The Waste Lands  - Ned Dameron, Stephen King

The third Dark Tower book is not only my favorite in the series, but it's one of my favorite books from King period. Out of his immense catalog, it ranges around number five or six out of his best for me.


Unlike THE GUNSLINGER and THE DRAWING OF THE THREE, THE WASTE LANDS put me in Roland's world, kit and caboodle. Not only does Roland come into his own, changing from the shithead egomaniac of previous books to the epic hero he should have been from the beginning, but Jake makes his return. We're also introduced to one of the coolest characters in the entire series, Oy the billy bumbler. The high points of the previous two books (The Battle of Tull and the shootout at Balazar's) pale in comparison to the action in this book. The fall of Shardik, the Mansion and the demon, the crossing of the bridge, Gasher's race through the city with Jake, the showdown with the Pubes on the Street of the Turtle, Jake handling his business like a boss under the city, all of those scenes leave me breathless no matter how many times I read them. This book is simply loads of fun.


And yes, I even love Blaine. The sentient mono rail, whose brain resides elsewhere (both literally and figuratively) is a blast. His impressions are funny, and I even find myself laughing at him when he's been a spoiled brat or sulking child. I'm also a fan of riddles, always have been, so shoot me. 


This review will be the shortest one I write out of the entire serious, mainly because I can't find anything within these pages to complain about. 


In summation: The rest of the series, for me at least, is tedious in comparison to THE WASTE LANDS. I never have as much fun after this volume, but I love the series as a whole, so I press on. Highly recommended.


(Note to Dan: I'm starting WIZARD AND GLASS tomorrow because it takes me forever to get through that book. If you start on W&G around the first of June, you'll probably still be done with it before me.)