on 6 June 2005
It's the 1980's, Stephen King is at the peak of his career, we've already had The Stand, Salems Lot, Carrie and of course The Gunslinger. Now King turns his attention once more to the Dark Tower, and this time he's doing it in style. DOTT comes packed full of intense and hardcore action. From the beginning Roland comes under attack by beasts he calls 'lobstrosities'. But this book also introduces two new characters, who will in event join Roland on his epic quest. These are neurotic, class clown, heroin junkie Eddie Dean, and Schizophrenic, wheel-chair bound Oddeta Homes/ Detta Walker. Undoubtedly the greatest additon is that of Eddie, he is a perfectly well rounded character who offers laugh-out-loud comedy as well as heart wrenching drama. Yet Detta Walker, Oddetas dark-half will having you cursing in frustration as you watch the others struggle through there journey. Finally the conclusion to this book will have you feeling light-hearted and full of relief that is until you read the next, and arguably superior installment of the DT series, the Wastelands...
`The Drawing Of The Three' is the second instalment in the epic `Dark Tower' fantasy series. The story runs for a total of 450 pages within the 3712 pages the entire series spans for, taking the reader firmly into the saga of the gunslinger Roland and the barren world King has created.
This second novel deals with introducing Roland's newly found companions, interweaving their stories within different periods of time, with the aid of magical doorways. The novel manages to cover essential ground for the continuation of the series, giving the reader further insight into the quest at hand.
King's characterization of these newly introduced characters is superb. Ok, so that is really the main purpose and thrust behind this second novel, but it really is a truly captivating read from start to finish. With the schizophrenic Odetta Holmes (whose evil split personality is named Detta Holmes) immediate similarities can be made with that of Gollum in JRR Tolkien's `Lord Of The Rings' novels. But once King begins to explore the character within the book, you find that the character is in no way copied or cloned from that of Gollum. King has managed to produce a unique and beautifully original double-character that injects a dark tension into this developing tale.
I am aware that many readers opinions are that this novel is really the first part to the Dark Tower series, with "The Gunslinger" merely serving as a prologue. I can understand that view but in reflection I somewhat disagree. Both books serve as a great platform to begin this epic saga with, setting the scene and introducing the characters beautifully, whilst still delivering individual storylines to keep the reader entertained.
The book includes an eight page Introduction by King written in January 2003 that also appears in `The Gunslinger'. At the end of the book there is a 10 page excerpt taken from the beginning of the third book in the series `The Waste Lands'.
on 6 March 2004
Although originally published seven years later, The Drawing of the Three takes up the story right where The Gunslinger ended. According to the oracle’s prophesy Roland must now find three persons to accompany him on his road to the Dark Tower. The book is divided into three big sections, each dedicated to the finding of one these persons, but they are cleverly interconnected and the main story line is progressing all the way through the book.
In many ways this book is quite different from The Gunslinger. The remoteness in the narrative is gone, there are fewer flashbacks, and very little in the way of speculation about what the ultimate goal is. It also has a quicker pace, with truly breathtaking action sequences, and some exceptional plot twists. Overall I felt this work was more mature, and more in line with King’s writing in general, at the same time as it has an excellent fantasy background.
King claims that the Dark Tower is inspired mainly by Tolkien and Sergio Leone, but after finishing The Drawing of the Three I definitely have the feeling that he also has read one or two books by Stephen Donaldson. Some of the same ideas that are the foundation of Donaldson’s writing are evident here too, especially the flawed, unwilling hero concept, and there was at least one detail that instantly reminded me of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
The similarity to Donaldson does in no way affect my judgment negatively. This is King at his best, and fantasy at its finest – I give The Drawing of the Three all 5 stars available.
on 28 December 2003
The Gunslinger left Roland at the edge of the Western Sea after awaking from his long sleep. As the title suggests, Roland, using doors along the Beach must now draw his Ka-tet members from different whens in New York to help him on his quest for the tower.
So, the book splits into sections as he draws each person.This book is different in both style and substance to The Gunslinger. King admitted himself that he was trying too hard whilst writing the former so, at times it is a little hard to read. This is probably why King has re-written the former and filled it out a little.
