The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands Info

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Now a major motion picture starring Matthew McConaughey and
Idris Elba


The third volume in the #1 nationally
bestselling Dark Tower Series, involving the enigmatic Roland (the last
gunfighter) and his ongoing quest for the Dark Tower, is “Stephen
King at his best” (School Library Journal).

Several
months have passed since The Drawing of the Three, and in The
Waste Lands
, Roland’s two new tet-mates have become
trained gunslingers. Eddie Dean has given up heroin, and Odetta’s
two selves have joined, becoming the stronger and more balanced
personality of Susannah Dean. But Roland altered ka by saving the
life of Jake Chambers, a boy who—in Roland’s
world—has already died. Now Roland and Jake exist in different
worlds, but they are joined by the same madness: the paradox of double
memories. Roland, Susannah, and Eddie must draw Jake into Mid-World and
then follow the Path of the Beam all the way to the Dark Tower. There
are new evils…new dangers to threaten Roland’s little band
in the devastated city of Lud and the surrounding wastelands, as well as
horrific confrontations with Blaine the Mono, the piratical Gasher, and
the frightening Tick-Tock Man.

The Dark Tower Series continues
to show Stephen King as a master of his craft. What lands, what peoples
has he visited that are so unreachable to us except in the pages of his
incredible books? Now Roland’s strange odyssey continues. The
Waste Lands
follows The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the
Three
as the third volume in what may be the most extraordinary and
imaginative cycle of tales in the English language.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.47

176504 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands:

3

Aug 01, 2013

(B) 74% | More than Satisfactory
Notes: Skirting back-story and mythology, it focuses too much on cliché genre retreads to be thought of as a serious fantasy.
4

Sep 22, 2007

This book contains the biggest lie a writer ever told me. Its in the Authors Note at the end:

The fourth volume in the tale of the Dark Tower should appear - always assuming the continuation of Constant Writers life and Constant Readers interest - in the not-too-distant-future.

It took six years for the next book to come out.

Six. Goddamn. Years.

Six years may not seem too bad to fans of authors who only release a book every decade or so, but theres a couple of factors that made this false This book contains the biggest lie a writer ever told me. It‘s in the Author‘s Note at the end:

The fourth volume in the tale of the Dark Tower should appear - always assuming the continuation of Constant Writer’s life and Constant Reader’s interest - in the not-too-distant-future.

It took six years for the next book to come out.

Six. Goddamn. Years.

Six years may not seem too bad to fans of authors who only release a book every decade or so, but there’s a couple of factors that made this false statement particularly bitter. The Waste Lands ends on a nail biting cliffhanger. I literally yelled aloud in frustration the first time I read this back in 1991 and realized that I’d have to wait for the next book to learn the fate of Roland and his friends.

Still, after some reflection it didn’t seem that bad. The next volume would appear ‘in the not-too-distant-future’, right? Besides this was Stephen King, the writer who churned out 1000 page books like McDonald’s makes Big Macs. No big deal. I’d be reading it by ‘92. 1993 at the latest.

Five goddamn years later, and I’d gone from Stephen King and Dark Tower fan to the kind of crazed fury usually reserved for jilted lovers. It didn’t help that King was cranking out big fat books including some utter shit like Insomnia and Rose Madder. Yet no fourth Dark Tower book, and every now and then I’d reread the first three volumes and dream of the day when I’d finally learn what happened next.

The odd thing is that it still kind of pisses me off even now that the series is finished. I get that same sense of frustration when I read this remembering the six goddamn years between books while seeing all kinds of other King novels come out. It’s too bad because this was my favorite of the first three books until frustration turned it into an irritating loose end.

And I’ll confess something that makes me a small, petty person. Deep down in my shriveled black soul, I’m resentful and jealous of anyone who reads the series now or who started reading it when the last three books were coming out like clockwork at the end. They didn’t suffer like the ones who read this and waited six years. Then read the fourth one and waited SIX MORE GODDAMN YEARS FOR THE FIFTH ONE. YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT! BETWEEN 1991 AND 2003 STEPHEN FUCKING KING, ONE-OF-THE-MOST-PROFILIC-WRITERS-I’VE-EVER-READ, MANAGED TO WRITE JUST ONE GODDAMN DARK TOWER BOOK AND IF THAT MINIVAN HADN’T VERY NEARLY KILLED HIS PROCRASTINATING ASS, I’D PROBABLY STILL BE WAITING!!

*ahem* Excuse me. I’ve still got a few unresolved issues with old Steve about this series.

And what about the story in this book? Roland is training Eddie and Susannah to be gunslingers, but he’s going crazy from a paradox he created in the last book by time hopping to our world and changing an event that altered his own timeline. They also find a creepy old decayed city filled with a murderous mob and have to deal with a monorail that is criminally insane.

It’s terrific, but I think the waiting drove me a little mad. And now King has been making noises about possibly doing another book that would fill some of the SIX GODDAMN YEAR GAP between #4 and #5. You’ll pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.
...more
3

Jul 18, 2017

English (The Waste Lands) / Italiano

Happiness while watching the drawing of the metal plate found on the just killed bear, happiness that I feel for the unpredictable and the inexplicable. My personal journey into the world of "The Dark Tower" goes on, together with the gunslinger, Roland, escorted by Eddie and Susannah, the two tale gunners recruited in the previous chapter, The Drawing of the Three. However, there is still somebody to recruit for the company to be complete...

In the author's

English (The Waste Lands) / Italiano

Happiness while watching the drawing of the metal plate found on the just killed bear, happiness that I feel for the unpredictable and the inexplicable. My personal journey into the world of "The Dark Tower" goes on, together with the gunslinger, Roland, escorted by Eddie and Susannah, the two tale gunners recruited in the previous chapter, The Drawing of the Three. However, there is still somebody to recruit for the company to be complete...

In the author's note at the end of the book, King predicts that some readers will probably be disappointed by the unanswered questions that this novel leaves. But actually, the philosophy of unanswered questions was the winning strategy of a lot of narrative or television series, such as the famous TV show "LOST" (which I loved), and I'm going to go out on a limb here expecting that it will be the winning strategy of "The Dark Tower" too.

Alright, cut the chatter. As Blaine the mono says:

"... let the contest begin."

Vote: 7,5




Felicità mentre osservo il disegno della targa metallica rinvenuta sull'orso appena ucciso, felicità di LOSTiana memoria che provo per l'ignoto e l'inspiegabile. Continua il mio viaggio personale nel mondo de "La Torre Nera", e continua il cammino di Roland, accompagnato da Eddie e Susannah, i due compagni di ventura reclutati nel precedente capitolo La chiamata dei tre. Tuttavia manca ancora qualcuno da reclutare affinchè la compagnia possa dirsi completa...

Nella nota dell'autore a fine libro, King prevede che probabilmente alcuni lettori saranno delusi dal fatto che Terre Desolate lascia tanti quesiti irrisolti. Beh, quella dei quesiti irrisolti è stata la filosofia vincente di tante serie narrative o televisive, come la serie cult "LOST", della quale sono stato un fan sfegatato, e mi sbilancio con ottimismo prevedendo che sarà la filosofia vincente anche de "La Torre Nera".

Okay, bando alle ciance. E come direbbe Blaine il Mono:

"...che abbia inizio la gara."

