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The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, Book 2) Hardcover – June 23, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elaborating at great length on Robert Browning's cryptic narrative poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," the second volume of King's post-Armageddon epic fantasy presents the equally enigmatic quest of Roland, the world's last gunslinger, who moves through an apocalyptic wasteland toward the Dark Tower, "the linchpin that holds all of existence together." Although these minor but revealing books (which King began while still in college) are full of such adolescent portentousness, this is livelier than the first. Roland enters three lives in the alternate world of New York City: junkie and drug runner Eddie Dean, schizophrenic heiress Odetta Holmes and serial murder Jack Mort. If King tells us too little about Roland, he gives us too much about these misfits who are variously healed or punished exactly as expected. Typically, King is much better at the minutiae and sensations of a specific physical world, and several such bravura sequences (from an attack by mutant lobsters to a gun store robbery) are standouts amid the characteristic headlong storytelling. BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Join the quest before it's too late' -- Independent on Sunday on THE SONG OF SUSANNAH 'Pulse-poundingly engaging' -- Sunday Express on THE SONG OF SUSANNAH 'Classic King, fine characters, compellingly written in a gripping, well-honed plot' -- Daily Express on WOLVES OF THE CALLA 'Superbly energetic, it's King at his best' -- Mail on Sunday on WIZARD AND GLASS King's magnificent uberstory is finally complete... King's achievement is startling; his characters fresh... his plot sharply drawn... It is magic. -- Daily Express on The Dark Tower --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dark Tower (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; Reprint edition (June 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670032557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670032556
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (663 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Matt on February 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a fitting sequel to the first of the spell-binding series- The Gunslinger. It's a definite page-turner and in the end will leave you begging for more. Although personally I thought The Gunslinger left more to be desired, The Drawing of the Three more than makes up for its minor flaws and leads you ever closer to the climax of Roland's epic quest.

One of the Dark Tower Series' greatest strengths is Stephen King's remarkable description. It makes you not only see but feel the sorroundings. King definetely showcased this talent in this book, and put you through one heck of a ride. From the moment you begin the book you are taken to a a different world, Roland's world, a desolate beach full of terrible "lobstrosities" that King takes great pains to describe. King also describes New York City in depth through Roland's eyes, a truly monumental challenge considering Roland is oblivious to the technological marvels of our world.

But the greatest feat the book has accomplished is, without question, the whimsical ensemble of characters King creates. The cast is full of interesting stories, an odd group of crusaders bound by the same "ka". Eddie Dean is perhaps the most memorable, a heroin addict fighting his addiction and the New York Underworld, reluctantly "drawn" by Roland to quest for the great tower. But Odetta Homes can't be overshadowed- as well as her secret evil double- Detta Walker. She's a skitzophrenic, fighting her dark half which threatens to rule her, the makes of a brilliant story. The third character who is drawn also fits suprisingly into the storyline and sets the stage for a thrilling climax.

And in the middle of it all, lies Roland, the lone gunslinger.
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jack M. Walter on January 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This second volume of the Dark Tower series is masterfully plotted and a real tour de force for Stephen King. I was amazed at how he deftly took so many disparate settings and characters and brought them all together. I won't comment on anything specific, because I don't want to spoil anything for the reader. It's best to come to this series with no knowledge of what is going to occur. Only one gripe: schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are two different things. Schizophrenics do NOT have more than one personality, but rather have one that is fragmented. King deserves 50 lashes with a wet noodle for this big-time mistake. However, all is forgiven due to a tale that grabs you by the throat and never lets go.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Stephen R. Owen on December 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a new reader to The Dark Tower series, I feel I can comment from a different perspective than those who've read the whole tale. Simply put, parts of The Drawing of the Three made me want to put the book down and walkaway forever. Spoilers follow:

The book picks up where the previous left off, with Roland reaching the ocean and "heading North". And then he walks and walks and walks for about thirty pages, only stopping to somehow be set upon by lobsters (Oh I hope you like them because you will read a LOT about them) who, amazingly, nearly kill him. Lobsters. Mind you, in the first novel he was badass incarnate, slaying 56 people in a breathless action scene, but now he loses digits to a large crustacean. Ok.

We then experience something novel, as Roland voyages away from the desolation of the beach with its finger-stealing crabs and shows us the modern day world of man as the gunslinger piggy-backs, riding about in the head of The Prisoner. To save time in this review, I'll summarize, Roland riding in Eddie and teaching him to be a badass as he breaks him of his drug habit and rescues him from certain death, only to drag him to Roland's world: very cool and interesting read.

Roland riding around in Detta Walker, The Lady of Shadows: terrible mind-numbing tripe. The second of the three is not nearly so compelling as the first. In fact she is comically absurd. Turns out she was injured as a child and is now, in addition to being a double amputee, a half-southern-black-stereotype-half-Driving-Miss-Daisy schizophrenic? I don't doubt that King came up with this inane concept in his youth. With surprising haste, only a few pages compared to Eddie's third of the novel, Detta is now also in the gunslinger's world.
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