The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987) – Stephen King

This week I continue my journey with Roland, the gunslinger, introduced to us in the first volume of The Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger.

Roland is in trouble from the off when he wakes on an expansive miles-long beach that is the shoreline of the Western Sea, and immediately runs afoul of some of the creatures that inhabit it.

With the jawbone of the Man in Black in his back pocket, and his guns strapped to his sides, Roland, now injured, infected, and getting worse, draws his three. The companions who will be joining him on his quest for the Tower.

He comes across, each in their turn, doors along the beach, that open onto a world he has never seen, but one that we the reader knows well, though not always the when of it. And from there he draws The Prisoner, The Lady of Shadows, and a bit of a reshuffle with The Pusher.


He enters the minds of each of these people, sees the world through their eyes, and pulls each of them back into his world, where they will become his travelling companions, and they will change his life as much as he will change theirs.

And of course, with the events that happen in the realm of The Pusher, there are going to be repercussions for the Gunslinger, himself.

King keeps the story moving, and very involving, and yet, for the length of the book, it doesn’t feel like all that much happens, though the last hundred pages does have a slew of activity spilling off the pages.

I don’t want to reveal too much of what happens in this book, as there are some nice twists and reveals as it plays out, especially where the Lady is concerned.

It’s an enjoyably massive tale that has got me so completely hooked. I’ve only read the series through once (before Wind Through the Keyhole  – technically Dark Tower IV.V – so I’m looking forward to discovering that tale, and how it adds to the tapestry). And it’s amazing what I’ve forgotten (not the face of my father) and what I remember, and what I can’t wait to read again.

All of the characters in this book are engaging and terrifying, noble and horrific, and it all leads us on, further and further to The Dark Tower, and what will be the final showdown for Roland and his Ka-tet (though that phrase hasn’t been used yet, nor has that fantastic catechism which is so very ingrained in the series).

This is a fantastic adventure to be taking again.


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