It's time to chat about Doctor Sleep by Stephen King!
After finishing Part One of Doctor Sleep and having a multitude of online conversations with participants, I thought I would throw a number of questions out to everyone this week. I will include my personal thoughts after each question. Feel free to link up in the Mr. Linky below with your answers, your own thoughts outside of these questions, or simply comment below.
Doctor Sleep picks up not long after the closing of The Shining. For those who have recently read The Shining, do you think it proves to be helpful in diving into the sequel? If you have not recently read The Shining, do you feel you are missing out on some of the details?
I am personally very thankful that I recently re-read The Shining! Minor characters have made appearances that did not even appear in the movie (or at least that I don't remember) and it has helped in having a better understanding to some references made in the story thus far. I also think that Danny's emotional state is still fresh in my mind. I have a better feeling of where he starts his journey in Doctor Sleep, which has helped create an immediate connection to the story.
Danny has now become Dan. In Part One, we watch his transformations from learning to live with the horrors of The Overlook to succumbing to the drink (like his father) to his road to sobriety and earning the title of Doctor Sleep. What do you think about the journey King has taken Dan on thus far?
I am not surprised to read that Dan has had a roller coaster ride of a life thus far. After such an emotional trauma, he has had to struggle with so much more than your average child. When you add in his ability to shine, his struggle is one that is incomprehensible. Thankfully, he has had some amazingly loving people (i.e., Wendy and Mr. Halloran) and people willing to take a chance on him (i.e., Billy and Casey) that have helped guide him towards the positive. I also have to wonder how much King's own alcoholism played into this story. How much is he writing himself into Dan?!?
We are also introduced to the True Knot in this first section. What do you think about this group?
Crazy weird!! I think the following quote really sums up the True Knot . . .
"America is a living body, the highways are its arteries, and the True Knot slips along them with a silent virus." (page 151)After reading this, I think that King has only touched the surface of what these people are capable of. And, this scares me a little bit because they do not stand out. They are the RV people that we often ignore on the roads. We pay them no attention because they are just passing through. The monsters that walk amongst us are the scariest of them all.
Overall, what do you think so far? Have you completely fallen into the story? Or, has it taken a bit longer to get back into the life of little Danny Torrance?
Honestly, I initially had a hard time falling into the story. Emotionally, I was attached to the characters right away because I just came off of reading The Shining. Limited time and feeling under the weather contributed to the lack of really falling into the story. As I approached the end of Part One, the connection became stronger and I cannot wait to dive right back in.
I also cannot close the discussion without mentioning Abra. I love her sweet innocence. I have some guesses where King is going with her, but I can't wait to read more now that she is older and find out for sure.
Be sure to stop by Charleen's blog, Cheap Thrills for her thoughts on these questions as well!
How is Doctor Sleep going for you? Who has already finished the novel?!?