Saturday, July 31, 2010

(Book #26) Stephen King - The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands

For the halfway mark (yes, I'm still a little behind - I blame vacation), I chose to pick up another Stephen King book, the next in line for me in the Dark Tower series, book number three, 'The Waste Lands'. I wasn't sure how long this was going to take me, as this one was shorter than a lot of other King novels, but longer than the first two in the series. In terms of the story, it picks up right where the last Dark Tower book left off and ends abruptly in a suspenseful moment. King, ever the storyteller, has established his core of characters by this point and after finally getting them all together as a cohesive unit really starts to let them begin their mysterious journey. While King is not hiding the fact that he is nodding to such other classic journey stories as 'Lord of the Rings', he references a myriad of other poems, songs and movies to keep the reader rooted to established tropes. While the first book of the series started with a heavy western (as is Wild West) tone, by this third book more sci-fi and fantastical elements have been introduced , overlapped and juxtaposed that the tale has really come into a tone of its own. Like any fantasy book, the reader has to suspend disbelief to account for the anything goes mentality and "deus ex machinas" that are inherent to the genre. In that respect the book was frustrating at times, but most of the characters are human enough to be experiencing the same sense of bewilderment as the reader, making it easy for us to go along for the ride. That being said, it's still an entertaining read that poses some interesting ideas and I'm curious as to where it's heading; however I'll be waiting until after this reading project to pick up the next in the series, due to its length.

Until next time…

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