Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

October 14th, 2013 kimbacaffeinate Giveaway, Review 95 Comments

14th Oct
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Doctor Sleep
by Stephen King
Series: The Shining #2
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Genres: Horror
Source: Purchase
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

I am a huge fan of Stephen King and can remember the first time I read The Shining. I was in junior high at the end of sixth grade and had been devouring King’s books. The Shining both terrified me and enthralled me, so when I learned we would be revisiting the little boy Dan Torrance as a middle age man I was all sorts of excited. Doctor Sleep held me captive from the first page, and while it did not scare me like the first, I found myself again impressed with King’s ability to weave an incredible tale. Three word review: captivating, suspenseful and worthy of a reread.

King weaves several threads together as we meet up with Dan Torrance as a child, and then fast forward to him as a struggling adult. We also meet a group known as the “True Knot.” They travel as a group across America in RV’s as they search of substance. We also dip into the life of Abra Stone, growing with her from an infant to snarky twelve year old. The True Knot feed on the “steam” of children or as Dick Halloran referred to it in The Shining the “shining.” The tale that unfolds was weaves these stories together keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

I have said this before, but it is worth mentioning again; King is the master of flawed, quirky characters that draw the reader in. Dan is all grown up, struggling and still struggling with the shine. I still see the little boy in this complicated man and loved watching him transform throughout the novel. My feelings for him were like those of a parent; sometimes I wanted to hug him and other times send him to his room. Abra Stone is a brave little warrior whom I adored her. For all of Dan’s darkness, she is light. I loved watching them interact and felt their connection. Rose the leader of the True Knot was a perfect villain and King described her perfectly bringing her to life before my eyes. Even the secondary characters impressed me in this tale and added depth to the story.

Doctor Sleep was brilliant, and I am so glad King chose to listen to that inner voice that kept asking “what if.” I am not going to share any details as I fear spoilers. The world was fleshed out, and my understanding of the “shine” clearer. All of the different POV’s and their interaction to one another made this tale incredible and suspenseful. While I was not scared, after all I am no longer a twelve year old, reading this in bed with a flashlight, but I got the shivers once or twice. The tale unfolds at an incredible pace, with moments of tension, and then a slowing as we gained insight. All of the voices and threads came together to propel us towards the climatic ending. I loved King’s descriptive voice as he brought both the characters and the world to life. The tale unfolding like a movie in my head and I achieved that book high I crave, losing myself within its pages.

For fans of King and the Shining, Doctor Sleep is not to be missed. Before picking this up, clear your schedule as I can assure you, you will not be able to put it down. A thrilling page turner, King, has done it again.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Win an eBook copy of Doctor Sleep or The Shining by Stephen King from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers. Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She's a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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95 Responses to “Doctor Sleep by Stephen King”

  1. Megan

    Wow, this one sounds awesome! I haven’t read The Shining, but the film scared the pants off me, partly because I watched it for the first time in a hotel (I had no idea what it was about other than being scary)!
    Megan recently posted…Cover Reveal: Born of DeceptionMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh creepy Megan, this one isn’t as scary but it held me captive.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree Jess but this is a story all on its own. Hope you decide to read it 🙂

  2. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book by Stephen King, but I sure miss the elegance of his writing and the dread it provokes. My favorite by far is Dolores Claiborne, he really outdid himself with that novel.
    I’m glad you were so happy with this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved that one too Maja, but my favorites are the Stand, It and his short stories.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I don’t think he is nearly as scary as he use to be or maybe I just grew up..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This one didn’t even have me sleeping with the bathroom light on, but I loved it!

  3. kindlemom1

    The Shinning was one of the few King books I didn’t read but that may have more to do with the fact that I saw the movie before and I refuse to read a book after seeing the movie.

    I am so glad this still help all the magic and scariness that the first did!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      My mom was a fan and I remember taking the novel up to bed at night and reading with a flashlight after lights out. I use to shove a blanket under the door so my Dad couldn’t see the light and I would read and read till I fell asleep. Then look around sheepishly when my Dad was wondering where the hell all the D batteries went he just bought..hehehe.

