Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King

I’m impatiently waiting for lunch and bored out of my mind, so I’m going to do my last review... since I’m almost done with The Waste Lands and will have to do that one soon.


This had sequel syndrome, and I didn’t like it. I liked the beginning. I like Eddie as much as I liked Jake in The Gunslinger. I like how that was done. I did not like any part of the Odetta/Detta character, section, any of it. Partly, her repeated description as “schizophrenic” bugged the daylights out of me. Multiple personalities, Dissociative Identity Disorder, not schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia is characterized by profound disruption in cognition and emotion, affecting the most fundamental human attributes: language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self. The array of symptoms, while wide ranging, frequently includes psychotic manifestations, such as hearing internal voices or experiencing other sensations not connected to an obvious source (hallucinations) and assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events or holding fixed false personal beliefs (delusions).


That’s from the information page on schizophrenia.com. No where in there does it talk about more than one personality manifesting. Seriously, if you’re gonna write about it, research it! Aside from how poorly done her character(s) were, I couldn’t get over that point. If he’d stopped repeating it, I might have been able to move on. But he didn’t, and it still irks me. And the whole joining of the personalities, rather the way it was done, annoyed me because even with magic it was totally unbelievable.

I liked what Roland did to The Pusher though. That was pretty amazing in the badass sort of way... though I’m having trouble picturing how he shoved 150 .45 caliber bullets plus two bottles of penicillin into women’s underwear and ran through the train station on fire….

Eddie’s part of the story was really well done. The rest of it I really didn’t care for. He needed to spend time on the characters, and I realize that, but I thought it was badly done for the most part. Roland’s character made sense, though he often acted on knowledge that he shouldn’t have had, like with the “schizophrenic” personalities (seriously, dude, RESEARCH!) and how to act in our world.

The gunslinger’s world was interesting – giant killer lobsters and all. The concept of the doors was...not all that amazing and a little outside of the magic that was shown in The Gunslinger. The directions also kept annoying me. Walking north with the mountains to the east and the ocean to the west, the mountains should, by all rights, be on the right hand side, but instead they were on the left. I had two thoughts about this; either King and his editor have no sense of direction, or he’s messing with the cardinal directions (which is hardly fair to the reader, though not totally unexpected, when you’re also messing with time and distance). It’s the latter, thankfully, explained briefly by Roland in The Waste Lands when they make a make-shift compass. Apparently north is no longer north. I can deal with that.

Roland really seems like an obsessed fanatic, which he is, but you got a glimpse of him as a person in The Gunslinger, and the lack of that throughout The Drawing of the Three was sad. Given that it’s a sequel, and sequels usually suck, I gave the next book, The Waste Lands, a chance, and I’m glad I did. The Waste Lands is better. I could have gone without the second half of The Drawing of the Three, but I suppose something was necessary to explain the female character. I don’t like her presence even in The Waste Lands, but that’s likely because King has a habit in these books of writing all of his characters mostly the same. They may talk different, but their actions end up following the same logic, and their understanding of the world and how it runs are too similar. I don’t want three Rolands fighting to get to the Dark Tower. If there are three in a party, I want three different people, not all slices of the same.

Again, though, the first half is good, and it didn’t suck so much that I didn’t want to give the next book a chance. It did suck enough that I had to give the next book a chance instead of going “I want the next book, now!” so take that as you will.

Okay, lunchtime will be happening soon, and the headphones are going in. I can hear someone eating bread across the office. Gah!

1 comment:

Jeff Bricmont said...

Found this because I also was irked by the confusion about right and left with regards to the cardinal points. I think your ire at the overuse of the term schizophrenic may be a trifle unfair, though. Back in the 80's, there was a common misconception in the non-medical populace regarding that and many other psychiatric conditions. Schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder and dissociative disorders were frequently confused. Eddy, being a child of the times, would have blissfully followed the popular - and incorrect - terminology. It would have been strange if he had gotten it RIGHT! :)