Tuesday, March 25, 2008

THE WASTE LANDS by Stephen King

The Waste Lands is the third novel in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. It picks up several months after The Drawing of the Three, with Roland, Eddie and Susannah hiking through Stephen King’s imagination and a Richard Adams homage. Meanwhile, both Roland and Jake, who is back in New York, seem to be going crazy from the paradox Roland created in Drawing.

In the first three hundred pages of The Waste Lands, practically nothing happens. Jake rejoins Roland, and the reader is inundated with foreshadowing of the second half of the book, which seems to have little purpose and is boring. The second half of the book makes up for it, as the group navigates a post-apocalyptic city. Here, Roland tries to rescue Jake and the group tries to find and ride Blaine, the train previously foreshadowed ad nauseum. This latter half of the book is quite exciting, as King is at his best here. His characters are outstanding. And there’s a cliffhanger ending.

This is a very uneven book, but it certainly has its high points.

One complaint: A bear that “stood seventy feet high” would not have an eye socket “nearly the size of a baseball”. That eye is way disproportionately small.