Book Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Let me start off by saying I prayed before I read this book.

click pic for source

Yes, prayed.

I prayed that my love for Stephen King’s novels would be revived through this book.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Stephen King’s works. In fact, I have read a lot of them. I love the way he tells a story. I fell out of love, however, while reading Under the Dome and Duma Key. Both books I have I not finished, both books pulled me kicking and screaming to page 300 or so and then I just collapsed from exhaustion. I stopped reading because at that point every character could have been brutally murdered and I wouldn’t have cared.

I always require some sort of feeling of investment with my main characters, whether it be I think they’re horrible jerks that I hope get their just desserts or they are the good guy that will win in the end. But these stories just didn’t grab me at all. (The same happened with The girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson)

I’m happy to announce that is not the case with Doctor Sleep.

IF you haven’t read or seen The Shining (Doctor Sleep is the sequel) have no fear. King will fill in the holes for you with flashbacks and asides. I do recommend both. And if you’re just going to watch the film, watch the 1980 version.

Doctor Sleep picks up with Daniel and Wendy Torrance living in Florida when he discovers he’s not the only thing that has survived the Overlook Hotel.

King takes you on a ride through Daniel’s next twenty years in life which continue on as turbulent as they began. If you think following a character through twenty years to get to the main plot will be cumbersome, think again. In class King style everything is important. Details reoccur, events haunt not only the reader, but the characters as well, and nothing is random.

King is god of his universe. The way seemingly mundane events and Daniel’s back story ties into the climax and resolution in this story can only be described as predestination.

Two opposite characters: a broken shell of a man haunted by his childhood and a bouncing baby girl with a shining that’s just as bright, are led through intricate events that culminate in their unlikely friendship/partnership.

On the other spectrum is a gypsy team of soul suckers finding ‘steam heads’ or people with the shining they can suck the life right out of. They’re the kind of monsters that are too real and King adds his supernatural spice to make them even more terrifying.

The story is 528 pages long, but goes by in a flash. I read the last 150 pages in a couple of hours without even realizing it. Keeping up with the story is a drug. You’re not just reading the story, you’re experiencing it. King has a unique sense of his world. Action taken straight from the headlines, popular music and movies, and even a mention to twitter (of which Stephen King has become a recent contributor) puts you right in the thick of the story.

Experiencing the story makes the scare even more traumatizing. I say traumatizing because this book deals with people hurting children, torturing them. I found I had to take breaks from the book and could only read during the day time in order to swallow down all of the horror. King still succeeds as the master of horror.

This book is a wild ride and makes you wonder about the bond of family, heredity, and the power of a child’s imagination.

The end will make you go ‘whaaat?!’ with a giant twist I can’t reveal here. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoyed The Shining, isn’t afraid of the dark, and enjoys that creepy crawly feeling a good horror book provides.

Buy the book: here
Check out Stephen King: here
Follow him on Twitter: here

Thanks for reading! My next book review will be Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson! Read along with me by following me on Good Reads! (link at bottom of screen)

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Read Doctor Sleep? Read any Stephen King lately? Tell me what you think in the comments!


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