched out Muller’s Gunslinger audiobook with a new performance by George Guidall
- The old one is nowhere to be found!
Stephen King Reads The Gunslinger Audiobook
Stephen King is no stranger to audiobook narration. He’s actually got a knack for it.
It helps that the quality of his voice is gentle. Stephen King’s narration style is easy on the ears. In fact, at times, it’s hypnotic. As far as I’m concerned, there’s little worse than an abrasive narration, and there’s little more agreeable than relaxing narration.
This Audiobook has Disappeared Over the Years
Sai King has also read On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and The Wind Through the Keyhole. I own both of those audiobooks, and I enjoyed both of King’s performances.
I especially liked his reading of The Wind Through the Keyhole. I liked his aural depictions of the dialogue for their character, personality, and emotion.
Much of the same goes for Stephen King’s 1988 reading of The Gunslinger.
Luckily, I found a copy of the book on tape, so I bought it. Of course, then, I also had to buy an audio cassette player. Here is a recording I made of the opening line:
Frank Muller Reads The Gunslinger Audiobook
As far as I’m concerned, Frank Muller was by far the best of the bunch. With the power of only his voice, Muller captures the vastness of the Mohaine desert, bleakness of The Gunslinger’s world, and romantic drama of Sai King’s writing style.
Unfortunately, Frank Muller’s Reading has Mysteriously Disappeared as Well
Frank Muller’s prodigious storytelling power is more than just the way in which he expels words. His magic also comes from the negative space, that is, the pauses he takes between sentences, which enriches the drama.
You might have noticed that I said “the pauses he takes,” as opposed to “the pauses he took.” I use a present grammar tense to talk about Frank Muller, because every time a Tower Junkie goes back to the tower, Muller lives on and on.
Muller was a unique performer; I have never heard anyone read quite like him.
Rest in peace, Frank Muller.
George Guidall Reads The Gunslinger Audiobook
George Guidall is an audiobook legend. The “three time Audie award winner” (georgeguidall.com) has narrated westerns, historical fiction, nonfiction, and more. On his website, he touts his reading of the classics (such as Don Quixote and The Iliad) as some of his finest work, but personally, I like Guidall’s performance in American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, the best.
In the full cast American Gods audiobook, Guidall plays Mr. Wednesday and KNOCKS it out of the PARK. And by the way, if you’re looking for an audiobook recommendation, you could do a lot worse than American Gods.
I also enjoyed Guidall’s reading of The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. I wrote a review of it here.
Anyway, even in The Dark Tower series, Guidall’s interpretation of Andy, Messenger Robot (many other functions) is thoughtful and creative. Frankly, Guidall’s psychotic robot in Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla is so on point that it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the part.
I especially like how he stretches out the sounds to make him sound synthesized and mechanical, like the late Steven Hawking.
In the last 3 books, Guidall is masterful. And that’s saying something. Because following Muller is a tall order. It’s no easy task. His interpretation of Eddie Dean was especially different, but I was able to get used to it in the end.
All that background is important to mention, because I don’t want to sound as if I don’t like George Guidall’s audiobooks. However, the sad truth is that it really is unfortunate that Guidall’s reading of The Gunslinger has replaced that of Frank Muller.
It’s too bad, because the Frank Muller version really was better.