Like a Jigsaw : Book review of – The Wastelands , By Stephen King

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As some of my blog readers may know that this was my last book before I took a hiatus from reading Novels and blogging .Initially I had planned to publish this as soon as I finished writing the review, but I changed my mind ,since being on a hiatus I wouldn’t have been able to catch up on any feedback or reply that I’d have gotten .So here I am writing a review of a book that I enjoyed quite a lot and publishing it 2 months after I read the book

FYI any thing written in Red is spoiler so be warned !

Book Succinct:

Roland, The Gunslinger , continues his journey in search of The Dark Tower , along with
his new companions , Eddie and his now wife Susanah . But all is not well
as
events occured in the past have major consequences and apparently it involves
Roland losing his mind , Meanwhile Jake the boy who was sacrificed by
Roland once before is still alive but not at the same when and where
of Roland but as fate would have it he is also suffering from the same
mental malice as Roland is . The third book in the Adventure of the
last gunslinger , living in a world that’s moved on, starts with
the revelation of many things , follows with a reunion of
Roland and Jake and finishes with a leap towards the
journey of Dark Tower.

What I liked:

Let me start my saying that the best part of the book were ofcourse the writing style and the return of Jake .This return was crafted very nicely by the author and along with it were reintroduced the still cloudy concepts of ka, ka-tet and khef .

The concept of Ka , Ka-tet and khef have always been a topic of annoyance to me and although the definition and complexity of Ka was somewhat explained in the previous book this book finally solved the riddles behind the terms and as per me made the three terms more understandable and also made their importance to the story clear

Meanwhile my theory of calling this book a sci-fi was further strengthened by the whole paradox created in the beginning of the book, concerning time travel and I insist that if one calls this series a fantasy than he/she must start calling Dr Who a fantasy as well . That said King finally made a point to push the book to the realms of fantasy with a fascinating , if not disturbing , world depiction .

ps1

There were well detailed exploration of the world that has moved on and has the presence of demons and magic,this finally made the argument of those who call this series fantasy sound relevant to my ears . In fact so detailed was the world narration that King was explaining the mystical land right up till the end of the book . But again while this depiction along with introduction of elements of magic and strange creatures did bring in the fantasy side of the series to the front ,for the major part it still remains a Sci-fi dominated fantasy book for me .

Leaving the debate of the genre aside , This was the first time that Stephen King finally started doing some character development for Roland , the so – called – protagonist , who has for the most part of the series appeared to be a self-centered , megalomaniacal , selfish  , jerk . The development didn’t suddenly turn Roland into a more lovable protagonist but it sure did a good job to explain his motivation and his reasons , making the readers take both pity on the gunslinger and finally truly be motivated for his goals .Besides Roland , The other characters were also well handled, with Eddie’s sarcastic , humorous and short-tempered character feeling the most relatable and frankly most entertaining.

Meanwhile the plot progressed at a very respectable pace , with a lot of action and suspense filled elements lighting the readers interest towards the final third of the book , Meanwhile further mysteries & some clear pictures of the antagonists were created and the idea that Roland’s world may well be the same world as of his ka-tet were given a shove making this another Suspense filled installment in the series

What I Didn’t like:

The first has to be a particular chapter in the book , where for some reason it sounded like King was actually writing words that seemed to suggest that the protagonist Roland was telling the only female character of the book to enjoy her molestation by a demon and use the rape against her rapist*. This overall felt very weird and cringe-worthy . Maybe it’s just me , maybe I get offended easy ,but it just felt wrong on so many levels.

*yes I kid you not , this actually happened

Staying on the same subject the aftermath of that rape incident was also very weird as nobody , not even the rape victim Susanah or her Husband seem to mind or care about the whole affair and apparently none of them were hurt at all by the unfortunate violation of the only female character

ps2

Secondly At one point the book went into the typical D&D trope (with the typical fantasy esque pilgrims set out on journey, pilgrims greeted by friendly folks who give them gifts,continue journey , get separated during the journey , parallel and separate journey ensues) and yeah sure I have had my rant about why I don’t consider the book a proper Fantasy book ,and yet I never said that was a bad thing , this however was so typical D&D that it just felt like reading something that you have already read plenty of times before and something like this has been done to death ever since Tolkien first did it and really it was less entertaining and more eye-rolling for me

Another con ,that doesn’t bother me much but since I intend to review the book with a thought for whether other readers may like it or not , was the ending . Cliff hangers don’t necessarily bother me and frankly it didn’t bother me much here ,but it did feel a bit abrupt .  The book was just catching a good pace and one felt that during the end even the cliff hanger would feel smooth but it didn’t , it felt as if there’s still more to read but someone just tore the final few pages .

Conclusions:

The plot for most part remained fast paced , filled with enough suspense and action to keep readers entertained and on the edge of their seats . With mysteries piling up and the actions becoming more detailed and entertaining than in any of the preceding book add an interesting new short story within the story and mesmerizing details about the world and it’s resident being revealed with each turned page this felt a very well done work of fiction and a high recommendation to anybody who shares my taste

Do share your feelings on my blog and this book if you have read it or intend to read it in future

and while you are at it why don’t give me a follow on Goodreads & twitter

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5 thoughts on “Like a Jigsaw : Book review of – The Wastelands , By Stephen King

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