  4. Evie

    I totally agree! King is so good at creating complex, flawed characters that readers can relate to. And I just love his prose, the way he draws you in and makes you a total junkie 🙂 I need to read this book ASAP, I loved The Shining, and can’t wait to find out what happened to that little boy!
    Great review!! 🙂

  5. Nick

    I’ve only read a couple of books by Stephen King, but I remember him writing in such an intense way that basically doesn’t let you stop reading the book. He definitely knows how to write horror well.
    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this despite it not scaring you that much.
    Great review, Kim!
    Nick recently posted…Blog Tour Stop : The Art of Letting Go by Anna BloomMy Profile

  6. Rebe

    I read Joyland recently and loved it, so I think I’m going to have to go back and read The Shining. I never read it, because I’m a wimp, but both film versions were really intriguing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I reread the Shining last year since I read it years and years ago, and it didn’t scare me as much as it did the first time but man can King write..eep!

  7. Jenny

    Hmmm. Normally I would immediately disregard this book as I’m not a horror fan at all Kim, but I wrote a whole 20 some-odd page paper in high school on The Shining, so I think this is going to be a must read for me! I love that he decided to revisit Dan Torrance, I definitely have always wondered what became of him!

    Also, that cover is amazing. I love it:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      After that paper heck yes, and this isn’t really scary but creepy and suspenseful.

  8. Jenni

    I bought Doctor Sleep, and have not yet read it.

    I heard someone say that while it was not quite like The Shining, horror wise, part of what made this book great was the nostalgia that it brings back.

    I read The Shining 5 years ago, for a class. I LOVED it, and can not wait to read it.

    In fact, the last book I finished was The Long Walk, also by King. 🙂 You should check out my Teaser Tuesday post from last week, if you haven’t read it alread!

    Jenni
    Jenni recently posted…Wonderfully Wicked Read a Thon!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh he wrote the Long Walk as Bachman and ooh I loved that and Lawn Mower Man and the others..fantastic tales. I have read almost everything he has ever published including his collaborations. Hope you enjoy this, and yes it brings back memories.

  9. Susan

    I’ve read Duma Key, The Gunslinger-The Dark Tower #1, On Writing. I love when authors pull characters from their other books for new stories. Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Braine Talk Supe

    I think I’ll skip reading the books BUT I do want to see the movie. I haven’t yet! I love Jack Nicholson & I know his performance in that is memorable so I’ll go down that route instead and hope they turn this into a movie too.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The movie is a classic, but I prefer the book, even though Nicholson out did himself. I hope they make a movie for this one too.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes Pamela you so need to read them…some of my favorites 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I saw that, and hope it sparks interest in King for this new generation.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved the Stand and 11-22-63 of course I love all of his books..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ya know Melissa when I was in middle school/high school and read his books they scared the crap out of me, but in my twenties and now forties ..nope, they are suspenseful, sometimes creepy but not sleep with the bathroom light on scary at all.

  11. Sarah

    I’ve never read any King (other than his work on the initial arc of the American Vampires comic book), but I really need to start! He just has SO many books it’s hard to know which to pick up first.
    Sarah recently posted…The Beginning of EverythingMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you manage it soon, it was wonderful! I loved Wizard and Glass 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      you could so read 11/22/63 not scary,at all..time travel 🙂

  12. Michele

    I went through a huge Stephen King phase. I think my favorite was Silver Bullet — I love the movie, too! This book sounds perfect for this time of year. Awesome review! Thanks so much for sharing and for the giveaway! ~Michele with one l 😉
    Michele recently posted…Spooktacular Giveaway HopMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Michele, I have actually read all of his novels and short stories. I love how he sweeps me up into his crazy world.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      “they all float down here” eep! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did Jennifer 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet, I hope you enjoy it, and so we can add you to the club!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That is one of my favorites as well..I lost myself in it for days!

