Literature: The Drawing of the Three

Preceded by The Gunslinger.

The Drawing of the Three is Book II of The Dark Tower series. It brings the action from a post-apocalyptic other world to ours — Roland Deschain, The Gunslinger, tries to draw a ka-tet of three to join in his quest: a drug addict, Eddie Dean; a woman with a Split Personality, Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker; and a man named Jack Mort.

Followed by The Waste Lands

The Drawing of the Three provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Eddie does this with Henry's severed head.
  • Asshole Victim: Jack Mort deserves what he gets.
  • Being Watched
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The "lobstrosities", large and dangerous crustaceans encountered by Roland on the shore of the Western Sea.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A knife-wielding man in the drug store tries to be this, but has the blade of his knife shot off first.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Roland does this to gangster Jack Andolini. The gun, however, explodes into Andolini's face. Later, he shoots a gun and a knife out of different people's hands in the same encounter.
  • Bond One-Liner: Roland gives Carl Delevan, an irresponsible police officer, one after knocking him unconscious:
    Roland: You're a dangerous fool who should be sent west. You have forgotten the face of your father.
  • Brick Joke: We first see a cop mocking Roland (in Jack Mort's body) about buying lavender handcuffs at a gun store. It's later explained that the handcuffs are primarily purchased by homosexuals practicing S & M.
  • Covers Always Lie: the Signet mass market cover makes it look as though the three doors that connect Roland's world to Earth are all right next to each other in the middle of an overgrown field, which certainly would have made things easier for Roland since he wouldn't have to trek across miles of lobstrosity-infested beach.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mostly by Eddie — Jarring after the first book's use of Precision F-Strike.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Detta and Jack Mort celebrate their mischief managed with a little Did-a-cheek.
  • Debut Queue
  • Decapitation Presentation: During the gunfight, one of Balazar's men throws Henry's head into the room to distract Eddie.
  • The '80s: Eddie is pulled from the eighties by Roland.
  • Epiphany Therapy
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: After killing the lobstrosity that eats his fingers, Roland spends several minutes stomping the shit out of it in rage. Then he sees his severed fingers in the wreckage and vomits.
  • Fingore: A lobster-like creature bites off most of Roland's right index and middle fingers at the beginning.
  • Fall of the House of Cards: Balazar's carefully constructed house of cards collapses without him noticing when Eddie begins talking about Henry.
  • Fat Bastard: Balazar, the crime lord. Doesn't help his case that he indulges in child pornography.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: We're repeatedly told that Jack Mort wears gold-rimmed glasses.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Eddie's naked gun skills earn Roland's praise.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Eddie involuntarily ceases to be a heroin addict when he's drawn into Roland's world, because there's no heroin there.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Roland drops Jack Mort under the same train that'd severed Odetta's legs. He gets run over the same as his victim, but several fatal inches higher up.
  • Handicapped Badass
    • Detta Walker, and, at the end, Susannah.
    • From this book on, Roland himself, as he loses two of his fingers.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Odetta objects to being referred as "black," because in her time, the neutral word was "Negro," and "black" was offensive.
  • Heroic BSOD: After taking his first sip of cola, Roland is so overwhelmed by the flavor that it clears all thoughts from his mind for a moment.
  • Hidden Depths: Roland realizes that Eddie could be more than a burn-out if given the opportunity.
  • I Ate WHAT?: When Roland is recovering from his illness and Eddy has to take care of him, Eddy keeps feeding Roland pieces of meat. At first Roland loves the taste... untill Eddy accidently lets it slip that the meat comes from the lobstrosities. Roland quickly gets over his revulsion though.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Roland gets this when his finger-stumps get infected. Subverted - Eddie hears his rattling cough and thinks he's on death's door. Roland catches Eddie's look and starts laughing, assuring him he's not done yet. He eventually gets better when he gets some antibiotics.
  • Jive Turkey: Detta's language, which is frequently called a phony mockery of African-American speech by Eddie.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Subverted.
  • Love at First Sight: Eddie almost immediately falls in love with Odetta shortly after meeting her.
  • The Mafia: Balazar is a big crime boss in New York. When Roland "draws" Eddie, Balazar is using Eddie's heroin addiction to manipulate him into smuggling cocaine.
  • Malaproper: Roland can't pronounce words like "aspirin" or "Keflex" correctly.
  • Meaningful Name: Jack Mort, a Serial Killer.
  • More Dakka: Deconstructed all to hell when Balazar's Mook tries to kill Eddie with a machine gun, whereupon King explains the real-life reasons why shooting automatic weapons at a specific target is ineffective — and why they tell you to fire a fully-automatic machine gun in short, controlled bursts.
  • Mundane Luxury: Sugar and paper are both very rare commodities in Roland's world, but in America they're common. He's also amazed by standard medicines like aspirin and keflex. The fact that you can walk into a shop and buy 150 rounds of ammunition pretty much blows his mind:
    One hundred and fifty rounds! Ye gods! What a mad storehouse of riches this world was!
  • One Degree of Separation: Jack Mort is the guy who dropped the brick on Detta's head. And pushed her in front of a train. And pushed Jake in front of the car that killed him. Very pushy, our Jack.
  • Pocket Protector: A lighter saves Jack Mort. Unfortunately for him, the fluid then catches fire. And Roland, controlling him, makes him jump on electrified tracks. In front of a train.
  • Rasputinian Death: Jack Mort. In the following order, he is: Shot. Set on fire. Thrown onto electrified train tracks. And bisected by a passing train.
  • Red Herring: The title. The third to be "drawn" is not Jack Mort, but the split Detta/Odetta personality.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Roland is able to save Jake from both deaths in the first book by stopping Mort from pushing him into traffic.
  • Serial Killer: Jack Mort. His method is to Make It Look Like an Accident; he throws bricks at people from old buildings or pushes them into the traffic. Since he plans his acts meticulously, he always gets away with it. Mort is also a successful accountant who wants to get ahead in his field; killing people is just his hobby.
  • The Sixties: Odetta is from 1964. Probably. Maybe. (See "Writers Cannot Do Math," below)
  • Short-Range Shotgun: A truly horrendous example pops up during the shootout in Balazar's office. One of the crime boss' mooks fires a shotgun at Eddie, and not only is the length of an office enough for the spread to be ineffective, but those pellets that do hit him merely sting. That's right, someone just on the other side of the room shoots Eddie in the chest with a shotgun, and it just stings a bit.
  • Split Personality
  • Writers Cannot Do Math
    • The dating of the segments with Odetta and Jack Mort is inconsistent. First, Odetta thinks that it's been three months since the assassination of JFK; that means it's February 1964. Not much later, it's stated that August 19, 1959 (when she lost her legs) was five and a half years before; that means it's February 1965. Also, after the time travel to the 1970s, it's first stated that Roland entered to Mort's head at most a few weeks before he would've killed Jake; that means it's 1977. Later, it's said that a character saw The Terminator nine years later; that means it's 1975. Later, it's stated that Odetta lost her legs three years ago; that means it's 1962.
    • There's a pretty bad geometry mess-up as well. Roland walks west until he reaches the western sea, then turns right to head north, which means the sea should be at his left. However, the text says that the sea is at his right, making it seem as though Roland somehow did a 180 degree turn without realizing it.