In this installment we are introduced to Eddie Dean from New York, the interaction between Eddie and Roland throughout all the books is fantastic, Eddie is a weak drug addict struggling with personal demons (like all King characters!)and Rolands arrival in his world leads to some terrific scenes. Also, there is a good element of humour, as Roland attempts to understand modern technology and New york way of life.
Next up is the split personality of Detta Walker/ Odetta. As previous reviewers have stated, this part of the book in my opinion isn't as good, but King shows off his skils here by putting into writing an extremley difficult topic to portrait.
Through the Final door is the frightening desk job worker/ serial killer Jack Mort. The installment of the book is chilling as the link between Mort and other characters in the series is shown. To say any more would spoil the suspence.
The book shows Roland at his best, as an insticitive survivor, who knows exactly how to handle difficult situations. Eddie is slightly annoying in this installment, but it is good in a way because it shows in the later books just how far he has come on. The relationship between the two is fantastic as they are bound to each other by the Tower but are completely different to one another at this stage.
In comparison to The Gunslinger, this book tells us a lot less about the actual Tower or Rolands' past but instead pushes the story forward in a real sense by assembling some of the Ka-tet and forwarding their journey towards the Tower along the edge of the Western Sea.
Two other things of note here are the monsters that live in the sea, the terrifying Lobstrocities and some subtle references to other King novels.
I can't reccomend this book enough, bar Wizard and Glass this is my favorite King book.
on 14 July 1999
Wow, fantastic. if you've read "The Gunslinger" and then gave up, then i encourage you to read this, the second volume. It is SO much better than the first! With "The Gunslinger" you could tell it was written while King was still in college because it was pretty rough around the edges and (forgive me for saying this about a SK story), a little boring. But "The Drawing Of The Three", in which Roland must pass through three doorways to 1980's America, is riveting, fast-paced,emotional, and yes, humorous. Some parts where Roland is trying to get used to our world are very funny (the "tooter-fish popkin" incident springs to mind). The 450 pages just fly past, but it gives some indication of the epic saga that King is creating, since even at the end of Volume II, we are still near the start of the journey. I only hope that once Roland reaches his Dark Tower (if he ever does?), the tale doesn't fizz out. All in all, this book offers much more bang for your buck than The Gunslinger, because it's twice as long, written twice as good, and there's twice as much action :)
on 30 March 2004
The second book in the greatest series of books ever written in my opinion. The first book did just enough to hold my attention and make me wonder what might happen, but this, this book catapulted me into full fledged Dark Tower addiction. Whilst in this particular instalment (if one was being perfectly honest) not a much happens, it is one of those books you cannot put down. By the end of it your most likely response will be “woo, that was great, but what happened?”
The story is basically a continuation of Roland of Gilead’s journey, almost entirely set on a beach with wandering lobstrocities (Dad a Chack?) and doors set into nothing! King continues developing the wonderful character that is Roland, whilst he draws the 3 the title demands. The drawing of the three ensures Roland’s band of pilgrims is as wonderfully diverse as possible with the drawing of a motor mouth heroine addict and a schizophrenic black girl from different times of ‘our’ New York. A wonderful twist at the end leaves you yearning for the third instalment.
I cannot rate this book high enough, if you enjoy extremely well written fantasy adventure stories, you must continue with the journey towards the Dark Tower. It will make you laugh, make you think but most of all it will sap several hours of joyous time and transport you into Roland’s world.
on 17 September 2000
The Dark Tower series follows Roland of Gilead, the last Gunslinger or Knight of the Old World in his quest for the Dark Tower. Throughout, his past and motives are slowly being revealed. The world through which he travels is in some ways reminiscent of our own, and the implications of the similarities just keep growing..... An absolutely superb, ongoing story from the master storyteller. Highly recommended, and please do read the books in the right order - it's worth it!
A lot of readers of the first Dark Tower novel, The Gunslinger, said that they found the book very boring or that they couldn't finish it. I enjoyed it BUT IT IS NOT AS GOOD AS THE SEQUELS. If you did not enjoy the first Dark Tower book please try this one before dismissing the series as it is much better than the first.
Three new charactors are added in this novel: Eddie, a heroin addict and Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker a black schizophrenic woman in a weelchair.
