Saturday, May 7, 2011

Girl on Book Action: The Drawing of the Three: The Dark Tower II by Stephen King

The Drawing of the Three: The Dark Tower II by Stephen King
ISBN: 0-452-26214-3


The Drawing of the Three continues the epic saga of The Dark Tower, hurling The Gunslinger into the twentieth century.

Once again Stephen King masterfully interweaves dark, evocative fantasy and icy realism, as his hero, Roland, The Last Gunslinger, pursues his quest for The Dark Tower.  Roaming another world that is a nightmarishly distorted mirror image of our own, he is drawn through a mysterious door that brings him into 1980’s America.  Here he links forces with the defiant young Eddie Dean and with beautiful, brilliant, and brave Odetta Holmes, in a savage struggle against underworld evil and otherwordly enemies.  With a storytelling skill that is sheer magic, and with breathtaking boldness of imagination, Stephen King has risen to the peak of his power to create a compelling epic that is at once enigmatic and familiar...and always compulsively readable.


Aside:  Here’s your obligatory there will be spoilers for part one and quite possibly for part two of The Dark Tower series warning, but since I'm the only one who hasn't read these books, you're probably safe.  Oh, and if you want to start at the beginning of my journey here is a link to my thoughts on The Gunslinger.

My Thoughts:

You know, after reading the first one of these, I was really excited to keep reading and jumped straight into this one.  And damnit, I was disappointed.  We spend barely any time in Roland’s world, we don’t learn anything new about his history, instead, the majority of the book takes place in the real world. Ugh.  If it wasn’t for the fact that Wren assures me this book is an exception and the rest are much better, I would probably give up right now and not bother with the remaining five volumes.

I just...didn’t like this book.  Most of that had to do with the fact that Eddie Dean and the whole subplot of drug-smuggling bored me.  But, ultimately what  I didn’t like, is pretty well everything that happens.  I didn’t like that the book started with The Gunslinger getting mauled by “lobstrosities” and spending the majority of story injured and sick, half-dead pretty well.  While Roland isn’t the most interesting protagonist in the world due to his personality and lack of wit, he was still interesting enough when he was shooting people and sleeping with girls and all that.  Now, he’s maimed and half-useless, wandering around sick and weak.  I guess I should look on the bright side – since he was hurt and suffering from a pretty bad infection there were fewer discussions about the status of his balls.

Okay, let me go back to Eddie Dean, Odetta Holmes and the rest of the characters that boringly dominate this book.  The worst of these three episodes was definitely the one with Eddie, because it resulted in the most time spent in the “real” world.  I really didn’t care about him smuggling drugs, or his junkie brother, or anything about him really.  It’s hard to enjoy a book when you can’t even find a character you’re remotely interested in.  And because once wasn’t enough we had to go back for Odetta – at least she was sort of intriguing.  The whole dual-personality thing is a little over-done these days, but it’s a step up from a junkie.  I did get tired of Detta in next to no time.  In the “real” world she made sense, but in The Gunslinger’s world she was just annoying – I guess she was supposed to be, but damnit, I was bored and annoyed at this point.  By the time we get to the last door and into our world again, I was frustrated.  When the point of that venture becomes clear (I won't get into details) I was simply angry at having had to endure more time in this other world.  What intrigued me in the first book was the fantasy world of The Gunslinger, so spending all this time elsewhere didn't sit well with me.  Oh, and don’t get me started on Eddie falling in love with Odetta – I’m all for romance, but not immediate romance.  Love at first sight is a myth and here it felt forced - romance for the sake of romance, not for the purpose of plot or character development.

Ugh, okay.  Here’s a positive: while I didn’t really have an overwhelming urge to pick it back up and keep reading (aside from wanting to finish it so I could read something else) whenever I was reading it, I was absorbed despite my frustrations and disinterest.  Which is a bit of a paradox or something, but I never promised you that my mind makes sense.

Overall, I'm disappointed with this second installment, but I'm willing to put it down to "the 2nd book phenomenom" I have discussed before.  I am going to trust Wren (I know, you may question my sanity some more here) and try book three and hope for improvement, after I cleanse my pallet with The Constant Princess (so I'm doubly listening to Wren as she reviewed it recently).  Anyway, I promised you I’d see this through to the end and I will, as long as it doesn’t get worse than The Drawing of the Three.

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