The Doors On The Beach In Stephen King's "The Drawing Of Three" (Spoiler Potential)

In The Drawing of Three, Roland finds three magic doors, each of which opens into our world (sort of). If I remember correctly, only Roland can open these doors. In other words, the doors are exclusively for Roland. I think I understand what the doors are; what I want to know is who put them on the beach for Roland to find and why. It seems kind of funny for Stephen King to have his main character just sort of stumble upon something so major and not really explain it.

Thoughts? Answers?

I think the implication is that the doors were other gates that connected the worlds. Roland tells the group later that there are doors to other worlds all over his world connected by “the beam”. I guess the answer for the doors would be ka, pure and simple.

Sometimes it’s better left unexplained, mysterious. When a writer explains something, it’s usually accompanied by rules. But when you leave it open, you can do pretty much anything you want with it later on.

Have you read From a Buick 8? Major unexplaining going on there, and it works perfectly.

I don’t know where they came from, but I know where they went: Into the script of “Being John Malkovich”. One is a clear ripoff of the other.

Oh, shit. John Malkovich is The Dark Tower!

Does The Beam follow him? Does this mean that Malkovich should play Flagg?

BTW: King expands the universe of The Tower in “Hearts in Atlantis”. Very interesting stuff, and now the bastard is retiring.

I see where you’re coming from, but I have two points of contention:

  1. Little doors that take you into another world long predate either work. King was probably inspired by Alice, or by a scene in Ghost Story, the 1981 book written by his good friend Peter Straub.

  2. It is possible for more than one person to come up with the same idea without it being plagiarism. If you have proof that Kaufman ripped off King, then post it; otherwise, pick your words with more care.

In book IV Roland and company travel into a world recognizable as that where The Stand takes place.

If this is an example of the same phenomenon, then it’s obviously much less literal than the door in Drawing of the Three.

I haven’t read Drawing of the Three in a long time, there must be a site or sites out there that would answer (or at least try to answer) your question though. The answer you seek may appear in one of the remaining three Dark Tower books.

Oh, like we haven’t heard that before! I don’t doubt that King means it when he says he’s retiring, I just think that when it comes to the sticking point, he can’t bring himself to do it! IMHO, it’s been a long time since he wrote for the money. He writes because, in his own words, “to not write is to be a monkey”. IOW, he writes cuz he’s a writer, and that’s what writers do! So that old thing about retiring? I’ll believe it when I see it!

Well, he’s finished writing the “Dark Tower” stuff, and it’s all scheduled for publication.

I understand that what he means when he says “I’m retiring” is that he’ll stop signing contracts that pay him $50 million for writing 10 books in 8 years or some such. I guess he felt he was just cranking them out. Having read them, I guess I agree.

I expect he’ll follow his muse and books will pop out, just on his schedule, in the future.

Perhaps the Doors were contained thinnies?

Well, no. Unless there are thinnies that can be summoned (they had to draw a Door in The Waste Lands). Also, remember that the Doors went into people, not their worlds (except for the Door that . So, while there are means of travelling between levels of The Tower (see Insomnia and Wizard and Glass/The Stand), the Doors were special. Especially the one in The Waste Lands, that didn’t go into someone.

Perhaps we should accept the advice of Lucy Lawless: when there’s something that we can’t explain, a wizard did it. Sometimes, that wizard is named Flagg.

  1. it’s not little doors that take you into another world. It’s little doors that take you into a first-person view from inside somebody else’s head, with the ability to take over their actions and act in their stead.

  2. Get over yourself. To quote another great mind, “You want cites? P*ss on your cites. Sometimes at the Straight Dope we just know.” Pick my words with more care. :rolleyes:

Watch me pick my words: Ripoff, ripoff, ripoff.

And since writing on “Malkovich” was completed in 1998, and The Drawing of the Three was published in 1989, I think I know who ripped off whom.

The quote from King is that he’s going to keep writing, but not publish. He’ll probably relent on that a little, so I suspect you’re right and from now on, he’ll just publish what he wants, when he wants.

Didn’t Jack find a door on his side, during the third book?

Roland had killed Jack in his world, which meant Jack was still alive in his own world. Both were going insane, and Jack felt drawn to a haunted house, the same place Eddie and his brother hung out.

Susannah kept the monster occupied while Roland and Eddie opened the door and pulled Jack into their world, resolving the paradox both were feeling.

So, I think, since the four are integral to rescuing the Tower, they must have access to the doors.

I can’t help you with the three doors, since it’s been so long since I’ve read those. I’m kind of waiting for the finale to be published, so I can go back and read it all.

Just wanted to make a point about King’s retirement: He does have Macular Degeneration, ya know. I’m thinking he’ll keep publishing until he’s fully blind, at which point, he’ll probably start using some voice recognition software. Going blind isn’t the end of the world, but as a writer and voracious reader, it would certainly put a damper on my lifestyle.

Well, they do have some nice new treatments for macular degeneration, even the dry kind, these days. I expect they can stabilize his vision for the most part. I hope so, anyway.

Well, it has been a while since I read the ‘Dark Tower’ books but I seem to remember that the doors opened to different realities. For example, IIRC, the book “The Talisman” was tied into the Dark Tower series.

Wasn’t the cop Jake in the latest book a grownup version of Jake from the ‘Talisman’?

ACK…My mind is blowing up…the possibilities are endless.


sleestak, the cop is Jack, not Jake. The book is Black House. It is indeed a sequel to Talisman, although it has a totally different feel to it, if you know what I mean. It also has even more tie-ins to Dark Towers than Talisman had.

I would imagine King can touchtype at this stage?
I don’t really see impending blindess having any particular effect on his ability to ouput books, apart from the fact that he might be busier, or not feel like it or whatever.

A couple of thoughts before coffee (please excuse if jumbled)

I do not know who put the doors there for Roland to find, but I do remember they were predicted (via Tarot) by Walter, the man in black. In my opinion who/whatever placed the doors there is above Flagg in the hierarchy that King establishes in these books (the Crimson King perhaps…but I’m guessing not)

(nitpick: Jake is from the Dark Tower series. Jack is from the Talisman/Black House…I would not be surprised if these two had some connection–didn’t Jack find a door in the Talisman? Right about the time he brought Richard Sloat)

again, sorry if this is jumbled

I guess my problem with the doors was my fear that, as Alias suggested, the answer might just come down to ka, which to me seemed to be something of a ripoff. I mean, a hero not just stumbling across something as fantastic as gateways to other worlds, but gateways that only he could use? Yeah, right. Then I read Jorel’s post and remembered that “the three” were talked about in the first book. I guess I forgot about the foreshadowing and read Roland’s discovery of the doors as a big, happy, implausible coincidence. Cool. Now it’s a little easier for me to suspend my disbelief. Still, I hope King does explain the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the doors somewhere between The Wastelands (where I am now) and the end.

Regarding King’s retirement: bwahahahaha! From what I gather, Stephen King has been writing thousands of words a day since he was a kid. Even if King does lose his eyesight (and I sure hope he doesn’t), I think he’ll find some way to keep cranking out a few thousand words a day. It seems to be a compulsion for him. How often he PUBLISHES, though, is an entirely different matter . . . I’ve not read the quotes that Evil Death and the friendly neighborhood Mercotan seem to have, but the what they say in their posts makes sense to me. I’ll be very disappointed in King ever does stop writing for good because he’s one of my favorite authors.