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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful addition to the series
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...
Published on February 29, 2004 by Matt

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Painful, but necessary
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...
Published on December 10, 2009 by Stephen R. Owen

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful addition to the series, February 29, 2004
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. Haunted by his past and obsessively bound by his duty to search for the Dark Tower, he is the central character, the pinnacle of the books. He is perhaps King's greatest creation, his struggle is inspiring, he is the nail that holds the fantastic story together. You can't help but wait for the final climax, the next installment- it'll leave you begging for more.

King has worked wonders with this book. It was an awesome read!
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's getting better!, July 14, 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Surprise, January 5, 2004
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the Tower is closer..., January 15, 2002
John (Cleveland, OH) - See all my reviews
Wow. I just finished reading this for the second time (I'm rereading the whole series) and that is all I can say. Wow. This really is an amazingly good volume in the Dark Tower series. I was put off of it at first when I read The Gunslinger. I thought it was wierd, outlandish, hard to follow, and totally unlike Stephen King. Of course, it is all those things the first time you read it. The second time it is still all those things, excluding hard to follow, because now you know where the book leads. It leads to this book (and beyond of course). Speaking of this book, and after all, this book is what I came hear to talk about and what you came to read about, it is absolutely jam-packed with adventure, action, and anything else you could want.
The Drawing of the Three continues the story with Roland, the last gunslinger taking people from our world into his own. The first one is the Prisoner that Walter foretold in the end of the last book. The prisoner is Eddie Dean, a very funny character, but also a very strong character. It is really cool how the gunslinger is actually inside Eddie's mind and can "come forward" and take control of his body. This section of the book is the best in my opinion. There is a shootout at the end of the "Prisoner" section which is definately not to be missed.
The next person to be drawn is Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker. She is a rich black woman who had her legs amputated via a collosion with a subway train (which turns out to be no accident). She is also schizophrenic. I think this was the worst part of the book because it dealt too much with Susannah's (as Odetta comes to be called) background. This is probably necessary in order to understand everything that happens, but that still doesn't make it that interesting.
Last and least comes Jack Mort, who is actually not drawn at all but proves to be usefull because Roland uses him to get some medecine which he sorely needs because back in his world, he is dying. Jack Mort is a very sick individual to say the least. It is him that Susannah has to thank for the loss of her legs. Good old Jack gets his kicks by pushing people in front of cars and dropping bricks on their heads. At the end the gunslinger gives him what he has coming though, and that provides some satisfaction. This part is as riveting as the beginning part where Eddie is drawn. It includes some more gun battles which I just can't get enough of. There is one thing though. During this part, Roland two unconscious police officers guns and straps them around his waist so that he can take them back to his world for Eddie and Susannah to use. Mr. King seems to forget about this, though, because when Roland returns to his world, there is no more mention of the guns and the only guns they have are Rolands two revolvers. What gives?
Anyway, that aside, this is a wonderful chapter in the Dark Tower Saga. I suggest also getting The Waste Lands and Wizard and Glass at the same time, because once you read this, you will want to continue the journey along the path of the beam.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great improvement over the first one..., May 2, 2005
NSCPE (Ann Arbor, MI) - See all my reviews
"The Drawing of the Three" focuses on Roland gathering his "ka-tet" (his party or fellowship if you will). He meets Eddie Dean, a junkie from the 80s, and Odetta Holmes, a civil rights activist from the 60s. Eddie Dean is a cool character, I loved him right away (when Allie and Jake died in the first one, I thought "Good, now Roland can get on with his quest", but when Eddie almost died in this one, I thought "Noooooo! Not Eddie Dean!"). Odetta Holmes isn't as cool, but she is interesting (she's a double-amputee with a split personality, one of whom is extremely dangerous--what's not to like about that?). Roland is as cool as ever; he's so Stoic and tough-as-nails. I couldn't help but crack a smile as he gave some Very Bad People what they deserved. This volume puts aside the ridiculous prose of the first book, and it seems a lot shorter than it is. Quite frankly, it's hard to put down. Highly recommended. I bought the third volume today, and I can't wait to see what happens.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pick a door, any door...., January 1, 2011
I have a soft spot in my heart for world-crossing stories. Perhaps it's the remnant of the same childhood fantasy that everyone has - you know the one, "My family is not my family, my hometown is not my hometown - I'm really a lost prince of a strange magical kingdom and one day my true identity will be revealed and I'll be able to go do something more fun than this...."

