Doctor Sleep

81r4acWAaCL._SL1500_Doctor Sleep was the highly anticipated sequel to one of King’s most horrifying books, The Shining. Called “[an] instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals”, Doctor Sleep was instantly embraced by fans of the great man. But it wasn’t well received by all. Several fans were severely disappointed by King’s characterization of Danny Torrance.

So what did you think? Did you find it to be just as great as the original? Better? Or lacking?

Discuss . . .

2 thoughts on “Doctor Sleep”

  1. I’m a big fan of Stephen in King in just about everything he writes. I even enjoy his far less popular works either by critics or fans. Something about King going off the rails a little with a story keeps my attention. I think this book is probably a good example of him purposely breaking his story a little to keep from going in a normal plot direction.

  2. Having massively enjoyed King’s more recent output (Dumah Key, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Just After Sunset), I was greatly anticipating this sequel to one of his more beloved and iconic works.

    Whilst the close character work on Danny Torrance is interesting and well handled, I found that certain elements of the book diluted my enjoyment of the whole. This is largely due to my own tastes in horror fiction, which run to the transgressive and the deviant. For me, the book scanned as a conscious homage to the tropes and cliches that King himself had a hand in establishing when he single-handedly resurrected horror fiction as a genre back in the 1970s/1980s. Everything that his work of the era coined is present, from the super-psychic child to the small-town setting; the alcoholic protagonist and ubiquitous “bully” character. How much you enjoy it will depend largely on how you view these elements; it is possible to regard them as a retreading of old ground, which, given that the book is a sequel to one of King’s most iconic and arguably influential works, isn’t surprising. However, for those, like myself, who respond more to experimental works like The Dark Tower series, Lisey’s Story, The Cell etc, this may prove a little too familiar; more staid and conservative than what we’ve become accustomed to from King in recent years.

    If you’re a fan of “classic King,” this will absolutely rock your socks; it is one of the most “King-esque” books he’s written for a very long time and has a certain wistful, nostalgic air about it, like something written far earlier in King’s life, only just released into the light of day. In that, it’s also something of a love letter to King’s much-referenced “constant readers;” those who have been with him since the early days of his career and for whom his appreciation of is abundantly clear in the sheer amount of effort and enthusiasm he puts into almost everything he produces.

    Like most of King’s works, you’ll probably finish it in a day or two. Maybe it’s the Brit in me, but I just don’t know how he manages to make 40 pages feel like 4, 400 like 40. He hits a colloquial, conversational tone that allows the paragraphs and pages to sift by as easily as breath. It’s a classic example of that page-turning quality that is part and parcel of his appeal; which makes him so accessible to people who generally don’t dip toe into horror’s murky, blood-tinted waters.

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