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The Shining/Doctor Sleep – Stephen King #BookRecommendation

 

The Shining

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Doctor Sleep

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.


I loved both these books, and are few of Stephen King’s novels that really hit on the “horror” aspect of his writing. At the same time the character progression is palpable and real, with both Jack and Dan Torrance having to face more than just their own demons. A brilliant series and must read for King fans.

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Wednesday Book Review: Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep

Title: Doctor Sleep (The Shinning #2)

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Horror

Book procurement: Purchased from Exclusive Books – Greenstone Mall.

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

I’ve read a number of King books through the years, and this was the first one I had to consider twice when reading at night. It wasn’t necessarily scary but it had its moments where paranoia creeped up on me faster than you can say Abracadabra. I still expect dead people to just show up in my bath.

The story starts off after the events from The Shining, when little Danny is revisited by ghosts of his past and realizes that his past will always be a part of him. We fast forward to an older Dan struggling with alcoholism, fighting the “shine” that still sparkles within him and his eventual sobering up at an AA that all links back together in a typical Stephen King fashion. There are no such things as coincidences with this man.

King is the master of characterization. I can imagine each of the characters in the book and won’t even need to read a name to know who is who. As usual. We have young Abra, who is a feisty, strong young girl with quite a “shine”, we have Dan whose shine get’s him the name Doctor Sleep, and we have the travelling band of “shine vampires” known as the True Knot who go around collecting “steam” from children who have the shine. Then there are plenty dots of characters thrown in the mix to help better understand who Dan Torrance, Abra Stone and the True Knot are. Each with their own characteristics and vital roles to play in the story.

In terms of writing, it’s all typical King. Vivid characters with identifiable attributes that I was able to visualise clearly in my mind. Worldbuilding at it’s finest, travelling across America through the eyes of Danny and the True Knot to experience the landscape. Flashes of The Shining in various places, and the passage of time that King’s recent books use (Revival comes to mind).

Once again, ordinary folks in extraordinary circumstances have been written into chilling reality by the King of horror.

Rating: A sleepless 4 out of 5

Wednesday Book Impression: Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep has been a fun read so far, and I’m only about 110 pages in (of like 450 or something). It’s classic King but with added zest in his continuation of his famous novel The Shining. A number of the old cast make an appearance and it felt like slipping into the second season of a favourite series; regardless of the fact that I read The Shining ages ago, and watched the movie version perhaps just as long ago. We see little Danny Torrance and his visions sweep back in, we watch him grow up and experience them as an adult. We have a whole new cast showing up that bring a chill up my spine and can’t wait to see how they will interact with Dan (he’s Dan now) and a new interesting addition to the spiel. The name of the new addition made me think of a Pokemon of the same name. Very powerful but almost useless in it’s first form and then it evolves and then BOOM! KAPOW! WOW! SPOONS!

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Anyway, my reading this month is going to be incredibly slow with Camp NaNo happening. I’m just really proud of my word count. I’ve hit more than 8700 words so far and will probably get to 10 000 by tonight and 15 000 by Saturday. I’ve also received quite a number of Review copies to do. I’m part of a blog tour coming up soon near end of July. It’s getting crazy busy. I’ll probably dedicate August to reading.

Speaking of reading, did you know you can find out about Upcoming Books and New Releases from a book blog we’ve started. And by we I mean myself, Jen and Vicky. It’s called Read Them First because, you know, if you visit and see what’s coming out in the future, you can be one of the few to get to read those books first. It’s brilliant we know.

Read Them First

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