Escapist fiction of this sort usually does really well, mostly because so many of us are unsatisfied with the way our lives are going right now. Harry Potter blew everyone away for the same reason that, say, Star Wars did - they spoke to that desire that we all have for a destiny, a reason for being in this benighted universe other than to consume, procreate, and die. It's a very powerful dream, that dream that we can lead a life better than the one we're living now, and it's one that very few of us get to realize. So we turn to fiction to realize that dream for us.

Of course, nothing comes without a price. In hopping from world to world, you may have to resist the temptations of a Snow Queen or fight off the forces of Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada. You may discover that your father is the greatest force for evil in the universe, or that you've been born into a genetic cohort that scares the hell out of everyone. Crossing from one world to another - whether literally or figuratively - always comes with a price.

For Eddie Dean, Detta Walker, and Odetta Holmes, that price could very well be their lives.

When last we left the Gunslinger, Roland was sitting by a vast and gray sea at the end of the world. He had already sacrificed young Jake Chambers for his quest, and had been shown a vision of the universe that would have blasted the mind of a lesser man. Without any other direction, Roland continues on his journey - but not without some difficulty.

Wounded and ill, Roland has to go through three strange doors and draw out new companions to replace the ones he lost so long ago. If he is successful, he will draw out a new ka-tet - a group bound by the forces of destiny - that will stand with him on the way to the Dark Tower. If he fails, he will face total obliteration, to say nothing of being devoured alive by huge mutant lobsters.

Through door number one, Roland meets The Prisoner - young Eddie Dean, a junkie who has to bring a couple of pounds of cocaine through customs at JFK airport in New York. If he can do that, then the men holding his beloved big brother will let them both go, well-paid and well-loaded with the drugs that they so desperately want. Eddie can't do it without Roland's help, however - help that turns out to make the whole endeavor much more complicated and lethal than it might have been before.

Through door number two, Roland must bring the Lady of Shadows, a woman who is two minds in one body. One of these minds is Odetta Holmes, an upper-class African-American woman (though in her era of the early sixties she would probably prefer to be called a Negro) who has thrown her efforts and her fortune behind the growing civil rights movement. She is cultured and civilized, a little bit snobbish and prudish, but far, far better than her alter ego, Detta Walker.

Detta is the dark half, the evil twin who relishes in her misdeeds and embodies the worst qualities that can be found in a person. She likes to hurt people, to break things - partly out of the sheer enjoyment of hurting and breaking, but also out of a cruel sense of revenge for the ills the world has done to her. For the brick that was dropped on her head when she was a child, for the train that robbed her of her legs when she was an adult. Of all the people Roland has met so far, Detta Walker is the one who poses the most danger to him and his quest. Only by bringing the two women together can he have any chance of making it to the Tower.

Through door number three, Roland must meet death - but not for him - in the form of The Pusher. The aptly-named Jack Mort has a hobby - anonymous murder. Planning and executing the suffering of others is what brings joy to his heart and a stain to his jeans, and he has intersected with Roland's quest even before Roland reached the beach. He was the one who pushed Odetta Holmes under a subway train. He was the one who pushed Jack Chambers in front of a speeding Cadillac. Now, Roland has control of this man's body and will use it to get what he needs from our world so that he can carry on in his. A little poetic justice along the way is just icing on the cake.

If Roland succeeds, he and his new group will push on to find the Dark Tower and do... whatever it is that Roland needs to do there. If he fails, they will all die, and the hopes of Roland's world will die with them.

Like I said, I enjoy tales of crossing worlds, and so this book felt good to me. I liked seeing not only how Roland dealt with the unfamiliar reality of New York in three different decades, but how the stories of Eddie, Odetta/Detta and Jack intersected with each other. At one point in his section, Jack thinks, "Who was to say he had not sculpted the cosmos today, or might not at some future time? God, no wonder he creamed his jeans!" Crude though it may be, Jack is more right than he knows - a few simple pushes altered the destinies of not only the people he pushed, but those of entire worlds. So if you think small actions can't have big consequences, well, look to Jack Mort.