Odetta is a wealthy, lovely women and Detta is her psychotic counterpart. Both women are unaware of the others existence.
Odetta/Detta is a very interesting charactor and Eddie often had me laughing out loud.
King adds elements of horror into this novel such as the Psychotic Detta and the lobstrosities.
While pursuing his quest for the Dark Tower through a world that is a nightmarishly distorted mirror image of our own, Roland, The Last Gunslinger, is drawn through a mysterious door that brings him into contemporary America. Here he links forces with the defiant young Eddie Dean, and with the beautiful, brilliant, and brave Odetta Holmes, in a savage struggle against underworld evil and otherworldly enemies.
I am loving my re-read of The Dark Tower series – this is only the second time I have read it and I had forgotton how totally addictive and absolutely brilliant it is – especially from about halfway through Book 2. I spoke in my review of “The Gunslinger” about how I felt it wasnt the greatest of starts even though it had some absolutely stunning imagery – but in “The Drawing of the Three” the quest kicks in and I just know from here on in I’m going to be a mad reading machine until I have completed all the books once more.
From the opening sentences, as the “horror” side of Stephen King’s writing kicks in while Roland fights to survive on the beach (oh my!) to the end of the book where he has drawn his companions from our world and the journey towards the Dark Tower truly begins, this is absolutely compelling stuff. Great battles interspersed with contemplative moments and some real character building, this is where I fell in love.
Its difficult to review in depth because the very thought of spoiling anything for the next reader makes me go cold – its one of those “you really had to be there” type books…and trust me you really WANT to be there. Brilliant stuff.
The Wastelands await me. I will see you soon – Go then, there are other worlds than these…
Happy Reading Folks!
on 24 October 2009
The second book in the Dark Tower series, The Drawing of the Three, is the continuing story of Roland on his quest to the Dark Tower. Picking up where the events of The Gunslinger left us, Roland has aged by almost ten years after his encounter with the Man in Black and is faced with a huge stretch of beach which he must now travel. Not only does Roland have to face this journey with little food or water, but he is soon attacked by lobster creatures that take off fingers from his right hand after which he is inflicted with a fever that grows ever worse. But all this is just a background to the bigger picture - the doors he finds along the beach that lead back to our world and into the heads of certain individuals.
The Drawing of the Three takes Roland and puts him firmly in an unknown situation, with some very interesting results. Thrown into our world is a completely different experience for Roland and we see this immediately with his conversations with people he encounters. What is worse is the fact that as he's taking over the body of someone else to do it and putting himself in danger in the process. However, King does a good job with Roland and lets us see more of his character and personality through these situations. Roland may be a stranger to these places, but he sure isn't stupid and knows what needs to be done - and how.
The interaction between Roland and the people he must communicate with is great. As the title suggests, there are three doors he must enter in order to draw his three. The first of these is Eddie Dean, a junkie and native New Yorker. Eddie is an interesting character because of his flaws and the fact that he isn't just another doped up waster. He has something special about him but has been led into the wrong situations in the past which has ended him up in some serious trouble. The second door leads to Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker, one woman with split personalities. Roland senses the difference in these two immediately - one is kindly while the other is vicious, all of which goes back to an incident in their childhood. Not only this, but Odetta/Detta has lost her legs and is bound to a wheelchair which does not help Roland in is journey across a difficult terrain. The last door leads to Jack Mort, a man whose private life is in stark contrast to his successful career. He is a murderous man behind the false front, pushing innocent bystanders into traffic, trains and anything else he can get away with without notice.
It's difficult for me to say too much about the encounters that Roland has with these people with really spoiling the story, but King has weaved a very impressive story here. Many fates are intertwined and the repercussions of the events here are going to be felt for a while to come. The interactions between the characters, specifically with Roland, is very interesting and we get to see more of what makes Roland such a formidable person, and not only through his fighting. There is always a sense of danger throughout The Drawing of the Three and I never once felt the story was playing it safe, all of which made the pages turn all the quicker. Some of the twists here work very well and although hinted at during the story I didn't fully appreciate the impact until the end, which has left the story open to progress at a good strong pace.
The Drawing of the Three is another reason to pick up this series and is a strong novel in its own right, although even at book two you must have read the first installment to fully appreciate many of the events. Highly recommended.