The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3)
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The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)

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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  85,915 ratings  ·  2,097 reviews
Roland, The Last Gunslinger, moves ever closer to The Dark Tower of his dreams-and nightmares-as he crosses a desert of damnation in a macabre world that is a twisted image of our own...
ebook, 424 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Signet Book (first published January 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
This book contains the biggest lie a writer ever told me. It‘s in the Author‘s Note at the end:

The fourth volume in the tale of the Dark Tower should appear - always assuming the continuation of Constant Writer’s life and Constant Reader’s interest - in the not-too-distant-future.

It took six years for the next book to come out.

Six. Goddamn. Years.

Six years may not seem too bad to fans of authors who only release a book every decade or so, but there’s a couple of factors that made this false sta...more
Stephen
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DISCLAIMER: Many aspects of THE GUNSLINGER ACTION ADVENTURE EXPEDITION are comprised of potentially dangerous activities involving giant cyborgs, possessed buildings, demon rapists and extras from the cast of Deliverance, do you ken it. There is a risk of serious injury, being Roont or even Charyou Tree. Therefore GUNSLINGER KA-TETS WITH DINH ONLY. While training and remembering the face of your father can reduce the inherent risks, Ka is a wheel and they cannot be completely eliminated do you...more
Dan Schwent
After the events of the Drawing of the Three, Roland the Gunslinger has two people from our world along side him in his quest for the Dark Tower. However, he's also going mad because of a strange double set of memories in his head, memories of a boy he crossed the desert with...

The Waste Lands is probably my favorite Dark Tower book and epitomizes what I like about the series. It's got the lost technology, lots of action, more bits about Roland's world, and makes Roland's ka-tet complete. The st...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
Another stunning installment in the Dark Tower series, The Waste Lands brings our quest for the dark tower that much closer, and actually giving it plenty of momentum which is, I'm told, possibly to be dashed in further installments.

Where The Gunslinger was a correlating collection of stories and The Drawing of the Three brings the main characters together, The Waste Lands actually moves the quest forward, gives some background (not a ton mind you), and gives us some direction.

I'm really enjoyin...more
Dawn
Let me start off by saying that I didn't rate this five stars because of its stand alone content. I rated it five stars because of the level it elevated the series too. I wasn't very interested in the Dark Tower series after Gunslinger, but I kept going. After Drawing of the Three, I was more intrigued, I liked it a lot better than Gunslinger, but I still could have not continued and not really cared. But now, after Waste Lands, I'm hooked. I can't wait to continue, and learn more of the story....more
Mara
I'm not usually one for "fantasy," though there have been a number exceptions. I like to know "the rules" of whatever world I'm in (I guess there's a bit of Annie Wilkes in me), and it can take me a while to "calibrate" appropriately. The characters aren't that far ahead of me in some ways. Even Roland, the Gunslinger of all gunslingers, isn't always "in the know" as to what lies in the realm of possibility. Eventually, I got there (in large part thanks to the presence of Jake, who is so easy t...more
Brandon
Look, if you haven't read the "Dark Tower" series, get off your ass. Anyone who knows me knows that I can just barely read at all, but I'm tearing through these books like John Candy through a Shoney's breakfast buffet. It's tough to say what's even so GOOD about them. In fact, for their length, you could say that hardly anything even happens in the first two, This guy walks through a desert for 500 pages, then a group of folks walk up a beach for 500 pages. But...I don't know Stephen King has d...more
Sesana
The best book in the series so far. I know it's too much to hope that they keep getting better, or even that the next four books be as good. (I've been instructed to ignore The Wind Through the Keyhole, and so I shall do.) If the rest of the series averages 3/4 as good as The Waste Lands, then it's going to be one hell of a ride.

I know that I'm reading this series from a privileged position. This is my first time traveling with Roland. Yes, I did wait for the series to be complete. And, um, kin...more
Lou
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The beam all things serve it!
A multi-layered story of thrill and adventure.
A band of pilgrims, knights set upon a journey, a journey in ultimately that they will come to realise fear and terror, love and courage. Journey to a ultimate goal a destination the Tower and this strikes a similarity to our own goals and journeys today to happiness and sadness, paradise and hell, success and failure, light or darkness. As we follow this band upon their paths we warm to their fears and courage, humour a
...more
Stephanie
Phew...

This is (only) the second time through The Waste Lands and I enjoyed it as much, if not more then the first read. The world King creates in this series is unforgettable and the characters become very real, to the point that I actually miss them when I finish a book.

