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Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. On highways across America, a tribe of people called The Tr Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-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 12-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 hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.


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Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. On highways across America, a tribe of people called The Tr Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-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 12-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 hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

30 review for Doctor Sleep

  1. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    (Disclosure: I used to work at Stephen King's publisher and read Doctor Sleep in December 2012.) Get ready. If I can make just one recommendation: whether you're a longtime King fan or fairly new to his stuff, it wouldn't be the worst thing to read The Shining before you get your hands on Doctor Sleep. Seasoned fans know that the movie, while engrossing in its own right, is very different in many ways, and doesn't even begin to plumb the psychological depths that the book does. You could read and love Doctor Sleep wit (Disclosure: I used to work at Stephen King's publisher and read Doctor Sleep in December 2012.) Get ready. If I can make just one recommendation: whether you're a longtime King fan or fairly new to his stuff, it wouldn't be the worst thing to read The Shining before you get your hands on Doctor Sleep. Seasoned fans know that the movie, while engrossing in its own right, is very different in many ways, and doesn't even begin to plumb the psychological depths that the book does. You could read and love Doctor Sleep without doing so, but I think people's experiences of this sequel will only be enriched by first checking out one of the mothers of all horror novels.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    There is a boy (now a man) a girl, a band of baddies with a charismatic leader, a coalition of the willing, battles to be fought, supernatural elements and magical powers. Stephen King was at this long before Harry Potter lived under the stairs. He has a preternatural (not to say supernatural) talent for writing kids, and can keep you turning pages, losing sleep, and getting back late to work from your lunch breaks. from King’s site We will presume for the purposes of this review that you have read, There is a boy (now a man) a girl, a band of baddies with a charismatic leader, a coalition of the willing, battles to be fought, supernatural elements and magical powers. Stephen King was at this long before Harry Potter lived under the stairs. He has a preternatural (not to say supernatural) talent for writing kids, and can keep you turning pages, losing sleep, and getting back late to work from your lunch breaks. from King’s site We will presume for the purposes of this review that you have read, or at least seen one version of The Shining. If you have not, read no further, as there are details here that would be considered spoilerish were they to appear in a review of that book. And if you have not read The Shining you should probably do so before taking on Doctor Sleep, a sequel. Ok, everyone here has read The Shining, yes? All right, but we are using the honor system here, and do not want to ruin the fun of reading that one for anyone. So, as long as you’re sure… At the end of The Shining, three people survive the carnage, Danny Torrance, a five year old with a special gift, Wendy Torrance, Danny’s mother and newly widowed wife of the late Jack Torrance, and Dick Halloran, an employee of The Overlook and possessor of a gift like Danny’s, one that allowed him to hear Danny’s psychic 911 call and return from his home in Florida in time to do something about it. What happened next? King does not typically do sequels, if one does not count books that are part of a planned series, but Every now and then somebody would ask, ‘Whatever happened to Danny?’ I used to joke around and say, ‘He married Charlie McGee from Firestarter and they had these amazing kids!’ But I did sort of wonder about it. – (from EW)One of the central features of The Shining was Jack’s Torrance’s battle with alcoholism. As with the real world, King’s fictional realm notes that alcoholism runs in families. And one of the criticisms of The Shining was that the possibility of Jack considering getting some help from AA is never even raised. If King has ever considered that to have been an oversight, I have not seen that interview. But it is clear that he has given the matter some thought. Jack Torrance never tries Alcoholics Anonymous. That is never even mentioned in "The Shining." He has what they call white-knuckle sobriety. He's doing it all by himself. So, I wondered what it would be like to see Danny first as an alcoholic, and then see him in AA. (from an NPR Interview) Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance in the film It gives nothing away to let you know that Danny is a true Torrance. Not only does he self-medicate to quiet the terrors that still haunt him, he is far from the best person he can be.I knew if I did this sequel I’d have to try to put together some of the same elements, but at the same time I didn’t want to make it too similar. I didn’t want to make Danny a grown up with kids of his own, and try to replicate that whole losing-your-temper-because-you’re-drunk thing. But I did think to myself: ‘Not only alcoholism can be a family disease, but rage can be a family disease.’ You find that the guys who abuse their children were abused themselves as kids. That certainly fit Danny as I knew him. – from EW All SK novels require a baddie, or a set of them. No disappointment here. King has again succeeded in taking the ordinary and making it horrifying.Driving back and forth from Maine to Florida, which I do twice a year, I’m always seeing all these recreational vehicles — the bounders in the Winnebagos. I always think to myself, ‘Who is in those things?’ You pass them a thousand times at rest stops. They’re always the ones wearing the shirts that say ‘God Does Not Deduct From a Lifespan Time Spent Fishing.’ They’re always lined up at the McDonald’s, slowing the whole line down. And I always thought to myself, ‘There’s something really sinister about those people because they’re so unobtrusive, yet so pervasive.’ I just wanted to use that. It would be the perfect way to travel around America and be unobtrusive if you were really some sort of awful creature. – from EW This wandering band call themselves The True Knot. They feed on the essence of those gifted with the sort of talent people like Danny possess. It provides them with extraordinary longevity, but as with their Transylvanian counterparts, the need is ongoing and the supply is limited. Like right-wing politicians they are more than happy to gorge on the pain of others and are shown here feasting on the spirits set adrift on 9/11. The usual condiments for this substance they call steam will not do. The taste and benefit is enhanced, however, if their victims endure extreme and prolonged torture. Does Ted Cruz drive a Winnebago? King gives the members Damon Runyon-esque names, like Crow Daddy, Steamboat Steve and Tommy the Truck. By the time you finish reading Doctor Sleep you might have a new image of the top hat to consider next time you are planning a formal night out. We all have one, probably this one: But the baddie in Stephen King’s latest is likely to do for the top hat what this guy did for the derby. Rose O’Hara, the leader of a group called The True Knot, won’t leave home without it. It adds a nice visual element, calling to mind a certain Caribbean Baron, and making Rosie even more riveting. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose the Hat- from the film And what of our young heroine? Abra is born with a shining of prodigious proportions. (btw, the name Abra was inspired by Abra Bacon, a character in East of Eden) She manages to send out a signal even when she is newly arrived. She’s a good kid, despite scaring her parents on occasion with tricks like making all the silverware in the kitchen take to the air, or causing the odd earthquake when she does a mental Bruce (or if you prefer, David) Banner. Don’t make her angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry. Bad-ass teen girl power fuh shoo-uh. But, just as Danny needed Dick Hallorann and Tony, Abra needs help as well. That she and Danny will team up is a foregone conclusion. As for Danny, the shining never left him, despite his attempts to wipe it out with spirits of a different sort. But he finds the help he needs and manages to put his talent to good use. He works in a hospice, the Helen Rivington House, in Frazier, NH, easing the transition for those near death, with the assistance of a resident feline, and earning himself the name Doctor Sleep, which also serves to remind us of what his parents called him.…It is this moment of transition that Doctor Sleep deals with and the idea, like so many of King's, came from an incidental story in a newspaper. This one was about "a cat in a hospice that knows when people are going to die. He would go into that patient's room and curl up next to them. And I thought, that's a good advertisement for death, for the emissary of death. I thought, 'I can make Dan the human equivalent of that cat, and call him Doctor Sleep.' There was the book." – from an interview in The Guardian King has a bit of fun, naming the cat Azzie, short for Azreel, the archangel of death. Cute. Azzie - the real Doctor Sleep - image from TheReelBits.com What else do you need, really? Dark vs light, colorful baddies vs our everyman and everygirl. And that is indeed enough. But it is not all that King uses. He gives us a look at how people can really help people overcome, or at least handle their problems. When asked, in the NPR interview, whether his AA depictions were from personal experience, King says that the second part of AA stands for Anonymous, so he declined to offer a yes or no, however You could say, having read these two books and knowing that I was a very heavy drinker at the time that I wrote "The Shining," and I haven't had a drink in about 25 years now - you could draw certain conclusions from that…I've done a lot of personal research in these subjects. - from NPR interview AA figures very large in this story, is central really. And the wisdom one can find in AA permeates the novel, from the importance of recognizing that we need help from others, to accepting our past and dealing with it, a very strong, serious element. Kyleigh Curran as Abra Stone - image from the gww.com King sets the time of the events by referring to external realities, like who the president is, calls on contemporary cultural references, such as a mention of the Sons of Anarchy and a Hank Wiliams Jr song. He also mentions a variety of other writers in his travels, some approvingly, (John Sandford, George Seferis, Bernard Malamud, Bill Wilson) some not so much (the authors of the Twilight and Hunger Games series, and Dean Koontz and Lisa Gardner, although he may merely be playing with the latter two). He also drops in an Easter egg reference to Salem’s Lot and make two references (that I caught anyway) to his son, Joe’s, imagined world from Joe’s book, NOS4A2. It has been my experience with reading Stephen King that his conclusions sometimes offer a poor partner to the journey one takes in reaching them. That is much less the case here. The ending is not an alien spider disguised as Tim Curry with bad fashion sense or alien young playing with humans in a ham-fisted manner. And the journey is indeed fun. But I had some gripes. King gives Dick Hallorann a cameo here, which was fine, and the strongest of those. Tony returns for a look-see but goes alarmingly quiet at crucial moments. We could have used a lot more about Tony other than the weak explanation that is offered near the end. If the True Knot are so bad-ass, how come there are so few of them? There is an explanation offered of prey-predator stability of numbers, but I found that unpersuasive. And why the hell introduce (view spoiler)[Jack if he is not going to be a part of the action? (hide spoiler)] This is one that actively irked. Sequels present a danger. One of the things that is stimulating about any book, any story is newness. That is why most sequels are not as popular as their predecessors. It is hard to avoid a been-there-done-that problem when working atop existing material. The next story in line is unlikely to retain the sparkle, the shine of what went before. Given the constraints, Doctor Sleep fares better than most as a follow-on. There is enough distance in the story from the events of the past, and little enough overlap with those characters that the story seems fresh. When events from The Shining are mentioned, they do inform the current action and do not distract much. In fact there could have been more of that. So, in that way, this is a very nice addition. There is another element involved. Any event, any activity, is a product of the thing itself and of the perspective from which we view or participate in it. I read The Shining many years ago. I was an adult then, in my late twenties, and remember it as a VERY SCARY story. I have not come across much in horror lit that is still scary in that way, in the several decades since. I will not have any nights (on in my case days) of lost sleep because of the images King has proferred. But then, I am getting on, and am looking at those scary things with aging eyes. Someone younger (which would be almost all of you reading this) might find them far more frightening than I did. So while Doctor Sleep might not cause much by way of lost rest, it is good, mainstream Stephen King and thus, hardly a snooze. The Doctor of Horror is in. Wake up! Posted October 4, 2013 The film was released November 8, 2019 This review is cross-posted at Coot's Reviews =======In the summer of 2019 GR reduced the allowable review size by 25%. As a result it was necessary to export the EXTRA STUFF to Comment #5 below

