The Drawing of the Three is a book that varies greatly from its predecessor. The Gunslinger has a very narrow scope, like viewing something through aThe Drawing of the Three is a book that varies greatly from its predecessor. The Gunslinger has a very narrow scope, like viewing something through a close-up lens, with the occasional zoom out to allow for other things (in this case, characters other than Roland) to pop in for a brief visit before they leave, never to be heard from again. The Drawing of the Three is pretty much the exact opposite. We meet a handful of characters here that will be important to the story in the long run, and we get a fair bit more information about Roland's quest, and then occasionally, we zoom in to learn little details about Eddie and Odetta/Detta/Susannah, the people who will become Roland's new traveling companions, something Roland hasn't had for many and many-a.
I've always enjoyed this book, learning about the characters that will shape Roland's future is always nice to read about, but there is one thing that has always kept me from fully enjoying The Drawing of the Three the way I enjoyed The Gunslinger and the other books that followed.
That one thing has a name, and her name is Detta Walker.
Now, I know, Detta wasn't meant to be a lovable character, but neither were other villainous characters of other books, yet I still usually find my self appreciating the character that they are. I can't do it in this case. Detta drives me absolutely looney. I can't even bring myself to 'love to hate' her. About the only thing that keeps me going when reading long stretches about her is the fact that the characters seem to sympathize with me about the horrors of putting up with her. Last I checked, the the sympathy should be flowing in the opposite direction, yeah? Its a shame too, because Susannah is a fairly good female character, but the Detta part of her lurking around inside and occasionally jumping to the surface makes me like her less then I probably should, Tower Junkie that I am.
But, clearly, this isn't too huge of an issue for me. I've read the first few DT books more times than I can remember, which just goes to show that a Tower Junkie will take the bad in stride, just so long as they get the good. And The Drawing of the Three really is good....more
I have my mother to thank for my love of Stephen King, probably for being a nut for the horror genre in general, too. I used to sneak out of my room aI have my mother to thank for my love of Stephen King, probably for being a nut for the horror genre in general, too. I used to sneak out of my room at night and sit and watch the horror movies (most notably, Alien) that she'd watch after my sister and I were put to bed. Many years later, I'd find out she knew all along, but was content to let me give myself nightmares if that's what a chose. So I guess it isn't all that surprising that she started letting me read her Stephen King books at a young age, after I'd made it perfectly clear that the books intended for my age group were stupid and too easy to read. I was like a garbage disposal for books in those days, I flew through them, gobbled them up, and wanted more. There were certain books of King's she still wouldn't let me read, Gerald's Game was one I distinctly remember not being able to read until I was able to drive to a bookstore or library of my own accord, but there were a handful she was happy to let me at. As a reader herself, she was all too happy to help fan the fire in her daughter.
The Gunslinger wasn't the first King book I read, I know there were a couple others, but it is without a doubt the first one that really stuck to me. There were so many things that flew over my head at that young age, things that I wouldn't fully pick up on for a couple more readings, but there was one thing I knew for sure: Roland was like no other character that I had read of before. And many years later (almost twenty of them) I still think he is like no other.
Roland is not a good man (nor a hero). Roland is not a bad man (nor a villain). Roland is just a man. Ok, maybe not just a man, but I think you know what I mean. I'm always drawn to this kind of character in books, because they do not fret over right and wrong (something, I think that is such a waste of time) but whether something needs to be done or not done. Roland does what needs to be done, and sometimes, sadly, it comes at the expense of others, which is something that does not go unnoticed, or without grieving (in his own way). Its clear to me that Roland is saddened (again, in his own way) by some of the things he has to do, but he sees that if he doesn't, greater harm may come in the future. It's a shitty duty to have thrust upon his shoulders, but it is a duty that Roland caries none the less, no matter how often that duty threatens to break him.
Now, you may think I am doing other characters of The Gunslinger a disservice by making no mention of them here, but I do that for two reasons. One, to avoid spoilers, and two, because while there are some other wonderful characters, their importance is less here than in other books (with the exception of Jake). I've always found that the important thing in this book was making a connection with Roland, you learn to love him, or hate him. And if you love him, you keep reading, and if you don't, you put the series aside, maybe try again later; all else but Roland is secondary in The Gunslinger. There is time to appreciate other characters later, this book is Roland's time to make an impression.
