Mid-World Chronicles: A Giant Robotic Bear Appears?!
Welcome back to Mid-World, bookworms! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this point, but we’re here. And we’re gonna get through some spoilers, too.
A quick recap – we left our companions leaving the beach and heading towards…somewhere. With the lingering feeling that Roland would eventually betray both Susannah and Eddie for his precious Tower. I’m starting to see some similarities between Roland and Gollum (just a little bit).
The Wastelands starts out a few months after the second book where Roland is training both Susannah and Eddie in the ways of the gunslinger. Not much unlike a jedi knight in Star Wars. In this case Yoda is Roland and the force is same whip-fast reflexes and bullets. It only takes a few moments in the books before there quiet time together is broken up by a giant, ancient bear who turns out to have a radar dish spinning above its head.
After some thrilling action and Susannah proving her worthiness by taking a crackshot at killing the bear by hitting that tiny radar dish above its head. We soon learn this bear is a robot of some kind, created by the ancient ones long, long ago. This is where Roland starts to explain there are 12 portals in a circle and if you draw lines (‘beams’), you’ll see a center point and that point is the nexus where The Dark Tower lies.
Roland tells them they must travel along this beam in order to get to The Tower. He also explains that it could be a very long journey because A) it’s far away and B) the world keeps expanding. After finding their way to the bear’s layer, they find a path – the beam that will lead them to the Dark Tower. End scene.
- I cannot remember if this was from the last book, but Eddie has a vision about a rose and a key. He’s compelled to find this key and because of his fear of Roland’s eventual betrayal, Eddie keeps this information secret. The key is meant to open something and Eddie finds a branch in the forest they’re travelling through and instinctively knows he has to carve the key out of this branch.
- We’ve been slowly getting more information about the world and universe and its laws. Roland’s Mid-World seems like some weird version of our world. But I don’t know exactly what it is – an alternate universe or simply some other planet? Either way, it seems that Mid-World is actually a place that surrounds the Dark Tower and serves as the gateway to this Tower. I’m guessing Mid-World is of a time and place far removed from our world, but somehow is at the center of everything.
- Once again, there is very little going on. My recap was shorter than expected, but there was so much going on. Chalk that up to King being King. He’s really good at wringing out words and thoughts that are compelling and reveal a lot about each character.
- Speaking of characters, I think it’s safe to say that I’m digging Eddie and Susannah. They’re love and relationship is blossoming while Roland is slowly losing his mind. Which is an interesting contrast. King has managed to keep Roland at an arm’s length away from the reader, never revealing too much on his mind except what he’s thinking at the moment. We know he opens up to his companions (friends is too much a stretch right now) but I feel like he’s not telling everything. He may not even know himself what is going on, really. But despite all the sharing of information and his willingness to admit he’s going crazy, I feel like we still don’t know why Roland has been tasked with this journey or why he’s still drawn to the Tower. Maybe we’ll never know. It reminds me of the movie I saw a couple days ago – The Lost City of Z. In that story, Percy Fawcett is compelled to find an ancient city lost to time in the Amazonian jungle. He’s abandoned his wife and kids in pursuit of this mad fixation and eventually disappears into the jungle without ever finding proof. It’s a tragic story, but it shows how some people are just driven to fill some hole in their soul. Roland may be on a similar journey and he might not like the answers he finds once he steps into the Tower.
We’ll pick up our story with Jake Chambers and his slow descent into madness this weekend!