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tiya Rosa

    A sequel, huh? I didn't feel much for Danny when I was going through The Shining since Jack Torrance pretty much had me by the balls, but I guess - this being a Stephen King book - I can give it a try. Oh, who am I kidding?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Dan: Hi, I was a total scumbag, meaning I once swiped a few bucks, a horrible horrible thing for which I'll never forgive myself, and, oh yeah, almost forgot, I used to get in bar fights all the time and I for all I know, I killed people during a blackout. Anyhoo, nowadays I'm heroic. Seriously, I'm pretty much a saint. I have magic powers and it never even crosses my mind to profit from them. Abra: Hi, I'm a totally normal teen, you can tell because of all my pop references! Game of Dan: Hi, I was a total scumbag, meaning I once swiped a few bucks, a horrible horrible thing for which I'll never forgive myself, and, oh yeah, almost forgot, I used to get in bar fights all the time and I for all I know, I killed people during a blackout. Anyhoo, nowadays I'm heroic. Seriously, I'm pretty much a saint. I have magic powers and it never even crosses my mind to profit from them. Abra: Hi, I'm a totally normal teen, you can tell because of all my pop references! Game of Thrones! Fruit Ninja! I'm also all heroic, like, totally! I also have no imagination at all, just like Dan. Both: Together, we fight crime! Rose: Hi, I'm Rose, I'm super scary! Did you notice how convenient it is that we can't fly in planes? I mean, convenient for the heroes, not for me. We also are too good to use guns, despite the fact that we're as easy to kill, if not easier, than an ordinary human. Seriously, how the hell did we survive in medieval Europe, when getting around was a serious ordeal? Especially when me and my gang are hilariously incompetent. Anyway, I have a really cool hat.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Reread with For Love Of A Book with pretty badge. I said I wanted this to be a movie after I read it... now the movie is coming out! I hope it’s good! MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List THIS BOOK IS FREAKING AWESOME! I love this is a sequel to The Shining and in the beginning of the book it goes into some things from when Danny was young. Even though Danny, his mom and Dick Halloram suListTHIS Reread with For Love Of A Book with pretty badge. I said I wanted this to be a movie after I read it... now the movie is coming out! I hope it’s good! MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List THIS BOOK IS FREAKING AWESOME! I love this is a sequel to The Shining and in the beginning of the book it goes into some things from when Danny was young. Even though Danny, his mom and Dick Halloram survived from the tragic and (scary-as-hell) events that happened at the Overlook Hotel, some of the ghosties come back to haunt Danny. As an adult Dan is traveling around, he's an alcoholic, and he finally lands in a nice little town. He's also trying to get sober. What I found in reading the book is that not only did Dan inherit the alcoholism from his father, he started drinking to stop the shining and the bad things it put in his head. But, from time to time his friend Dick's words would come back to him. --->EXCERPTS<--- It will never stop, Danny thought. The Overlook burned and the most terrible revenants went into the lockboxes, but I can't lock away the shining, because it isn't just inside me, it is me. Without booze to at least stun it, these visions will go on until they drive me insane. Then, like a flashlight beam in the dark, Hallorann's voice: Son, you may see things, but they're like pictures in a book. You weren't helpless in the Overlook when you were a child, and you're not helpless now. Far from it. Close your eyes and when you open them, all this crap will be gone. So Danny now Dan lives in the town of Frazier and is a groundskeeper for a little village called Teeny Town. He works with a man that turns out to be a good friend and fellow shiner named Billy Freeman. Billy doesn't have the shining as strong as Dan but it's still there. He gets him the job and the man that runs most of the town gets Dan in AA and it's all going good. Meanwhile, down the way little Abra Stone is born and she is born with a powerful shining. I just love her. She starts contacting Dan when she gets a little older. They are more connected than they know at first, but I'm not telling you what that is :-) A little bit later Dan starts working at Rivington House, it's an elderly home and he helps them when they are going to pass over. He's so very kind to these people and I love this about him. Then.... there are these evil bastards that call themselves the True Knot. They have been around for years, they pray on the deaths of kids with the shining. They suck in their steam. Yeah, it's a little crazy but I like this story line. I don't like these people and couldn't wait to see them strung up in their own knot. They also go to major disasters and stand around sucking in the steam of what I'm guessing anyone with the shining in them that were in the disaster. They have a leader that is the most evil of them all and she's coming after Abra. Beware Rosie the Hat, until she meets her match! I loved this book so much. Just to be taken back into the world of The Shining, I know it's not the same, but to have a book that continued The Shining was so wonderful. It turned out that the True Knot owned a campground that was set up where the Overlook used to be, that opened up a whole new can of worms. There IS something that happened there that brought a tear to my eye :-( I wish this one was a movie too!! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    Remember that psychic little kid in The Shining? Have you ever wondered what he’d be like as an adult after surviving a haunted hotel that drove his drunken father crazy and gave him a case of the redrums? If so, you’re in luck because Stephen King has now told us what happened to Danny Torrance, and he’s just as screwed up from his experience as you’d expect him to be. Like his father, Dan has grown up to be a bad tempered drunk, and he uses the booze to blot out his psychic powers as he dri Remember that psychic little kid in The Shining? Have you ever wondered what he’d be like as an adult after surviving a haunted hotel that drove his drunken father crazy and gave him a case of the redrums? If so, you’re in luck because Stephen King has now told us what happened to Danny Torrance, and he’s just as screwed up from his experience as you’d expect him to be. Like his father, Dan has grown up to be a bad tempered drunk, and he uses the booze to blot out his psychic powers as he drifts from town to town working menial jobs. The early part of the book focuses on Dan hitting bottom, and then trying to pull himself together with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. He winds up with a job as an orderly at a hospice where he earns the nickname of Doctor Sleep for his ability to provide an easier death for the patients. Dan becomes aware of a little girl named Abra with a shining ability that dwarfs his own, but unfortunately Abra has also come to the attention of group of vampire like creatures calling themselves the True Knot. They pretend to be humans who roam the country as a harmless pack of tourists in RVs while they track down and feed on the psychic energy collected from torturing children with the shining, and Abra would be like an all-you-can-eat buffet to them. This book is almost two separate stories. One is about Dan Torrance struggling to come to terms with the legacy of his father, his abilities and his alcoholism. The other is about the battle to save a little girl from a pack of vicious monsters. King does a decent job of trying to make these two tales intersect while revisiting some elements from The Shining, but it ends up feeling like less than the sum of its parts. Frankly, I was far more interested in Dan’s battle with the bottle than another Stephen King story about a child in danger from a supernatural threat. It’s not that Abra vs. the True Knot is bad. There’s a lot of genuinely creepy dread to be mined from a pack of psychic vampires roaming the country while posing as harmless middle aged farts, and King knows how to milk every drop out of that concept. And I liked the character of Abra a lot. The idea of a powerfully psychic young girl with a bit of a mean streak was great. Kinda like if Carrie White would have had decent parents and a happy childhood. In fact, Abra’s a little bit too powerful because she seems fully capable of kicking ass even during her first encounter with the True Knot. So while there’s a lot of nice build-up, most of what happens seems anti-climatic. (view spoiler)[ Abra and Dan pretty much settle the True Knot’s hash with only minor injuries to a supporting character and no real lasting damage. That just seems weird in a Stephen King novel which generally feature wholesale carnage and a lot more collateral damage from the bad guys. (hide spoiler)] Plus, while there’s some callbacks to The Shining, they mostly feel tacked on, as if King had this basic idea and then figured out ways to work in Dan’s history where he could. It’s not really organic and doesn’t seem necessary. I also think there’s a gaping plot hole in the True Knot’s key motivation to grab Abra and their scheme. (view spoiler)[ Supposedly the TKs have been around for a very long time, and yet it’s the measles they get from taking the steam from a kid that sickens them so that they think they need Abra because she’s been vaccinated. So in all their years of kid killing, including back in olden days of yore, they never snatched a kid with measles or chicken pox or polio or typhoid or something? And somehow all the children they’ve taken in modern times weren’t vaccinated against measles? None of this made a lot of sense to me. (hide spoiler)] One word of warning for those who have only seen the movie and not read the book, King is basing this on his version, not the film and there a couple of significant differences. (I got a laugh that King couldn’t resist taking yet another shot at the Kubrick adaptation in the author’s note afterwards. I don’t think he’s ever getting over his dislike of the movie.) Also, I listened to the audio version of this, and the narration by Will Patton is simply outstanding. I feared the idea of King returning to one of his best known works, but it turned out to be a remarkably solid effort with a lot of things I liked about it. I only wish that that I’d have found the rest of the book as compelling as finding out what kind of man the kid from the Overlook Hotel grew up to be.