Voto: 7,5

...more
5

Aug 17, 2008



DISCLAIMER: Many aspects of THE GUNSLINGER ACTION ADVENTURE EXPEDITION are comprised of potentially dangerous activities involving giant cyborgs, possessed buildings, demon rapists and extras from the cast of Deliverance, do you ken it. There is a risk of serious injury, being Roont or even Charyou Tree. Therefore GUNSLINGER KA-TETS WITH DINH ONLY. While training and remembering the face of your father can reduce the inherent risks, Ka is a wheel and they cannot be completely eliminated do

DISCLAIMER: Many aspects of THE GUNSLINGER ACTION ADVENTURE EXPEDITION are comprised of potentially dangerous activities involving giant cyborgs, possessed buildings, demon rapists and extras from the cast of Deliverance, do you ken it. There is a risk of serious injury, being Roont or even Charyou Tree. Therefore GUNSLINGER KA-TETS WITH DINH ONLY. While training and remembering the face of your father can reduce the inherent risks, Ka is a wheel and they cannot be completely eliminated do you ken. No guarantees as to a participant’s safety can be given and MID-WORLD TOURS, LTD, a subsidiary of NORTH CENTRAL POSITRONICS, INC. and its parent company, THE SOMBRA CORPORATION make no claim that any aspect of the adventure excursion will be accident or injury free. Take part strictly AT YOUR OWN RISK. Thankee Sai Thankee Big Big .

FIRST EXCURSION:

Location: Bear Beam Station
Places of Interest: Shardik’s Cyborg and Wormy Snot Extravaganza
Description: Your Ka-tet will find plenty to shoot at when you enter the beautiful old woods of North Central Positronics’ Outdoor Nature Park. Remember the face of your father as you test your marksmanship on SHARDIK, mad Guardian of the Beam. Find a way to bring him down and you’ll win the chance to continue to our second excursion…but don’t ask us for help because that would SPOIL the fun. Life is a bitch and Ka is a Wheel.


SECOND EXCURSION:

Location: The Long Path
Places of Interest: Billy Bumbler Preserve
Description: Experience one of the true marvels of the animal kingdom when you encounter the Mid-World famous billy bumblers in their natural habitat. For an additional fee, you can sign up for our “Bag a Bumbler” Safari and if you’ve got the skills, the disposition and whole lotta KHEF, you just might take home a billy bumbler of your very own….Oy, Oy, Oy, it doesn’t get any better than that does it Sai.


THIRD EXCURSION :

Location: Gateway Central
Places of Interest: Dutch Hill Haunted House
Description: Check your guns and your Ka and be prepared for the thrill of a life-time as you experience the house on Dutch Hill. Be prepared to encounter a GEN-U-I-NE, malicious, spectral monstrosity of pure and absolute evil. Be on your guard before entering this living nightmare of wood and brick. If you’ve got the stones and KA is with you, you may just make it through alive.



FOURTH EXCURSION :

Location: Ring of Stones
Places of Interest: Demon Lovers Emporium
Description: For those whose amorous appetites run to the more exotic and even the extreme, we have just the thing for ye Sais. Fulfill your darkest, most demented, most depraved desires with diabolical denizens of the deep darkness…Male, Female, Both and Neither….the only limitations are your imagination and your KHEF.***

***(view spoiler)[For this Excursion, proper “protection” shall be provided and MUST be used to prevent the creation of infernal offspring (hide spoiler)].



FIFTH EXCURSION :

Location: River Crossing
Places of Interest: Gunslinger Remembrance Ceremony
Description: Kick back, relax and bask in the glow of adoration and pleasant conversation with the kind folks of River Crossing. Eat and drink your fill Gunslingers because things are going to get Fuck All Crazy and wild real, real soon.


SIXTH EXCURSION :

Location: Lud
Places of Interest: Ruins of Lud; Gasher’s Bridge and the Home of the Tick-Tock Man
Description: Listen to the sweet sounds of ZZ Top’s “Velcro Fly” as you experience the excitement and heart-stomping terror of the hospitality of the Luddites. You’ll need all of your skills to work your way past Gasher’s Bridge to the Home of the Tick-Tock Man. Remember Gunslingers, you do not to aim or shoot with your hand and you do not kill with your gun. Those that do have forgotten the face of their father. Aim with your eye, shoot with your mind and kill with your heart and your Ka-Tet may just make it through.



FINAL EXCURSION :

Location: Cradle of Lud
Places of Interest: Blaine the Mono
Description: Well Gunslingers, we saved the best for last, do you ken. Top off your unique adventure with a wild ride on the last sentient transport of a World Moved On. Ride in comfort and enjoy the sights….but beware Sais…Blaine can be a pain and you may have cause to complain of his riddles so they say. Be prepared to win the day….for if Blaine can hold sway….you will die on the way.



One of my all time favorites. 6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!
Nominee: Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel (1992)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel (1992)
...more
5

Jan 19, 2018

In short, The Waste Lands blew my mind.



The incorporation of the riddles and the story of Blaine the Mono, I mean, who comes up with this stuff?



The King, that's who.

Stephen. Freaking. King.



What more can I say besides the fact that I loved this with my whole heart and soul?!

As you know if you are reading this, this is the third book in King's epic Dark Tower series. This book knocked The Drawing of Three out of the top spot for me.



It was that good! As the series continues to build, it's hard In short, The Waste Lands blew my mind.



The incorporation of the riddles and the story of Blaine the Mono, I mean, who comes up with this stuff?



The King, that's who.

Stephen. Freaking. King.



What more can I say besides the fact that I loved this with my whole heart and soul?!

As you know if you are reading this, this is the third book in King's epic Dark Tower series. This book knocked The Drawing of Three out of the top spot for me.



It was that good! As the series continues to build, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the complexity of it all. Even with this in mind however, it's such an enjoyable story, it just seems to work!

Most compelling for me was the resurgence of my favorite character of the series. My boy returning just made me so, so happy!



There is really nothing else I can say about this that would be any more creative or insightful than what countless others have no doubt written in their reviews.

For me, one thing I always think when reading a book from this series is how absolutely EPIC it is.



The detail, the atmosphere, the artfully drawn characters, it is truly astounding to me that all of this, ALL OF THIS, came out of one man's brain!

I have already started the fourth book in the series and it is equally amazing, although the pace is a little different thus far. I look forward to seeing this series out to its conclusion. ...more
4

Jul 25, 2015

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3), Stephen King
The Waste Lands (subtitled "Redemption") is a fantasy novel by American writer Stephen King, the third book of The Dark Tower series. The original limited edition hardcover featuring full-color illustrations by Ned Dameron was published in 1991 by Grant. The book was reissued in 2003 to coincide with the publication of The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla. The story begins five weeks after the end of The Drawing of the Three. Roland, Susannah, The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3), Stephen King
The Waste Lands (subtitled "Redemption") is a fantasy novel by American writer Stephen King, the third book of The Dark Tower series. The original limited edition hardcover featuring full-color illustrations by Ned Dameron was published in 1991 by Grant. The book was reissued in 2003 to coincide with the publication of The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla. The story begins five weeks after the end of The Drawing of the Three. Roland, Susannah, and Eddie have moved east from the shore of the Western Sea, and into the woods of Out-World. After an encounter with a gigantic cyborg bear named Shardik, they discover one of the six mystical Beams that hold the world together. The three gunslingers follow the Path of the Beam inland to Mid-World. Roland now reveals to his ka-tet (group of people bound together by fate/destiny) that his mind has become divided and is slowly losing his sanity. Roland remembers meeting Jake Chambers in the way station and letting him fall to his death in the mountains (as depicted in The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger). However, he also remembers passing through the desert alone and never meeting Jake. It is soon discovered that when Roland saved Jake from being killed by Jack Mort in 1977 (in The Drawing of the Three), he inadvertently created a paradox; Jake did not die and thus did not appear in Mid-World and travel with Roland. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2014 میلادی
کتاب سوم از هفتگانه برج تاریک
عنوان: سرزمین متروک؛ اثر: استیون کینگ؛ برگردان: ندا شادنظر؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، افراز، 1392، در 462 ص، شابک: 9789642433537؛ کتاب سوم از هفتگانه برج تاریک؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی سده 20 م

