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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best installment in the Dark Tower series yet!
This installment picks up a couple of months after the end of 'The Drawing of the Three', and picks up a problem with Roland's actions in the fact that he has both aided Jake after his death in 'The Gunslinger' and then prevented his death in 'The Drawing of the Three'. This is tearing his mind apart knowing the fact that two interpretations of reality exist in his...
Published on 2 Dec. 1999

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful....
At the risk of offending Stephen King fans, the first 2 books are good, then it deteriorates into a self-indulgent, narcissistic self-promoting journey into how Stephen King sees himself as god.

He has certainly bowed to pressure to write this series and has over-stretched himself, either that, or he is a gold digger who thinks his fans are a bunch of mugs who...
Published 13 months ago by Mike


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best installment in the Dark Tower series yet!, 2 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
This installment picks up a couple of months after the end of 'The Drawing of the Three', and picks up a problem with Roland's actions in the fact that he has both aided Jake after his death in 'The Gunslinger' and then prevented his death in 'The Drawing of the Three'. This is tearing his mind apart knowing the fact that two interpretations of reality exist in his mind. He has to try and find away to stop it before he is killed by it. The story winds on to a classic confrontation with a riddle-obsessed artifical intelligence controlled train. The ending will leave you gasping for more. It has to be one of the greatest cliffhangers of all time. You must read this if you've read the previous two books if you didn't like them because this will change your whole view on the series. It's BRILLIANT!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King is a King for real; of Magic, beauty, wonder, darkness, 15 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
The assault on your senses continues with the Wastelands and King plunges you into a much darker era than heretofore in the lives of his protagonists. He brings you to tears many a time, and to the edge of your trainseat in their many and varied perils. Take this ride with Roland and his companions, you'll be glad you did. Also, if its your first in the series, better just buy the 2 preceeding books and the subsequent title to this: you will WANT them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed, 9 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3 (Paperback)
Most Dark Tower fans love this book and its' not difficult to see why. King is really gaining pace now as the story begins just after the ka-tets narrow escape from the lobstrocities on the Western sea.
The key to this book is how Eddie and Susannah adapt to their role as Gunslingers and as the book progress their love for each other grows.
Another Member of the Ka-tet, Jake has a large influence on the story throughout but to say anymore would spoil it.
So, the ka-tet now makes its' way to the Tower and in this book around five major events happen to them, making this the most action packed book out of them all.
Firstly, they must find the path to the Tower, this is done by finding a guardian at the edge of a beam and then follow that path as all the beams serve/lead to a path to the Tower.
This is how they encounter the guardian in the forest, a bear and the new Gunslingers are called into action right away. The book begins at a frantic pace and keeps it up to the end.
The one annoying thing is in this book is that King leaves the readers in mid-story, a cliffhanger, forcing you to rush out and buy Wizard and Glass to find out how it ends. Reading this book before Book four was published would have been very frustrating.
Some prefer the story to say within Rolands' world whilst others like it when he dips back into New York. Unlike The drawing of the three, where the majority was in New York, this book is more balanced between the two, there is a one large New York section and that's it.
This is one of the best in the series so far so enjoy it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps up the good work, 11 Mar. 2004
The Waste Lands is the third installment in The Dark Tower series, continuing the journey of Roland of Gilead and his companions through Mid-World. The first half of the book can in some ways be seen as leftover plot from The Drawing of the Three, but it also lays the foundation for the second half, making the transition between the parts barely noticeable.
The nice thing about this book is that King doesn’t ignore the paradox that was created by the events at the end of the previous book. Instead he draws the logical conclusions, incorporates the consequences into the plot of The Waste Lands, and solves the dilemma in an entirely satisfactory manner.
King also continues the trend of adding details that he has borrowed from other fantasy authors. I couldn’t help smiling when the name of a monstrous bear turned out to be Shardik, just as in the book with the same name by Richard Adams, and when Eddie recognized the name but couldn’t understand why he associated it with rabbits (Adams most well-known work is Watership Down) I laughed out loud. A nice touch, especially since it strengthens the link between Roland’s world and our world.
However, there are two reasons I won’t give this book a top grade. The first is that the pace is somewhat slower than in The Drawing of the Three. (It was noticeable easier to put it down and do other things.) The second is that despite King’s assurance in the Author’s Note that he ran out of story for the moment, it felt like the book ended before the current plot line had run its natural course. It did not really matter that much to me, since I was able to start reading Wizard and Glass right away, but it still feels a bit odd to find the logical end 60 pages into the next book of the series, written six years later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best book in the series!, 16 Jan. 2003
I was bound to love this book! I waited four years for it! I reread the first two books to refresh the story in my head for when it was released, and I pestered bookshops on a weekly basis for a release date.
The Wastelands brings back the boy, Jake in a plot that truly displays the wonder of King's imagination, and the first true steps of the troupe's journey are taken. King's best fiction is in the slow madness of Jake, (a boy who has already died twice), but also of the Gunslinger, who's mind is being torn apart by a paradox that the gunslinger has created.
More intrigues of Roland's world are revealed, including the Beam, a single rose which exists in a development lot in Manhattan, a descendant of a German WWII fighter pilot and even a drum loop of ZZ-Top's 'velcro Fly' elevated to idol worship form yet more reference points to our world. King even starts to hint at his other novels (The Turtle in 'IT', and the priest ... in 'Salem's Lot')...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is too good!, 2 Jan. 2007
This review is from: The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3 (Paperback)
Where to start???????? This book is just completely amazing! Im enjoying this Dark Tower series more than I thought I would. The last two books were thoroughly enjoyable, this book takes it to the next level.