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dan Torrance grew up to be an alcoholic, just like his father. But now he's in recovery and working in a hospice where he uses his Shine to comfort people when they die. But what is his connection to a young girl named Abra Stone? And what does The True Knot, a traveling group of RV people, want with her? After all the glimpses shown in NOS4A2, I knew I'd be reading this one hot off the presses. Was I disappointed? Well, I don't think it was a home run. I loved the story of Dan To Dan Torrance grew up to be an alcoholic, just like his father. But now he's in recovery and working in a hospice where he uses his Shine to comfort people when they die. But what is his connection to a young girl named Abra Stone? And what does The True Knot, a traveling group of RV people, want with her? After all the glimpses shown in NOS4A2, I knew I'd be reading this one hot off the presses. Was I disappointed? Well, I don't think it was a home run. I loved the story of Dan Torrance, recovering from his experience at the Overlook with his parents in The Shining, only to become an alcoholic just like his old man. His road to recovery was well done and I loved how the connection to Abra Stone unfolded. Dan's friends were well done and I found myself dreading which one of them would die at the bloody conclusion, as is the fate of many Stephen King supporting cast members. There were some nice Easter eggs in Doctor Sleep. Charles Manx, Castle Rock, the Dark Tower, and probably a few others I've already forgotten. When Dan got a job at TeenyTown, I had flashbacks of Joyland. Maybe Joyland started life as a fragment of Doctor Sleep that got cut out like a bad appendix. Also, I have a feeling Stephen King read a book about carnies and felt the need to work as much lingo into his work as possible. Another thing I loved was the True Knot. I love the idea of a bunch of psychic vampires riding around in RVs, draining kids of their Shine to rejuvenate them. Rosie the Hat was pretty vile and her compatriots were almost as bad. I almost feared for Abra Stone's life. Almost. My main problem with the book is that Abra was too damn powerful and I never thought for a moment that she wouldn't survive. When she outmaneuvers the bad guys at every turn, there's no sense of jeopardy. The ending was straight from the Nerf factory. I don't remember another Stephen King book where so many of the good guys survived the final encounter. Still, it was a fun read and there were some tense moments. We'll call it a 3.5.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    A very good Stephen King book. I went to see a concert last year featuring Joan Jett, Cheap Trick and Heart. Promoters called it the Hall of Fame tour because all three bands were in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was a great show, we had a blast. I got the impression that any of these talented professionals could put on a great show in their sleep. They’ve been doing it so long that they knew their craft as well as how to win over a crowd. Stephen King is also a wily old master craftsman who knows how to grab a A very good Stephen King book. I went to see a concert last year featuring Joan Jett, Cheap Trick and Heart. Promoters called it the Hall of Fame tour because all three bands were in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was a great show, we had a blast. I got the impression that any of these talented professionals could put on a great show in their sleep. They’ve been doing it so long that they knew their craft as well as how to win over a crowd. Stephen King is also a wily old master craftsman who knows how to grab a reader and hold him entranced for hundreds of pages. Hell, he’s practically a genre unto himself now, leaving behind the Horror and Fantasy schools for a stage just for him. And while I would agree that he, like Joan Jett and Ann Wilson, could put on a great show without trying very hard, I think he did put some extra effort into Doctor Sleep, his 2013 sequel to his 1980 masterpiece The Shining. While this takes off from where The Shining left off and then goes on to tell its own story, this is in many ways an amalgam of many of his best stories and returns to many of the themes that have made him one of our most successful writers. I noticed elements of Pet Sematary, Firestarter, and The Dead Zone. Besides trying to scare the heeby-jeebies out of us, King explores themes of family, life and death, extra sensory perceptions, and the demons that haunt us, paranormal and mundane. King, a recovering alcoholic, wrote The Shining as an alcoholic and Doctor Sleep speaks from this mature, embattled perspective. Sadly, but fittingly, little Danny Torrance becomes too much like his father and has succumbed to his inherited drinking problem. King shares with us, no doubt from much of his own experience, how Alcoholics Anonymous helps Dan Torrance survive and thrive in sobriety, but also shares Dan’s rock bottom and how this hidden secret gnaws at Torrance as much as the ghosts from the Overlook Hotel. In this way, King provides an allegory for secrets held and like so much of his writing, finds the horrific without delving too far into fantasy. We are our own worst enemies – and nightmares. Years after the tragedy at the Overlook, Dan Torrance is making his way from childhood to alcoholic despondency to an edgy and fragile temperance. Like most recovering alcoholics, he takes his life one step at a time, and one day at a time. And his gift of shining remains. Using his special abilities to help dying patients in a hospice, he has come to the sobriquet of Doctor Sleep. It is here that Dan discovers a young girl who makes his shining look dim by comparison; as his is a flashlight, hers is a light house. Dan also discovers an antagonistic group who feed on human suffering, and the suffering of those with the shining is their most cherished delicacy. Rose the Hat. Leading this group of psychic vampires is one of King’s most devilish and engaging characters. From Northern Ireland (centuries ago – drawing on the vampire parallel) Rose was once Irish Rose, but now in her leadership role, she is Rose the Hat, appearing with a cocked to one side old top hat. King has made a good living on making bad guys scary and evil and in Rose he has given us one of his most dire, giving old Barlow a run for his money. So I raise my lighter to you, Mr. King, great show.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    SEVEN THINGS FLASHING IN MY MIND when somebody asks me “ did you watch Shining?” One : The car moves along the road and we see the humongous mountains and Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind’s eerie composition starts to play on the images as we whirl around the mountains… TWO: Grady Twins’ spooky images as we see them stand up holding hands near open door! They say in unison: “Come, play with us Danny!” (This year I told my husband their clothes could be best pair for our Halloween c SEVEN THINGS FLASHING IN MY MIND when somebody asks me “ did you watch Shining?” One : The car moves along the road and we see the humongous mountains and Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind’s eerie composition starts to play on the images as we whirl around the mountains… TWO: Grady Twins’ spooky images as we see them stand up holding hands near open door! They say in unison: “Come, play with us Danny!” (This year I told my husband their clothes could be best pair for our Halloween costumes. And he blurted out his beer on my face. What a jerk! But he surprised me to buy tickets to Overlook Hotel for one night. I imminently forgave him even he made the reservation for one and he bought me only one way ticket! He really loves me so much J)) THREE: Little Danny Torrence’s screams as he keeps replying the same haunted words: “REDRUM! REDRUM! REDRUM!” FOUR: At room 237:Jack thinks he kisses a young, sexy woman, appears naked behind the shower curtains. But he accidentally takes a look their kissing reflection in the mirror, he finds out he’s kissing an old woman whose shaggy body is covered in scars. He begins to run away (Actually I laughed at this scene so much! Cheater Jack couldn’t get away with his two minutes stand !!!) FIVE: JACK’S NEW NOVEL COMING UP RELEASING SOON: “All work no play!”: Revelation scene Wendy finds out Jack has written the same words over and over again and turned into “DULL BOY!” was memorable and one of the creepier parts of the story! SIX: Here’s Jackkk!!! He finally loses the rest of his marbles, swinging an axe, breaking a door and screaming Johnny Carson’s famous theme in version! And SEVEN: We see Jack trapped in the maze, froze to death, scariest, epic expression on his face (scary and sarcastically awkward, just a little bit. I know I’m the weird one who is thrown away from the theaters for laughing too much at the horror movies!) I know I didn’t talk about the book. I talked about the epic, scaring you shameless (or sh**tless) scenes of the movie. But even MY KING says the movie was a Cadillac with no engine inside, I liked to rewatch it over and over again in every Halloween! But of course “Shining” is one of the masterpieces of MY KING and one of the ten best book of him. (Salem’s Lot and Dead Zone will be always my favorites!) And now the story returns back to inform us what happened to the three survivors of Overlook Hotel. Danny Torrance, his mother Wendy and Dick Halloran. We see older Danny suffers from alcoholism (like father like son, he is about to turn into a dull boy, too!) This book is about Danny’s facing to his own devils and past traumatic experiences. Danny burned the bridges help him reach to his childhood and dug the ashes to the deep. But right now the past demons erupted out to threaten his future. So he has to go to the place where this nightmare begins! His AA group helps him earn his second chance from the life. When he hits the rock bottom, we learn more about the secret he keeps eat him alive. He still has his shining but as his path crosses with the gifted girl whose life in danger by summoning from a group of dangerous psychic vampires, he is adamant to fight back. Rose the Hat a.k.a Cokehead or once upon a time Irish Rose from Northern Ireland is the leader of the vampire gang. This disturbing, thrilling, awkward as hell group member give you enough creeps to close the book and surf around the comedy channels to recover from too much pressure and stress the book puts you in. As a matter of fact, I had some second thoughts when I heard my KING wrote the sequel after all those years later. I always wish a happy ending for Danny Boy but I know after all those traumatic experiences they’ve endured with his mother, it might have been impossible for them to live a regular and undamaged, normal life. They had too many invisible emotional scars to achieve that! But I loved the last conclusion, having another journey to the Overlook and villains of the book are perfectly developed to give you good nightmares. LET’S HAIL TO THE KING! APPLAUSE HIM! He is one of the greatest authors of the century and he did it again. I never get disappointed after reading a long KING book. I still use some of them as weights to strengthen my arms. So mentally and psychically his books always help me a lot!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Enjoyed this even more the second time through! I firmly believe this is the best duology ever written. I doff my cap to Sai King. He is a MASTER.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Delee

