Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Posted 22 November, 2013 by Pushy in Blog, Featured, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 4 Comments

Review:  Doctor Sleep by Stephen KingDoctor Sleep by Stephen King
Series: The Shining
Published by Scribner, Simon & Schuster on September 24th 2013
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 531
Format: Audiobook
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

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 twelve-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. 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 devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

The Shining

Like so many Stephen King fans, The Shining was one of his books I enjoyed thoroughly.  I read it after I saw the Stanley Kubrick film version and the book is by far creepier.  I loved how Stephen King imbued the hotel with a preternatural malevolence.  So it was with great expectations that I picked up the sequel.

Danny’s All Grown Up

One of the most intriguing aspects of this book for me was seeing the evolution of Danny Torrance from gifted child to middle aged adult.  It was fascinating to see how his gift burdened him for years and how, despite the experiences he had with his father, he turned to alcohol to drown out the voices he did not want to hear and the sights he did not want to see.  I enjoyed seeing how Danny’s life played out, how he coped and how he didn’t.

The Story Continues

Equally fascinating was the new aspect to this story: they mysterious True Knot, their strange way of life and it’s intersection with Dan Torrance and Abra Stone, a girl who is very much Danny’s foil.  This portion of the story was more suspenseful and mysterious than scary.  There are not monsters waiting under the bed or fingernails tapping at a window, but there is a sense of tension that runs through the story and a great fight at the climax of the book!

Bottom Line

Not the raw, intense horror story I would have expected from him once upon a time, but Doctor Sleep by Stephen King is definitely a gripping, fascinating read!

Rating 4


I loved listening to this book!  Will Patton did a marvelous job and really brought a theatrical quality to the narration.  Definitely check it out!

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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.

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