Posts Tagged ‘three doors’

Book Review: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King (Series, #2)

November 18, 2009 8 comments

After finishing the first stage in a long series toward finding The Dark Tower, Roland knows he must now “draw the three.”  He will recruit three people to assist him in his quest.  Now past the desert and mountains, he has reached an ocean beach where dangerous creatures lurk.  As he walks up this beach he gradually finds doors to other realities where his three assistants reside, completely unaware they are about to be drawn into a quest in another world.

The Drawing of the Three makes it abundantly clear that The Dark Tower series is all about plot and not about character development.    The characters do things that work for the plot, but make zero sense from a character stand-point.  I’m not talking about mistakes here.  I know in the real world people do stupid things.  It’s more akin to say a Nazi suddenly deciding he loves a Jew.  (That doesn’t happen in the book, but similar things do).   I personally find this jarring, but if you’re more of a plot person than a character person, it won’t bother you.

My other issue, and bare in mind that I’ve now read three Stephen King books, is that his writing tends to be misogynistic.  Sometimes it’s subtle.  An example in this book is when a pharmacist who hates his job is on the phone with a complaining female client.  Instead of thinking that he hates these people who complain, he thinks that he hates all these bitches who complain.  I, as someone who works with the public, am certain that he has had men and women complain, so why did King specify only women?  It seems whenever there’s an opportunity for a character to slur against women, they do.  I’m not saying no character should be misogynistic.  That’d be like saying no character should ever be racist.  I am saying that King shouldn’t take every opportunity to be misogynistic and run with it.

*spoiler warning*
An even better example of this is the only female character in this book, the second assistant, Odetta.  She has Dissociative Identity Disorder.  (King wrongfully calls this Schizophrenia, which is an entirely different illness).  Stereotypically, one personality is “good,” and the other is “bad.”  The good personality is grateful to the men for helping her.  She is quiet, submissive, intelligent, and strong inside.  Naturally one of the men instantaneously falls in love with her.  *rolls eyes*  The bad personality attempts to defend herself, is physically strong, and vehemently protects herself against suspected rape.  She actually tells these men that she will kill them with her cunt.  The only women I know who use that word are raging feminists attempting to reclaim the word, and that is not the context here.  She is also described as an ugly hag.  Granted later these two personalities merge into one, but the implications are there.  Men love women who act appropriately feminine.  If you behave in any unfeminine manner, you are an ugly hag they naturally want to kill.
*end spoiler*

In spite of that, though, I do still like King’s stories.  I’m mostly willing to overlook the bouts of misogyny, because the man can certainly write plot-driven horror.  The plot here is excellent.  We have doors that lead into people’s brains, horrifying creatures called “lobstrosities,” drugs, shoot-outs, infections, murderers, and more.  There is literally horror on almost every page.  I couldn’t put it down.

If you like plot-driven horror and don’t mind overlooking character development weakness, then you will enjoy this entry into the Dark Tower series.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed

Previous Books in Series:
The Gunslinger, review

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