    I hesitated to read DOCTOR SLEEP for about a minute. I was worried that it wouldn't live up to The Shining, and everything would be ruined. RUINED! Luckily that was not the case at all. I should have had more faith in Stephen King's love and respect for these characters. I am sorry for ever doubting you Stephen. A tribe of people call I hesitated to read DOCTOR SLEEP for about a minute. I was worried that it wouldn't live up to The Shining, and everything would be ruined. RUINED! Luckily that was not the case at all. I should have had more faith in Stephen King's love and respect for these characters. I am sorry for ever doubting you Stephen. A tribe of people called The True Knot travel around the United States- by RV- in search of children with "The Shining". These children have what The True Knot feeds off, something they call "steam". Their leader- Rose "The Hat" learns of a little girl -named Abra- that will keep them in steam for a very long time. Danny Torrance is all grown up, but far from happy. He is still haunted by his past. To numb the pain, and keep the ghosts at bay, he follows in his fathers footsteps with the bottle. Dan finally settles down in a little town in New Hampshire , joins AA, and finds a little bit of peace...until one day he starts receiving strange telepathic messages from a little girl named Abra. Abra needs his help. Call me crazy, but I think I liked DOCTOR SLEEP more than I liked The Shining. I could be terribly wrong because I haven't read The Shining in years, but I certainly loved grown up Danny waaaaaaay more than I liked Jack, and I loved Abra more than I liked Danny as a child. One thing I do know as a fact... I will never look at "innocent" summer vacationers travelling in RVs the same. EVER!

  12. 5 out of 5

    D. Hilliard

    Being a big fan of Stephen King, especially his early work, I waited with nervous anticipation for Dr. Sleep. I reread The Shining for the first time in years, just to reacquaint myself with the world of Danny Torrance and the Overlook Hotel. It was on my kindle within minutes of it being released, and I spent the past two afternoons ignoring housework in favor of diving into one of Kings rare sequels. So how does it measure up? The correct answer to that is “it depends.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤

    Once upon a time, there was a girl. She liked to read, but was at a crossroads between being too old for childish books, and a bit too young for cheesy romance novels with Fabio on the cover. The girl loved scary movies and all things horror and wondered if maybe there were things written like that. She asked the librarian, who handed her a book. The girl ran home and closed herself up in her room. She sat down and started to read a book called Carrie, by an author named Stephen King. She devoured that Once upon a time, there was a girl. She liked to read, but was at a crossroads between being too old for childish books, and a bit too young for cheesy romance novels with Fabio on the cover. The girl loved scary movies and all things horror and wondered if maybe there were things written like that. She asked the librarian, who handed her a book. The girl ran home and closed herself up in her room. She sat down and started to read a book called Carrie, by an author named Stephen King. She devoured that book and went on to read every single book by her new favorite author, including those under the name Richard Bachman. When those ran out, she explored different authors like Koontz, Saul, Cook, and Crichton, just to name a few. So many doors were opened and so many journeys taken, worlds explored, over many years. Maybe I'll get back to this story a bit later. When I heard that Doctor Sleep was coming out I immediately pre-ordered it on Amazon. I rarely do this, but for King I tend to make exceptions. Finally, the other day my Kindle got a present. I'll admit, for the first 15% of the book it was a bit slow for me. I started to panic, envisioning Under the Dome, which sits on my kindle shelf. A book that I've tried to read twice, without success. I didn't want Doctor Sleep, which features one of my favorite characters, to fall by the wayside and have the same fate. Luckily it picked up and I was trapped in the pages. Doctor Sleep is said to be The Shining 2. While some parts of this may be true, for the most part it's a standalone. You do not have to read The Shining to read this. Read it anyway because it's fuckawesome. There is no spooktastic Overlook Hotel, it has long ago perished. The only real connection between the two books is Dan, our main. Dan, who was a five year old scared little boy in The Shining, now a man. A man who is a fucked up alcoholic hot mess. The villains aren't ghosts of a haunted hotel, but beings (like vampires, I guess), who kill children who Shine. Sucking up their essence as they die. I won't say more about the story. I'm not here to give a full blown play by play, because in essence, then why would you need to read the book? I can say this. If someone who had never read Stephen King, asked me if this should be their first book, I would say no. I would send them the direction of Cujo or Pet Sematary, or Carrie, Salem's Lot. This is a quieter Stephen King. It is not a horror story. There's no hiding under the blankets or checking the drain in the bathroom, looking for a creepy clown named Pennywise. The bad guys aren't scary. More like washed up. Shadows of what a bad guy should be. Stephen King knows how to write villains. Randall Flagg, Pennywise, Cujo, a baby named Gage, even a prison guard named Percy. I repeat, this is really not a horror story. For those of us who have read The Shining, what a joy it was to see some characters we loved from that book. I wish Tony had more of a story, I'm always curious about him. Perhaps a book for Tony, Mr. King? For me, reading Dan again was like meeting an old friend after many years. He was forever frozen as a boy in my mind. Now he has come full circle. When you finish a book, normally that's it. Time goes on, you read new books, get involved with new characters. They, in turn, become frozen. What a gift to be able to revisit a character after all this time. My final thoughts. I highly recommend this book. If you're holding out because you haven't read The Shining, don't. Doctor Sleep is well written, snarky at times as only Mr. King can be, and will suck you in. I even cried once or twice, yes, from The Master of Horror. 5 Ninja-Bunnehs-Writing-REDRUM Now after my ramblings are you still here, or have you forgotten the tale in the beginning of the review? If you're wondering what happened to the girl, well, she grew up and became a woman. Did she get a HEA? I don't know yet. I do know that she owes a love of reading to a certain author. How do you know, you ask? Well, because. Once upon a time, long ago, I sat down to read a book called Carrie, by an author named Stephen King. My journey isn't over.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Blythe