I have read many books and I have always thought of The Stand as my favourite book ever (I read the stand about 5 years ago) but after reading The Dark Tower I have a new fav. I know its not one book, but the story is so brilliant that it has to be top of my list.

The waste lands is no stop. The first quarter of the book feels a lot like the TV show Lost (note:Mr King wrote this before the show was even a dream). Later when the gang reach the city things get very creepy, the drum beats, the cheering crowds, everything lying broken and unused. Its just so good. I cant wait to read the next book!

This is too good to put into words, just read it and feel the awe.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Wondrous Realms, 24 Feb. 2004
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3 (Paperback)
Book III of the Dark Tower series continues the quest defined in the first book (The Gunslinger) with the traveling companions introduced in the second book (The Drawing of the Three).

This book is basically a group of adventure episodes: an encounter with a 70 foot high bio-mechanical bear (Shardik), relic of a past age, a strange fight with a demon, a visit to a dying suburban village, an abduction and running battle in a ghost town city, and finally a fantastic trip on a suicidal mono-rail train. Each episode provides a little more insight into Roland’s fantastical world, both past and present. By the end of this book, a fairly coherent picture of this world emerges, from its obvious high technology past, to its current sadly deteriorated state, to some of the rationale behind why certain things work the way they do in this world. The book is very action oriented; there is very little reflection on grander philosophical themes here, and continuing character development of the main characters is fairly minimal.

There is a nice variant on the old time-travel paradox. In The Gunslinger, the boy Jake is sacrificed to Roland’s determination to catch the ‘man in black’. In this story, we find Jake alive and well and still living in (our) New York, due to an action by Roland in The Drawing of the Three that caused the previous history to never occur. But both Roland and Jake have memories of the ‘other’ past, and this duality is slowly driving both to the edge of insanity. The resolution of this problem requires that Jake be brought back to Roland’s world, and how this is accomplished forms the major portion of one of the ‘episodes’.

At various points throughout this book, King makes allusions to other famous science-fiction and fantasy authors and their creations (and some of his own), from Richard Adams (Shardik and Watership Down) to Isaac Asimov’s ‘positronic’ brains of his robot stories, to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit with its riddling games. For those who have read these works, these allusions provide an enhanced view of this world and how it works, but I am not sure how well some of this plays with readers who haven’t read these other works.

Overall, this book is a page-turner, and does a good job of holding the reader’s interest in the fate of the major characters and the overall resolution of the quest. The ending of this book is a cliff-hanger, like the movie serials of old, and for this reason I don’t recommend you start this book unless you have a copy of book IV, Wizard & Glass, handy, as you will definitely want to immediately find out the resolution to the end situation here.

