Monday 7 October 2013

DOCTOR SLEEP by Stephen King

STEPHEN KING returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, THE SHINING.
An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of THE SHINING and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of THE SHINING, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, 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 tween 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...

I always get excited about a new Stephen King book, and was really looking forward to getting my hands on this one. I mean, it's a sequel to The Shining--one of my all-time favourite books. So as soon as I received it, I got stuck into it. And I was hooked!

The story takes us back to what happened to Danny Torrance and his mother after they escaped the Overlook Hotel with Dick Hallorann. The young boy might have escaped the Overlook and its inhabitants, but some of them follow him. So Dick Hallorann teaches him how/what to do in order to ensure these ghosts from the past stop haunting him.

By the time Danny's all grown up, his mother has passed away and he's mostly known as Dan. His life is messed up and he's constantly fighting personal demons. He's became an alcoholic--just like his father--and can't keep a job because of his addiction. Not to mention that he keeps getting into bar fights, and constantly picks up random women he wants nothing to do with the next day. However, the day he wakes up beside Deenie and Dan encounters her young son, he decides to make a change. No matter how hard it is, he's determined to take control of his life, rather than handing the steering wheel to the bottle.

And that's how he ends up in the small town of Frazier. While checking out the Teenytown Railway he meets Billy Freeman, and his life changes forever. With the help of an AA sponsor, he turns his life around and ends up working in a hospice. Here, with the help of a cat called Azzie, he helps people face death and move on peacefully. Therefore becoming, Doctor Sleep.

In the meantime, we meet an odd assortment of people called The True Knot. A travelling bunch of oldies who traverse the highways of America searching for steam they can devour from unsuspecting kids with the shining. However, when the leader Rose the Hat comes across a little girl called Abra, she becomes obsessed and starts a quest she's determined to win but hasn't gone up against before. Because Abra Stone isn't like other girls. Hell, she's not even like other kids with the shining. She's remarkably strong, and her connection to Dan will help save them both...

The story is told in several POVs so we get personal insight into Dan's life, Abra's, and even Rose. By seeing the events through the eyes of a variety of characters, the story really shines. I was fascinated by The True Knot and even though I desperately wanted to hate the wicked Rose, I couldn't help but like her. Abra, such a young girl with so much power becomes determined to get justice for the baseball boy. And Dan, my gosh. I loved how his life hits rock bottom and he slowly finds his way to the surface to become an astonishing man. Oh, something that happens where the Overlook once stood, definitely brought a tear to my eye.

Doctor Sleep is an amazing book! I'm a huge Stephen King fan and love all of his work, so I'm not surprised I enjoyed this story so much. I didn't want to put it down, but at the same time took my time reading it because I didn't want to speed through it. King's characters always feel so real, they keep you reading. I found this story to be a rollercoaster of emotions, interesting events, creepy situations, exciting turns, and several revelations blew me away. Seriously awesome.

I can't express just how much I love this book! It's a total keeper... and makes me want to pick up all the other King books I've got on my bookshelf but haven't read yet. Amazing!

Doctor Sleep, October 2013, ISBN  9781444761177, H&S Fiction

No comments:

Favorites More