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The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands by Stephen King
from Wikipedia....

The story begins several weeks or months after the end of The Drawing of the Three: Roland, Susannah, and Eddie have moved east from the shore of the Western Sea, and into the woods of Out-World. After an encounter with a gigantic cyborg bear named Shardik, they discover one of the six mystical Beams that hold the world together. The three gunslingers follow the Path of the Beam inland to Mid-World.

Roland's group receives two new members: Roland's formerly-dead companion Jake Chambers from 1977 New York City, and an unusually intelligent billy-bumbler (which looks like a combination of badger, raccoon and dog with parrot-like speaking ability and a high degree of animal intelligence) named Oy. Jake is able to pass into Roland's world using a portal which exists in a haunted house on Dutch Hill in his version of NYC 1977. The portal ends in a 'speaking ring' in Roland's world. During this crossing over, Susannah has sex with the demon of the speaking ring to keep it from devouring Jake.

The ka-tet continue on the Path of the Beam to Lud. The ancient, high-tech city has been ravaged by decades of war, and one of the surviving fighters, Gasher, kidnaps Jake. Roland and Oy must then pursue them over a bridge which corresponds with the George Washington Bridge of Jake's NYC, then into the sewers in order to rescue the boy from Gasher and his leader, the Tick-Tock Man. Jake manage to shoot the Tick-Tock Man, leaving him for dead. The ka-tet is eventually reunited at the Cradle of Lud, a train station which houses a monorail that the travellers use to escape Lud before its final destruction brought about by Blaine. Roland's nemesis Randall Flagg arrives to recruit the badly-injured Tick-Tock Man as his servant.

Once aboard Blaine, a highly intelligent, computerized mono which is insane due to system degradation, it announces its intention to derail itself with them aboard unless they can defeat it in a riddle contest. The novel ends with Blaine and Roland's ka-tet speeding through the Waste Lands, a radioactive land of mutated animals and ancient ruins, on the way to Topeka, the end of the line.


[edit] The Twelve Portals and Guardians
Twelve Guardians are explained to guard the Twelve Portals. Each Guardian matches up with a Guardian at the Portal on the other end of the Beam, and at the point where all the Beams meet is the Dark Tower. The Guardians are revealed in several scenes, the first is when Roland is explaining to Eddie and Susannah Dean what Shardik was and his understanding of the Beams, another is when Eddie and Susannah approach the Cradle of Lud, and the last, Bird and Hare, are revealed in the poem Roland and Susan Delgado (his lover) recite to each other occasionally: "Bird and Bear and Hare and Fish..." The only pairs identified are by Susannah and Eddie while at the Cradle of Lud.

Shardik was created by North Central Positronics Ltd. which may be connected to the mysterious Sombra Corp.

The pairings as mentioned in the book are:

Bear - Turtle
Horse - Dog
Rat - Fish
Elephant - Wolf
Lion - Eagle
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  The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3)
     
Donald M Grant Publishers Limited Hardcover edition, Date published 1991, Illustrated by Ned Dameron, 509 pages

First edition of the third volume in Stephen King's Gunslinger series was issued in a signed, limited edition of 1250 copies (up from 500 and 850 for the first two books respectively) signed by Stephen King and artist Ned Dameron. Search for other copies
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  As New Book, Dust Jacket, and slipcase, still in publisher's shrinkwrap. #203 of 1250. Please note that this book will only be sold as part of the complete set of signed limited editions of the Gunslinger series, the total price for all 7 books being $15,000.   As New $1500.00 Add to cart
     
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