--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The King indeed..., 3 April 2014
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
In the third novel in King's epic fantasy masterpiece, Roland, the Last Gunslinger, is moving ever closer to the Dark Tower, which haunts his dreams and nightmares. Pursued by the Ageless Stranger, he and his friends follow the perilous path to Lud, an urban wasteland. And crossing a desert of damnation in this macabre new world, revelations begin to unfold about who - and what - is driving him forward.

Book 3 done already - SO addictive this tale even if you have read it before. I suppose as it IS only second time round for me there is still much to discover. After all I have read "The Stand" numerous times in my life so far and it still manages to surprise me...

Here we find Roland, Susannah and Eddie continuing along the path of the beam towards the elusive Dark Tower - however Roland is losing his mind..and in another reality, Jake is also struggling with being unexpectedly alive..

Out of all the Dark Tower books this is perhaps the one, for me, that solidified and confirmed my feeling that this series was going to be one of my favourite ever. After some truly magnificent scene setting if you like over the course of Books One and Two, here the plot thickens, the world expands and the true nature of the depth of the mythology begins to take shape.

From the battle with one of the Guardians, to the journey towards an unknown city, and even before we meet Blaine (Blaine is a pain in more ways than one) the ka'tet have a lot of danger to face...not the least of which is Roland's inner battle and Eddie's attempts to bring the last member of their little family into the fold. Oh and OY! At last. I missed that little fella until he arrived...

Perfect plotting, addictive storytelling, wonderful wonderful imagery, all done in Mr King's indomitable style - and the best thing? Its now time to dive into "Wizard and Glass". Book 4. Ask a group of Dark Tower fans and you may find a large majority say this is their favourite. It's not mine, but it IS one of the best there is. Bring it on!

Happy Reading Folks!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great addition to a great series!, 13 Aug. 2012
Yes, I know. . .

I'm late for this party. But as I mentioned in my reviews for The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three, though I've had Stephen King's The Dark Tower installments patiently awaiting my attention for years, I wanted to wait till the series was done before starting to read The Gunslinger.

The first two volumes were more or less set-up books for what would come after. Hence, I was quite curious to discover what would transpire in The Waste Lands. Most fans seem to agree that the third and fourth volumes are the best of the series, so I was looking forward to finding out where King would take us.

Here's the blurb:

Roland continues his quest for the Dark Tower, but he is no longer alone. He has trained Eddie and Susannah--who entered Mid-World from their separate whens in New York City in The Drawing of the Three--in the old ways of the gunslingers. But their ka-tet is not yet complete. Another must be drawn from New York into Mid-World, someone who has been there before, a boy who has died not once but twice, and yet still lives. The ka-tet, four who are bound together by fate, must travel far in this novel encountering not only the poisonous waste lands and the ravaged city of Lud that lies beyond, but also the rage of a train that might be their only means of escape.

Up until this point, the worldbuilding had not been a factor in the Dark Tower series. This universe reminiscent of America's Wild West had captivated me in The Gunslinger. Sadly, Stephen King had played his cards pretty close to his chest, and readers had learned next to nothing about the series' universe. In terms of worldbuilding, The Waste Lands is a world away from its two predecessors. To begin with, the novel finally establishes the physics by which the world operates. Six beams run between twelve portals which mark the edges of Mid-World. Standing at the point where the beams cross at the center of the universe lies the Dark Tower. Hints seem to indicate that the Dark Tower might lie at the center of all worlds. We also learn more about the twelve Guardians set to guard the twelve Portals. Each Guardian matches up with a Guardian at the Portal on the other end of the Beam. Roland, Eddie, and Susannah face one of the Guardians in the early part of the novel. They encounter a gigantic cyborg bear known as Shardik. The beast was created by North Central Positronics Ltd. As Roland and his party make their way along the Path of the Beam, passing through River Crossing on their way to the city of Lud, readers learn more and more details. These discoveries raise a panoply of additional questions, yet they demonstrate that the Dark Tower universe resounds with an incredible wealth of depth.

