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The Waste Lands (1991)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dark Tower (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,326171385 (4.08)2 / 138
Roland, the Last Gunslinger, and his companions--Eddie Dean and Susannah--cross the desert of damnation, drawing ever closer to the Dark Tower, a legion of fiendish foes, and revelations that could alter the world.
  1. 20
    Wizard and Glass by Stephen King (Morteana)
  2. 00
    Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King (Afalstein)
    Afalstein: Another book in the series, with a similar action-packed plot, but with a more developed narrative that's also somehow outside the main action.
  3. 00
    The Gunslinger by Stephen King (Afalstein)
    Afalstein: Book in the same series, with many of the same characters and a very similar tone.
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English (162)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (171)
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Listened to primarily on the commute in to work.

Always enjoy a dark tower book, this one is no different. Very captivating, especially the city of Luud when Trasher takes Jake into the trash towers.

The giant mechanical bear was very interesting as it brings up many new questions and its really interesting that some of them haven't even started to be answered at this point.

Not as big of the idea of Sus and Eddie becoming gunslingers themselves - I'm not nearly as found of them as I am of Roland and it kind of speaks that they are going to be around for a while.

Blaine the Mono was very interesting and the idea of riddles - inspired me to go and look up some of my own.

There were some parts that were a bit more graphic than the previous two books in the series - talking about when the Demon comes into the world and attacks susannah while Eddie draws the door to draw Jake through.

The book ends on a cliffhanger which was very surprising to reach - it almost seems as if it's random - but later King explains it surprises him as much as it would his readers which made it really relatable. ( )
  jhavens12 | Sep 1, 2021 |
Blaine is a pain and that IS the truth, and so is ending the novel in the middle of the story, on what isn't even written as much of a cliffhanger before suddenly detouring into Author's Notes. I have all the pity and sympathy for those of you who read it as it was coming out, due to the fact I'm annoyed even though all 7.5 books have already been written and published for me to not have to wait.

I do think I felt like the series came in its stride in this books (and that I started to be able to predict every big move the book was making by the first time it was referenced). I liked seeing the training of the Gunslingers. I like the madness of Roland & Jake, the conclusion of that madness with their reunion, and the unsettled, still in process balancing of their relationship (wherein Roland continues to make promises even the narration points out he has doubt about keeping if it comes down to Jake vs. The Dark Tower).

Also, I unabashedly loved Oy and I can't wait to see more of him. ( )
1 vote wanderlustlover | Aug 21, 2021 |
Neste romance emocionante, Roland, o último Pistoleiro, se aproxima ainda mais da Torre Negra que habita seus sonhos e pesadelos, enquanto atravessa um deserto amaldiçoado em um mundo macabro que é uma imagem distorcida do nosso. Junto com Roland estão dois companheiros que ele levou consigo para esse universo: Eddie Dean, um ex-dependente químico, e Susannah, nova identidade da mulher que combina no mesmo corpo duas personalidades distintas. À sua frente estão as extraordinárias revelações sobre quem ele é e o que motiva sua busca. E contra Roland se perfila uma legião cada vez mais numerosa de inimigos, humanos ou não. À medida que o ritmo da ação, da descoberta e do perigo se acelera, o leitor é irremediavelmente absorvido por um drama espetacular, ao mesmo tempo assustador como um pesadelo... e estranhamente familiar.
  helders | Jul 17, 2021 |
The Waste Lands (Dark Tower) by Stephen King (2003)
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
The Dark Tower series, as Stephen King explained in his introduction to its first book, The Gunslinger, is essentially his Lord of the Rings—an epic fantasy tale stretching over several volumes to decide the fate of the world (or, in this case, worlds).

There are differences, of course: New Yorkers instead of hobbits; lobstrosities instead of orcs; western/horror/science fiction instead of medieval fantasy; the Dark Tower instead of the One Ring.

But there are also plenty of parallels: Roland, King’s protagonist, has a bit of Aragorn in him. Maybe some Gandalf, too. Riddles figure prominently, a tribute to the most famous scene in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

And there’s a quest.

Except that in The Lord of the Rings, the terms of that quest are clear a third of the way through the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring—during the Council of Elrond, Frodo accepts the task of destroying the One Ring. There’s also a principal adversary: Sauron.

In sharp contrast, Roland’s mission still isn’t entirely apparent by the end of The Waste Lands, the third book in King’s opus. We know Roland has been seeking the Tower for years, and that he believes it holds the key to keeping his world (and maybe others) from “moving on,” or falling apart at the seams. But what exactly he’ll do once he reaches the Tower remains a mystery, as does how he’ll get there and who will try to stop him. (Although a late scene with the “Ageless Stranger” might have marked the entrance of a key opponent.)

None of this is to say epic fantasies should always follow Tolkien’s lead—please, by all means, break the mold. But I think the initial directional haziness in The Dark Tower is why I struggled with its first two books. That, and King’s long-winded style.

Thankfully, after spending the first part of The Waste Lands dragging out the formation of his fellowship—Roland, having already gathered Eddie and Susannah, corrects a sin from the first book and rescues a fourth companion—the series finally gets underway. Roland’s “ka-tet” of burgeoning gunslingers makes its way to Lud, a once-wondrous city now descended into chaos and decay. After tangling with its surviving inhabitants, the ka-tet boards Blaine, a monorail with unraveling artificial intelligence, and strikes a (dangerous) deal with him to carry them close to the Tower.

It sounds nuts—and it is—but it’s also fun, and the series finally makes some forward progress. I’d still like a few more details about the Tower, though. Even something as cliché as a prophecy: they’re generally lame, but they at least serve the purpose of giving the reader signposts to navigate by.

But that’s not King’s way. For better or worse, he’s an author you just have to surrender to and trust he knows where he’s going—never more so than in The Dark Tower. And after finishing The Waste Lands, I’m more confident in doing so.

Because the train has finally left the station.

(For more reviews like this one, see www.nickwisseman.com) ( )
  nickwisseman | Jun 16, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dameron, NedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Körber, JoachimÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water. Only

There is shadow under this red rock,

(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),

And I will show you something different from either

Your shadow in the morning striding behind you

Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

-- T.S. Eliot

"The Waste Land"
If there pushed any ragged thistle-stalk

Above its mates, the head was chopped; the bents

Were jealous else. What made those holes and rents

In the dock's hearth swarth leaves, bruised as to balk

All hop of greenness? 'tis a brute must walk

Pashing their life out, with a brute's intents.

-- Robert Browning

"Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"
"What river is it?" enquired Millicent idly.

"It's only a stream. Well, perhaps a little more than that. It's called the Waste."

"Is it really?"

"Yes," said Winifred, "it is."

-- Robert Aickman

"Hand in Glove"
Dedication
This third volume of the tale is gratefully dedicated to my son, OWEN PHILIP KING:

Khef, ka, and ka-tet.
First words
It was her third time with live ammunition. . .and her first time on the draw from the holster Roland had rigged for her.
Quotations
The house was alive. He knew this, could feel its awareness reaching out from the boards and the slumping roof, could feel it pouring in rivers from the black sockets of its windows. The idea of approaching that terrible place filled him with dismay; the idea of actually going inside filled him with inarticulate horror.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Roland, the Last Gunslinger, and his companions--Eddie Dean and Susannah--cross the desert of damnation, drawing ever closer to the Dark Tower, a legion of fiendish foes, and revelations that could alter the world.

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Haiku summary
Choo Choo Engine stood
before Roland the Brave
asking mean riddles.

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