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The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three

The Drawing of the Three

I was hoping The Drawing of the Three was going to kick ass. Guess what? It does!

The first book, The Gunslinger, was an entertaining enough read, doing a good job setting the tone of the series and introducing the main character. But there’s not much motivation for Roland. He’s on a desperate quest for the Dark Tower for no other reason because it’s there and it’s what he’s supposed to do. He wants to unlock the secrets of the universe. But what’s he supposed to do with that information once he gets it? Is the drive “to know” going to be enough to sustain seven books?

So far, it’s been enough to sustain two.

The Drawing of the Three picks up mere hours after The Gunslinger ends and the book is mostly about Roland’s joining of his fellowship, i.e. the companions he’ll need to finish his journey to the Tower. These new characters exist in the supposed real world, which is as close to “our” reality as possible, but I think is actually the little “universe” King has created in his other books.

Dimensional gateways allow Roland to enter the “real” world and his companions’ heads. Convincing these people, the first one being a heroin addict named Eddie Dean, to join him on his quest is most of the fun of the book. Eddie and the others are almost more and better developed than Roland is. Each of them has an interesting backstory and complicated goals to achieve before they can join the gunslinger on his quest. They also all form unique bonds with Roland and each other.

One of the problems with The Gunslinger is that it ended more or less definitively with really no interesting hook to read the next book. While The Drawing of the Three also comes to its own conclusion at least now Roland has some interesting companions whose stories I am also invested in. I’m assuming that they’ll have better fates than the supporting characters in the first book.

I now feel like I have sufficient drive to continue the rest of the Dark Tower series. I’ll get to ’em as soon as I’m done those damn Harry Potter books (I’m reading part four right now).

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