bookspluslife

August 10, 2015

Book: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 8:39 pm

imageThis is the second book in the  Dark Tower Series. The first one, The Gunslinger, was a disaster of a book. This book cannot be any more different. Stephen King wrote it a few years later and seems to have pulled himself up by the bootstraps to do a credible job.

The story continues where the first one left off.

Roland Deschain – the gunslinger -faces a lobster like creature that seems to be eating him body part by body part. He manages to kill it but not before losing two of his fingers and being infected. Moves on. He then meets a door while exhausted and near death. Turns out to be a portal to the Prisoner, the first of the Three that he will “draw”. He steps in and becomes Eddie Dean. Eddie, brother of Harry, is a junkie trying to quit the cocaine habit.

This book feels more like the King we know, the descriptions pithy, absorbing and the whole thing makes sense from an experience point of view for the reader. The description of the door, the fact that it seems to be two dimensional and yet show the entire earth from a distance initially before zooming in for a view from the eyes of the Prisoner, is absorbing and good writing. It is almost as if King remembered why he was writing this, and got involved.

He gets into the Prisoner, but can take over whenever he likes but the eye colour changes from the original brown to deep blue. A stewardess Jane Dorning is suspicious. He knows that he can take a sandwich back to the dying Roland! He seems to be not able to take things from his other world into the world on the plane.

The already good story now gets better. He ropes in Eddie, the prisoner to the world with the drugs just before he was to disembark and get arrested (from a bathroom). Thus Eddie is saved. Meets Balthazar who is quite a character. They check out (Eddie is “drawn” for good into the other world, literally in a blaze of gunfire and with Henry dead in the process). Then Eddie recovers from his addiction the hard way and the gunslinger is saved by the miracle antibiotics from our world brought by Eddie. Aspirin among them, which Roland always pronounces as Astin.

They then enter the body of Odetta, a rich, black kelptomaniac. She is a cripple, having  lost her legs in an accident – someone pushed her into the path of an oncoming train. The time is the sixties, when racial discrimination was high in the US. She also turns out to be a person with dual personality disorder. She joins them, Detta and Odetta in one body, Detta the screaming, vulgur, uneducated, barely controllable thing and Odetta, refined, polished, pretty and endearing – both in one body, alternately taking over the crippled body.

When Eddie gives her unwittingly a loaded gun against Roland’s advice and when Roland has to go and get The Pusher, he seems to have doomed both of the men to die at the hands of the deranged Detta. In a nice twist, the Pusher is the guy who threw a brick at Odetta that almost killed her and, many years later, pushed her in the path of an oncoming train that crippled her.

He gets into the mind of Mort, the Pusher, and steals a lot of Winchester bullets. He goes to a drugstore and gets the drugs he needs. There is a brilliant shoot out scene and he suddenly understands that he is not drawing Mort but will go back alone. What did he draw as the third person? Read the book to find out. Very beautifully told story.

A world different from the first book. This one gets a 7/10

– – Krishna

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