Actually, his section of the book was my favorite. While Roland vs. Eddie was an action-packed shoot-em-up, and Roland vs. Detta was a hostage drama, Roland vs. Jack was almost a dark comedy. Taking over Jack's body and keeping the man's mind at metaphorical gunpoint, Roland carves a swath of confusion through New York City. The mental disconnect people have between Jack Mort's appearance as a well-off CPA and his behavior as a seasoned gunslinger is enough for some moments of gold.

By the end of the book, we're not much closer to the Dark Tower than we were at the beginning, but we are very nearly ready to get started on the journey. Not quite there yet, but Roland now has people he can count on when things turn bad. And they will turn bad, you can set your watch and warrant on it.

"Well, what was behind Door Number One wasn't so hot, and what was behind Door Number Two was even worse, so now, instead of quitting like sane people, we're going to go right ahead and check out Door Number Three. The way things have been going, I think it's likely to be something like Godzilla or Ghidra the Three-Headed Monster, but I'm an optimist. I'm still hoping for the stainless steel cookware."
- Eddie Dean, The Drawing of the Three</a>
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drawing the Reader to Certain Addiction, November 22, 2004
Gary Griffiths (Los Altos Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
As only the second installment of King's American classic epic "The Dark Tower", it is difficult to fairly review "The Drawing of the Three". As a continuation - albeit an important link - "Drawing", depending upon both its predecessor and successor, has neither a definitive beginning nor ending. It is nonetheless a brilliant work of fiction, offering vivid insight into the twisted imagination of Steven King. Who but King, in this deformed and misshapen synthesis of Tolkien, The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, and Clint Eastern spaghetti westerns, would choose a neurotic male drug addict and a black female amputee as fledgling gunslingers destined to travel alongside the enigmatic Roland of Gilead? Where but from King's distorted psyche could the terminally dangerous yet tragically comical "lobstrocities" be born? Any review of a few hundred words is woefully inadequate to describe the genius of King's "Dark Tower", knowing full well that questions left unanswered are simply teasers to be satisfied somewhere on King's tortuous and unhurried journey to the Tower. Just as our novice gunslingers Odetta/Detta and Eddie Dean find themselves increasingly and inescapably drawn to the quest, so also is the reader sucked into King's diabolical journey. Read it at your own risk.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that got me hooked on the Dark Tower series!, February 18, 2008
I was a Stephen King fan for YEARS before I even touched the Dark Tower series; the idea of a Western wasn't all that appealing to me. Finally, when I'd exhausted all of King's other work, I turned to the first Dark Tower book, The Gunslinger. I found this volume to be just okay; the long stretches with the gunslinger wandering alone through the desert were fairly boring to me. However, I decided to continue with the series, and I'm so glad I did--the second book, The Drawing of the Three, completely captivated me and got me hooked on the road to the Dark Tower.

Unlike The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three practically hypnotized me from its very first pages, when the gunslinger, Roland, meets up with an unfortunate incident on a deserted beach. This twist was so unexpected that I literally sat there with my mouth hanging open when I first read it. From that point forward, the story barrels on at lightning-fast speed (again in contrast to the first book, which is more meandering). Roland acquires a companion, Eddie, and like the gunslinger himself, Eddie is complex, both admirable and pitiful at the same time. Roland's adventures behind each of the three doors he finds on the beach are riveting, completely enthralling and ensnaring the reader forever into his/her own Dark Tower quest.

Do these books stand the test of time? Well, I am re-reading The Drawing of the Three now--over 15 years after my first encounter with this book--and once again, I am totally engrossed. Even though I now know just how the story ends, I still can't get enough of these characters, and the events of the plot move me to tears at times. In his 7-book Dark Tower series, King has created a true masterpiece, something that goes beyond labels such as western, fantasy, or thriller. I will never tire of visiting Roland's world, and if you haven't already, I highly recommend taking a trip there yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Endeavors and Horrors, This is one of the Greatest, May 20, 2007
Stephen King has once again shown us his ability to delve into a new dimension of thought and adventure through his novel The Drawing of the Three. Through its connections to real life and amazing portrayal of characters, it is by far the greatest composition of the Dark Tower series. After reading book 1, this book served as the climactic beginning to the seven-book trek the gunslinger, Roland, undertakes.

