Stephen King's Doctor Sleep Well Worth Reading
J.S. Brooks Book Review
Suspenseful Return of Old Friends
Stephen King has returned to the story of Danny Torrance, the child who was so terrorized by all things ghostly and a rampaging father overtaken by his demons in The Shining. We find Dan, no longer Danny, grown up and grappling with demons of his own. Alcoholism is the demon Dan inherited from his father. Dan uses these bottled spirits to keep down his still strong and always disturbing powers known as "the shining." He also discovers a very useful application of the shining that earns him the title "Doctor Sleep."
Without giving away the plot, there are satisfying cameo appearances throughout the 528 page novel of characters both beloved and feared from The Shining. The new characters encountered are well rounded, flawed, striving for what is better in life, and engaging enough to make us worry about what will become of them. The new terrors set loose in these pages are old monsters who maintain their lives and their youth by means most despicable. They are known as the "True Knot." They stick together, have a dark version of the shining all their own, and will make you look suspiciously at every RV that you pass along the highway.
The story moves from the past to the present fluidly, filling in the story of Dan Torrance's life. There is also a new, young, and engaging heroine who shares Dan's talents for shining and then some. I'll leave you to discover all there is to know about her in the pages of the novel. I wouldn't want to spoil any of the fun.
The story itself spans America, taking Dan Torrance from the South to the Northeast ... and eventually to old, familiar, haunted stomping grounds where once stood a grim hotel called the Overlook. You'll find that certain locations around the nation of Stephen King's imagination are evil locales that draw the wicked and vile monsters stalking this world to them like flies to ... well, you fill in the gap as you see fit dear reader. Most of the action occurs in a small New Hampshire town where Dan finds himself settling down, following the advice of his long-time ally Tony. There he meets most of the characters who will improve his life and give him something to fight for. Also, the Teeny Town train is something many of the readers will wish they too could ride on, even if they have to share seats with the "ghostie people."
In this novel, Stephen King gives us many insights into the world of Alcoholics Anonymous, with which he is personally familiar. He handles the subject well and with feeling. He also touches upon the mysteries of life, death, and life after death in ways most satisfying ... without tipping his hand to his own beliefs or sermonizing to the reader. This adds depth and mystery to the story that many will find appealing.
All in all, Doctor Sleep is well worth the $30.00 hardback if you are old school about these things. No doubt it can also be picked up digitally for less and eventually in paperback. Enjoy
Recommend Reading The Shining First
While Doctor Sleep will work well as a stand alone volume ... Mr. King knows his craft ... it is far more satisfying if you have first read The Shining. There you will meet little Danny Torrance, his mother Wendy, and father Jack as they attempt to spend a Colorado winter as caretakers for the Overlook hotel in the high mountains. For Danny's father, this is his last chance to make good. Having lost his job as a college teacher on account of his temper, which is exacerbated by a drinking problem, he is attempting to use the caretaker's position to finish a play he's currently writing and get himself right once again. Unfortunately, the lively ... but not exactly living ... denizens of the Overlook have other ideas. Danny, blessed or cursed depending upon how you look at it, with psychic abilities a friend calls "the shining" is threatened by the Overlook's many inhabitants ... and someone much more solid than the rest. Read this first to add to your reading pleasure when you explore Doctor Sleep!
Book Worth Owning
Stephen King's Doctor Sleep
But Read This First!
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