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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2000
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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on 13 January 2016
King's Dark Tower series continues with unexpected twists and a comfortable prose. I loved where he took us in Roland's world, and particularly enjoyed the introduction of two new characters. There is an expansion of the universe that promises more and more danger, which, of course, means more excitement for us. With that said, I found myself running out of steam at around 65% through. What I loved about the two previous books was the suggestion of a desolate and unpopulated world, with nothing but animals and spell-casters to throw a spanner in the works. But that was soon undone when the travellers reached the city of Lud, and everything became a little like a dystopian 80s movie (with gangs and such). Near the end, however, things began to change for the better, and we were left on the edge of our seats with the promise of a next book. So here's looking forward to that!
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on 2 December 1999
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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on 11 March 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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on 27 April 2016
The "Gunslinger" series is an epic story with characters that you really, really care about, a great story of a long journey, with plenty of adventure on the way and relationships that develop in a fully believable way.

There's plenty of excitement, excellent use of time/history to keep you wondering exactly when this might be taking place and some effective use of invented language, with just enough humour to occasionally relieve the tension. I can't read the books in this series fast enough!
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on 12 April 2015
Third book of the Dark Tower Series and what can I say? Fantastic! Exciting! Gripped from start to finish, this latest installment sees Roland and his ka-tet travelling towards the Wastelands and finally the return of Jake. King masters the flashing between concurrent action scenes superbly and is as effective as any movie can produce. The book is left on a cliffhanger and I am only thankful I don't have to wait the 6 years it took for the release of the next book! The world has moved on and it seems I am moving with it. 5 Stars!
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on 24 October 2015
I am not the greatest fan of Stephen King, however I was told that this series was well worth a read.
As a science fiction fantasy mash-up it is amazing. The characters are wonderful, the world colourful and the story in depth.
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on 19 October 2015
If you are looking at this then I'd say it's safe to assume you've read the preceding books, and you don't need convincing to buy it. More excellent story telling, if you've read the others you need to read this, simple as. These one's look great as a set as well.
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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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on 8 June 2015
The single most engaging novel that I have ever had the pleasure of reading! Brilliant characters, outstanding plot, sensational dialogue and imagery that transports you into the story. Read the entire book in one day and have read it again since.
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