    That cover is the epitome of perfection. So perfect that is should be on my shelves. Like, right now. I'm waiting. *stares at bookshelves* EDIT: I'M GETTING AN ARC OF THIS MY LIFE IS OFFICIALLY MADE

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Stephen King’s title of ‘great storyteller’ is firmly strengthened with this full-length novel, which reprises some of the key roles from The Shining. Picking up briefly after THE SHINING’s completion, Danny Torrance and his mom have moved on, away from the horrors of Colorado. Learning to control his ‘shines’ proves to be quite difficult for Danny, but becomes essential in order to survive. Fast-forwarding to the present day, Dan Torrance’s life has begun to circle the drain as he has become a Stephen King’s title of ‘great storyteller’ is firmly strengthened with this full-length novel, which reprises some of the key roles from The Shining. Picking up briefly after THE SHINING’s completion, Danny Torrance and his mom have moved on, away from the horrors of Colorado. Learning to control his ‘shines’ proves to be quite difficult for Danny, but becomes essential in order to survive. Fast-forwarding to the present day, Dan Torrance’s life has begun to circle the drain as he has become a replica of his alcoholic father. Struggling to survive, Dan drifts from town to town, eventually settling in New Hampshire, where he’s given a second chance, with a fast-track path to AA. While he gets his life together, a baby, Abra Stone, begins to show signs of the shine, though no one knows what to make of her premonitions. Her family is unaware of these shines, chalking them up to coincidence or unexplained circumstances. Meanwhile, a sinister group of people, the TRUE KNOT begin leeching the life out of people wherever they go, using their ‘steam’ to survive. Children with the shine are the Knot’s favourite snack and keeps them surviving for decades. When their leader connects with Abra and her abilities, all paths lead to finding her and destroying this uber-shiner. When Abra reaches out to fellow shiner, Dan, they connect and realise just how horrific the Knots can be and how much trouble surrounds them. While Dan and Abra fight to hide from the Knot and destroy them at the same time, the story kicks into high gear and its pace is non-stop, leaving the reader to grip onto anything they can as they fly through this action-packed sequel. King’s powerful return to his Shining roots proves not only useful but highly worthwhile. As King denotes in his author’s note, many people have wondered whatever happened to little Danny Torrance and if there is more to The Shining than meets the eye (or brainwave). King layers old Shining memories with new ideas and powerful characters, while kicking the horror genre up a notch. Filled with his linguistic nuances and apt off-the-beaten-path comments, King uses this unique style to cater to his long-time fans’ interest in his style. There are few authors who can scare a reader so soundly and yet keep them begging for more, while also telling a multi-layered novel with a foundation so sound that it cannot collapse on itself. Kudos Mr. King. While I used to think you the devil-incarnate (blame my upbringing), I can now say you are one of the great fiction writers of my time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Actual rating: 4.75 🌟 This was a great book that was much more than a simple sequel. It's a book with its own story and doesn't just depend on the fame of The Shining. Of course there are references, and reading the first book before this one will help you understand the content much better, but it's clear that this book wasn't just written for the sole purpose of making more money and drawing out a story to an unnecessary length (like I have seen done before)- I would love to read more sequels of this Actual rating: 4.75 🌟 This was a great book that was much more than a simple sequel. It's a book with its own story and doesn't just depend on the fame of The Shining. Of course there are references, and reading the first book before this one will help you understand the content much better, but it's clear that this book wasn't just written for the sole purpose of making more money and drawing out a story to an unnecessary length (like I have seen done before)- I would love to read more sequels of this kind! Like in The Shining, you will find several points of view. This was very well done, despite how different the characters were from each other. Everyone has their own distinctive voice, which does deserve a mention as the two main characters have a huge age difference and I'm sure not every author would have been able to develop such fitting personalities for both of them. I love that we get an insight into the life of the characters spanning several years before the prime storyline begins. This really helps painting a clear picture of everyone, and I was able to understand Dan Torrance better than I might would have without this leadup. It was really great to get a more diverse and evolved look at what the gift of "The Shining" is and what it all entails. All in all it was just very interesting and at this point I totally wouldn't be surprised if someone came up to me and told me that they have experienced the same things the people in the book have. Stephen King just has this way of writing that makes everything seem real and believable. There's a huge banger late in the book that totally surprised me! But again, it was done in a believable way and didn't totally seem unsuitable. Looking back at it, little hints were being carefully and nicely placed throughout the book. I thought the resolution to everything was just perfect. It was done realistically (as realistic as it can get with a plot like this) and not over the top. I was even tearing up a bit at a certain scene, which I thought was just a perfect addition to connect the previous book to this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    An amazing piece of fiction. The book set me directly back in the 80s when I first read Shining. This truely is part 2 of the story. If you want to know the further history of Dan Torrence or come back to the eerie Overlook Hotel this is your read. I think one of the best King books. The feeling is there body and soul of his former writing. Really you can't put that away. If there are follow ups to Misery, Pet Semetary or IT, I'll read them all. True recommendation, Scary horror. He could do a b An amazing piece of fiction. The book set me directly back in the 80s when I first read Shining. This truely is part 2 of the story. If you want to know the further history of Dan Torrence or come back to the eerie Overlook Hotel this is your read. I think one of the best King books. The feeling is there body and soul of his former writing. Really you can't put that away. If there are follow ups to Misery, Pet Semetary or IT, I'll read them all. True recommendation, Scary horror. He could do a book on the history of the steam sucking people next or a whole book on the Overlook (short stories on all the horror that happened in there). A classic King.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anish Kohli

