Charleen and I hosted the #sleepalong, a read-along for Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Today, I am here for a spoiler-free review of the book for readers who may be considering King's latest release. If you have already read the book, I encourage you to visit the #sleepalong for in-depth discussions and detailed thoughts on the ending.
Doctor Sleep is King's sequel to his horror hit, The Shining, in which fans finally learn what happened to the young child with special abilities that survived the terror of the Overlook Hotel. It has long been anticipated by many and I don't think King will disappoint his fans.
The book opens with a brief encounter of Danny Torrance soon after leaving the mountains of Colorado. We then skip ahead decades to meet Dan, the man who tries to drink away his powers that are known as the "shining." He hits rock bottom, hits the road, ending up in a small town that will end up saving his life. Not long after arriving in his new home, Dan meets Abra. They form a completely unexpected relationship through the power of the "shine," and take readers on a ride of a lifetime.
King is a man that creates characters that readers can connect to, ones that stick with you for a long time. Doctor Sleep is no exception. I came to love Dan and Abra, despite their flaws. Minor characters, such as Billy and Doctor John even leave a lasting impression. King creates villains from the mundane world - old and retired RV travelers - that leave you questioning the safety and security of what seems like side-road attractions. He will even leave you in surprised awe with his twists and turns.
My one complaint with much of King's work is his rushed or weak endings. In Doctor Sleep, I felt it ended just right. The end to Dan Torrance's story is a strong one, but one that is not all rainbows and sunshine. (It is King afterall!)
Doctor Sleep showed us the growth of little Danny as well as King himself - their maturity, their strengths, and their weaknesses. It is one I highly recommend and will be one of my favorites of the year. Though it is not required, I do personally recommend familiarizing yourself with The Shining (the book, not the movie) to further enhance your reading enjoyment of Doctor Sleep.
Was Doctor Sleep a hit for you? Why or why not?