What happened to that little kid from The Shining, once he grew up? What would have happened to his dry drunk of a father, if he had found Alcoholics Anonymous? These are two of the questions Stephen King wanted to answer in Doctor Sleep, he explains at the end of the novel. King has built up quite the tale out of the Overlook Hotel’s ashes: this was just awarded best audiobook of the year at Audible.com a few days ago.
Doctor Sleep brings us that little strong, sweet, and smart kid Danny Torrance all cragged and grown up; Danny is such a painful portrayal of innocence lost he’ll make you wistful for your own early childhood, before all the mistakes started piling up. The Overlook still haunts poor Danny’s dreams, and he’s now a drunk who despises himself for turning out like dear old dad.
King takes us through Danny’s alcoholic bottom with the descriptive language he has such a knack for, making the first bits of the book difficult, but necessary, to get through. King loves to linger a bit on the rough stuff in life; rather than having an off-putting effect, this is part of what makes him a horror powerhouse. The man who spent paragraphs describing wind-up teeth in “Chattery Teeth” and didn’t shy away from documenting the split of a woodchuck into two in Under the Dome turns his attention to Danny’s low points with alcohol, and we are spared no detail of where Danny’s drinking takes him. Danny’s recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous is a part of the story, something that is becoming more common in novels and television shows.
Oddly enough I may have been happy with a story of Danny Torrance without the horror, but rather than only documenting Danny’s struggle to find recovery, King introduces a new and unlikely set of villains: a nefarious band of energy banshees called the True Knot, disguised as old folks touring America in RV’s and campers. They feed off of the shining that those like Danny possess. They sense something delicious in a bright young girl named Abra, who shines something strong and needs a mentor like Danny desperately.
The characters here were delightfully vivid for me. The evil figures, roving in a band of trailers, were reminiscent of the post-apocalyptic armies in Robert McCammon‘s Swan Song, and I’d be interested to know if King was influenced by that classic in any way while writing this book. King has in Doctor Sleep, as he does in many of his books, an appreciation for the full spectrum of human capability. It would have been so simple for King to write Abra as a one-dimensional sweetheart, but she has her own dark side–as we all do, King seems to be noting.
Where the story lost me a bit was in the action. Without giving too much away, many of the battle scenes felt a bit silly to me because they were taking place, well, in people’s minds. When used in books and in films, incredible mental powers (let’s face it, all magical powers) can often feel a bit hokey as they can at anytime become a cheap trick. I think King relied on this type of thing too much towards the end of the book. Things become much more cerebral than they did in The Shining, and I was disappointed there wasn’t a more epic The Stand style battle between good and evil.
The final question here is Abra, Danny’s delightful and powerful-beyond-belief mentee, whose temper matches her strength. Will we meet Abra again, in her own book? It would be wonderful to see the capabilities of an older Abra, adolescent and out-of-control. It seems like too good of a story not to tell.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
So I've attempted many King books before, starting with Misery & Cujo when I was a teenager, and then painfully getting through "It" years later. By painfully I mean too many details. King would mention the mail man's gastrointestinal issues for two pages in Cujo, and all of them just made me want to scream "Get to the point man!" Well surprise surprise, he has finally won me over with "Doctor Sleep." I can't recall one time while listening to this book that I became irritated with the typical excessive details bogging down King's other books.
I can't say that this is a scary book, but more of a thriller, which is fine by me either way. Still, I'm glad to report to those of you who suffered like me through many King books screaming for less details or just giving up, I recommend.
Will Patton's narration is awesome, he nails it.
Go ahead and give this book a shot...I think you'll like it.
He's done it again! But this time, he's reunited us with one of our favorite victims, Danny Torrance.
All grown up, it seems Danny is a lot like dear ole' Dad. But does it have to be that way?
Giving him a purpose, and allowing him to help another with the 'Shining' was a wonderful way to bring Danny back.
Though this wasn't 'Balls to the wall' horror, the suspense and the action pick up about half way through. I found myself waiting for more and dreading the pause button. It really is a book for those who love King's twisted horror writing.
I personally think the Shining was a lot more scary, but the idea behind this villain is eerily familiar.
I also enjoy the way King and his son, Joe Hill, play off of each other's novels and create their own little 'other' world.
Pay attention folks, there are references to some of Hill's books in here!
