Book review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King


Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (first published in 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton)

About the book:

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. 

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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.


Dan Torrance isn't the little boy we fell in love with in The Shining anymore. He's a man, a flawed man, one who's been running from The Overlook Hotel his entire life. 

Dan's done things he's not proud of and he's seen things ordinary people won't understand, and he copes with his failures and problems the way his daddy did—by finding salvation at the bottom of a bottle. But no amount of drinking can help him to forgive himself.

In this gripping sequel to one of Stephen King's most beloved novels, Doctor Sleep gives readers the opportunity to follow an intriguing mystery of epic proportions, where the supernatural thrives and reality is questionable. 

King doesn't shy away from tackling difficult subjects like alcoholism and self-loathing, and he also asks some hard questions we wonder about late at night. Questions like: What happens to the children that go missing? But man, does the guy know how to write horror!

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Doctor Sleep makes the reader think a lot, and while you're trying to unravel how everything in the sequel fits together with The Shining, you can't help hoping if there'll be a third book ... Oh, and let's not forget about the Easter eggs relating to NOS4A2 (written by Joe Hill, Stephen King's son).

Doctor Sleep is an absolute must-read for Stephen King fans. The characters are so incredibly real. Both the young and old characters are complete individuals, easily distinguishable from one another. You can't help yourself from empathizing with them. 

The plot will engross, particularly when you simply can't wrap your head around the why, when, and how. Furthermore, the memorability of this book is astounding.

Absolutely, positively get your hands on Doctor Sleep if you're looking for a modern-day classic. You won't be disappointed.

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