title: Doctor Sleep
genre: paranormal horror
first line: On the second day of December in a new year when a Georgia peanut farmer was doing business in the White House, one of Colorado’s great resort hotels burned to the ground.
rated: 5 stars
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
Hello all, I am still here and after taking a few weeks off blog-land I figured I’d come back with my thoughts on Doctor Sleep which is the sequel to The Shining. I first read The Shining over a decade ago, when I was finally brave enough to. So when Doctor Sleep was published in 2013, I re-read The Shining in order to refresh my memory before picking up this sequel. Meanwhile, here I am finally reading the sequel six years later. Did The Shining need a follow up? Not really because it had an ending. But I was still curious to see where King would take the story. In an interview I heard him say that Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining novel, not a sequel to the film since the two are different in many ways and he didn’t like the film version.
Mild spoilers ahead….
So, in Doctor Sleep Dan Torrence is now an adult, he still has the “shining” his psychic abilities and although he promised himself he wouldn’t follow his father’s footsteps and become an alcoholic, he unfortunately has.
There are plenty of ghosts old and new visiting Dan and the drinking helps ease the horror of that for him. One of the scariest things in The Shining was the woman in the bathtub and she makes an appearance in this second novel. As an adult, Dan has honed his abilities and he now knows how to control these evil spirits and how to make them go away for the most part. He finally winds up in AA, gets his life together and works in a hospice. Dan is known as Doctor Sleep because he helps those dying to pass on peacefully. He senses when they are going to pass away and he comes to their side so they are not alone in the end.
Also in the plot is Abra Stone, who was born with a caul and has very strong psychic and telekinetic abilities. She and Dan have a kind of link to each other. Before even meeting they communicate throughout the years using their psychic abilities. As an infant Abra reaches out to Dan telepathically.
King gives this novel much more of a paranormal twist than the first. There is a group of strange people who call themselves The True Knot. These people reminded me of vampires, they are old and no longer human, they suck the life out of kids who have psychic abilities in order to stay alive. They live nomadic lives, traveling in RV’s and not staying in the same place for long so no one notices or suspects them. This cast of characters were pretty evil and they had my heart racing during several scenes.
I really enjoyed Doctor Sleep , it was entertaining, creepy and had me on the edge of my seat. I even got misty eyed during one scene at the end and there was a plot twist I did not see coming. I was curious to see what became of Danny and his mom Wendy after they left the Overlook. I rooted for Dan and I didn’t want him to sink back into his drinking. You see him struggle with his demons throughout the story. This is a story about old ghosts, literally and figuratively and about good vs evil. I also liked the nods to IT throughout the book.
At over 500 pages I breezed through this novel in four days. I did find the middle section dragged a little but it didn’t deter from my enjoyment overall. This was just what I needed to pick me up out of my reading slump. I look forward to watching the film version due out this year. I recommend Doctor Sleep but I do recommend reading The Shining first.
“Life was a wheel, and it always came back around.”
p.526, Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
“And people change. The man who wrote Doctor Sleep is very different from the well meaning alcoholic who wrote The Shining, but both remain interested in the same thing: telling a kickass story.”- Stephen King
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I purchased my copy of Doctor Sleep. The book picture here is my own.
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