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Roland of Gilead .... Tick tock
Dark Tower 3: The Waste Lands - Stephen King
Member Name: dawnymarie
Dark Tower 3: The Waste Lands - Stephen King
Date: 19/09/12, updated on 24/09/12 (119 review reads)
Advantages: Creative storytelling that captivates me and engages all my senses
Why read this one?...
This is the third instalment in Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. It made sense to read it as I am engrossed in the tale of Roland and his posse. You couldn't stop me from reading this one after I had finished and enjoyed the first two books. I was hungry for more and fearless to discover more of Roland's world - a world which has moved on. A dangerous world.
Roland is still with us. An amazing feat considering the journey that he has endured to date. He has battled through the arid desert following the mysterious 'man in black'. He has survived the attack made on his life when he came face to face with the lobsrosities. He has looked death in the face during a life threatening infection. Almost machine like - he carries on. He has a goal. One goal. To find the Dark Tower. What he will find when he gets there is anyone's guess, all he knows is that it is his destiny and duty to find it. His new companions, Susannah and Eddie Dean, are growing fond of him and he knows he has feelings for them - unfortunately he also knows that as far as the Dark Tower goes he cannot be trusted to put anything or anyone before it. And so the three of them continue in the search. But this journey will not be an easy one either physically or mentally, there are strange sounds coming from this new landscape, from the woods. Soon they will be forced into action, though they don't know by what. Roland has inner turmoil to deal with that is testing his sanity - he cannot get the boy he let die out of his head. He may have died in Roland's world - but he knows that boy, Jake, is alive in his own. Alive and trying to get to Roland.....
Blaine the train is a pain.....Tick Tock....
I could not wait to get my hands on this book. After the satisfactory conclusion to last one (The drawing of the three) I was eager to find out more about Roland from this offering. King knows how to please his constant readers - he does not disappoint.
From the very first page I felt reassured that this was going to be an epic journey of fine crafting. It is split into two books and this was a very wise choice because it works perfectly. I am reunited with a boy who I got attached to and developed an interest in when he joined Roland in the first book (The gunslinger). Jake died in that book but since the outcome of the second book he is still very much alive in New York - in his world.
From what I can gather so far there are doors that lead to different worlds and/or periods in time - rather like the Bermuda Triangle, people and items can go missing. I like this idea, it fascinates me and King presents these phenomena in a logical way that I find intriguing as opposed to confusing. What comes out of the authors mind is genius at times and I am surprised all the time at what he can come up with. He mixes mystical and magical with science and technology; also throwing in past and present cultures and societies. It makes for some really thought provoking moments.
The first book within this prose is all about Jake. We find him in New York going slightly mad - or so it seems to him initially. He's not. I like spending time in his world - the family dynamics are horrible. His father has high expectations and his mother is submissive - Jake loves them but soon realises that he loves Roland more, the relationship he had with Roland was more like father and son than he has with his own work orientated dad. I felt sorry for him and hoped that he would find a way back to Mid World - to Roland. He has forgiven him for letting him die, a trait which endears him all the more to me and shows me a maturity beyond his young years. He is a brave and tenacious little soul and he has only one desire - to find the door that will lead him back to Roland, in a dangerous land that he knows is his destiny. It is clear that all the Ka tet (group of people with the same destiny) have a desire to be with Roland in the horrors of his world.
Eddie Dean soon realises that he is somehow seeing what is going on in Jake's world - he is fearful of telling anyone and least of all Roland who seems to be losing it - his mind. Eddie and Susannah are developing into really solid characters and I like them both, I did from the start but even more so now. I like the complexity of Susannah - her unique strengths that she can draw on in emergencies are captivating. I like that she is a feisty and independent woman, even though she is missing the lower half of her legs. I also get the sense of her beauty and her security in herself. She hates relying on either of the men to carry or push her and at every opportunity she will haul herself with her arms - she is a strong, capable character and she has a big heart. She is a gunslinger just as Eddie is and the three of them are the last of them. Eddie can be depended upon, he can lose his temper sometimes and make rash decisions - but when it comes down to it he is dependable. I like him but Roland is the one that I worry about - he is in my heart and I always 'need' to know that he is going to be okay. I'm finding out little bits about his past life and who this man is - but there is so much more to learn and I want to learn it. He is a gunslinger. He is respected. He upholds the law it seems - or he did back in time before the world began to move on. He is smart, very smart. He is fast and he is alert, even when sleeping. He is capable and fearless. He is totally focussed on getting to the Tower and will not stop until he is stopped or he reaches it - he reminds me of a machine in that respect, but he has compassion and he has a large heart. He remains a mystery even though I feel like I have known him some time - King is clever.