    Hmmm… Lemme ask you this... Have you read SK? Have you, really? Have you lost yourself in his thoughts and characters and their problems? Have you FELT his stories take over you? If you have, as I have, then you know this review will say nothing you don’t already know. If you haven’t….. Wait, what? How can you not read SK? Do you not know what you are missing out on? Yeah, you probably don’t. OK, well then, listen up close as I explain with an analogy. Think of a jok Hmmm… Lemme ask you this... Have you read SK? Have you, really? Have you lost yourself in his thoughts and characters and their problems? Have you FELT his stories take over you? If you have, as I have, then you know this review will say nothing you don’t already know. If you haven’t….. Wait, what? How can you not read SK? Do you not know what you are missing out on? Yeah, you probably don’t. OK, well then, listen up close as I explain with an analogy. Think of a joke that you have heard many times, being told by a funny friend. He makes you laugh, regardless, doesn’t he? It’s not the joke though, it’s the funny friend who does it. Think of a story that scared you once, being told in a creepy setting. It scares you still, doesn’t it? It’s not the story this time either, it’s the setting. That is SK’s MO. He is not just an author. He is a STORY-TELLER. A performer. His stories aren’t out-of-the-world good. No. It’s the way he tell them, that makes them so damn good. This book is no different. For those who do not know (I don’t think there would be any), Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining. After I was through with The Shining, I wondered what happened with the little guy Dan Torrance. How did he turn out to be? How did all the horror change him and in what ways? Those questions made me pick up the second installment. Life is a wheel, its only job is to turn, and it always comes back to where it started. Going into this book, you find that Danny aka Doc has grown up into a man. Still haunted by the events of the overlook and his father’s legacy of Alcoholism and violence, he lives his life on the run from himself. A drifter who belongs nowhere. A boy who turned into the man he never would’ve wanted to. Looking for refuge from his horrors, he gets to a small town where he finds his true calling, working in a hospice. He settles down as Doctor Sleep. Meet Abra, a little girl with shining, just like Danny, only much, much stronger. If I’m a Flashlight, Abra is a Lighthouse - Dan. A little girl in her teens, trying to get by her life, trying to keep her shining from getting in the way of her family. Unwittingly, young Abra crosses paths with Danny and A woman in the Hat. Danny she befriends but the woman, not so much. Meet the Woman in the Hat. A monstrous, vile being that cares not one bit about anyone apart from the band of homeless dwellers she travels with. She has her mind set on Abra and will not stop till she gets what she has. Somehow, these three become entangled in an unexpected way and now it is a fight for survival and fight they must. Come out on top and you live, lose and you’d wish you’d died. Now, to be quite honest, this book isn’t the least bit scary. It is not even in the category of Horror, as far as I’m concerned. At times, it all becomes a bit too American to understand a few things. Around half-way through the book, the story starts to drag a little. Then what makes it worth a read? Stephen King does. It’s his capability to write in such small details in a certain way that will make you feel like the characters are alive and with you in this very room. The way he shapes his characters is amazing. The characters, old and new, jump off the pages and grab a hold. The characters have depth, they are not just names on a page. They are people, like you and I. They don’t seem like pieces of fiction. They are as real as the air you breathe but can never touch or see. Each character, flawed in their own plausible way. Each character has a growth curve that makes sense. Some you love, some you hate. The story is pretty interesting & well-paced and the last quarter of the book really redeems it of the small flaws. But in the end, it’s simply the writing that is just amazing. Better than anything I have read by far. Smooth as silk, freely flowing words after words after words. With the right amounts of cussing and decorum, you are kept on the hook. Though this book could’ve done just fine without being a sequel to anything, it is the very fact that this book is a sequel, that it makes more sense. I could go on and on praising SK’s writing but where is point in that? Go ahead, pick up that book and become a "Constant Reader". Go ahead, revel in the words of this great storyteller. Cheers :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    OMG THIS IS MY 2013 BIRTHDAY PRESENT! :D I LOVE YOU, STEPHEN KING! ------- After Goodreads decided to unveil their new censorship policy regarding author behavior reviews and shelves (sorry, let me be accurate: NEGATIVE author behavior reviews and shelves...), I decided that I wasn't going to review on Goodreads anymore. I created a Booklikes account (Meh...) and already have a blog, and I decided that I would review there instead of on Goodreads. But then this past week happened. Stephen King released Doctor Slee OMG THIS IS MY 2013 BIRTHDAY PRESENT! :D I LOVE YOU, STEPHEN KING! ------- After Goodreads decided to unveil their new censorship policy regarding author behavior reviews and shelves (sorry, let me be accurate: NEGATIVE author behavior reviews and shelves...), I decided that I wasn't going to review on Goodreads anymore. I created a Booklikes account (Meh...) and already have a blog, and I decided that I would review there instead of on Goodreads. But then this past week happened. Stephen King released Doctor Sleep on my birthday (as mentioned above), and then on Friday, I met up with a friend and drove to Cambridge, MA to see King read from the book and do a bit of Q&A. The friend I met up with was one that I met through Goodreads. And while in Massachusetts, I met another Goodreads friend, and we hung out and had a great time. And I've come to realize that the social/community aspect of this site is worth far more to me than reviewing in solitary confinement on my blog. In a way, I'm a little disappointed in myself, because I am adamantly against GR's new policy in principle, and extremely disappointed and upset with GR about it, but I know that in the end, whether I review here or not makes no difference because I'd still BE here, generating site traffic, because of my friends and the community I still want to be a part of. Goodreads: 1 Becky: 0 So, let's set the sappy kumbaya shit aside, and get to the review. The Shining is one of my Top 5 all time favorite books, and has been for 20 years, and so it was a scary thought that Doctor Sleep could potentially change how I feel about it. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, but I will say that my opinion of Jack is a little... altered. The Shining is all about Jack Torrance for me; The Overlook, and even Danny, are secondary. Jack's character is so realistic that he could step off the page, swinging his roque mallet, and bellowing "Come here, pup!"... and that's what makes him fascinating and terrifying to me to this day. But I love him, and I have pretty definite opinions of his character: Jack was a fundamentally good but flawed person with asshole tendencies, who was dealt a shitty hand in life, and got in over his head in a situation that he couldn't understand and was massively unprepared for. He was always going to lose against the Overlook, but had he avoided that place, I'm certain that he'd have broken the cycle of alcoholism and violence. Now, after reading Doctor Sleep, I don't think I can say that my faith in him is shaken, but just that there's a crack along the line that separates "fundamentally good" from "asshole". How much of that crack can be blamed on the alcohol is debatable. Probably a lot... but I think that would be a cop-out and honestly I think Jack knows better than that. Right...? So, coming back to Doctor Sleep, I've always felt that Stephen King looked at Danny as his fictional son. I commented on this to my friend on the drive up to Boston, because I was surprised at where King imagined Danny to end up. Of course it made sense, but I wonder if it hurt King to write him there... drunk, and hitting his rock bottom, and wanting desperately to find a good place to escape his own personal demons. I hope it did, because, even though Danny doesn't hold the same place in my heart as Jack, seeing him come back into the world as a violent drunk who hates who he's become was a little painful for me, considering his familial history. I so wanted him to avoid that. *cough* What? Unfortunately, I can't say Doctor Sleep came anywhere close to being as great as The Shining, but it was very good for what it was. There were times when I felt that things were rushed along a little bit, and timees that things were a bit too easy, and times when the build-up overshadowed the reveal, especially in regards to the final showdown, but for being a continuation of Danny's story, it was good. I liked the person he grew into being, and I liked that he used his ability to help those at the end of their lives. I couldn't imagine doing something like that though, seeing the lives of so many people, so intimately, and caring enough to stick it through with them to the end, when even their own family couldn't, or wouldn't. That would be too much for me, but it makes me oddly proud that Danny was able to do it. As far as Abra... I dunno. I'm more ambivalent about her. I feel like I was supposed to love her, but I just... didn't. Things were just so easy for her, since she was so powerful in the shining, and on top of that, she had a support system - two parents, Danny, Billy, and John. And she was more than twice Danny's age when he had to fight for his life, alone. So I just didn't really feel all that concerned about her, as unfair as it may be. I feel like King went easy on her. I also wanted to know more about the True Knot. I wanted to truly fear them, but aside from their ruthlessness and their obvious financial means helping them to get away with it, I didn't find them particularly frightening. I wanted more along the lines of Horace Derwent and the dead woman from Room 217, and what I got was the Wicked Witch of the West. Hat and all. In a way, Doctor Sleep was quite a bit like Black House, and I imagine that people will compare them. I don't think that as stories go they do compare to each other much once they get going, aside from the fact that they both revisit characters who experienced crazy events in their childhood after a long gap of time and catch up with their adult selves. I really enjoyed Black House, and feel the same about Doctor Sleep. And, as with both big-gap sequels, I like that they were doorways into King's larger universe, and now Joe Hill's as well. Some great little Easter Eggs to find there, and I loved that. So, overall... I liked it quite a lot, but I don't think that it lives up to The Shining. It's a good continuation of Danny's story, and a good standalone novel as well (because it CAN be read that way, if you don't mind getting the really short and sweet version of a recap of The Shining), and I'd definitely recommend it to King fans.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 4.5 Stars Have you ever caught yourself, maybe while reading a Stephen King book or maybe just at some random moment, wondering whatever happened to little Danny Torrance? Lucky for all of us Stephen King did too. Doctor Sleep picks up where The Shining left off. It briefly covers the aftermath of the experiences at the Overlook Hotel before fast-forwarding in increments of presidential terms through Dan’s life. If you have been a reader of Stephen King for 25 years like I have, you’ll notice that h Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 4.5 Stars Have you ever caught yourself, maybe while reading a Stephen King book or maybe just at some random moment, wondering whatever happened to little Danny Torrance? Lucky for all of us Stephen King did too. Doctor Sleep picks up where The Shining left off. It briefly covers the aftermath of the experiences at the Overlook Hotel before fast-forwarding in increments of presidential terms through Dan’s life. If you have been a reader of Stephen King for 25 years like I have, you’ll notice that his style has changed significantly. Now I know that haters are gonna hate and some want the “Master of Horror” to just horrify them, but I am delighted with Stephen King 2.0. Ever since coming back from hiatus after his near-death experience, it seems to me that King’s novels have taken on a new life that they did not have before. Not only has he written things that I don’t think the “old King” would have written (11/22/63, Joyland, etc.), but he writes with so much more character depth and with very little emphasis on obtaining a “creep out factor”. If you/your book club/whatever is looking for a terrifying book for Halloween, Doctor Sleep is not it. On the other hand, if you want a rock-solid novel that you will literally not be willing to separate yourself from until you are finished, this one is a winner. (My poor family was 100% neglected for 28 hours.) Most importantly, if you have been invested in Danny’s life since waaaaaaay back in the 70s and want to see what became of him, Doctor Sleep will not disappoint.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror

    I wanted to love this book and I read it with eager enthusiasm. However, I found that the voice of this book, Danny Torrance, was all wrong. This didn't feel like Danny to me. I was scared in some parts--the enemies are formidable--but the story was not engaging. I was expecting more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fortneyroad.com

