Stephen King's The Waste Lands reviewed by jseger9000

ConversesReviews reviewed

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Stephen King's The Waste Lands reviewed by jseger9000

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu": L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

1jseger9000
Editat: jul. 5, 2011, 11:36pm

Here's a review of the third Dark Tower book. Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, but I never really enjoyed his Dark Tower stuff.

I tried to keep this review short, but now I'm not sure if my meanings are clear. Also, there's not much synopsis in this book because it is so heavily tied in to the previous two, I wasn't sure how to explain it. Even the back cover gives a non-synopsis synopsis. But maybe something should be added.

I dunno. I could use some help.
---
The Waste Lands is where I feel The Dark Tower finds its feet. The Gunslinger was almost a self contained prelude story. The Drawing of the Three set the stage and introduced the major characters. Now the posse (or ka-tet to use the book's lingo) is together and on the path to the Tower.

At times this book (more than the previous two) wears it’s Lord of the Rings influence on its sleeve. At the same time, King occasionally adds back in some of the western flavor that was missing from The Drawing of the Three (though it is mainly confined to the section set in the town of River Crossing).

The writing is excellent, the imagery is at times amazing and the story just barrels right along. The encounter with the Doorkeeper is one of the most memorable things I've read in any of his books. But The Dark Tower is just never going to be my favorite Stephen King stuff. I get the feeling that it was a universe he would use to blow off steam or play with ideas which were too unbelievable in his regular work. King's greatest strength as a writer is to make his books believable, setting his outrageous events in very real locations. It's easier for me to accept a cosmic, child-killing spider when it is stalking a town as prosaic as Derry. That's not the case with the Dark Tower books. So much of it is surreal or feels like a literary in-joke (naming the bear Shardik, the mention of North Central Positronics Ltd., the connections to King's own books). Roland's world is fascinating and unique. But I never felt connected to it.

I admit, it is mainly me. I’m not a fan of dark fantasy. I enjoyed the book well enough. At times it was virtuosic. I would suspect that if dark fantasy is your bag, then the Dark Tower is some of the very best stuff out there. But even with the cliffhanger ending, I'm still not counting the days till I read the next Dark Tower installment.

2VivienneR
jul. 6, 2011, 2:12am

As I read the review I was trying to sort of isolate it from the rest of your post, but then I feel like I'm missing something. It seems like the review could use something along the lines of the first paragraph of the post as an intro.

Otherwise, I like the review. You are clear about what you don't like and why: both of which are obviously a matter of taste, not a lack of the writer's ability or a downright panning of the book. You have also provided enough synopsis to tempt, or alert, a potential reader.

3reading_fox
jul. 6, 2011, 6:03am

Reviewing mid series books is always tricky.

I do like to put a brief synopsis in becasue otherwise I get confused as to what happens in which part of the series. It might be worth mentioning that this is still the 'first' part of the series before SK accident that put a 10+ year hiatus in the story - to me the two halves feel very different, and I prefer the 1st.

4readafew
jul. 6, 2011, 9:43am

I do like dark fantasy and your reviews of the Dark Tower just confirm that I need to read these sometime.

5jseger9000
Editat: jul. 6, 2011, 10:44am

#2 - I tried adding a little more introduction to the review. I had to rewrite it a bit. Does it read well, or could it use more work?

#3 - I also gave a tiny bit of a synopsis (mostly what you would find by reading the first third of the book or so.

And Wizard and Glass was the last Dark Tower book before King's accident and his sudden rush to complete the series. Wizard and Glass was published in '97, the accident was in '99 and then Song of Susannah was published in '03 (with the next two books following in pretty quick succession).

#4 - Check out my reviews of The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three. The first book in the series was started when King was still eighteen. It is not as strong as his later work, but is necessary to follow the rest.

If you read The Gunslinger and wonder what all the fuss is about, read The Drawing of the Three before deciding if the series is for you or not.
---
Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, but I never really enjoyed his Dark Tower stuff. I'm working on a project to read Stephen King's novels, one a month in publication order, including those dreaded Dark Tower books.

The Waste Lands, the third book in the series, is where I feel The Dark Tower finds its feet. The Gunslinger was almost a self contained prelude story. The Drawing of the Three set the stage and introduced the major characters. Now the posse (or ka-tet to use the book's lingo) is together and on the path to the Tower.

This is not a book you can jump into without having read the previous books in the series. Like The Drawing of the Three it picks up almost immediately after the end of the previous book and continues on. Roland fears he may be losing his mind even as Eddie and Odetta (now Susannah) have come to accept (and secretly enjoy) living in his world and participating in his quest. Giving much more of a synopsis than that is difficult. The book is a journey, but providing the details of that journey will only act as a spoiler.

At times this book (more than the previous two) wears it’s Lord of the Rings influence on its sleeve. At the same time, King occasionally adds back in some of the western flavor that was missing from The Drawing of the Three (though it is mainly confined to the section set in the town of River Crossing).

The writing is excellent, the imagery is at times amazing and the story just barrels right along. The encounter with the Doorkeeper is one of the most memorable things I've read in any of his books. But The Dark Tower is just never going to be my favorite Stephen King stuff. I get the feeling that it was a universe he would use to blow off steam or play with ideas which were too unbelievable in his regular work. King's greatest strength as a writer is to make his books believable, setting his outrageous events in very real locations. It's easier for me to accept a cosmic, child-killing spider when it is stalking a town as prosaic as Derry. That's not the case with the Dark Tower books. So much of it is surreal or feels like a literary in-joke (naming the bear Shardik, the mention of North Central Positronics Ltd., the connections to King's own books). Roland's world is fascinating and unique. But I never felt connected to it.

I admit, it is mainly me. I’m not a fan of dark fantasy. I enjoyed the book well enough. At times it was virtuosic. I would suspect that if dark fantasy is your bag, then the Dark Tower is some of the very best stuff out there. But even with the cliffhanger ending, I'm still not counting the days till I read the next Dark Tower installment.

6VivienneR
jul. 6, 2011, 12:31pm

Can't think of anything to add or change. I like a review that describes the book well enough that, even though the reviewer wasn't enamoured of it, a potential reader will get enough information to decide whether to seek it out or not. I wish I could do that.

Apunta-t'hi per poder publicar