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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great addition to a great series!
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...
Published 20 months ago by Patrick St-Denis

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Two thirds tedium, one third grand DarkTower adventure
Like the monster train on the cover, the third Dark Tower novel takes a long time to get going, but once it does, it rolls along at freight like speed and tension, bringing a satisfying close to cap a tedious opening which serves as a poor man's possible world theory and a typical King middle with a house that seems ripped off from Barker's "Thief of Always".
Published on Sept. 10 2007 by Perschon


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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great addition to a great series!, Aug. 13 2012
By 
Patrick St-Denis "editor of Pat's Fantasy Hot... (Laval, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Waste Lands: (The Dark Tower #3)(Revised Edition) (Mass Market Paperback)
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. . .

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3.0 out of 5 stars Two thirds tedium, one third grand DarkTower adventure, Sept. 10 2007
By 
Perschon (Edmonton, AB, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Waste Lands: (The Dark Tower #3)(Revised Edition) (Mass Market Paperback)
Like the monster train on the cover, the third Dark Tower novel takes a long time to get going, but once it does, it rolls along at freight like speed and tension, bringing a satisfying close to cap a tedious opening which serves as a poor man's possible world theory and a typical King middle with a house that seems ripped off from Barker's "Thief of Always".
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5.0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review, April 30 2007
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This review is from: The Waste Lands: (The Dark Tower #3)(Revised Edition) (Mass Market Paperback)
In my opinion, The Waste Lands is a contender, along with The Drawing of the Three, for the title of best Dark Tower novel. Tension, thrills and scary monsters abound, as Roland links up with the last two members of his ka-tet and they make their way along the path of the Beam. From the cyborg-haunted forests to the city of Lud, Stephen King's descriptions of Mid-World are intense enough to half-convince the reader that this must be a real place somewhere. The story gains momentum and hastens towards its cliff-hanger ending with the speed of a runaway train. Literally!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Waste Lands, July 9 2004
This review is from: The Waste Lands: (The Dark Tower #3)(Revised Edition) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Waste Lands is the best in my opinion so far as the first three books. I also thought this was the most enjoyable of the first three to read, though a couple spots where King overwrote.
It was kind of dissapointing at the ending to just leave the book hanging like it did, but it was a good idea, cuz it will lure people to read the fourth right away.
It was interesting how the ka-tet all had in some way knew what was going to happen in the future. It was kingd of interesting probably the most interesting with Jake. How he came back to Rolands world after he dies? or did he not?
I also liked the fact that this book was the first to introduce Flagg or a hint that it was Flagg. I basically thought that because of- MY LIFE FOR YOU! which was Trashcanman's favorite line in the Stand. I'm sure thier be a lot more of Flagg and the Tick-Tock MAn in Wizard and Glass.
So overall this is the best so far in the series. I also thought of it as being the most complete of the first three.
So if youve read the first two I strongley recommend THe Waste Lands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whose Ka-Tek is the stronger..., June 16 2004
This review is from: Waste Lands (Hardcover)
The third volume of the much longer tale again continues the trek of Roland, now with Eddie and Susannah along the path of the beam. This tale picks up approx. 6 months after the confrontation on the Western Sea and Eddie and Susannah are on their way to becoming Gunslingers themselves. Roland however, is slowly losing his mind, due to a temporal paradox in which he both thinks that Jake is alive and that he is dead. After a showdown with one of the 12 guardians of the beams, they continue along their way. Roland is again re-united with Jake Chambers in a speaking ring outside the small town of River Crossing, and the full Ka-Tet of Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy (a billybumbler picked up along the way) continue along into Lud. In Lud, there are many perils, until finally our heroes get aboard Blaine the Mono. Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth. The book ends as a cliffhanger, which at the time of first publication was most annoying, primarily because of the long delay between DT3 and DT4. But, with the series coming to a close, the cliffhanger only adds to the mysticism of the over-all story. Another triumph of a tale and another step up in the overall series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series, June 16 2004
By 
A. Hart (MI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waste Lands (Hardcover)
The Waste Lands is, in my opinion, the best in the Dark Tower series. It starts out a little slow but once we get to the divided Jake, who is once again alive due to a paradox created when Roland killed Jack Mort in the Drawing of the Three, and follow him around New York while he loses his mind and compulsively opens doors, trying to find his way back to Roland's world, the story becomes fascinating. Here we also have a set-up for future stories, such as when Susannah must have sex with a demon in order to save Eddie and get Jacke through the doorway to their world. This will become all too important later on in the series, namely in books 5&6. And when we meet Blaine the Mono, who is a pain, we will never forget him and his maniacal laughter and obsession with riddles.
This book kept me drawn to it, and holds true to the surreal and fascianting world of the gunslinger, Roland, and his new ka-tet. There is a lot of story here, as well, not just pointless ambling like in Wolves of the Calla. Recomended to DT fans big-big.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid continuation of the Dark Tower saga, May 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Waste Lands (Hardcover)