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Just finished the galley. A HUGE disappointment. (NO SPOILERS) Do you find Nan the hat, measles and shotguns scary? It’s well known that King postponed publication of DOCTOR SLEEP from January 2013 to fall 2013 since he admitted it needed some serious editing. Imagine Shirley Jackson writing a sequel to THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE without the house, or Richard Matheson’s HELL HOUSE sequel sans the Belasco mansion? That’s one of the many, many, many things that are Just finished the galley. A HUGE disappointment. (NO SPOILERS) Do you find Nan the hat, measles and shotguns scary? It’s well known that King postponed publication of DOCTOR SLEEP from January 2013 to fall 2013 since he admitted it needed some serious editing. Imagine Shirley Jackson writing a sequel to THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE without the house, or Richard Matheson’s HELL HOUSE sequel sans the Belasco mansion? That’s one of the many, many, many things that are wrong with Stephen King’s sequel to THE SHINING---the Overlook hotel never makes an appearance since it was destroyed by fire (in the book, not the movie.) The whole premise of THE SHINING was a haunted hotel and a boy with a special gift. What we have in DOCTOR SLEEP (really dull title, BTW) is the further adventures of Danny Torrance. Problem is, if you read the novel, Danny was never a very interesting character—his father was and the hotel was. But in this sequel, we are stuck with Danny. And Danny drinks—a lot. And goes to a LOT of AA meetings; and we go with him. To. Every. Single. One. I’m talking dozens of pages of AA meetings that add zero to the book. King struggled with alcoholism during the early years of his career and one reason he so disliked Kubrick’s film was because that aspect of Jack Torrance was significantly excised from the film. So King wrote it back in when he did his 1997 TV miniseries. So alcoholism played—and plays—a big role in the characters of THE SHINING and DOCTOR SLEEP. But it doesn’t result in very interesting characters. In fact, this is the first book of King’s (I’ve read more than 40 of them) where his skill with characters is absent. There are no characters in this book, just names on a page—and pages you will be frantically skimming by the time you reach page 200 because you will be desperately look for a plot to grab you and suck you into the story. Like everyone else reading this review, I was SO EXCITED to read DOCTOR SLEEP. A sequel to one of my favorite King novels, and he said it would be a return to real horror. (“Basically, the idea of the story was to try and scare the s--t out of people!” he said) But here’s the bad news: IT'S NOT SCARY. At all. The supernatural force Danny deals with is someone called “Nan the Hat.” Seriously. I’m not making it up. And Nan and her minions aren’t even really supernatural---they can be destroyed by measles. And shotguns. Yes, seriously. By page 400 of this more than 600 page galley, I knew it was a real disaster. Of course, “everyone” will buy it but I can’t honestly imagine many will give it a good review. There is no Overlook Hotel. There are no scares. There are no classic King characters. In fact, the last 200 pages read like a young adult adventure novel. If it wasn’t pitched as a sequel, it would still be a bad book, and it borrows heavily from IT and THE DEAD ZONE. This was a huge disappointment for me. If anyone likes/loves it, I look forward to reading your reviews and some examples of what was so scary or compelling about the story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Although technically a sequel to The Shining (published in 1977 and probably Stephen King's scariest and best book - step to me, It fans), this book should not be approached as such, because in reality the two novels have very little in common besides the central characters. This isn't a bad thing - I just want to warn anyone going into this book to get rid of the "straightforward sequel" mindset. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining the way American Gods is a sequel to Anansi Boys. (that's not the first Neil Gaiman compa Although technically a sequel to The Shining (published in 1977 and probably Stephen King's scariest and best book - step to me, It fans), this book should not be approached as such, because in reality the two novels have very little in common besides the central characters. This isn't a bad thing - I just want to warn anyone going into this book to get rid of the "straightforward sequel" mindset. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining the way American Gods is a sequel to Anansi Boys. (that's not the first Neil Gaiman comparison I'm going to make in this review, so prepare yourselves) Doctor Sleep seeks to answer two questions: first, what happens to Danny Torrance after he and his mother escape the demonic Overlook Hotel - what kind of adult does Danny become, and how much of his father has survived in him? Second, what about the others who have the "shining" that Dick Hallorann told Danny about? Who are the others who possess gifts like Danny's, and (a central question in King's books) who should they be afraid of? The adult version of Danny, called Dan, is, frankly, a mess. He hasn't been able to avoid the alcoholism that cursed his father and grandfather (there's a whole term paper that could be written on this sickness infecting the Torrance family the way evil infects the Overlook, but I digress), and we see him in some pretty bad situations. Dan eventually starts going to AA meetings and trying to get his addiction under control, and ends up working at a hospice in a small New England town. Dan quickly becomes known as "Doctor Sleep" because of how he comforts patients near death, and helps them cross over. Meanwhile, a child named Abra is born, also with the shining. She and Dan have a psychic connection almost immediately, and eventually Dan becomes a sort of mentor/teacher to the teenage Abra. In Doctor Sleep, the villains are not the vengeful ghosts of a cursed hotel, but a group of semi-immortals who call themselves the True Knot. They travel the country in RV's and hunt people with the shining. When they catch them, the True Knot kills these people by torturing them to death and inhaling their souls (they call it "steam"). Frankly, that sounds more like it came from a Neil Gaiman book, but I'll go with it (it didn't help that the True Knot's leader is a woman called Rosie the Hat, named for the black silk top hat she always wears, and once I started picturing her as Amanda Palmer I couldn't stop). This is definitely a different story than The Shining. There, we were restricted to a single setting and less than five central characters - Doctor Sleep has dozens of characters and its action spans the country (with a final confrontation at the campground built on the land where the Overlook used to stand, because of course). Again, the fact that the scope of this novel is wider and somewhat more philosophical than The Shining is not a criticism. I liked its insistence on being more than just a haunted house story, which people too often - and unfairly - reduce The Shining to. There's a lot more going on here than just psychics and the monsters who hunt them. My biggest criticism, really, is that the villains are never enough of a threat. It's established almost immediately than Abra is some kind of shining Messiah, with abilities much greater than Dan's. In all of her interactions with the True Knot, it's made clear that they have no idea who they're messing with, and that Abra is more powerful than them. The final plan to confront the Knot at the end goes off without a single hitch, so there's never any real danger of the True Knot winning (and if you really think it's a spoiler for me to say that the good guys win at the end, feel free to let me know in the comments and I will be happy to ignore you). In The Shining, we were constantly reminded that Danny was a child facing undying, unrelenting evil all by himself, and throughout the story you really don't know if he's going to win. The tension that we felt in The Shining is almost gone here, and I was almost too confident in Abra and Dan's ability to defeat the evil that threatened them. A more palpable threat of danger, and this book would have been improved greatly in my eyes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this the sequel to 'The Shining', Danny Torrance - who had psychic visions as a child -is a very troubled adult. ***** As the story opens Dan Torrance (Danny Torrance from "The Shining") has grown up to be a violent, itinerant alcoholic who suffers from blackouts. His difficulties connect back to the time young Danny's father was the caretaker of the 'Overlook Hotel' in Colorado. There Danny's psychic gift (called 'the shining') led to his meeting a gaggle of supernatural psychopaths and several victims of In this the sequel to 'The Shining', Danny Torrance - who had psychic visions as a child -is a very troubled adult. ***** As the story opens Dan Torrance (Danny Torrance from "The Shining") has grown up to be a violent, itinerant alcoholic who suffers from blackouts. His difficulties connect back to the time young Danny's father was the caretaker of the 'Overlook Hotel' in Colorado. There Danny's psychic gift (called 'the shining') led to his meeting a gaggle of supernatural psychopaths and several victims of violence. The hotel's supernatural residents also drove Danny's father insane, and he tried to kill Danny and his mom. After adult Dan has a one night stand that disturbs him greatly he hops a train and ends up in New Hampshire. There he gets a job in a hospice and joins Alcoholics Anonymous. Meanwhile, Abra, a little girl who also lives in New Hampshire, starts to exhibit a whopping amount of 'shining' herself. As Abra grows up she develops a psychic connection to Dan and mentally reaches out to say hello and get acquainted. In time Abra's psychic gifts brings her to the attention of a group of horrific vampire-like beings called the 'True Knot' who torture and murder psychic children to absorb their "steam" (psychic essence). The True Knot becomes desperate to get their hands on Abra who - coming to realize the danger she's in - asks Dan to help her. This leads to the thriller part of the story, with the True Knot scheming to kidnap Abra, and Dan and his cohorts scheming to save her. The book is chock full of fascinating characters (good and evil) and gruesome events - in true Stephen King style. The story isn't one of Stephen King's scariest tales but it's a whopping good story that will stick with you. Highly recommended, especially to King fans and aficionados of horror stories. You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sh3lly

