Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Published by Simon and Schuster on June 10th 2014
Genres: Fiction, General, Horror, Supernatural, Suspense, Thrillers
Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. 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 spunky twelve-year-old 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 devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.
Another fabulous book by Stephen King. This is a perfectly executed sequel to The Shining.
I love that little Danny Torrance has grown up and manages to get some hard sobriety time in AA. In the afterword King speculates what might have happened to Jack Torrance if he had found AA instead of trying the ‘white-knuckled method’ of sobriety. Danny’s ‘bottom’ is powerfully written and is a story that many struggling with addiction can relate to.
I would have loved to get more time in with old Dick Halloran, but I guess this wasn’t really his story anyway.
Rose the Hat and The True Knot were formidable foes for Danny and Abra, also just scary people.
I found The Shining scarier for different reasons. King really addressed serious family issues and the horror that addiction can wreak upon people. Doctor Sleep is excellent and definitely worth the read but it lacks some of the depth and power that The Shining has because Danny, while always struggling (as addicts are forever doomed to do ) to stay sober, does stay sober, and while his ‘bottom’ is terrifying and terrible, it’s nothing compared to what Jack Torrance’s bottom was. (That is, of course, almost murdering his family while employed as a winter caretaker at a certain Overlook Hotel.)
Anyway, read it. It does not disappoint.