  13. Lupdilup

    You know, even though the Shinning is probably one of all-time favorites horror books, I wasn’t in a hurry to listen to Dr. Sleep, but after reading your review and the Geeky blogger’s book blog, I will be moving it to the front of the line.
    Excellent work as always 🙂
    Lupdilup recently posted…4th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway HopMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You so need to read it, it was wonderfully done, and I am still thinking about it two weeks later.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      if you saw the Shining, you could easily follow this, it really is a whole new novel. 🙂

  14. Alise

    Ohmygosh I had NO idea there was a sequel to The Shining! Where have I been!? That cover is gorgeous, and while I have not read or seen the original movie, I am definitely going to soon so I get in with all the King action 🙂
    Alise recently posted…[Vlog] Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  15. Adriana

    Your review gave me chills. I’m reading the Shining right now and I’m so excited to see how Danny has grown up. I like that the book seems different from it’s predecessor but has the same sort of feel.
    P.S. Sixth grade!? Really? You put me to shame (;
    Adriana recently posted…13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen JohnsonMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I took it from my mom’s bookshelf and would read it with a flashlight in bed after lights out..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was quite good Diana, and I hope you lose yourself in it, like I did 🙂

  16. Autumn

    I really enjoyed this book, aside from one of the ‘reveals’ near the end (won’t spoil for anyone else :D)I don;t think anyone is better than King in creating realistic characters who behave and speak as real people, even when the situations are fantastic. DOCTOR SLEEP struck me as more of a spin off than an actual sequel, and I’d love to see a third with Abra as a villain–doesn’t she seem more Jack Torrance than Danny to you?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I would like to read more about Abra as well, and can anyone really compare to Jack..LOL I also agree this was more of a companion book.

  17. Denise Z

    I have watched movies and miniseries galore by Stephen King, but not read many of his books; primarily because the prices are usually too high for my budget. I did read Dolores Claiborne and really enjoyed it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Check out used book stores you can often find a lot of his paperbacks there. Good luck and Dolores was one of my favorite characters.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Sharonda, and yes I love his tales, and his flawed, realistic and disturbing characters. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Good luck to you Jodie, and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

      • Tanya

        I thought about signing up for a SK reading challenge and start with the non-horror ones and work my way up through the scary ones. I really want to read 11/22/63. But if i win, i guess I will have to put my big girl panties on and read The Shining, because the movie completely freaked me out!!
        Tanya recently posted…The Last Romanov by Norbert Mercado Book ReviewMy Profile

        • kimbacaffeinate

          11/23/63 was really good, and not scary. The Shining scared me the first time I read it, but I was very young, I reread it last year and while creep-tastic it is more of a psychological thriller. Glad you are willing to get those big girl panties out and try!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope this peaks your interest in his books again, good luck Mandy!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That was a good series Mandy, good luck and I hope you enjoy this one as well. 🙂

  18. Beckie

    Okay, don’t shoot me but before last week I had never read anything by Stephen King. Yeah, I know. Sad. Now I have watched plenty of his movies and or course see his books around but just never thought I would enjoy his books. I ended up reading The Shining last week for the WWreadathon and ended up loving it. Doctor sleep sounds really good. I am glad you enjoyed it so.

    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂 I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

    – Beckie
    Beckie recently posted…Harlequin Teen Halloween Tour: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa | Trick or Treat? Giveaway!My Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      No shooting here, and I am so glad you tried The Shining and enjoyed it! Hopefully you will get a chance to read Doctor Sleep as well 🙂

  19. Berls

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this book lately and I think your review may have finally pushed me into reading a King novel. Yep – I’ve actually never read King. For one, I’m afraid – I watched the Shinning as a teenager and had nightmares for like a week. But I can’t deny its genius and have been wanting to read the book. So I think I will and if I survive, I’ll move on to this one. If I don’t – it’s your fault for writing such a great review LOL 😉
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 16th EditionMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You should try 11/22/63 it is time travel and more fantasy then horror so is the Doctor Sleep.

  20. Gayle Pace

    I love Stephen King. I’ve also read his wife’s books and his soon too. I would say that I’d go with THE SHINING. I have read and watched that over and over and it’s just as creepy as the last time. King is good.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Me too, and I hope you get a chance to read this..good luck!