کتاب «سرزمین متروک»، سومین رمان، از مجموعه ی داستانی «برج تاریک»، نوشته ی استیون کینگ، است. در این داستان، رولاند، آخرین هفت تیرکش، بیشتر از هر زمان دیگری، به برج تاریک رویاها، و کابوسهایش، نزدیک شده است. او از صحرایی نفرین شده در دنیای مهیب و ترسناکی میگذرد، که به گونه ای، تصویری از همین دنیای ما انسانهاست. دو شخصیت با نامهای: «ادی دین»، و «سوسانا» نیز، رولاند را، در این دنیا همراهی میکنند. خطرهای تازه ای، رولاند و همراهان اندکش را، در شهر ویرانه ی «لود»، و سرزمینهای متروک دور و اطراف، تهدید میکنند. رولاند با پیشروی داستان، به تدریج درمییابد، که چه کسی، یا چه چیزی، در پشت پرده، کنترل رخدادها را به دست دارد. او مجبور است، برای بقا با خیل عظیمی از دشمنان: انسان، و غیرانسان، رودررو شود. ا. شربیانی ...more
5

Feb 07, 2008

After the events of the Drawing of the Three, Roland the Gunslinger has two people from our world along side him in his quest for the Dark Tower. However, he's also going mad because of a strange double set of memories in his head, memories of a boy he crossed the desert with...

The Waste Lands is probably my favorite Dark Tower book and epitomizes what I like about the series. It's got the lost technology, lots of action, more bits about Roland's world, and makes Roland's ka-tet complete. The After the events of the Drawing of the Three, Roland the Gunslinger has two people from our world along side him in his quest for the Dark Tower. However, he's also going mad because of a strange double set of memories in his head, memories of a boy he crossed the desert with...

The Waste Lands is probably my favorite Dark Tower book and epitomizes what I like about the series. It's got the lost technology, lots of action, more bits about Roland's world, and makes Roland's ka-tet complete. The story of Jake in New York was well done. I even liked Oy the Billy-Bumbler. All the stuff that goes down in Lud had me dying to read the next book in the series. The ending would have made me furious had I been reading the Dark Tower books as they were published.

Notes from the 2011 re-read:
The Waste Lands drives home the notion that Roland's world is coming apart at the seams. It also gives us hints about what Roland was like before the world moved on, hints that will be further explored in Wizard and Glass.

Even though I knew the whole deal with the key, this being my fifth or sixth read, it was still a tense moment when the key didn't turn and the creature was loose in the haunted mansion in New York. I felt a single man tear threaten to roll down my cheek when (view spoiler)[Roland and Jake (hide spoiler)] were reunited.

I also liked the Robert Howard reference, this being the first re-read since I read all the Howard Conan stuff.

As I said after my re-read of The Gunslinger, it's a testament to Stephen King's skill that I was still a little worried about Jake in Lud, even though I've read the book a few times before.

Blaine is a pain and that's the truth.

Notes from the 2014 re-read:
I always forget about Roland having to deal with the time paradox he created. Roland and Jake both going mad because of it was really well done and pretty believable.

(view spoiler)[Are the robots at the portal symbolic of the ultimately circular nature of Roland's quest? Did King know how the story would end way back when he wrote The Wastelands? (hide spoiler)]

Every damn time, King still hooks me with the Jake situations in the mansion and in Lud. That's why he's a bajillionaire, I guess.

If I couldn't have dogs, I'd take a billy-bumbler. ...more
5

Apr 04, 2016

Ka was like a wheel, its one purpose to turn, and in the end it always came back to the place where it had started.

The third book in the Dark Tower series finds Roland and his ka-tet following the Path of the Beam towards the tower. Along the way theyll pick up two new members...

I was contemplating writing this review as an Ode to Oy, but words cant even express how much I love that little billy-bumbler; he is the CUTEST. A particular highlight for me is when he calls Gasher asshole - SASSY OY!

I “Ka was like a wheel, its one purpose to turn, and in the end it always came back to the place where it had started.”

The third book in the Dark Tower series finds Roland and his ka-tet following the Path of the Beam towards the tower. Along the way they’ll pick up two new members...

I was contemplating writing this review as an Ode to Oy, but words can’t even express how much I love that little billy-bumbler; he is the CUTEST. A particular highlight for me is when he calls Gasher “asshole” - SASSY OY!

I also have a revelation that may shake you all to your cores... having previously ranted and raved about how Blaine did my head in, I actually LIKED Blaine the Mono this time around. Now, the riddles I can still do without... but I found Blaine to be highly entertaining. Memory is a funny thing, isn’t it?! He was completely different in my head!

The house on Dutch Hill - how STRESSFUL is that part, the bleakness of Lud, the people in River Crossing, that huge freakin’ bear, MEETING OY..... this book has so much fucking awesomeness packed into it that I don’t know where to begin and I can’t fit it all in here in detail, so I’ll just say it was INCREDIBLE.

This reread is completely challenging all my prior thoughts and feelings on certain books in the series. Now, I would rank The Waste Lands as the best in the series so far - whereas before, it was down near the bottom for me (but still excellent, I do love all the books!) This one has gained an entire star following my reread!

I honestly hate reviewing these books because it’s just word vomit. I JUST LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. 5 glittering shiny stars!! ...more
4

Jul 18, 2017

4.5*

I almost, almost, gave 5 stars to this one. I consider this volume to be the best out of the three that Ive read so far. If the book had stopped midway it would have got the maximum recognition from me, no doubt. I love and hate Kings way of writing too much. He managed to keep me at the edge of my seat for 100 pages, hungry for more, promising my undying love and then, after the climax (the forth drawing), he slightly bores me for the next 100. Maybe the plot got too intense and he thought 4.5*

I almost, almost, gave 5 stars to this one. I consider this volume to be the best out of the three that I’ve read so far. If the book had stopped midway it would have got the maximum recognition from me, no doubt. I love and hate King’s way of writing too much. He managed to keep me at the edge of my seat for 100 pages, hungry for more, promising my undying love and then, after the climax (the forth drawing), he slightly bores me for the next 100. Maybe the plot got too intense and he thought we needed a cool down but still, my serotonin levels dropped too much.

The best part of the novel for me was the drawing of the 4th member of the Ka-tet after an adrenaline pumping sequence of evince in both worlds. I was enthralled by the changing of perspective from one world to another. The tension of those moments was King at his best. Even breathing was a nuisance as I feverishly turned page after page in order to see what happens next.

The Waste Lands is the first in the series to finish with a cliffhanger but I won’t be rushing to start the next one as I do not want to overdose on King and lose interest. ...more
4

Dec 08, 2014

Take the guesswork out of your next vacation!!

FORSPECIAL Travels and Tours presents:

Lud, the Jewel of the Send

Your Guided Mid-World adventure starts here!!

Charming Local Accommodations

- See the amazing, bumbling Shardik, Mid-Worlds largest, comedic bear, searching for picnic baskets
- Glimpse (and maybe chat with) an elusive billy-bumbler
- Pick some devil grass. We wont tell.
- Chat with the oldest people in Mid-World. Find out what their secret is to long life. (Hint: Its not yogurt.)

