Name: The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2)
Author: Stephen King
Number of Pages: 438 (ebook)
Published: March 11th 2010 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published May 1987)
Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, encounters three doors which open to 1980s America, where he joins forces with the defiant Eddie Dean and courageous, volatile Odetta Holmes. And confronts deadly serial killer Jack Mort. As the titanic forces gather, a savage struggle between underworld evil and otherworldly enemies conspire to bring an end to Roland’s quest for the Dark Tower…Masterfully weaving dark fantasy and icy realism, THE DRAWING OF THE THREE compulsively propels readers toward the next chapter. And the Tower is closer…
The Drawing of the Three picks up Roland of Gilead’s tale only hours after the conclusion of events in The Gunslinger. Roland is on a beach, deciding where to go and what to do next, and that’s about the only moment of peace he has as new threats reveal themselves almost immediately and then the mysterious ‘drawing’ that the man in black talked about begins to happen. From there it’s all action. Things that were only hinted at during The Gunslinger start to play out in this novel, and the story really takes off.
Gone is the Old West feel to the story, as Roland discovers ‘our’ world, or more specifically the eras of our world inhabited by those who will be drawn into his group, or ka-tet, those bound by fate, and without whom Roland’s quest for the Tower cannot continue. They’re a vastly varied group, drawn from different ‘whens’ but the ‘where’ is New York during different decades – the 80s, 60s and 70s respectively.
Through these meetings more of Roland’s own character is revealed, his drive and determination in his quest, and the lengths he will go to should it be necessary, but this volume really belongs to those who must travel with the gunslinger- Eddie Dean, Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker and someone drawn after the gunslinger’s encounter with an apparent serial killer.
Each of these new characters is afforded a great introduction – to us, to each other, and to Roland – and once they leave their own world behind it should be onward into the strange world that Roland inhabits.
I don’t want to elaborate too much on these characters, the joy is in the discovery, but they’re an intriguing bunch, and at times it’s impossible to decide whether the group are going to be able to join together to venture into this wild and strange land of the gunslinger, or whether there will be trouble before the quest even starts. Through various sabotage attempts, illness and trials, the mysterious Tower seems an incredibly long way off at times.
I enjoyed Roland’s varied forays into our world, and the way he learned to navigate a place that to him was as alien and strange as his own world must be to those he has drawn there. This came through wonderfully in the final third of the story, when he encountered Jack Mort. I don’t want to spoil anything, so won’t say more.
For all the action, and there’s plenty in each of the locations that Roland draws his three from, I did enjoy the quieter moments as the group progressed along the interminably long beach towards an unknown destination. Moments in which Roland and Eddie could talk, find out more about each other, and form a bond of friendship. Moments where Eddie and Odetta could bond over the strangeness of their situation, Detta Walker permitting. It gave the story a nice balance.
And so as this volume of the saga ends, the three have been drawn and the group are about the leave that awfully long beach and it’s horrors behind. On to The Waste Lands. I don’t think it will be long before I pick that book up. The Tower awaits…