The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

(The Dark Tower, #2)

After his confrontation with the man in black at the end of The Gunslinger, Roland awakes to find three doors on the beach of Mid-World's Western Sea—each leading to New York City but at three different moments in time. Through these doors, Roland must "draw" three figures crucial to his quest for the Dark Tower. In 1987, he finds Eddie Dean, The Prisoner, a heroin addict. In 1964, he meets Odetta Holmes, the Lady of Shadows, a young African-American heiress who lost her lower legs in a subway accident and gained a second personality that rages within her. And in 1977, he encounters Jack mort, Death, a pusher responsible for cruelties beyond imagining. Has Roland found new companions to form the ka-tet of his quest? Or has he unleashed something else entirely

 “He walked out of nowhere toward nowhere, a man from another time who, it seemed, had reached a point of pointless ending.”

Just looking at this one after you’ve closed the first, you already know you’re in for something different. The most obvious sign is the size – King has expanded the world by more than half. The first would look dwarfish lined beside this much larger work.

The first began on a vague note, and this one continues on a dreamy beginning vibe as Roland arrives on a beach, finds a door suspended in midair, and the door leads to New York city, but at different moments in time. Through each opening he’s supposed to nab his future traveling companions, all foretold at the end of the first book’s conclusion. Eddie (The Prisoner), Odetta (Lady of Shadows), and Jack Mort (Death.)

All readers are anxious for Roland to start his journey, but we still have quite a way before the official walk starts. Seeing Roland thrust into the 80’s to recruit Eddie, a heroine addict in trouble with the mob, is funnier than you’d think. It reminded me a bit of Crocodile Dundee coming to New York city for the first time. They then have to travel to the 60’s for Odetta, a woman who lost her legs in an accident, a woman whose mind hides another personality.

Roland hasn’t been around folks he has to work and connect with in ages, but now King forces him to walk the road with new companions, all with their own personal demon taint. King also cripples him from the get-go with an unexpected ‘attack.’ He seems more human in this book and is even more epic a character.

Eddie is a fiercely strong being, choosing to follow a path he knows little about, shrugging off drug addiction and adjusting. Odetta…I disliked a lot. Savannah never grows on me in either form. Her interactions on the beach especially irritated me as a monstrous woman. There’s much sickness and deviancy among the book’s players, from the minor to the major.

As with most of King’s stuff, I think the book could have served itself more by some trimming and shorter length. King does tend to stretch out most scenes and events. It’s still written in a surreal fantasy realm this time with some fun and underlying humor. Makes you eager to read the next book to find out what happens next.

   Book Quotes:

“What we like to think of ourselves and what we really are rarely have much in common....” 

“We are going to fight. We are going to be hurt. And in the end, we will stand.”

“This is what romance gets you--a noose around your neck and a crazy woman with two guns somewhere behind you.”

   Extras on Author's Website:

Link to Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came poem that inspired the story

Discordia (Game Based on the Dark Tower series)

   Reviews of the Series: