Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Maybe it wasn't so bad, he thought. He had staked everything, and that was all he had lost. [Then] the thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder.

So I decided to take a break from the Song of Ice and Fire series (because none of the books really ends, they just pause and pick up again in the next one, making it like reading one several thousand page novel, which hasn't gotten tedious yet, but could...) and go back to the Dark Tower. Brent commented that as the series goes along the novels become more Stephen King-esque, and I can already see it in this installment. I enjoyed this book more than The Gunslinger and am looking forward to the third one.

This book was interesting because we got to know a little more about Roland and his relationship to his companions. When he draws Eddie, Eddie is hooked on heroin and struggling to handle himself, not to mention the trek and quest for the Tower. He hates and resents Roland, thinking only of himself. When Roland draws Odetta/Detta, she is still tormented by the split in her personality and is more of a liability and danger than an asset. But by the end Roland has basically saved Odetta/Detta from herself and she emerges as Susannah, capable and strong, but still kind and caring, while Eddie has found strength, love, and someone to take care of, undertaking some serious character building. By the end of the book, Roland acknowledges that he loves them both, though his profession intrigues me. It seems that in the end Eddie and Susannah are only Roland's tools and he'll use them in whatever way helps him get to the Tower. He admits to Eddie that even though he loves them, he won't hesitate to let them die or kill them, as he did the boy in The Gunslinger, but I think it goes further than that. Early in this one, he recognizes Eddie's capacity to love and the way he has let that capacity atrophy in himself in his single-minded pursuit of the Tower. Roland realizes that reaching the tower stripped of his humanity might be worse than not reaching the Tower at all, which makes me think that deep down he is only using Eddie and Susannah as people to love. I'm interested to see how this dynamic evolves over the course of the series.

1 comment:

Brent Waggoner said...

The whole drawing aspect of the series might be the most interesting idea in it. I really liked this book, although I find Odetta a little irritating. The Wastelands is more or less the second half of this book, and it's really good too.