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The Waste Lands: The Dark Tower, No. 3 Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 678 customer reviews
Book 3 of 8 in the Dark Tower Series

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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dark Tower (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Revised ed. edition (September 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451210867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451210869
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (678 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is more about the Kindle edition than it is about the novel, which was good.

The Kindle edition has numerous editing errors:

1. Periods, Periods, everywhere - if there is a capital letter, there is probably a period right before it; this includes before any proper noun no matter where it appears in a sentence.

2. Typos, the deluxe edition! - real words substituted for completely different real words. Example: Loc. 4957 "Wheat was so funny" instead of "what was so funny"

If this had been a self-published ebook from a first-time novelist, it would not have been so troublesome.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stephen King has done it again! I have never read a bad book by this author. He always shines. They start out dry and overly detailed but in the end, every detail actually mattered. This book is part of the Dark Tower Series. Don't read it until you have read the others or it will not make any sense at all. This series is by far, the best series I have ever read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While the novel itself is quite good, the Kindle edition, which I purchased and shortly returned for a refund, is littered with typos and formatting errors. It appears that some unpaid--and maybe even hung-over--intern simply scanned the paper version of this book and ran a quick spell-check on random chapters. There are random periods strewn throughout the text, words are often misspelled, italics bleed into following paragraphs, short dashes and long dashes are often confused, ellipses are sometimes spaced, sometimes not... at one point, a closing double-quote is written as a superscripted 99! At 60% I had marked over 100 typos and formatting errors.

If I'm paying nearly the same price as a real-life book for an ephemeral digital copy (with DRM chains, no less!), I expect the same standard of formatting and typography as I would get in a real book. This Kindle edition is a lazy money-grab--do yourself a favor and download the torrent instead so you can correct the errors yourself if you want to read it.
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