    This is the story of what happened to this little boy: Danny Torrance is all grown up and an alcoholic just like his dad. Dan finally decides to join Alcoholics Anonymous and is in recovery, working at a hospice when he telepathically meets a girl named Abra Stone. She's got the Shining too and is incredibly powerful. We find out an evil group of people called the True Knot are after her. They want to drink her up, devour her "steam." They roa This is the story of what happened to this little boy: Danny Torrance is all grown up and an alcoholic just like his dad. Dan finally decides to join Alcoholics Anonymous and is in recovery, working at a hospice when he telepathically meets a girl named Abra Stone. She's got the Shining too and is incredibly powerful. We find out an evil group of people called the True Knot are after her. They want to drink her up, devour her "steam." They roam around the country in RVs and mobile homes searching for children with the Shining to murder for sustenance, like energy-sucking vampires. They can live thousands of years, but look like regular old people. One, in particular named Rose wants Abra BAD. Dan decides to help her and battle the True Knot. Holy Shizz, this was awesome! One of King's best, in my view. I listened to the audio version, narrated by Will Patton. He is one of my favorite narrators and he rocked this performance! A+++++++ This story was perfection. I couldn't have asked for more. The last two King books I read, 11/22/63 (meh) and Revival (I liked it but didn't love it) made me wonder how my experience would be with this one. I was hooked from the beginning. I really can't say anything more except this was fabulous, creative, and brilliant.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    Absolutely loved this one all over again. Can’t wait for the movie! Full review to come.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    There is just something about Stephen King’s writing that is like the feeling I get after having been out there, working in the real world, after a hard day, fighting deadlines and traffic, often snow, lots of that, then finally coming home. I get all toasty, feet warm, comfortable, with his voice in my head. I soon settled in and listened as he told me the story of Doctor Sleep. Having read The Shining for the first time just last year, it was still fresh in my mind, so where King to There is just something about Stephen King’s writing that is like the feeling I get after having been out there, working in the real world, after a hard day, fighting deadlines and traffic, often snow, lots of that, then finally coming home. I get all toasty, feet warm, comfortable, with his voice in my head. I soon settled in and listened as he told me the story of Doctor Sleep. Having read The Shining for the first time just last year, it was still fresh in my mind, so where King took Danny Torrance here, made sense to me, felt right. But King is not a man of few words and so there are others here; the good and the bad, with histories of their own to share. It is a good story. I know that there are many who bemoan King’s loquaciousness but I love it. Cliché, perhaps, but this man spins a good yarn. I was hooked from the get go. I am not going to tell you this story, King should. Listen Up!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dystopian

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoilers, whatever. The True Knot, as a whole, are some pretty unscary creatures. The main villianess, Rose, however, is seriously lacking in scare factor. She wears a top hat at an impossible angle! Oh, the horror! About halfway through the book, King seems to realize she lacks fright, and he gives her one tooth/tusk thing that comes and goes when she's eating "steam" or just when she's feeling a little salty. Otherwise, he describes her as extraordinarily bea Spoilers, whatever. The True Knot, as a whole, are some pretty unscary creatures. The main villianess, Rose, however, is seriously lacking in scare factor. She wears a top hat at an impossible angle! Oh, the horror! About halfway through the book, King seems to realize she lacks fright, and he gives her one tooth/tusk thing that comes and goes when she's eating "steam" or just when she's feeling a little salty. Otherwise, he describes her as extraordinarily beautiful, shapely, etc. He often repeats that this group of multi-aged RVers are dangerous because they are so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible. Well, no woman or man that attractive is ever going to fly so far under the radar that they're invisible. Especially in a top hat. Another thing about this tooth...it's not original. King has used this tusky one-tooth thing in some of his short stories when describing vampires. Another thing he's rehashed...Dan inhales Momo's cancer, and then expels it to kill Rose the Hat. It's directly out of The Green Mile and what happens to Percy and The Kid. Not only is Rose not very frightening in aspect, she is also, from the beginning, completely outclassed paranormally speaking. Abra is her superior in every way. As a child she completely blows Rose out of the water. In fact, they are never, ever, personally face-to-face in the entire book. It's hard to feel any building tension when Abra, our wunderkind, is careful to never come within thousands of physical miles of Rose. She is protected on every side, and this protection never fails. It makes for a rather blah denouement, even with a ninth-inning hail Mary appearance by Jack Torrance's "monster." Who is a breeze at the right time. Or something, so Dan Torrance can get closure or something. Who knows. As a sequel to The Shining I have to give it a fail. All the tension of a vulnerable young boy basically alone in a haunted hotel, trapped by roads blocked by snow and a psychotic father is voided by a spoiled girl who is rarely actually in danger. Instead of the Overlook's real threats to Danny's life, Abra's nebulous threats are seeing Rose's reflection in a window and getting startled by a psychic flash of a pornographic movie one the True Knot is watching. Danny has Mrs. Massey (of Room 217 fame) who almost kills him and does physical damage. Abra has her "ghosties" which are, gosh!, mostly good folks that have just lingered here. Overall it doesn't seem very original or very compelling. And definitely not scary. In some ways it seems to me that King wants to leave behind horror....but a book that is supposed to be a sequel (his only one) to a book so steeped in the paranormal he felt he had to have some paranormal stuff, so he shoved some in without actually feeling it. The best journey in the book is Danny's journey from an alcoholic to an AA scion with a fifteen year chip. The only moments of true horror happen when Danny is hitting rock-bottom as a alcoholic, and the murder of the Baseball Boy (which happens "off screen") and thus loses any immediacy. All in all...it's...okay. As long as you don't expect a lot of suspense or originality.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    A radiant example of this new type of genre that overtly underperforms/underwhelms... one which looks pretty (lllooove the book jacket; the font is ubercool); that excites; en fin "a total Monet." This undesirable genre (for me) begins & ends in the realm of, yuck... Fandom. Vomit. Ladies & gentlemen: I present here my review for Stephen King's long-awaited* sequel to "The Shining" (which, along with "The Green Mile" I rate above the usual strangeish and fun-for-eeriness-sake brand of li A radiant example of this new type of genre that overtly underperforms/underwhelms... one which looks pretty (lllooove the book jacket; the font is ubercool); that excites; en fin "a total Monet." This undesirable genre (for me) begins & ends in the realm of, yuck... Fandom. Vomit. Ladies & gentlemen: I present here my review for Stephen King's long-awaited* sequel to "The Shining" (which, along with "The Green Mile" I rate above the usual strangeish and fun-for-eeriness-sake brand of literature King is patriarch of-- "The Shining" is the more modern incarnation of the great Shirley Jackson). This is his first novel to be made exclusively to look and feel like something that is in fact crap that goes by the name Fanfiction#. Here, SK has done it... he's become the best bonafide SK imitator ever. (Because? Immortality, dammit!) Because when you are a true original you eventually-- for Everythings Eventual, get it? haha... eh, forget it-- discover that second-rate imitators end up having all the freakin' fun. More money, less honey. And what better way to flatter yourself than by mimicking... YOURSELF! Gosh, I feel bad, you guys. King is a virtuoso of storytelling, yes indeedy, but retaining elements from a modern classic of horror (King berates for the umpteenth time Stanley Kubrick's unforgettable celluloid creature-- at the end, as an apology for this being the NEW writer, and NOT the old one that we've come to eventually appreciate) to then adding MORE elements of the fantastical, of the unsurreal and literal (hell, South Park's episode on telepaths is more mind-blowing than this dreck!) is just a fun, unputdownable turd. And what, then, does that make us? Poop readers. This is bottom-line second rate King+. Also, let's say that the battle of forces (like "The Stand"s) between freaks (like "Salem's Lot"s) and telepaths (like "Firestarter"s) is extremely uneven. The goodguys are the Spartans from 300, the baddies are the Little Giants. There is no competition. At. All. Lastly I will offer some advice, free of charge, to both the writer and his huge readership: Stop producing or reading 2 King books a year... the quality truly TRULY suffers. Yes, this advice was, again, for the author and his work AND his readers and their long queue of books! *this is, in fact, something us King fans never knew we never wanted. #people familiar with the too-true-to-be-fake story of Twilight spewing fan fiction darling "50 Shades of Grrr" can attest to this. +for those who idolize him (rightfully so, I can't deny)-- they are consciously aware of other prior King-sized catastrophe's that he's never too keen to sometimes commit: Dreamcatcher, Desperation, Insomnia, The Tommyknockers, anyone?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Neal Shusterman

    The Shining was my favorite Stephen King book when I was a teenager. I listened to the audio version of Doctor Sleep, and really enjoyed it, but somehow it didn’t live up to the Shining. Granted, our memory of books from our youths is an extremely hard act to follow. I would have given Doctor Sleep four stars, but I felt that the climax was too easy. Stephen King is a master storyteller, so I don’t cut him any slack when it comes to the conclusion!

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