I've read The Gunslinger enough times to have lost count, but this is the first time I've read the expanded and edited edition. I have to say, I like it, and don't think there is anything wrong with going back and making some necessary edits. With a tale as long and winding as the Dark Tower Series is, it's not surprising to me that there may be some inconsistencies here and there, and there is nothing wrong with going back and fixing a few things up so it all jibes right for readers (old and new, alike). If what I've read is true, and King goes through with editing the other book of the series, I will be looking forward to reading those expanded and edited editions as well, because once a Tower Junkie, always a Tower Junkie. Ain't that the truth, say thankya....more
**spoiler alert** Fair warning: This contains spoilers for the reviewed book as well as other books in the Dark Tower Series.
When I first heard of The**spoiler alert** Fair warning: This contains spoilers for the reviewed book as well as other books in the Dark Tower Series.
When I first heard of The Wind Through the Keyhole, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was excited as all hell. The Dark Tower series and all of its associated books had been a part of my life for so long that I was thrilled to have another opportunity to read about the characters I had grown up with. I'd read The Gunslinger for the first time around the age of eleven, about a decade after it had first been published, but it was a new thing to me and I loved it (even if perhaps some things flew over my young head during that first reading). It took almost fifteen years for Stephen King to finish the series from the time I had first read of the Gunslinger. For others, like my mother, the wait had been ten years longer. So much time was invested by both the Author and his Constant Readers, and when it was over, the last thing I really wanted was for that to be the end. So, to hear that there was more, that there was another story (or in this case, stories) to be told, I was delighted.
But, for much the same reasons, I was also vary wary. With so much invested into these characters, especially Roland, who will always been my favorite fictional character, I was afraid that if the story bombed, it would dash all of the grandeur that had come before it. Even as the book downloaded onto my Kindle, I was thinking to myself What if I don't like it? What if it turns out to be nothing but a cheap attempt to make more cash by using names so many readers have put so much stock in? What if? What if? What if?
But I suppose, since you can see the rating I've given, all this dithering is really unnecessary. Clearly, I liked it. Loved it, in fact and not just because my favorite band of travelers is back, since, quite frankly, they don't really figure in much in The Wind Through the Keyhole. Except for Roland. Roland always figures in.
To put it simply, The Wind in the Keyhole is doing its impersonation of Inception. The central focus of the book is a story within a story within a story. Three stories deep, things can get dangerous, and in the titular tale, there are indeed many dangers faced by Tim Ross, a boy on a quest to restore his mother's eyesight after she survives a savage beating at the hands of her second husband (both the quest to save one's mother and the story of the beaten woman should be familiar themes for Constant Readers). The adventures of Tim Ross are being told to a young boy (who's just lost his father) by young Roland (who's only recently killed his mother), and the story of the storytelling is being told by adult Roland (who's pretty much lost everything at this point, except his newly formed ka-tet) to the aforementioned ka-tet (almost all of whom will die in the course of Roland's quest).
Man! It's a wonder we don't all curl up in sad little balls after reading these stories! But copious amounts of death aside, the book really is a wonderful read. It is, in essence, filler (but not the bad kind), a way to bridge the gap between books four and five, and a chance for King to return to characters he thought he'd long since finished writing about. There is not much here to give insight to the events that will follow, but there are bits and pieces that sort of round out things that have happened, especially in regards to Roland's younger days.
But more importantly, it is, plain and simple,a wonderful bit of storytelling.
And for that, I say: Thankee, Sai King. Thankee
(And now I have a feeling that all other books will be put aside so I can reread the Dark Tower books. It's been too long since last I turned their pages. Two years, at least...for shame!)...more
I’ve always said Stephen King is the master of the short story, and really, with the exception of some of his longer works, short stories are where heI’ve always said Stephen King is the master of the short story, and really, with the exception of some of his longer works, short stories are where he truly shines, if for no other reason than he doesn’t really have the time and space to drift off into literary ramblings (and I say that as a huge Stephen King fan). In my opinion, Everything’s Eventual and Just After Sunset are his best collections of short stories. This one, Skeleton Crew falls to the bottom of the list for me.
The good stories here are damned good, and that’s why I’m giving it a four star rating, they are worth the purchase and the time spent to read them. The bad ones felt more like a chore to read for me, I’ve read them before, and reading them again didn’t make them get any better. But hey, that’s how it goes sometimes. Besides, this is an older collection, and really, he just gets better from here on out.