The scenario and concept of the entrance into Roland's world by Jake had me totally absorbed. It became fast paced and it was dangerous, but also it was fascinating. With King's description of the situation I was left without doubt as to just how brave all of them had to be, how disciplined and clever they needed to be and how fearless Jake was, even though he had second thoughts there is no way I would have wanted to enter through that door!
The second book in the prose involves getting to a train. This is a train that Jake knows about from when he was in New York. He recognised the importance of a children's book when he saw it - and he wrote an essay for a school exam which gave mention to this train - Blaine the pain - although he wasn't aware what he had written until he saw it!
They won't get to this train easily and when they do he won't be accommodating - he is a nasty piece of work this train - real nasty. He'll fry you as soon as look at you. No one ventures near him if they value their life. But in order to get to him they will have to get to the City (Lud) that is on the horizon. A city that is at war and has been for many years.
Jake will be in danger as soon as they near the end of a damaged bridge - he will journey with a new companion at his own request and that journey made for some engaging reading. I found it uncomfortable at times as Jake is important to me now and I feel protective towards him - I don't like him being in danger. He will be meeting Tick Tock Man and I really don't think that is a good idea. I don't like the sound of him. Don't think I'm going to like him much. But Jake is on his way. He is brave.
There will be a desperate struggle to find Blaine the pain - train, Eddie and Susannah have the task and Roland has other business that will be of great urgency and test all of his strength. I was rooting for him and his little companion - a billy bumbler (don't you just love that name) a kind of cross between a dog and a racoon? Cute. And he can speak a little and communicate. He is Jake's bumbler and he is eager to be reunited with the boy. My heart was in my mouth whilst journeying with Roland through this ruined city. Booby traps set by humans and computers are many and one time I thought Roland had been hit - who was I kidding, Roland of Gilead is a gunslinger! No normal man.
I raced through the final pages of the prose. I could not put it down. Were this tight knit ka tet going to be back together again. Will they all make it to Blaine? Will he kill them? What mood is the computer in? Where will he take them if he is in the mood to allow them on board? Will they head towards the Dark Tower?
This one ends where it naturally ends - King didn't know that it was going to end like it did as he allows a story to tell itself. Unlike the first two books this one ends on a cliff hanger - literally! I was happy with that and it was satisfactory - I cannot wait to read the next instalment.
Sourcing and Price.....
Search amazon.co.uk for this one at a decent price. The RRP is £7.99
Absolutely yes. If you have read the first two then you already know that King is full of fantastic concepts for this series and what a protagonist we have in Roland of Gilead. I was totally absorbed in the world that Roland inhabits - in the magic and mystery, fast paced interactions with threats of all shapes and sizes; and the whole different worlds and different time's thing that is going on. I am intrigued - I need and want to discover what the Dark Tower is all about and if it control the worlds. I am finding out more about Roland's past and the world that he used to live in. His role as a gunslinger and what kind of a man he was/is. Roland is captivating in himself, King has created a protagonist that is mean and moody but you cannot help but love him. Eddie and Susannah are developing more - both are strong characters and I want them safe. I like that Susannah is not a needy type - I like her strength and independence. Jake is back - I was so glad to have him back. He is a brave soul - young boy but certainly not a dependant boy. Jake is capable and it wouldn't surprise me if he is a gunslinger too. The inclusion of Oy, the billy bumbler was so clever and I just love him to bits .... Hope he stays safe. The plot line thickens and the possibilities are endless - book one of this prose ended with no loose ends and book two - it's a cliff hanger and you know what - it excites me to think that I'm to begin the next one by finding out what the heck is going to happen to them. Once again I have witnessed a master a work! King is pure genius.
Published on Ciao
Summary: Roland of Gilead continues his epic journey through the Wastelands