Wednesday, August 25, 2010

#26 The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three

At the end of The Gunslinger Roland is ten years older and on the beach, armed with the knowledge that he has a new quest ahead of him on his path to the Dark Tower. At the beginning of The Drawing of the Three he gets mauled by a giant lobster like thing that quickly snatches off two fingers of his right hand and, in general, fucks him up. Water has ruined the majority of his bullets, he has little food, and an infection is quickly consuming him. In other words…Roland is fucked. Then, out of nowhere, a doorway appears on the beach. The doorway leads into more of the world we know. These doorways will appear three times during the course of the book (thus the drawing of the three), always when Roland seems about to be totally fucked for some reason or another.

The doorways themselves are weird. As King writes it, a modern observer would picture it as a movie, filmed through a first person perspective. Indeed stepping through the door Roland is able to enter a persons mind, he also realizes that doing so he can gain control of the person. In another interesting twist he can also bring things back with him, including the person he‘s controlling.

The first doorway is a drug addict, Eddie. The second doorway a black handicapped woman with a split personality, Detta and Odetta. The third doorway a psychopath, Jack Mort.

It seems Roland finds every door right when he needs to. Whether it be because he is dying from an infection and needs medicine, or because the characters are mentally reaching their end. I thought the plot point of Eddie quickly falling in love with Odetta was a little fast. I mean…love at first sight? Cool. Practical? Nope. From talking to other people who have read the series they mention King crossing over into other stories. The only time I really noticed it in this one was the mention of Flagg (who apparently heralded the ending of Roland’s peaceful world), I.e. the Flagg of The Stand. This technique is kind of a King trademark that I’ve mentioned before, he does it in It with the presence of Christine. He also references the children of It in Dreamcatcher. So, nothing new. I personally like these little toss outs. I like that King gives nods to his fans. Most people (who aren’t King nuts) would read the little passing note to Flagg as nothing.

Overall the book bored me in most places. Considering the length of the first doorway with Eddie, I was a bit disappointed at the fast route taken with Detta/Odetta. Then it seemed to drag…I got that Detta was a mean bitch. I didn’t need page after page of her accusing the two men of raping her, attempting to poison her, etc. I mean, if it’s a plot point that will play out in later books I can totally understand, but the fact that this plot point appears to disappear at the end of the book…then my question is why? Also, probably the most interesting story for me to read was the third doorway with Jack Mort. Not only is he the only legitimate psycho of the group, we rarely get any of him. As in any of his story, his personality. The other two, Eddie and Detta/Odetta, we are given back-story, character depth, etc. With Jack, Roland basically takes what he wants from him and then kills him. Nothing more. I was a bit disappointed. It kind of felt like King was rushing at the end, like he was done with this book and ready to move on. In a matter of a few pages he cleans up all the problems, wraps everything up in a tight little bow, and says, “Let’s go!”

Now that these three main characters are established though, I’m looking forward to the next book. Sadly, at the end of this one, it says that the fourth book is mainly a story of what happened to Roland before the quest for the Dark Tower began…in other words…the part I’m most interested in (which we get in the form of small flashbacks)…is going to get an entire book devoted to it. Thus, ruining the books for me in a way. Thanks King, thanks for killing the most interesting thing by blatantly giving it to me.


  1. Just so you know, I read books 1-6...couldn't even bring myself to finish the series. But the Odetta/Detta thing DOES have a roll in the upcomming plot. The 4th books was good. The 5th was only slightly readable as I felt the major plot ripped off of one of the earlier books (I think it was the second book). Anyways, in sum: the series hookede me early, then lost me completely by the end of the 4th book. I only read the 5th and 6th book because I felt I should finish the series...and then said "Fuck you, book 7 and fuck this series right in the left adrenal gland."

  2. And ps - this is Jenn TheYellowDart. Fucking google account randomly has my full first name for some reason and I'm too lazy to change it.