The stories I found enjoyable were: The Mist, Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut, The Jaunt, The Wedding Gig, Word Processor of the Gods, The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands, Beachworld (this one felt like a new age version of H.P. Lovecraft rising from the depths, I loved it and found it very chilling for some reason), Survivor Type, and The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet. Your results may vary....more
The Long Walk has always been not just one of my favorite Stephan King books, but one of my favorite books in general. I just finished reading it forThe Long Walk has always been not just one of my favorite Stephan King books, but one of my favorite books in general. I just finished reading it for the first time in a few years, and it was just as moving and unbelievably insane as it was all of the other times I’ve read it. I remember the first time I read it, and how shocked I was when I realized what “getting your ticket” actually meant. I enjoy reading dystopian novels, so, maybe, I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t.
I’ve always felt this was one of King’s best works because it is very human. There’s no crazy clown or other supernatural entity that can be blamed for what goes on in The Long Walk, just the degradation of society and that is scarier then anything else could be, as far as I’m concerned.
King’s writing (or Bachman’s, if you prefer) is excellent here, even if I didn’t like the story, I think I’d still give a kudos for the writing. It’s hard not to feel every cramp and ache that the boys in this story feel, the writing completely envelops you, draws you in and makes you feel, and that’s what good writing is all about....more
**spoiler alert** Man oh man oh man. I wish someone had told me this was dark tower related back when I first got my Kindle, I would have eaten up thi**spoiler alert** Man oh man oh man. I wish someone had told me this was dark tower related back when I first got my Kindle, I would have eaten up this story on the spot. Low Men, Pink Kindles, and Pardox Laws, oh my!
The emotions in this story were so tangable, I felt the same excitement the characters felt as they discovered the works of Hemingway and Shakespeare that were never know to our universe, and I felt the same dread that Wesley felt as he first lay eyes upon the low men's flashy red Caddie in the parking lot. I could feel the urges that Wesley had to keep reading and reading all of the new, amazing works he was coming across (if that were my Kindle, I never would have left the house again!). And I nearly yelled at my damned Kindle when Wesley and Robbie decided to take action to keep the school bus from getting hit. If there is anything I've learned from reading, it's that you don't mess with Paradox inducing events, ESPECIALLY if low men are going to be sent after you. And now I shudder at the thought of that super powerful Kindle in the hands of the Crimson King.
Gah, what an amazing, easy to read, gripping piece of fiction!
King really is the master of the short story, but this one falls somewhere inbetween. The structure was interesting, but the end seemed rushed, it couKing really is the master of the short story, but this one falls somewhere inbetween. The structure was interesting, but the end seemed rushed, it could have been better, but it could have been worse. I am, however, very glad King has decided to get in on the Kindle Singles market, and I hope he continues to put out these great little short stories in the future....more
Probably the best of King's recent work, and in my opinion the best of his non Dark Tower centric books. I enjoyed everything about this book, from thProbably the best of King's recent work, and in my opinion the best of his non Dark Tower centric books. I enjoyed everything about this book, from the characters and the locations to the lore behind the paintings and history of Duma Key. It was really nice to be in a new location for a SK book and I hope that King decides to branch out to new places in the future (or even return to Florida).
King's fluidity and wonderful descriptions were abundant in Duma Key without being too drawn out as they can sometimes be. Horror and the fantastical mix here, which gives the story a bit of a Lovecraftian feel while still remaining a book that feels oh so very Stephen King.
A must read for any Constant Reader, but even non King Fans can enjoy this, I think. ...more
King seems to have accomplished exactly what he set out to do with this collection of short stories: to write about ordinary people in extraordinary sKing seems to have accomplished exactly what he set out to do with this collection of short stories: to write about ordinary people in extraordinary situations and to give a realistic depiction of what these people might do when faced with unbelievable circumstances.
A Good Marriage is probably my favorite of the four stories as I have a fascination with reading about serial killers (real or fictional), so to read about a serial killer's wife who didn't know what he was up to (at least not right away) was a nice little twist.
I still prefer King's Everything's Eventual and Just After Dark when it comes to short stories, but Full Dark, No Stars is still full of good reading....more