The third installment of the Dark Tower saga features strong characterization and some well-staged horror/action set pieces. Without a doubt, the characters are the stong point of this novel. Eddie Dean's wisecracks may be somewhat annoying, but the rest of the characters, especially Jake and Roland, are some of the most in depth people that King has ever written. One drawback is the plot does not move as swiftly as the previous installments, and most of the book focuses mostly on side quests instead of on the Tower itself. The last third of the book is very strong, though, and it will leave King fans hungry for the next book, Wizards and Glass. Recommend to King, Dark Tower and fiction fans alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best beware of Blain the Choo-Choo train, May 14 2004
By 
Matthew King (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waste Lands (Hardcover)
The Waste Lands is a direct continuation of the events that occurred in The drawing of the three. Roland, Eddie and Susannah have moved away from the beaches of the western sea and into the great forest about 60 miles north. As they cross the forest, the three are etching further along one of the 6 beams leading to the dark tower. Roland continues to be plagued by nightmares and voices about Jake, the young kid he was separated from at the conclusion of the first volume. Jake is alive and well but he is nowhere to be found in Roland's world as he is instead back in his world, the NYC of present time. He too, is plagued by nightmares and voices about his lost companion and he is desperately searching for the door that will lead him out of his world and back into Roland's...
Whereas the second volume was drawing the group and setting things up, it is in this third volume of the series where the "ka-tet" is making leaps and bounds and etching ever closer to the tower. Eddie and Susannah are no longer reluctant and pessimistic about the strange world they were thrown into, they now accept this adventure as being their fate and Roland as their friend. They are now fully trained gunslingers and ready to face the perils that lie ahead.
The New York chapters in this entry are even better than the last one, as we follow Jake desperately trying to find a way back in into Roland's world. It was kind of neat how Roland and Jake were both simultaneously going insane while apart from each other. Once Jake finally manages to make it back into Roland's world and join his travelling companions to the tower is once the pace accelerates in dramatic fashion. Over several days, the Ka-Tet travel through the great forest, across the desert, stop into strange towns, cross a perilous bridge, pick up a new travelling companion and much, much more. The Waste Lands is high adventure unlike anything witnessed in the previous two entries of the series.
Again, King leaves the reader with a bunch of head-scratching thoughts throughout. Most intriguing to me is trying to make sense of wether some of the characters in Roland's world are parallel versions of King characters in others of his novels. Is Walter, aka the wizard magician aka the man in black, in effect Randall Flagg? Is the tick-tock man the trash can man in the Stand? After all, we are told straight up that Charlie the choo-choo train(in our world) is the equivalent of Blaine the monorail(in Roland's world). Hopefully we will have definite answers by the time the series wraps up. The most adventuresome and high-octane entry in the series so far, The Waste Lands is where this series really starts to get interesting. If any of the other entries end up being better than this one, I might very well be out of breath and at a loss for words by the time the ka-tet finally reach the dark tower.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great but not better than the second book, April 10 2004
By 
Troy Wallis (Albuquerque, NM United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Waste Lands (Hardcover)
The only reason I don't think that this book was better than The Drawing of the Three is because it lags a lot at the beginning. But then it picks up the pace that made Drawing so good. In this book you have the completion of the ka-tet and they start on their journey towards the Dark Tower. They run into some bumps along the way and it is a very well written book. The end leaves you a bit angry though (I won't reveal why) so expect to pick up Wizard and Glass, the fourth book, as you get close to the end. Another great chapter in the Dark Tower series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The heart of the Dark Tower, Feb. 20 2004
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This review is from: Waste Lands (Hardcover)
Book 3 of the Dark Tower series, "The Wastelands" opens with Roland teaching Eddie and Susannah (was Odetta) of New York to be gunslingers. He teaches them to remember the faces of their fathers in their mission to save the Dark Tower.
They soon come across their first challenge as gunslingers, one of the guardians of the beams, Shardik the bear. Roland didn't think these guardians really existed until they are faced with the dangerous evidence of such.
Shardik is a remnant of a bygone era, some two-thousand years ago when Northcentral Positronics built him to protect one of the beams of the Dark Tower (it is said that this company also may have built the beams). Unfortunately, Shardik is infested with parasites that have caused his insanity. It's just a matter of time before he dies, but in his insanity he charges after Susannah, Eddie and Roland.
It is Susannah's first task to destroy Shardik by aiming at his satellite dish on the top of his head. Eddie then gets the task of destroying his robot care-takers in the same way. Only through this rite of passage can they move on, for these creatures will surely destroy them if allowed to exist any longer.
Meanwhile, Roland feels as if he's slowly going crazy. He committed an act in New York, while through the door of Death, that stopped a child, Jake (whom we know from book 1, "The Gunslinger") from being pushed to his death. But if he saved Jake in New York in another world from dying, then how did Jake come to Roland's world only to be sacrificed on Roland's quest for the man in black? A paradox was created and Roland's mind cannot cope.
Jake of New York is suffering from the same malady. And that is the truth. Roland must now draw Jake into his world with the help of Eddie and Susannah.
All this is before they move on to the town of Lud, meet Blaine the Train (one helluva pain) and travel to a Kansas filled with the dead of Captain Trips (here we go, the very obvious link to "The Stand").
This is where the going gets good. If you make it this far into the Dark Tower series consider yourself a goner. You'll be addicted and won't be able to stop yourself from reading other King books just to catch the trinkets of DT links.
Such sweet nectar for the constant reader.
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The Waste Lands: (The Dark Tower #3)(Revised Edition)
The Waste Lands: (The Dark Tower #3)(Revised Edition) by Stephen King (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 5 2013)
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