The first portion of the book is dedicated to the drawing of the true third in their ka-tet, Jake Chambers. But in order for this drawing to become a reality, Roland and Jake must first battle their own fraying psyches and achieve some sort of reconciliation between their doubled memories concerning the paradoxical events which led to Jake's death. The second portion chronicles the events that lead the ka-tet toward the city of Lud, searching for a train known as Blaine the Mono. This is the sole means of transportation which can take them to Topeka, where Mid-World ends and End-World begins.

As a no-nonsense kind of Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead immediately became a fan favorite. Though both The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three featured an interesting supporting cast, the books' main focus more or less remained on Roland. What differentiates The Waste Lands from its predecessors is that the secondary characters really come into their own and take their rightful place in the narrative. Although the series continues to be about Roland's quest for the Dark Tower, it is now evident that Eddie, Susannah, and Jake will play important roles in what is to come.

It is also in The Waste Lands that a number of connections with Stephen King's other novels are unveiled. References to The Stand and It are hidden within the narrative.

Unlike the second volume in the series, The Waste Lands doesn't suffer from an uneven rhythm. The pace keeps you turning those pages, eager to discover what happens next. The plot keeps moving forward, revealing layer after layer regarding those convoluted storylines.

Onward to the Dark Tower. . .

Check out Pat's Fantasy Hotlist!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another good continuation that makes it fresh, 3 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3 (Paperback)
I'm continuing my re-read of the Dark Tower series and I'm now up to book three (book 1 is The Gunslinger and book 2 is The Drawing of the Three). I've said in the previous reviews that I love this series (why would I re-read it otherwise?), so expect me to say good things again about this one. While King once again expands the universe he's created, the central story of Roland and his quest to the Dark Tower is still very much the focus of the journey.

We pick up once again where we left off in The Drawing of the Three: Roland, Eddie and Susannah have left the beach behind and are recovering and bonding in the more habitable forest area beyond it. While Eddie and Susannah are growing closer by the day, Roland is suffering in private with two sets of memories. Both Eddie and Susannah know that something is wrong but have learnt that Roland will tell them his problem when he's ready. With both lots of memories stemming from the day he met Jake in The Gunslinger (one where he met him, one where he didn't), his actions while in the head of Jack Mort during which he stopped Jake dying (and therefore his meeting of him never took place) have left him in a confused state.

Eddie is still letting his brother's past influence and comments to him affect him. He doubts himself and struggles when he knows he must do something that Henry would rip into him about. Roland sees this and tries to tell Eddie that he must leave the past behind and be his own man now, but this is easier said than done. Susannah is starting to adjust to being one person, a combination of Detta Walker and Odetta Holmes, and she starts to move on with her life as Susannah Dean. We also follow Jake and start to see some very interesting things in his world. He too suffers from the two sets of memories and cannot help but look for a way back to Roland's world. He comes across many things that are completely strange, yet oddly familiar, that feel right to him.

It's the journey that leads to the rejoining of Roland and Jake that is the focus of much of this story, but they also travel to an old and decrepit city - Lud - where this part of their journey must end, though not without action and drama in equal amounts.

For me, the best parts of The Waste Lands are those that look at the group of Roland, Eddie, Susannah and, after a while, Jake. Not only that, but the individual character developments are a great aspect of the story. Eddie and Jake are by far the best results of this development, with Eddie just edging into the lead. The way his character has developed from when we first met him in The Drawing of the Three is pretty impressive, although he has kept that core essence that makes him so likable. Jake has grown considerably simply because of the amount of page time he has had here, all of which goes to show that investing effort in a character works very well to help bring the story to life.

I also liked the way that King has expanded that universe to show more of what has happened and what the world is like now. It's the glimpses of past glories that really make it worthwhile and gives us the depth that was needed. Lud is a perfect example and we see first hand how the world has moved on, the split in society leading to conflict and stupidity on the part of those that live there. If I had one criticism of The Waste Lands it would be the ending - the cliffhanger is just cruel! But it does the one thing it should do - it makes you want to pick up the next book pretty sharpish!

So, a good continuation of the story with some new aspects and information makes The Waste Lands a fresh step in the series. It's got everything we know and love from the previous Dark Tower books and has added enough to the pot to make the next volume one to pick up. Recommended.
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The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands: Waste Lands Bk. 3 by Stephen King (Paperback - 15 Sept. 2003)
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