From beginning to end, King's style keeps the reader hooked and thirsting for more. Through his unusual ability of explaining and narrating the story of Roland's adventure to the different whens and wheres, King has successfully created the beginning of his greatest series. The action throughout the novel is graphic and intense, but is necessary for King's intended impact and tone. For example, the gunslinger gets into a confrontation with another man, just one of the many conflicts Roland encounters. (Skip next sentence if you don't want me to ruin it) ** Roland uses the butt of his shotgun, jabs it across the man's face, and breaks his neck with it in one motion.** The action is intense and is what helps the novel's ability to keep the story interesting. The plot is unusual but expected because after all, this is a King novel. The first book of the series is important in understanding the different dementia of the gunslinger, yet this book takes his adventure to an unexpected path. How strange is it for him to find three dimensional doors on a beach? All lead to different whens of New York and Roland must find a person from each dimension to add to his tet and to aid him in his conquest.

The introduction of these characters comes as no surprise. By King beginning the novel with Roland's struggle on the beach, he characterizes Roland immediately, though throughout the novel the idea of who Roland is changes. If the reader has not read the first novel, the introduction of The Drawing of the Three will not make any sense. Book 2 initiates at the point where Book 1 leaves off, and it is important to know why Roland is practically dead in the first 20 pages of the book. However, we see that throughout this book, Roland becomes aware of his goals and what he must do. There are characters here that Roland becomes acquainted with that he knows he does not need to make him successful in the future. By not getting into details, I will simply put it: he lets them die. Roland, through his perilous endeavors, encounters many obstacles and acquires his three personas he needs for his tet, and through it all acquires a new definition of character.

This book I believe, other than perhaps his greatest achievement "It", is one of his greatest compositions that entail the adventures and conflicts any person can undertake. His genius in inscribing facts with imagination is unheard of and his ability to detract the mind from reality is truly amazing. This book, The Drawing of the Three, is one of the best books I have ever read, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now, the Dark Tower really begins!, May 17, 2006
If you read my review of the Gunslinger, then you'll know that I believe the Dark Tower series begins here. The Gunslinger is a prologue at best. It's like reading the Hobbit so you can find out about when Bilbo found the ring and what he did with it. The Hobbit is good, but Lord of the Rings is ten-times better!

The Drawing of the Three is on the same par with Fellowship! Except there's a lot more action! And cursing!

An aside, my dad got me into the Dark Tower books, inadvertently, mind you. In 1986, I was 11 and sick with the chicken pox. My dad went to a bookstore in the mall on his lunch break, determined to get me something to read. He knew I liked Stephen King and came across his newest book, Drawing of the Three. He bought it, brought it home, and handed it to me. I was thrilled. I opened the book, read the intro, and found that it was the second book in a series. Nice enough, King had summarized the Gunslinger in three pages called Argument. I was caught up, I knew what had happened, and I could read the second book, determined to go back to the first. I loved this book. To an 11-year-old boy lying in a bed with chicken pox it was all the medicine in the world. It was also a seed planted deep in me that to this day I wonder if it's part of why I became a writer.

So, I started with the Drawing of the Three. When I was able to find The Gunslinger, I read that too. I think this is a great way to read the books. To this day, I still suggest that people read Drawing first, then go back and read Gunslinger. Knowing how great the books can be will help you get through the Gunslinger. Actually, you could take that one step farther and read all the books from 2-7 and then go back to the Gunslinger. It actually would be quite fitting.

To Drawing: it is a roller coaster of a book. With two small valleys in the dips, twists, loops, and corkscrews, this book doesn't really let you up. From the attack of the lobstrosities, Roland's time in Eddie's head (some of my favorite parts of the whole Dark Tower series), the battle with Odetta and Detta, and finally, in the mind of Jack Mort, this book is a bullet with sharp narrative, intense action, and fantastic dialogue. Eddie is probably one of my favorite fictional characters. Our introduction to him in this book aand subsequent quest in later books is the stuff of legends. Drawing is one great adventure that hints at the greatness that is to come.

At the end, you will want to leap into the next book, Wastelands. For some us, that took a while. I remember pouring over King's words in the Afterword, wondering what Wastelands and The Wizard and the Glass would bring us. They would exceed my greatest expectations.

You've been drawn.
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