Book Review: The Wastelands by Stephen King

/ Sunday, August 16, 2009 /
Stephen King - Dark Tower III The WastelandsYet again my inevitable yet slow march forward continues. I have finally completed book three in Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. I read books 1-4 when I was a kid and in college I started book five but found myself severely lacking in the memory department when it came to the details of the storyline which I was picking back up mid-stream. Because I had forgotten so much from the first four books I didn't finish book five and eventually, a couple years ago, I decided to start all over and re-read the entire series again from book one.

Strangely I'm not really reading these very fast even still. I've only managed to get through the first three books in about two years, though I think that is a bit better than the first time through. When I was a kid I read them slow and had to wait a couple years for book four to even be released so I should get around to finishing it up sooner rather than later.

Anyway, book three, The Wastelands, struck me as a meandering tale that really didn't tell much. I remember this book being much more entertaining as a kid. Maybe I've been trained all these years to expect a conventional beginning, middle, and end, whereas in my youth I was more open to loose interpretations of story lines. This book picked up with the training of Susan and Eddie and then moved on to their beginning travels. They follow "the beam" which gave me to some insight to the greater King universe, which I didn't know of when I first read this book in Middle School. The beam ties in significantly to a short story included in Hearts In Atlantis, which I've also read fairly recently.

Anyway, we eventually get a plot build and conclusion with the drawing of the fourth, Jake... except the book is not over... it's only half finished. This drawing moment was quite spectacular and left me enjoying every word like it was the last I'd ever read. Of course when there ended up being a ton more to the book I found a letdown to the story, not sure why though. I think it was just so strange to have what seemed to be two books side-by-side in the same novel.

Anyway, eventually the group makes there way through the wilderness and we build a second dramatic tale from the ground up by setting the stage for the Gunslinger to rescue Jake and save him, seemingly making up for the time he killed him in book one. Blaine the pain, enters into the thick as the "God" of Lud and becomes there carrier and possibly savior but of course we won't know until we get to book four. Again, this goes against all preconceived notions of plot conclusions. We got a good one half way through the book but a bad conclusion at the end. Sure it leaves us wanting book four but it's artificial in my opinion.

Also, I remember quite a bit more riddling from my reading of this book as a kid but then again maybe I'm thinking of book four. We shall see. I'll have to get my hands on book four, Wizard and Glass, soon and catch back up. Despite my disappointment from this book I do trust King to deliver and since I read this far before I have to finally finish the series.


Feel free to take a look at my fairly recent reviews of books 1 & 2, The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three or any of the other random books I've read and noted here on this blog.

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