Small Take the guesswork out of your next vacation!!

FORSPECIAL Travels and Tours presents:

Lud, the Jewel of the Send

Your Guided Mid-World adventure starts here!!

Charming Local Accommodations

- See the amazing, bumbling Shardik, Mid-World’s largest, comedic bear, searching for picnic baskets
- Glimpse (and maybe chat with) an elusive billy-bumbler
- Pick some devil grass. We won’t tell.
- Chat with the oldest people in Mid-World. Find out what their secret is to long life. (Hint: It’s not yogurt.)

Small Group Sizes

Authentic Local Experiences

- It’s Cosplay, every day.
- Lud is a storybook wonderland as the locals re-enact Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery daily.
- Test your skill in the wacky, fun obstacle course
- Groove to the constant ZZ-Top beat
- See the beautiful, one-of-a-kind underground city of neon lights
- Kids of all ages can play riddles with Blaine the Train. If Blaine wins, you get an electrifyingly special prize.

Last chance to book for this family fun vacation!!
...more
4

Mar 30, 2015

Fabulous buddy-read with my Dark Tower Posse: Quick Draw Stepheny, Jumpin' Jeff, Calamity (slow poke) Bev, and last but not least- Bronco Bustin Black Jackin' Jason- The name stands PERVERTS!!!!



Five weeks after The Drawing of the Three- Roland, Susannah, and Eddie are deep into the woods of The Out-World- where they encounter Shardik- a ginormous cyborg bear on his last legs.



After putting him out of his misery- they realize- they have to follow the path of the beam to The Mid-world...

....but Fabulous buddy-read with my Dark Tower Posse: Quick Draw Stepheny, Jumpin' Jeff, Calamity (slow poke) Bev, and last but not least- Bronco Bustin Black Jackin' Jason- The name stands PERVERTS!!!!



Five weeks after The Drawing of the Three- Roland, Susannah, and Eddie are deep into the woods of The Out-World- where they encounter Shardik- a ginormous cyborg bear on his last legs.



After putting him out of his misery- they realize- they have to follow the path of the beam to The Mid-world...

....but first they need to bring back a fallen member of their ka-tet...



...meet a billy bumbler- Oyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!...take on a demon...and catch the train ride from Heeeeeeeellllllllllll. Blaine the Paiiiiiiiiiiin.



Sooooooo much to do sooooooo little time...and there are more than a few bumps in the road along the way.



I cannot express how thrilled I am that I started this series (*take note Anne). And I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be experiencing this reading adventure with. On to book IV- Wizard and Glass. I can't wait!!! ...more
4

Aug 11, 2018

April is the cruellest month

Stephen Kings ambitious and challenging Dark Tower series continues with the third novel, The Waste Lands, first published in 1991.

I am reading this series very slowly. I read The Gunslinger in 2012, not really sure what I had read and why and not understanding what all the fuss was about. The second book, The Drawing of the Three, was more impressive and more complicated and though I liked it (after a three year gap after the first book) I was still unsure as to how “April is the cruellest month”

Stephen King’s ambitious and challenging Dark Tower series continues with the third novel, The Waste Lands, first published in 1991.

I am reading this series very slowly. I read The Gunslinger in 2012, not really sure what I had read and why and not understanding what all the fuss was about. The second book, The Drawing of the Three, was more impressive and more complicated and though I liked it (after a three year gap after the first book) I was still unsure as to how to contemplate and follow the storytelling.

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water.”

Now, I THINK I get it and am captivated. This is not just the Great American fantasy but the “world that has moved on “ is THE postmodern fantasy, rich with allusions to literature, film, art, and popular culture. The Gunslinger provided a foundation of medieval / feudal setting but with American western motifs and styles. In Roland of Gilead (who looks like Clint Eastwood) King has given us an impressionistic look into our world peripherally, seen in allegory in a world pulled free of it’s moorings – it has moved on. This is a world made up of not just the remains of our physical world, but also composed of the intellectual and cultural elements that form our perceptions and make us who we are.

“Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.”

A casual reader, as I was initially, may be flustered by the surreal and even absurdist qualities of the writing, but King is not just imitating Beckett or Ionesco for absurdist sake, but rather to give life and breadth to a poetic attribution. The references to Browning and Elliot and all the other Easter eggs of reference and allusion are the detail with which King fills his landscape and discovering these hidden gems was part of the great fun of reading. ** I especially liked that King makes a Discworld reference with the turtle guardian with the world on its back.

“Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.”

The inclusion of the city of Lud and of the train is a further connection to our world, but made strange and alien by King’s narrative. Likewise, the perspective from Roland shifts to Susannah and Eddie and Jake as their POV provides a scaled viewpoint from which to compare our world to King’s great vision. I love that King broke the fourth wall by discussing Jake’s essay about Roland and the Dark Tower and it is this kind of personality that gives this work life and makes it such an enjoyable, page turning book.

“In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.”

A great book and series and I am now fully on board. Highly recommended but you have to reads in order.

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4

May 06, 2018

The first two books painted an incredibly bleak picture of Roland's world. Said to have "moved on", just teeming with monsters, demons and the occasional unexpected horrifying incident.

As a passive observer, I could definitely see merit in learning more about it, but the highlight of each episode was by far the possibility of leaving it behind for the relative 'familiarity' of New York. Granted, I've only seen pictures of the city, but compared to the horror of fighting and eating lobstrosities The first two books painted an incredibly bleak picture of Roland's world. Said to have "moved on", just teeming with monsters, demons and the occasional unexpected horrifying incident.

As a passive observer, I could definitely see merit in learning more about it, but the highlight of each episode was by far the possibility of leaving it behind for the relative 'familiarity' of New York. Granted, I've only seen pictures of the city, but compared to the horror of fighting and eating lobstrosities on a daily basis, it at least felt safer.



The third book however, brought on a subtle change in atmosphere, but it was enough to get me more interested in the post-apocalyptic world. I can't say I'm normally very keen on being mauled to death by giant bears, nor look forward to getting glimpses of crazy sick people, or the odd vivid monster feast or two. As long as I was reading however, the world of our heroes certainly seemed riveting enough.

The billy-bumbler just stole the show for me: totally adorable, occasionally heart-breaking (I even shed a tear of two during the bridge crossing scene), it managed to put me in an all-around good mood.



For all the excitement that I felt, compared to the previous two books, I couldn't honestly say that this one has held me completely spell-bound. I certainly liked to read it, and I definitely felt extremely excited about picking it up, however I didn't exactly dream about it while waiting for the chance to pick it up again.

Some passages were rather difficult to follow: such as the elders' stories about old Lud. Probably due to my unfamiliarity with the language of this world, not to mention the weirdly fragmented manner people told things.

Score: 4/5 stars

Stephen put it best in his review: the "Shardik-Lud Expedition".

Not sure if it's mostly due to the improved writing style, or even just the cliff-hanger ending, but I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.

========================
Review of book 1: The Gunslinger
Review of book 2:The Drawing of the Three ...more
3

Jul 23, 2014

"Behold ye, the return of the White! After evil ways and evil days, the White comes again! Be of good heart and hold up your heads, for ye have lived to see the wheel of ka begin to turn once more!"

What a journey! From incomprehensibly horrible to absodamnlutely fantastic to okay.

This book was all over the place. Both literally and metaphorically.

The first half is more of what were given in The Drawing of the Three. That is... a painfully boring story about Roland leaving his wildly "Behold ye, the return of the White! After evil ways and evil days, the White comes again! Be of good heart and hold up your heads, for ye have lived to see the wheel of ka begin to turn once more!"