This books ends with a huge ass cliff hanger. Fortunately for me and Stephen King I did not read this series as it was released. I tried to imagine how I would have felt if I had to wait "six. goddamn. years." as one of my frie...more
Tfitoby
Colour me fully impressed, The Waste Lands is one incredibly wild ride from start to finish filled with fascinating scenarios, intriguing characters that you grow to care for and nail biting tension, not to mention some of that Stephen King horror stuff too. And THEN he ends on a cliffhanger the likes of which nobody should be allowed to get away with! I can feel why Kemper has gone a little crazy and yet I'm not jumping in to book 4 through choice. What about those old people who wrote to King...more
Kathryn
I wish I could give The Waste Lands ten stars. No joke!

I loved, loved, loved this book. By far, this is my favorite installment, so far, of the Dark Tower series. There was so much which happened in The Waste Lands, which made it hard for me to put down. (unfortunately, real-world exists, and kicks us out of Mid-world.)

Okay, if you don't want to be spoiled of the wild ride of The Waste Lands, you might want to stop reading...:)

(view spoiler)...more
David Sven
“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

I aim with my eye.

I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

I shoot with my mind.

I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.

I kill with my heart.”


The Gunslinger's Catechism


Ka –tet
“Ka—the word you think of as ‘destiny,’ Eddie, although the actual meaning is much more complex and hard to define...,”
‘tet, whi...more
Jonathan Cullen
Feb 01, 2011 Jonathan Cullen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: billy-bumblers
And we continue on the Path of the beam…

The Waste Lands, Stephen King's second installment of the Dark Tower, is sometimes lauded as the best of the series. It's not my favourite but I can see why fans would say so. Once again, there's something for everyone. Oh and despite the fact that the previous installment was entitled Drawing of the Three, there's still plenty of drawing left in Waste Lands, and it's done via the rather odd vehicle of a time-travel/alternative-universe paradox. It also wo...more
Brandon
WOW.

Where do I start with this one? Do I talk about how it's one of the best 3rd books I've ever read in a series? That's kind of a weird honor isn't it? I mean, you can call a book "one of the best you've ever read" but when you start to say it's the best 3rd entry in a series of books, you're getting weirdly specific. Do I talk about how much I love Roland, Eddie, Suzannah and Jake? Do I say that they're probably my favorite group of 4 people to ever trek across Mid-World in search of a giant...more
Traci
This is the book I was looking for when I started this series. I actually started The Dark Tower books years ago but remembered little to nothing about them. I remembered Roland, gunslingers, a woman with no legs and for some reason Hey Jude. Well, this was my book. A rediscovered favorite book. And now I can finish the whole series in one go and hopefully find out what this crazy stuff all means.

In a way it's another series that's reminding me of Lost. With the whole question of, "Where are we?...more
Chris
While this book isn't my absolute favorite of the Dark Tower series, it's pretty essential. It is here that Roland the Gunslinger's ka-tet is complete and the path to the Tower is joined in full.

It's a great bridge between the first books and later ones, as it brings full circle some of the initial plot-lines and sets the characters on a course for the new plot-lines.

In Book 1, we meet Roland and Jake. In Book 2, we meet Eddie and Susannah. Here in Book 3, they are joined by Oy and become more...more
Becky
This is not my favorite book of the series by a long shot, and yet, it's such an intriguing book that even as a not-favorite, I still love every minute of reading it. So much happens in this book, we learn so much and get to know the characters so much more, that it doesn't feel like a middle-of-a-series book at all, but rather a part of the whole, which is exactly what it is. The Dark Tower series isn't a series really, but one enormous story that encompasses much more than can be conveyed in 7...more
Kasia S.
Yet another fantastic leg of the tremendous journey to the dark tower, the chilling and intense story continues with our friends on the quest that threatens to claim their lives at any moment. I highly recommend reading this in order, the first and second books which I am yet to review were also fantastic, the first being little less successful than the second and now the third but overall once you start the story is hard not to think about it. When I read the last page of The Waste Lands I was...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Now we get to some real nail-biting action. This book is split into two parts, and each part will have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what the outcome will be.

This is my favorite of the first three volumes I think, although I mostly just consider it all one big story more then I consider it to be split up.

