The Dark Tower 3: The Waste Lands – Stephen King

It just goes to show that people are very different in their tastes.  I was talking about the Dark Tower series with a colleague and acquaintance of mine.  She didn’t care for the third book in the series but I have to say that I didn’t mind it; in fact, I enjoyed a lot of it.  I can’t speak to her reasons for disliking the book but I know that mine have to do with the duality of the story line.  The idea that things are and aren’t at the same time is absolutely fascinating.  What attracted me to this story is the same thing that I love about Back to the Future 2: the idea of a change in the space=time continuum.


The story continues as Roland, Eddie and Susannah journey through Roland’s world.  They are in a forest and they find one of the guardians of the portals to our world.  There are apparently twelve of them.  This leads directly to them locating the beam which leads directly to the Dark Tower which is at the apex of a circle formed by these twelve doors.  Thereafter they spend a great deal of the novel journeying along the path of the beam.  Roland is starting to lose his mind – the result of killing Jack Mort and reveling Jake from dying.


Jake is suffering the same duality as Roland.  Starting on the morning that he was supposed to die he hears a voice that tells him he should not be alive and starts to narrate events that happened when he did die.  In the end the voices are gone but only after he endures three weeks of the insanity which eventually leads him to find the key that allows him to pass over into Roland’s world.


Once they are reunited the quartet travel on to the city of Lud – a horrible city that has ‘moved on’ and is in the midst of a centuries old civil war.  They have to go into the city to catch a train that will lead them through The Waste Lands.  The train is deadly but they are able to negotiate with it and board in time to avoid being killed.


My thoughts on this book:


Like I said above I enjoyed this book.  I think I could have done without the journey into Lud, but otherwise I enjoyed everything else.  I particularly liked the part of the story that dealt with Jake and what he was going through in his world.  I also loved the teaching aspect, which is one of the things that I also loved about Harry Potter.  It is all well and good to know that someone is good at what they do but its nice to know how they got that good.


The scene with the bear was, frankly, gross but I like the idea of portals into our world.  I’m really wondering why those portals are there in the first place though.  The explanation of how things crossed over from one world to the other are interesting.  For example, Hey Jode is in both worlds, how interesting.  I wonder why that song particularly – maybe because its a good song to sing along with: ”Na Na NaNaNaNa NaNaNaNa Hey Jude . . . “ And the fact that there was a Nazi warplane in this world . . .a little random but still interesting.


The time change thing is a little confusing for me though.  In our world time travels as the rate we’re used to but in Roland’s world it seems to travel faster (which immediately brings to mind The Chronicles of Narnia).  Therefore I have to wonder how long a thousand years actually be?


While there were some odd aspects of this, I still enjoyed it.  I can’t wait to read Wizard and Glass.


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