What a journey! From incomprehensibly horrible to absodamnlutely fantastic to okay.

This book was all over the place. Both literally and metaphorically.

The first half is more of what we’re given in The Drawing of the Three. That is... a painfully boring story about Roland leaving his wildly interesting world behind to pick up three annoying travelling companions from different times and places in the city of New York.

To clarify for those still in doubt, I fucking hated that shit was slightly disappointed by these developments.

About halfway through however, the story steps into a whole new world (literally), and that world is like heaven compared to what has happened so far (to be frank, it wasn’t that good, but hey, after one and a half book of utter boredom you take what you can get).

Roland of Gilead assembles his company of gunslingers, and as the quest for the Dark Tower begins in earnest, the ka-tet arrives at the little town of River Crossing.

A great civil war - perhaps in Garlan, perhaps in a more distant land called Porla - had erupted three, perhaps even four hundred years ago. Its ripples had spread slowly outward, pushing anarchy and dissension ahead of them. Few if any kingdoms had been able to stand against those slow waves, and anarchy had come to this part of the world as surely as night follows sunset. At one time, whole armies had been on the roads, sometimes in advance, sometimes in retreat, always confused and without long-term goals. As time passed, they crumbled into smaller groups, and these degenerated into roving bands of harriers. Trade faltered, then broke down entirely. Travel went from a matter of inconvenience to one of danger. In the end, it became almost impossible. Communication with the city thinned steadily and had all but ceased a hundred and twenty years ago.

Like a hundred other towns Roland had ridden through - first with Cuthbert and the other gunslingers cast out of Gilead, then alone, in pursuit of the man in black - River Crossing had been cut off and thrown on its own resources.

River Crossing is a paradise of fantasy worldbuilding. While Stephen King has kept his cards close about the gunslingers and their world so far, he now starts showing his hand. And if you think this guy cannot really write fantasy, you are sorely mistaken.

Here starts a rain of epic stories and descriptions of places and names beyond any normal imagination...

“What is Mid-World?” Eddie asked.

“One of the large kingdoms which dominated the earth in the times before these. A kingdom of hope and knowledge and light—the sort of things we were trying to hold on to in my land before the darkness overtook us, as well. Some day if there’s time, I’ll tell you all the old stories . . . the ones I know, at least. They form a large tapestry, one which is beautiful but very sad.

“According to the old tales, a great city once stood at the edge of Mid-World - perhaps as great as your city of New York. It will be in ruins now, if it still exists at all. But there may be people... or monsters... or both. We’ll have to be on our guard."

The rest of the book is not quite as good as the amazing part at River Crossing, but it’s still much better than anything in the series since the opening sentence of the first book. However, it ends with a horrible cliffhanger. Well, not even a cliffhanger, but in the middle of a scene. It’s like one of those old TV shows ending with “To be continued” just at the climax.

But despite my ratings and sometimes low opinions, and even though it feels like the story hasn’t even started yet (three books in!), I’m greatly looking forward to the continuation.



Dark Tower reviews:
#1 The Gunslinger
#2 The Drawing of the Three
#3 The Waste Lands
#4 Wizard and Glass
#5 Wolves of the Calla
#6 Song of Susannah
#7 The Dark Tower ...more
3

Jan 27, 2016


Some day if theres time, Ill tell you all the old stories ... the ones I know, at least. They form a large tapestry, one which is beautiful but very sad.

Some fine day ... but not today and not in this third installment of the Dark Tower series. For now, Roland and his friends are too busy doing nothing much for about six hundred pages. They travel, they fight the ocassional monster or deranged mob leader, the sit by the campfire and have some obscure nightmares and prophetic visions. All
Some day if there’s time, I’ll tell you all the old stories ... the ones I know, at least. They form a large tapestry, one which is beautiful but very sad.

Some fine day ... but not today and not in this third installment of the Dark Tower series. For now, Roland and his friends are too busy doing nothing much for about six hundred pages. They travel, they fight the ocassional monster or deranged mob leader, the sit by the campfire and have some obscure nightmares and prophetic visions. All wrapped up in a hefty dose of mysticism, predestination and ambiguity.

For every thing I do know, there are a hundred things I don’t. You – both of you – will have to reconcile yourselves to that fact. The world has moved on, we say. When it did, it went like a great receding wave, leaving only wreckage behind ... wreckage that sometimes looks like a map.

It looks to me more like the author is winging it, improvising the story as he swears that it will make sense in the end, once he finds out how to deliver on his promises of epicness.

My criticism should be taken with a ‘reader advisory’ as a very subjective reaction, since most of my friends here rate this third novel, and the series in general as one of the best things that ever happened to speculative fiction. Personally I am bored, and only my obsesive compulsion to finish whatever I start is keeping me going. I was reading about the gunslinger’s journey across the waste lands in parallel with the revenge melodrama of Edmont Dantes, and almost every evening I would pick Dumas over King. I also finished the Dumas a good two weeks before the King, despite the former having almost double the page count.

Your mileage might vary, and other readers will prefer allusions and delayed gratification over explicit plot and worldbuilding. For me, as I remarked right from the opening volume, The Dark Tower remains a triumph of style over substance: an exceedingly well written story that aims to create a mood rather than to present an epic adventure. The adventure and the worldbuilding are present, undoubtedly, but they are drip-fed to the reader in between long passages of walking and wondering what the heck is going on. (view spoiler)[ in this book the set pieces are : a fight with a giant bear, a dramatic crossing of a portal between worlds by Jake, the crossing of a high suspension bridge, an undergound duel in a dying city. All good and spectacular, but do they justify the length of the novel? (hide spoiler)]

Stephen King forte so far in this series is his ability to capture anxiety and fear in his characters. The interplay between the members of the ‘ka-tet’ is also helping to turn the pages, but I believe the author is at his best when he tries to scare the reader:

From solid ground, the bridge seemed to be swaying only a little, but once he was actually on it, he felt as if he were standing on the pendulum of the world’s biggest grandfather clock. The movement was very slow, but it was regular, and the length of the swings was much longer than he had anticipated.

Hit and miss are the pop culture references that are more prominent here than in the previous two episodes, and a half-hearted attempt to unite the two best settings of King : “The Dark Tower” and “The Stand”. Let me try to illustrate my points:

- I am a big fan of Richard Adams, and “Shardik” was one of the first novels I read as an adult that brought me back to fantasy. One version of Shardik is roaming the waste lands, and if I were in the mood for speculation, I could probably draw some parallels with the death of myths in both fictional universes. I am also a big fan of Z Z Top, and I was thrilled to find one of their songs featured here. Both references though failed to be an integral part of King’s story and feel more like a nod and a wink to the fans right now instead of a true key to unlock the mysteries of the gunslinger world. Other similar nods and winks are directed at Asimov (positronics), Shirley Jackson (The Loterry), a children’s book about trains that I am not familiar with, Greek mythology (The Sphinx) and Harlan Ellison (The TickTockMan). They may all be part of the project to anchor the imaginary world to the real, historical Earth that Roland & Co. can visit through the warp-gates but, like the backstory of the gunslinger, the connection is left for a later episode.

- There is a significant moment in the middle of the book that shows Roland in a new light (and thus might be considered a spoiler!1!), a sequence that made me think immediately of The Stand :

When they reached Roland, they knelt before him and touched the sandalwood butt of the revolver which jutted from the holster he wore on his left hip. He put his hands on their shoulders and kissed their old brows.

