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the Dark Tower III links :
Nineteen (19)
the Robert Browning poem

First line :
It was her third time with live ammunition... and her first time on the draw from the holster Roland had rigged for her.

Notes :
The rose
- is thought to be the manifestation of the Dark Tower in Jake's where and when. It should be noted that while both Eddie and Susannah appear to be from the same where, such appearances can be deceiving. Much like the Ages of Myst, within the infinity of worlds linked by the Tower, anything is possible.

Subtitle :

Main characters :
Jake Chambers
Eddie Dean
Susannah Dean

Enemies :
Randall Flagg
Tick-Tock Man
The Pubes
The Greys
Blaine the Mono
The Plasterman

Important places :
New York
previous title: needful things | gerald's game :next title
previous dark tower title: the dark tower II | the dark tower IV :next dark tower title
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  • Written : Bangor, Maine - 1991
  • Synopsis :
    Part III of an epic saga. Roland and his companions, Eddie and Susannah Dean, find the Path of the Beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower. Along they way, Roland adds two new members to his ka-tet (a group united for a specific purpose). In the decaying city of Lud, they encounter new dangers, including a sentient train that has gone insane.

    The book and subsequent series was inspired by the poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came by Robert Browning.

    The Wastelands begins a few months after the events culminating The Drawing of the Three took place. Both Eddie and the newly merged Suzannah are learning gunslinging abilities, and both are learning not only to escape their pasts but use them to their advantage. Eddie has taken up an old childhood hobby, whittling, and they are about to resume their quest for the Tower. However, one thing is greatly impairing their forward movement: the fact that Roland the gunslinger is losing his mind.

    The reader, being omnipresent, undertstands thi turn of events, but it takes the characters a little longer to grasp: when Roland saved Jake in DT2, unable to "let him fall" again, he created a paradox: Jake is alive in his world, but if that is so, the events of the first book, The Gunslinger could never have taken place. The first half of this long book details the division of both Roland and Jake, and their deadly struggle for answers and hope. Jake eventually does make it into Roland's world, but only through several intense sequences (including a vision quite like Roland's at the end of book 1), ending in a darkly horrific struggle within the body of evil itself.

    The second half propells the pilgrims a long way in their travels. They discover that anything that happens in the present can be keys to future puzzles, (one of the series' greatest achievements is fleshing out events which at one glance seem to be coincidental, but are not). Things like the purple blade of grass, Eddie and Jake's shared dreams, Suzannah's psychic flashes, or the very existance of Jake's books (not to mention the probability that the book belonged to each of the New Yorkers at one time) are just the most obvious examples. We learn a bit about Roland's past in his recounting of the fair day riddling. Then, the city of Lud.

    The party is seperated at this important cross in their quest, and Jake is kidnapped. Roland, bound by his promise that he will not let the boy die again, goes after him. Eddie and Suzannah go forth to locate Blaine, the train they know of from prophecy which will take them through "The Wastelands." All three from our world are tested on both their gunslinging and mediating abilities, and thus propel themselves ffurther on in the understaning of the philisophical questions of ka, khef, and ka-tet. After several frightful sequences involving the inhabitants of Lud (including that of a man(?) we have all seen before, one who goes by the initials R.F.), the party rejoins in the body of Blaine the Mono. The only problem with that is Blaine is insane, Blaine is suicidal, and Blaine really likes riddles.

    Thus ends this part of The Dark Tower. Come November, we'll learn much more about Blaine and the Tick Tock man, et al. I know I can't wait.


    Donald M. Grant 1991.

    "FIRST EDITION" on copyright page.

    Dust Jacket price: $38.00.


    New English Library 1997.

    ISBN 0 340 70752 6.
    584 pages.
    "New English Library Edition 1997"
    on copyright page.
    "10 9 8 7 6 5" on copyright page.

    Copyright © 1991 by Stephen King.
    Illustrations copyright © 1991 by Ned Dameron.
    Cover illustration: Bob Warner.
    Fiction: General.


    This third volume of the tale
    is gratefully dedicated to my son,
    Khf, Ka and Ka-tet.



    I: Bear and Bone
    II: Key and Rose
    III: Door and Demon

    IV: Town and Ka-tet
    V: Bridge and City
    VI: Riddle and Waste Lands


    Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, is moving ever closer to the Dark Tower, which haunts his dreams and nightmares. Pursued by the Ageless Stranger, he and his friends follow the perilous path to Lud, an urban wasteland. And crossing a desert of damnation in this macabre new world, revelations begin to unfold about who - and what - is driving him forward.

    A blend of riveting action and powerful drama, The Waste Lands leaves readers breathlessly awaiting the next chapter.

    And the Tower is closer

    Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is Stephen King’s most visionary piece of storytelling, a magical mix of fantasy and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

    Join the quest for the elusive Dark Tower.


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