Which is not to say that this book isn't good. Oh no no no no no. The Wastelands is AWESOME. And I'll be honest- I've seen a few reviews of it before where people were like 'oh, it's my favourite book in The Dark Tower series' and I was kind of like 'really?' because apparently I didn't fully appreciate its spectacularity the last time I read it! Which isn't to say that it's instantly become my favourite of them all, BUT I definitely have a lot more love for it than I did before.
SO. The Wastelands starts where The Drawing of the Three left off, more or less, as Roland's teaching Eddie and Susannah how to be gunslingers, and musing on how they remind him so much of his old dead friends (it actually feels a little hinty, and book 4 is allll about Roland and his old friends. But having said that, I think King wrote it 6 years or so after this, and so maybe didn't even realise what he was hinting at in this. But I think he kind of did...) and they find their way to the path of the beam, and hence to the proper start of their journey. Only took two and a bit books, but still- world building my friends, world building.
And so, they begin their quest, only Roland, their leader and their almost-kidnapper-only-they-like-being-kidnapped, is going crazy because of this thing he did at the end of the last book that I can't really talk about but that affected his memories of things that happened in the first book that I also could talk about but don't really want to and, well, it all leads, through linked dreams and awesome wanderings in New York, to something else that I can't really talk about because it's sort of unimaginable but really awesome at the same time, and it leads to things that not only cures Roland, but cures Eddie of his mean elder brother's influence, and ALSO marks the start of this storyline that's one of the weakest in all the books and ends up being not so important in the end. So that's not so good.
But seriously, it's amazing, and THEN the second half of the book happens, and it's all action, all the time. The band of travellers end up in this city that's kind of broken (fun fact: the city is called Lud, and its inhabitants are luddites, and they have no idea how the technology [that's broken] works. I feel like this is clever.) and, whilst this is the longest section page numbers-wise, it also feels the shortest AND the most exciting. Seriously- there's so much movement and action and everyone's split up and there's so much happening, and I swear that at one point I didn't take a breath for about 3 chapters because, like 'ohmygoshwhatsgoingtohappenIcan'tbearit!!!' aaaand breathe. So, yeah, that was fun, and also tense, and even though I knew it would all be ok because I've read them before (and because there are like
Similarly, the ending has left me all tense too, because I really can't remember how the situation that King cruelly leaves them in resolves itself, and so, again, I'm slightly on edge. Where, I should add, I'll be for 9 more books (and that's just Stephen King books!) because the silly man just abandoned these guys for that many books before he went back to them. Which, I can't really say I mind now, because characters and basically everything in them are remarkably consistent, but I can't even imagine how annoying it must have been to have to wait for the next one and the next one to come out in the 90s/00s. Because these books are the big awesome, and you should really read them so you know what I'm talking about next time! (Unless you already have, in which case, let's discuss! Roland: friend or foe?!)
This is all extraordinarily complicated/confusing if one knows nothing about the entire series. But HURRAY FOR THINGS BEING BETTER THE SECOND TIME. Also I'm totally going to read Stephen King someday. Er...yes.ReplyDelete
You shall!! I'm thinking that The Dark Tower could be good for you because like, most other stuff=scary, The Green Mile/Shawshank Redemption=too sad, so these could be the ones! There are slightly sinister moments, but nothing too scary!Delete
I am torn. Do I read your post? Or skip it so when I eventually get to the Dark Tower series I'm not all full of spoilers??ReplyDelete
I just don't know Alley!! I *think* I've done ok in basically not giving anything away/not giving away anything HUGE, and Alice says it's confusing, so.. you'd probably be fine! But if you really really don't want to know a single thing then, yeah, skip it.Delete
OK I read it (yay!) and I agree with Alice. It is confusing. BUT it also makes me really want to hurry up and start reading this series. Once I figure out how I'm going to finish all these challenge books I need to finish.Delete
Surely these count for the smooth criminals challenge? Cause there's criminals and stuff... (Ok, this is totally a stretch. Just reeeeead them, and we can discuss whether or not I fancy Roland because I'm genuinely not sure!)Delete
This is my favorite book in the series!ReplyDelete
(Well, I have yet to read Wind Through the Keyhole, but I thought I had finished the series when I finished Dark Tower 7! Lol)
See! Favourite book! I do like it LOADS more this time (and, to be honest, I liked it lots the first time round! I think my brain had put a lot of its story into the Drawing of the Three, so that's maybe why I was like 'yessss The Drawing of the Three', and 'The Wastelands, not so much')Delete
I'm not sure at all about The Wind Through The Keyhole! I mean, obviously I'm going to read it, but I don't know about re-writing/adding things to their journey that were then completely unimportant later... although I'm sure he's found a way, and I'm sure it's awesome!
Gulp, now I feel like I'm missing something :( I just finished King's memoir On Writing and am just getting started with The Stand. I read lots of King up until Tommyknockers, and he lost me there. But, I need to try some of this new stuff :)ReplyDelete
Duuuuude, don't even talk to me about The Tommyknockers! That... was not a good book. In any way. The Stand is SO awesome, and so are the Dark Tower books- just give up reading all other things and read ALL the King!! :)Delete
The Waste Lands was my favorite book the first time I read through the series. On the second read it didn't hold up as well, although the stuff in Lud and (of course) Blane the Mono...ReplyDelete
I can't wait to talk about book 4. I hated it the first time and loved it the second time around...
How funny that we had the opposite views of this book each time! I think I liked it even more because I remember that book 4 is not so hot (at least the first time round, hopefully I'll like it better this time!) so I'm like 'please please please let's just stay with this story? Please?!'Delete