Will the whole epic quest to discover the Dark Tower be reduced to a battle between the forces of Good and Evil, with two god-like creatures leading the opposing armies? Roland seems destined to be the avatar of Good, and later on there is even a gigantic statue of him in the manner of the Colossus of Rhodes. And (more spoilers !!!) of course he is chased by a creature of darkness :

“I’m a man of many handles, pardner,” the man said from inside the darkness of his hood, and although his voice was grave, Tick-Tock heard laughter lurking just below the surface. “There’s some that call me Jimmy, and some that call me Timmy; some that call me Handy and some that call me Dandy. They can call me Loser, or they can call me Winner, just as long as they don’t call me in too late for dinner.”

I will probably read the next book in the series while I still remember what went on in this one, but right now I don’t consider it a priority, and I can only echo one of Roland’s exasperated companions, baffled by the nature of the waste lands and the secretive atitude of the gunslinger :

“When are you going to tell us what you do know?” Eddie asked the next morning.
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5

Mar 29, 2015



4.5 stars

The Waste Lands is the third installment in the Dark Tower series. Ive been through this series so many times over the years I have lost count. But what has made this trip so important is all of the wonderful people I have gotten to take along the Path of the Beam. I would like to thank my posse for allowing me to hold their hands and guide them on this most epic of quests. Rootin Tootin Pistol Packin Delee, Jumpin Jeff , Calamity Bev and last but certainly not least, Bronco Bustin

4.5 stars

The Waste Lands is the third installment in the Dark Tower series. I’ve been through this series so many times over the years I have lost count. But what has made this trip so important is all of the wonderful people I have gotten to take along the Path of the Beam. I would like to thank my posse for allowing me to hold their hands and guide them on this most epic of quests. Rootin’ Tootin Pistol Packin’ Delee, Jumpin’ Jeff , Calamity Bev and last but certainly not least, Bronco Bustin’ Black Jackin’ Jason

I am a pusher of books, anyone who has had even a minute’s interaction with me can attest to this. I get especially pushy when I know the books could change someone’s life. There is only a handful of books that fall into that category for me-obviously, the Harry Potter series and of course, the Dark Tower series.

While I love the shit out of Harry Potter, the Dark Tower series actually changed my view on life and what it all means. I had a breakthrough. I’ve always been a cynical, show me don’t tell me type and the Dark Tower series gave me something to believe in; something that made sense to me. I’ve never been religious, but I’m not an Atheist either. I fall more in line with Agnostics. My problem is that I want to believe everything so much I can’t believe anything.

Ka.

Ka is something all of its own. It does not bend to your will. It does not care for your plans. If you detour around it, you’ll still find yourself where you were meant to be. The wheel of Ka keeps turning and your best bet is to sit back and enjoy the ride. There’s truly no point in fighting it.

We start out with one hell of a paradox. Poor Roland, given the events in the Drawing of the Three is torn between what happened and what didn’t happen. Did Jake accompany him through the desert and up the mountains? Did Jake exist in this world? Did Roland let him fall? How could he have let him fall if he was never there? Roland is in rough shape and only the key can help.

Eddie and Susannah have taken nuptial vows and found a love that is both deserving and beautiful. They are a good match for one another, though, if I am to be honest, I think I would be a much better match for Eddie. Maybe the wheel of Ka will roll through and make that happen for me? What do you say, Ka?!

*looks around hopefully*

Eddie sees that he will need to play a big role in Jake’s drawing into this world. What he doesn’t know is if he is cut out for it, or if he’ll be ready in time. Eddie is constantly at war with himself from the years of being mentally beat down by his older brother.

Susannah Dean, who was once Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker, is trying her best to maintain her one mind now that her alternate personalities have been forced to face one another. She is also trying to figure out her place in this new strange place.

Jake’s drawing into this world is by far my favorite sequence in this whole book. It is such an intense turn of events. The splitting minds, the split perspective and most especially the fact that while Eddie’s door faces down, Jake enters it vertically just creates this insane imagry that blows me away every time.

Then there is Oy. What a wonderful creature King has produced. Oy makes my heart feel so happy with love and pride I can hardly contain myself. He represents all that is good and innocent in this world and his relationship with ‘Ake is one of the best parts of the Dark Tower series.

Our favorite Ka-Tet is on the Path of the Beam in search of Blaine the Mono. Blain is a pain, and this they know; but he is also a necessity to their quest. Will they make it to him in time? Will Blaine still be there? If he is there, is he sane? Can a train be sane? Where will this story go?

The Waste Lands, while not as good as Drawing of the Three, gives us insight into some of King’s best written characters. We get to know them individually while seeing them interact with one another. My favorite interactions are between Roland and Eddie. Roland, so severe and earnest in every aspect vs. the nonstop joker, Eddie, makes for some great entertainment. The character arcs throughout this series are some of the most fascinating that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Each and every time I read this series I find something new that makes me love them all the more.

“[Eddie] cried out but his cry was lost in the golden blast of some tremendous horn. It came from the top of the Tower, and seemed to fill the world. As that note of warning held and drew out over the field where he stood, blackness welled from the windows which girdled the Tower. It overspilled them and spread across the sky in flaggy streams which came together and formed a growing blotch of darkness. It did not look like a cloud; it looked like a tumor hanging over the earth. The sky was blotted out. And, he saw, it was not a cloud or a tumor but a shape, some tenebrous, cyclopean shape racing toward the place where he stood.”



...more
5

Aug 19, 2017

As usual I have nothing but positive things to say about this book. Well, actually there is one negative and that's the ending. It was of course an incomplete work ending at a climax, however, since it's not 1991 anymore and I do not have to wait years for a new book to come out, I will not fault King for this. In fact, I will look at it as a positive, for I cannot wait to begin book 4.

Mid-world is continuing to grow, and the questions to its existence continue to be answered. It's funny, while As usual I have nothing but positive things to say about this book. Well, actually there is one negative and that's the ending. It was of course an incomplete work ending at a climax, however, since it's not 1991 anymore and I do not have to wait years for a new book to come out, I will not fault King for this. In fact, I will look at it as a positive, for I cannot wait to begin book 4.

Mid-world is continuing to grow, and the questions to its existence continue to be answered. It's funny, while reading this you cannot believe how brilliant King's mind is to have the kind of foresight he did in creating this fantasy only to find out he's the first to admit the story wrote itself.

I'm excited to continue the adventure of Roland and his Ka-tet, and see how they survive Blaine the Mono's challenge. ...more
5

Jun 13, 2014

The thing with this series is that it just gets better along the way.

This review might contain some spoilers? I'm not sure if some people would consider them as spoilers, so read at your own risk! You've been warned.

The most amazing thing about this book would be the fact that Jake fucking Chambers is back! If you've read my review of The Gunslinger (book 1) then you'd know how much I love that kid. We can be friends again King, that much I can say.
(view spoiler)[ Fuck you, Roland. You let him The thing with this series is that it just gets better along the way.

This review might contain some spoilers? I'm not sure if some people would consider them as spoilers, so read at your own risk! You've been warned.

The most amazing thing about this book would be the fact that Jake fucking Chambers is back! If you've read my review of The Gunslinger (book 1) then you'd know how much I love that kid. We can be friends again King, that much I can say.
(view spoiler)[ Fuck you, Roland. You let him go again. You promised you wouldn't. Even though you saved him in the end, you're still one mother fucking asshole who should burn in hell. I still like you as a character though, but fuck you nonetheless. (hide spoiler)]

This novel revolved around the first half of Roland and his crew's quest for The Dark Tower. King delivered what he promised. It was an eventful and amazing first half. A lot of struggles along the way, and a lot of riddles too. And a huge amount of heart racing scenes. This is another great example of a page turner. Aside from the main quest though, the story ventured out into Jake's life in New York. It only took a few chapters of the whole book, but those few chapters were really great for me. Not only did King further developed Jake's character, but he also made him even more likable.