This book made me love all the characters more then ever. Roland especially. He cracked jokes AND faced down a demented train. He kicks ass. I also have a very big soft spot for...more
Jake Menne
This book contained some of my favorite things: quests, mind bending paradoxical ideas, loyal pet companions, riddles, and demented sentient trains. That last one is a new addition to the list.

Each installment of the series has gotten progressively better in my opinion. The difference between the three books is actually rather drastic, in content as well as tone. The first two felt like set up where as this one finally felt like progress was made. Progress in the quest for the dark tower.

I think...more
Abigail
I was really surprised at how (view spoiler) It felt like running along and all of a sudden coming up to the edge of a cliff! I get that this is part of a series and so you have to continue on to the next book in order to find out what happens next, but because of such an (view spoiler) that kind of makes it almost impossible for me to judge this book as a stand alone story, in the same way that I felt the previous book The...more
Chris
The way this book started really threw me when I first read it. It was too... alive.

The Gunslinger takes place entirely in a desert - featureless, dry, unchanging. The Drawing of the Three takes place on a beach - featureless, slightly less dry, unchanging. With this book, a few months have gone by and Our Heroes are in a rather lush forest, without the privation that they had gone through in the previous books. They weren't desperately racing the clock to try and find food or medicine or water,...more
Janie Johnson
Wow what can I say about this book? There is so much of it to love. I was instantly sucked in and savored every word. As I told a friend of mine “enjoying it” does not even come close to describing how I felt about this story. But to simplify things let’s say “It was AMAZING!” And the intensity levels were phenominal.

One thing I really liked was how each one’s world was running parallel to the others. I found that fascinating! And what can I say about the ‘anticipation’! King leads his readers...more
Richard
7.5/10

Damn me and my hyperbole; predicting this to be the greatest novel I’ve ever read and take the series to a new level of awesomeness and sit atop the pedestal of unbeatable works of fiction. Damn me Richard!

Don’t get me wrong, this was a strong entry with plenty of positives, but after reading some really strong reviews and people stating this is where the series leaped to a new level and was a series favourite I built it up in my mind to be more than what I got.

Some of the things which I...more
Jessie
I'm going to have to agree with what many readers have stated on this series; the story is getting better as it progresses.

The first book, needless to say, was so vague I couldn't make any sense of it whatsoever. I enjoyed the western theme, but the few facts i could gather weren't enough for me to actually get into the story. It ended up taking me a month to finish it. In that time, I had to pressure myself to sit down and read a certain amount of pages. I couldn't identify with Roland or his...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Interesting title, I can't help but wonder if there is any Elliot influence in using it.


Five weeks after the end of The Drawing of the Three we find ourselves still in Out-World but as we move away from the sea we will head into Mid-World.

As mentioned before Mr. King has built a sort of multiverse with this series tying his books together. I will/have I'm sure missed a lot of it as not being a "King fan" there are many of his books I haven't read. My late wife was a fan of his so, by consequence...more
Dave Johnson
the story is getting better.

first book: vague as crap, a little too pretentious.
second book: barely even a story, most of it worth skipping.
this third book: pretty entertaining, slightly verbose, and a little too long.

when reading this, i definitely saw the influence of LOTR clearer than i did in the previous two. of course, when reading any fantasy, the enemy of all fantasy novels--one could say the Dark Tower--is Tolkien. mostly you find that fantasy novels are just rehashes of the same ideas...more
Wendell Adams
Great book! I was really worried about whether I could finish this series out after book two bored me, but now I'm in for the long haul. Roland isn't the only one who has to get to the Dark Tower, because I want to sniff the roses and stare up at its obsidian splendor. Even more importantly I want to know all the secret: Mid World, the beams, the machinery, and why the world has moved on. It is all shimmering before my eyes as if I've already experienced it all in one of my dreams, and its only...more
Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)
This review was originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on December 10, 2012.

Roland, Eddie and Susannah (as Odetta is now called) are recovering from their time journeying along the beach in search of doors between the worlds. It’s soon clear that Roland is slowly starting to lose his mind, as he hears voices and is no longer sure which of his memories is the truth. Meanwhile, in New York, eleven-year-old Jake is having a similar crisis as he’s sure he should have died on his way to school. Rola...more
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M...more
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“Don't ask me silly questions
I won't play silly games
I'm just a simple choo choo train
And I'll always be the same.

I only want to race along
Beneath the bright blue sky
And be a happy choo choo train
Until the day I die.”
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“Animals don't know as much about jealousy as people, but they're not ignorant of it, either.” 47 likes
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