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The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower Book III Paperback – November 1, 1997

526 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

King's third volume on Roland the gunfighter's search for the Dark Tower offers charming bits of whimsy, some splendidly tense moments and one rip-roaring horror scene. At times, however, it is pretentious and the direction of the sprawling plot uncertain. Roland has two companions on his quest for the tower at the portal of all the worldsp. 53 : Susannah Dean and Eddie Dean, who entered his world from New York City of 1963 and 1987, respectively. When the three track down the den of a 70-foot-tall cyborg bear, they are pointed down a path leading to the Tower. But Roland is slowly going mad, a fact that seems linked to his past experiences with Jake Chambers, a boy who died twicestet ital in the first book of the series. Jake reappears here, displaying great resilience in crossing over from 1977 New York City to join Roland & Co. (As Susannah notes, "This time-travel business is some confusing shit.") They press on, plumbing the depths of a children's book that tells a profound and ancient tale. Unfortunately, the questers don't reach the Tower; in fact, they're caught in a cliff-hanger ending--King says, he'll write volume four if we want it. Illustrations not seen by PW. 1.5 million first printing; $400,000 ad/promo; BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- The third installment in the offbeat fantasy saga involving the enigmatic Roland (the last gunfighter) and his quest for the Dark Tower. While the story (inspired by Robert Browning's narrative poem ``Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'') is entertaining, what really makes it outstanding are King's unique, multifaceted characters. This is Stephen King at his best.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dark Tower (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (January 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452267404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452267404
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (526 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Walker on May 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Wastelands-King's third installment in the Dark Tower saga-marks the true beginning of the quest in many ways. Roland finally gathers his ka-tet (group bound to him by destiny) as he draws young Jake into his world amid a demonic rainstorm. And it is here, as the group prepares to embark on a seemingly insane journey through the Waste Lands (part of Mid-World that has been utterly ravaged by war and the decay of the Tower), that we finally get a look at the true nature of Roland's world.

From the City of Lud-a post-apocalyptic industrial ruin-to the lost cyborg-bear Shardik and the dread portal he guards, it is clear from the start that Roland's world-and perhaps our world as well-contains vastly more than meets the eye. Perhaps the greatest asset to The Waste Lands is the sheer imaginative scope that binds the tale of Roland's ka-tet. Here is a world so complete in its history, so flawless in its realization, and so utterly compelling in its people, that it is far too easy to lose yourself in.

In The Waste Lands, the Dark Tower epic picks of steam and sends the reader hurtling down the dark halls of King's fantastic world.

A word of warning: Have a copy of Wizard and Glass (Book IV) on hand when you finish this; it ends with a really agonizing cliff-hanger.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on October 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market 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'.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Berry on December 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not as deeply off the subject as Wizard and Glass, more involved than The Gunslinger, less "ordinary" than the Drawing of the Three, the Waste Lands brings hints of science fiction at the beginning while deeping the fascinating theme of coincidence which is really an amazingly complex series of convergences. We learn more about the three who have been drawn, fear for Roland's mind as he teeters on the edge of madness, understand more about how Mid-World relates to ours, fear for our lives at the hands of Blaine the Mono and are truly drawn into the story as each of the companions begins to feel the pull of the Dark Tower . . . A fascinating and engrossing read. I don't know anybody who's read the Dark Tower series who isn't pining for the next installment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The Waste Lands" begins the actual quest for the Dark Tower, the first two novels in this series, "The Gunslinger" and "Drawing of the Three" being an introduction and a search for the members who would join Roland of Gilead in his quest for the Dark Tower. In the previous book we thought we would meet the three team members who would join Roland in his quest, but one of the members met his demise after Jack Mort's evil was uncovered.

In this book Susannah Dean (nee Walker), Eddie Dean, and Roland of Gilead seek the beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower. They soon encounter an enormous bear that turns out to be more than meets the eye. After their exciting encounter with the bear the trio back trails the bear to its home, and encounter a variety of support critters that are also more than meet the eye. The trio also finds the beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower.

A little down the trail they meet the true third alluded to in "The Gunslinger," none other than Jake Chambers. In a short period the four members of the ka-tet encounter a beat up bumbler that they nickname Oy. This group is the team that we follow onward to the dark tower.

The ka-tet encounters a town of elderly people who warn the group against proceeding to Lud, the nearby big city. However, the team believes they need to ride a train a good portion of the way to the Dark Tower. They soon discover that the only remaining train is named Blaine, as Jake had been prophesying, unbeknownst even to himself, for some time.

Once the ka-tet enters Lud, they discover a war that has been in progress for decades, or perhaps longer; a war so old that none even remember who the good guys and the bad guys are.
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