Aside from Jake though, the crew also developed quite well in this third installment. Eddie was his usual funny self, but Susannah was still a bit boring for me. I just don't see her as a character that I'd like a lot, but we'll see in the long run. Oy the dog was just as amazing as Jake, or so I believe he's a dog. I like animals in books, so Oy just made it to my favorites list.

King wrote one hell of a cliffhanger. Aside from the cliffhanger, I heard that the next book concentrates on something else. If he doesn't continue the story, I might be a little pissed off. I'm just glad that the series is complete already though, and I don't have to wait for the next ones to come out. I've read Kemper's review and yeah, I'm glad I can binge read this series.

5/5 stars. Can't wait to know what's going to happen next. This series is really starting to become my favorite series of all time. ...more
3

Oct 05, 2016

3.5 stars and I was frustrated enough with this volume in the continuing saga NOT to round up to 4. Steven King has a reputation for waffling, but this is the first time in the Dark Tower series, where I really felt the reader suffered because of it. I loved Oy the Bumbler.
Had I not been listening to this rather than simply reading it, I am not at all sure I would have finished it.
I consider myself very lucky not to have to wait the many years between the writing of this novel and the next in 3.5 stars and I was frustrated enough with this volume in the continuing saga NOT to round up to 4. Steven King has a reputation for waffling, but this is the first time in the Dark Tower series, where I really felt the reader suffered because of it. I loved Oy the Bumbler.
Had I not been listening to this rather than simply reading it, I am not at all sure I would have finished it.
I consider myself very lucky not to have to wait the many years between the writing of this novel and the next in the series; nevertheless, I won't be reading book 4 quite as quickly as I might have; this is still a wonderful series but my enthusiasm has been dimmed by the slow pacing and drawing out of events. I have also gleaned from reviews that book 4 is itself pretty slow. ...more
5

Jul 17, 2017

Kathe word you think of as destiny, Eddie, although the actual meaning is much more complex and hard to define, as is almost always the case with words of the High Speech. And tet, which means a group of people with the same interests and goals. We three are a tet, for instance. Ka-tet is the place where many lives are joined by fate.

This is the book where Rolands ka-tet is fully formed*, with the addition of eleven years old Jake Chambers and Oy the billy-bumbler (a Mid-World species).

Ka-Tet. “Ka—the word you think of as ‘destiny,’ Eddie, although the actual meaning is much more complex and hard to define, as is almost always the case with words of the High Speech. And tet, which means a group of people with the same interests and goals. We three are a tet, for instance. Ka-tet is the place where many lives are joined by fate.”

This is the book where Roland’s ka-tet is fully formed*, with the addition of eleven years old Jake Chambers and Oy the billy-bumbler (a Mid-World species).

Ka-Tet. Art by Michael Whelan

In this eventful installment Roland, Eddie and Susannah continue their quest for the Dark Tower, along the way Roland starts going insane as his recent timeline has been doubled due to an incident in The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three in which Jake Chambers who died in book #1 is saved through Roland interfering with a key event in his past. This causes a paradox where both Roland and Jake remember two alternate versions of the past, and the conflicting versions fight for supremacy in their minds. To save Roland’s sanity, Roland, Eddie and Susannah must help Jake to cross over from our Earth into Mid-World, an extremely dangerous task involving entry into a nasty magic circle in Mid-World, guarded by a sex-crazed demon, on Jake’s side (in our world) the portal is in a haunted house with a monstrous gatekeeper. This mission forms the first half of The Waste Lands, it makes for a hair-raising adventure with a very dark undertone, as depicted on the cover of this hardback edition:

Don’t worry, I won’t give you much info on what transpires in the equally hectic second half of the book, but it does involve a crazy train (nothing to do with Ozzy).

I am tremendously enjoying this Dark Tower series reread; this is the only advantageous aspect of having a memory like a sieve, I can enjoy these books just as much as the first time I read them. Like The Drawing of the Three The Waste Lands is packed with incident and characterization engrossing (the first book The Gunslinger is very good but less intense). Interestingly there is more of a sci-fi element in this installment with mad AIs, cyborgs (also mad), high technology, and computers; lest we forget, this is a world where magic and technology coexist. It is also very nice to find tributes to Isaac Asimov, Richard Adams and J. R. R. Tolkien in the narrative; it is like finding that your favorite band also dig your other favorite bands. King puts a lot of effort into developing his characters, this has always been his secret weapon. However, what makes the Dark Tower series stand out among thousands of other fantasy series is the western aesthetic of Mid-World, and also Roland’s forays into our world and. This makes a nice change to the standard medieval setting of most epic fantasy series; the sci-fi and horror aspects further distinguishes it from the others.

Unlike the previous two volumes The Waste Lands ends on a cliff hanger, as the entire series is completed this should not be a cause for concern. I imagine most people who have read the previous books are bound to want to read this one. When you have come this far the rest is unavoidable.
Should you read this book? In the end, all things, even this review, serve the Dark Tower.

Notes
* Another character is added to the ka-tet in book #5, Wolves of the Calla. but these five are the classic lineup.

• An excellent companion to this book is Charlie the Choo-Choo: From the world of The Dark Tower, a creepy faux-children’s book.


• Guns and roses play an important part in this book, nothing to do with Axl Rose.

• The song “ Velcro Fly ” is also significant in this book, it has everything to do with ZZ Top.

• Wild West themed fantasy is not unique to the Dark Tower series, it is a subgenre called “weird west”. If you are interested there is a list of these books on this Wikipedia page. I have not read any of the books listed there (apart from Dark Tower, obviously) but I have read another excellent “weird west” series. It is called Jon Shannow Series by the wonderful and much missed David Gemmell. If you have read all the Dark Towers I recommend checking it out, Gemmell is a very different author from Stephen King so you don’t need to worry if it will read like an imitation.

Quotes:
“There were a lot of stories for kids with stuff like this in them, stuff that threw acid all over your emotions. Hansel and Gretel being turned out into the forest, Bambi’s mother getting scragged by a hunter, the death of Old Yeller. It was easy to hurt little kids, easy to make them cry, and this seemed to bring out a strangely sadistic streak in many storytellers.”

“Whatever his head thought about this gunslinging business, his hands had discovered they liked it just fine.”

“We are ka-tet,” Roland began, “which means a group of people bound together by fate. The philosophers of my land said a ka-tet could only be broken by death or treachery.

“In the fierce furnace of Elmer Chambers’s mind, the gross carbon of wish and opinion was often blasted into the hard diamonds which he called facts . . . or, in more informal circumstances, “factoids.””

“He called it The Net of Eratosthenes. Take me over to dat box on the wall, Roland—I’m goan answer dat honkey computer’s riddle. I’m goan th’ow you a net and catch you a train-ride.”

Oy the Billy-Bumbler by kenket ...more
5

Jun 27, 2016

Even though I'm not crazy about this narrator, Frank Muller, I ended up giving my audio re-read of this book an extra star.

All my old friends are together again: Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Jack and even Oy. (I forgot how much I loved Oy and his golden eyes!) Even some of my old enemies are here, Gasher and Blane the Mono.

It's nice re-reading these via audio, even if I have to wait a few weeks in between books while waiting for the next audio book to come in to the library. This time I don't have Even though I'm not crazy about this narrator, Frank Muller, I ended up giving my audio re-read of this book an extra star.

