Book Review : Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep is one of the most anticipated King novels, sequel to the masterpiece, The Shining. Written in 2013, almost after 33 years to it’s prequel, Doctor Sleep is much deserved and worthy sequel in my opinion. Like many other  King fans, I was keen to know  what happened to Danny and his mother, Wendy Torrance after the awful incident at The Overlook Hotel and  about his unique power which Mr. Hallorann called, ‘Shining’.

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“FEAR stands for fuck everything and run.” 

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“Life was a wheel, its only job was to turn, and it always came back to where it started.” 

A few years after the Torrance family move out of the disaster at The Overlook Hotel and try to start a new life, Danny is still haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook. Mr. Hallorann however takes care of it, guiding Danny all the way to get rid of the evil and control his powers.

Danny, a middle aged man now, troubled with horrific childhood and drifting years to forget the past, ends up being alcoholic like his father. Tired of his unpleasant life and to reboot everything, Danny finally settles down in a  New Hampshire town. He takes a job in a hospice-a home for the terminally ill, where he provides comfort to the dying with his gifted power, becoming Doctor Sleep. Anonymous Alcoholics community, helps him get rid of drinking and lead a good life.

On other side of the story, there is a tribe called ‘The True Knot’, travelling across America in RVs, in search of sustenance. They live-off and gain some sort of immortality (like the vampires) on the steam of young children possessing the shining, torturing them to death. The leader of the tribe, Rose the Hat, come across a teen-age girl, Abra  Stone with immense shining and now she is on a search to locate her and extract all the steam from her.
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Abra, having known about this through her senses, reaches out Danny to help her in this. Together they are on an epic battle to eradicate the True Knot and their evil intentions, saving Abra and the likes from the dangers of the tribe.

Though the prequel was an epic horror, this installment of the story  is more of a dystopian thriller. I feel it is better this way and it has appealed to most of the King fans the same way. Throughout the novel, the relationship between Dan and Abra was so compelling and their chemistry was profoundly written by the master-storyteller. (Do I even need to comment on the writing? Do I?)

In all my honesty, I must say the story was quite expected and I knew what was coming, but that didn’t change the thrill of reading it. I have noticed it in a few of his earlier novels that I read, King throws you the spoilers, then grasp you with his story telling powers that even after you know what’s going to happen next, you just want to continue reading with the same eagerness to know ‘HOW’ it happened. That’s what I expect from a good novel and that’s what you get from KING!

A great read indeed! I’m just waiting for this novel to get adapted into a movie 🙂

My rating : 4.5/5 *

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