Roland Deschain, fresh from the events of the Gunslinger, lies exhausted and poisoned on the shores of the ocean. In his delirium, he finds three doorways leading to our world and his new ka-tet. Will Roland survive long enough to bring his new ka-tet?
This is when the Dark Tower really started coming together. The first thing that happens really shocked the crap out of me. Damn lobstrosities! I had no idea what Roland was going to go through when I first opened this one.
The new characters are interesting, as are Roland's relationships with them. Eddie Dean, funnyman and heroin addict, is pretty codependent at first, while Detta/Odetta, a multiple personality in a wheelchair, really causes some havoc. Jack Mort, well... you just better read it.
The action in this one is great. The gunfight in Andolini's is one of my favorite Stephen King scenes of all time. While the Gunslinger got me interested in the Dark Tower, this one grabbed me for the long haul.
Thoughts from the April 2011 reread:
Upon yet another re-reading, it seems really illogical that Roland let himself fall asleep so close to the ocean. The battle between Roland and Eddie and Balazar's goons remains one of my favorite gunfights in the series. Susannah is still my least favorite of the ka-tet.
Thoughts from the April 2014 reread:
The beginning is still shocking. While I was pissed the first time I read it, it goes a long way toward the rest of the katet being necessary additions to the series. While the idea of Roland assaulting the Tower with both hands intact sounds awesome, I don't think it would be as good.
Detta gets my goat every time. While Susannah has some measure of redemption near the end of this book and in future books, I still look at her as the woman who did everything she could to sabotage the trip to the third door.
The gun fight at Balazar's is still great.