All my old friends are together again: Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Jack and even Oy. (I forgot how much I loved Oy and his golden eyes!) Even some of my old enemies are here, Gasher and Blane the Mono.

It's nice re-reading these via audio, even if I have to wait a few weeks in between books while waiting for the next audio book to come in to the library. This time I don't have to wait years in between books which keeps everything fresh in my mind.

I have to respect a mind that is so wildly imaginative that it can put together a story of this scope. It blows me away. I guess that's why Stephen is the King. At least in my book. ...more
5

Jan 18, 2020

What a tease! This is one hell of a cliffhanger ending. *lol*

Susannah, Eddie and Roland continue their journey, but along the way it becomes clear that there is another member of their Ka-tet that still needs to join them and that it will be slightly more difficult to unite them with him. I'm talking about (view spoiler)[the boy Jake (hide spoiler)].
Actually, who that member was, was not really a surprise and therefore it's not really a spoiler. I really liked that King continued to spin the What a tease! This is one hell of a cliffhanger ending. *lol*

Susannah, Eddie and Roland continue their journey, but along the way it becomes clear that there is another member of their Ka-tet that still needs to join them and that it will be slightly more difficult to unite them with him. I'm talking about (view spoiler)[the boy Jake (hide spoiler)].
Actually, who that member was, was not really a surprise and therefore it's not really a spoiler. I really liked that King continued to spin the thread of the paradox introduced in the previous book (view spoiler)[when Roland entered the body of Jake's murderer and killed him before he could kill Jake (hide spoiler)].
It's HOW that member finds his way to the group, HOW they help him leave his NYC (slight time difference to Eddie's) and get him through a door to Midworld that is so interesting.
Just like what we keep seeing along the way until they get (view spoiler)[Jake (hide spoiler)] through the door. In this case, it was really very fun to see the guardians such as Shardik (the bear) or the world turtle. It's an old myth that has been used by many authors before but I liked King's take on it that they are (view spoiler)[pieces of technology (hide spoiler)] thousands of years old and (view spoiler)[breaking down (hide spoiler)] now that the world(s) has(have) moved on. Just like I loved getting a glimpse at that mega-city. Tragically interesting to see the decendants of a technological empire not really understanding their inheritance. So much misremembered or forgotten, the broken ruins lying around or slumbering underground. Sometimes even strewn across the landscape, broken and discarded. It's like a graveyard.
And then there was the train. Bwahahahahahaha! That was delightfully evil - and yes, I'll read the imaginary kid's book now as it will probably be immense fun!
Oh, and I loved (view spoiler)[Jake's (hide spoiler)] dog-like friend! So cute!

So we actually did cross a large area, moving purposefully in the right direction and meeting interesting (heartbreaking) people as well as creatures, structures and technology along the way. The worldbuilding here is insane! So rich, so deep ... more layers than an onion!

I also didn't really have a problem with a certain scene I've been referring to in one of my status updates. I mean, this is about everything coming to a stop, a multiverse's fate hanging in the balance, everything being infested with desolation and death, your worst fears coming true. So it was only a matter of time until (view spoiler)[rape (hide spoiler)] became a topic. However, as weird as King might have handled it, it was also an interesting (if slightly sinister) reversal. Detta for the win! *lol*
I'm seriously in love with the fact that King made one of his heroes not only a female and not only a black female but a black female who is a double amputee!

We spend more time with the single characters, see them learn and grow (and I'm not only referring to their shooting skills), witness them becoming this tight-knit family, being about the only light in the ever-spreading darkness.

Yep, I'm thoroughly hooked (as can be seen by the fact that I've read 4.5 books relating to this series in one month already - and I might keep going after only a short break of a few days). Especially since a certain someone has made a re-appearance (under a ridiculously obvious false name) and is drawing on strings once more - as was bound to happen. ...more
5

Feb 06, 2017

I loved this book. I love the connections between the characters' past lives and between Mid-World and Our When. I also felt a strong link to other Stephen King books: a mansion in Brooklyn comes to life and it was The Overlook all over again for me. The middle of the book (the mansion part) was the most amazing part of a completely amazing story. It could have just ended there for me emotionally, but it's all about the quest. So, onward to Lud which brings every nuked out NYC full of mutants I loved this book. I love the connections between the characters' past lives and between Mid-World and Our When. I also felt a strong link to other Stephen King books: a mansion in Brooklyn comes to life and it was The Overlook all over again for me. The middle of the book (the mansion part) was the most amazing part of a completely amazing story. It could have just ended there for me emotionally, but it's all about the quest. So, onward to Lud which brings every nuked out NYC full of mutants and psychos immediately to mind. Also amazing, exciting and full of connections.

S.K. foreshadowed a lot of character and plot development in this book, so thank goodness I don't have to wait six years for Book 4. Next month: Wizard and Glass!

March 2017 Buddy Read ...more
5

Mar 25, 2013

This volume of the Dark Tower has aged like fine wine, fascinating me more than all the previous volumes with the inclusion of more and more ancient tech. The breaking down of knowledge, society, and sanity is the main thrill, seeing the high-tech descendants of a massive, glorious metropolis that has Moved On act like ignorant yokels.

Lud. *sigh*

But my personal huge, roaring favorite has got to be Shardik. What a guardian! Glorious! And with a thinking cap on, too! :)

But when it comes to This volume of the Dark Tower has aged like fine wine, fascinating me more than all the previous volumes with the inclusion of more and more ancient tech. The breaking down of knowledge, society, and sanity is the main thrill, seeing the high-tech descendants of a massive, glorious metropolis that has Moved On act like ignorant yokels.

Lud. *sigh*

But my personal huge, roaring favorite has got to be Shardik. What a guardian! Glorious! And with a thinking cap on, too! :)

But when it comes to characters, King has got almost everyone beat. The two Deans, Roland himself, and the inclusion of the much-missed Jake and their new little friend makes this Ka-Tet one that will forever live in my memory. As, indeed, it already has. This is my third read and I still love it.

But my last shout-out has got to be for Blaine. Blaine's a pain. Indeed he is. Choo-Choo!!!

The Dark Tower series is definitely one of the best fantasies ever written. None others have the sheer imagination or as much SCOPE. And to think that New York City can be a microcosm of the multiverse, showing us how As Above, So Below, all things can forever mirror each other? Brilliant. :)

I would now like a rose, please. :)

...more
5

Aug 09, 2017

I honestly think this might just be my favourite book out of this series. I say might because I must admit, my memory of the books that follow IS quite vague. So I might end up loving them even more than this one.

But I somehow doubt it because this magnificent book reintroduces one of my favourite characters from the series, introduces another favourite character AND introduces my favourite "villain" from this series. I won't name any names because I don't want to spoil it for anyone!

I also I honestly think this might just be my favourite book out of this series. I say might because I must admit, my memory of the books that follow IS quite vague. So I might end up loving them even more than this one.

But I somehow doubt it because this magnificent book reintroduces one of my favourite characters from the series, introduces another favourite character AND introduces my favourite "villain" from this series. I won't name any names because I don't want to spoil it for anyone!

I also thoroughly enjoyed the world building that happened in this book, I feel like this is where King truly starts to hit his stride for this series! His writing is so beautifully detailed that I can see the landscape and the buildings emerging in my mind as I read and it is truly stunning!

Despite this book being longer than both previous ones, it almost felt like it was shorter because it was just filled with so much action and development, it was hard to stop turning the pages once I picked it up! I was honestly on the edge of my seat so many times, I lost count and it's left me itching to revisit what happens next! ...more

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