Yeah, I loved the little details, which were a wonderful combination of the familiar and fantastical. Little stuff like peeing on the crops because of the drought went a long way in my book. And I'm not a huge proponent of an arc all the time (believe me, I argue a lot about this with my boss). There are certain tales, Westerns in particular, where I believe the arc works to the story's detriment. The Gunslinger seemed more an episodic work, ala Conan (who also never arced), and I would argue that the point of more episodic works is to maintain the unchanging main character as s/he experiences weird, sort of random adventures. Yes, Roland had a goal throughout the book, but most of his adventures throughout were sort of random asides until the final confrontation. It's not until book two that the serial elements really appear in the Dark Tower IMO, which is why Roland begins arcing. Or what I would call getting sissified.