The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Rate: 4/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

The Drawing of the Three is a prime example as to why you should continue in a series that the vast majority of individuals rave about despite loathing the introductory novel. The Gunslinger earned one of the lowest ratings I’ve dolled out on the Critiquing Chemist, as I was frustrated throughout with the one dimensional world building and the snail’s pace. Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic regarding picking up the next installment, however right from the onset this book picked up a completely different pace, unapologetically jarring the reader from the stupor they had previously been lulled. King has the story resume with our Gunslinger finding himself shortly in dire straits, and the edge of your seat action continuing through the remainder of the book. Moreover, King showcases his unique world building skills by introducing novel viewpoints and perspectives that lay the foundation for Roland’s world and its connection with our own, while still maintaining a thick veil of secrecy to lead us into book three. We are introduced to a handful of well developed characters that add depth to both Roland and the adventure at hand. Thus far, two books into The Dark Tower series it feels as though King is maneuvering pieces in a chess game. The first installment involved toying with a few expendable pawns, with The Drawing of the Three bringing forth a few of the key pieces, defining the character direction of the series. Overall, when fellow readers continually give a series high acclaim, there has to be a reason behind the praise, as such keep reading even if the pilot is less than inspiring. I’m excited to see where book three takes our three musketeers.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • At one point, in the car heading to Balazar’s it is mentioned that Roland and Eddie are going to the Tower. Also, significant time is spent describing the gang leader’s towers of cards that he was building. Is that the Tower in Eddie’s world or just a hint that Roland was on the correct path? Are their multiple Towers?
  • The crab monsters were horrifying. The scenes with them, especially when they were attacking were brutal and hard to read!
  • Will Roland have to sacrifice Eddie or Susannah? Will it be like Jake all over again?
  • I really enjoyed Roland’s adventure into Eddie’s world. I was a little disappointed that he did not spend more time in Susannah or Jack’s world.
  • It was interesting that Roland had to kill the pusher, Jack. How was that crime spree/death explained away in the world?
  • Or for that matter, how was Susannah’s disappearance explained? Her scenes were a little confusing because it felt like there were flashbacks, upon flashbacks. What will her poor chauffeur think regarding her disappearance?
  • Roland saved Jake from getting pushed. Was Jake actually saved in that world or does he still end up in Roland’s world?


  1. Great review! I enjoyed the Gunslinger, but definitely understand the complaints most people have with it. From what I understand, King originally wrote that first book to be released as shorter stories, so it does have a different feel to it.

    Are you going forward with the rest of the series? The next two books are really excellent, seem like the best of the series to me (I’m still on the last book, so we’ll see how it ends up)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this. I read the Gunslinger and the sequels are on my list. King is a master at the craft. I did like The Gunslinger. I think we have to remember that he wrote it many years ago when our brains weren’t so caught up in sensation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Wendy! I actually have to disagree with you regarding the sensation concept. 🙂 Before Gunslinger he wrote Carrie, The Shining, Cujo, and The Stand (among a few others), all of which definitely are filled with excellent world building and all the sensation! What do you think?


  3. This was one of my favorite books in the series. If you’d stopped at The Gunslinger, you’d have truly missed out on the brilliance that is this, and others to come. That said, in my opinion, of the entire series, The Gunslinger is the least endearing and the most plodding.

    Love the rest of this series though!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey hey hey now! The first book is wonderful! Such a classic Western, I thought, but with a post-apocalyptic flair. I mean, you’re right, it’s one-dimensional — but it’s a badass dimension! 🙂
    It’s hard for me to pick favorites with this series. I love Stephen King and I love fantasy; this whole series is like a dream come true for me. Can’t tell you how excited I was when he finally decided to finish it. The difference in the books between #1 and the rest is largely because King wrote The Gunslinger something like 15 years before he wrote Drawing. He knew it would be a long series, and he didn’t have the gumption to deal with finishing it after the first book; he writes about it in the Author’s Notes at the ends of the other books. (Which probably aren’t in the audiobook, huh?)
    Your last question is a key one, and the next book will resolve the issue. As to whether Roland will sacrifice Eddie or Susannah if and when the time comes, that will also become a major issue in the later books.
    I hope you like all of these books. I love ’em.
    Dad-a-chick? Dum-a-chum? Did-a-chock?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Dusty! How can I even argue with your enthusiasm for The Gunslinger! I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as you did. I can’t wait to keep reading this series and see where it is headed. PS. The audiobook narrator got the ‘Dad-a-chick? Dum-a-chum? Did-a-chock?’ down perfect! I got it stuck in my head after reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed book one or I would not have returned to read book 2. I read the first one as a western and the second one was more about character introduction for book 3 but I still liked it. 3 is somewhere on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

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