All in all though, it was a great book that kept me on my toes and anxious for more.
I wouldn't necessarily say the audio is better than the print, it is just more convenient for me to listen to recreational books than read them.
While I enjoy listening to Will Patton, I don't think he really hit the mark with this book. His half whisper style, while gentle to the ear, seemed to fail in capturing the suspense of the story.
As a recovering alcoholic, King really nailed what it is like to fight the urge to drink even though you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I enjoyed when he revealed his deepest secret and no one seemed to notice. It is so true to form for an alcoholic.
It was good to continue where The Shining left off. I have been hoping for years King would do the same thing with The Stand.
You just can't beat Will Patton as a audible book performer - team him up with a story by Stephen King and you have a sure hit. I enjoyed this immensely and am hoping for a sequel about Dan and Abra. :)
I am a daily commuter, 1 hour each way. Audible rides shotgun with me every day. The time flies by when I am listening to a good book.
Not since Stu Redman in The Stand have I enjoyed and loved a character so much as Dan Torrance in Doctor Sleep. There were at least 2 scenes towards the end that had me fighting off tears. I was lost in the story and almost sobbed out loud! Will Patton did a great job with the cast of characters and I hope we get to meet some of them again. I wasn't sure I wanted to read a sequel to The Shining as it scared the crap out of me when I read it a few years ago. To me, Doctor Sleep provided a satisfying conclusion.
I love to shop & listen to audio bks
I think SK did a fabulous job showing how a little boy named Danny Torrence grew up after going thru the Overlook ordeal and working with whatever outcome he had to work with throughout his adult life. That part was realistic, esp AA. The other part of the story just added to SK's imagination and kept us readers interested in mind telepathy as well as ghosts even coming from the old story the Shinning, As SK even admits at the end of his novel, sometimes a sequel (most times) cannot compare to the original, this one came pretty darn close. Worth the credit and more....
But average compared to other authors. Good ideas, weak events.
Dan was the boy in the book “The Shining.” His psychic abilities are called “shining.” In this book he is an adult alcoholic and cannot keep a job. He drinks to dim his shining senses - seeing undead spirits and reading people’s thoughts. In 2001 he meets Casey who gives him a job and insists Dan attend AA meetings every day. This saves Dan. He keeps this job for many years and continues going to AA meetings.
Abra is born around 2001. Her psychic abilities are stronger than Dan’s. As she grows up she periodically links with Dan through mental telepathy.
A group of evil creatures called the The True Knot travel the country in RVs. They kill humans in order to breathe their essence as they die. The essence is called “steam.” The best steam comes from humans with shining abilities. They learn about Abra and want her. The leader of the group is Rose.
Disappointing. Not a good story. It seemed like the author was just meandering around. A few parts were repetitive - like a good guy and Rose communicating telepathically with taunts and threats “I’m going to kill you.” “No you’re not I’m going to kill you.” The good guy vs. bad guy action scenes were disappointing. It was just sort of mind power causing the other guy to die. I liked the concept and the character creations. But the author didn’t do anything new or different with the events. It was too long. A lot of emphasis was on Dan’s alcoholism and his guilt about one bad thing he did in his past.
I like the way Stephen King’s mind works, and I smiled a few times. Examples: An evil creature is looking at Dan “She was smiling the way you do when you see an old friend, or perhaps something good to eat.” Another about teeth: “Be sure you brush the back ones. That’s where the food goes to hide.”
The narrator Will Patton was excellent. I liked the way he sounded when two people were talking telepathically - like he was making a tunnel with his hands. I liked the way he did female voices; he softened and quieted his voice. It was good, not effeminate or weird like some male narrators.
Genre: paranormal suspense thriller
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
note: i've only read or listened to 3 other stephen king novel's (the shining, the stand, and the talisman) so i wouldn't be able to tell you if this was a "great" king novel, but i CAN tell you this is a truly good story.
of all the books i've ever read or listened to, the shining is the one book i compare all others to when it comes to a good scare. to me, that is "horror." i haven't found many stories that are comparable, but maybe that's b/c i was 18 when i read it. even though it was the summer of my freshman year at college and was your typical meathead frat boy, the shining still scared me! but of course like many of you, i HAD to keep reading! LOL now in my late 30's, i was psyched to learn danny's story continued. so, i was eager to listen to doctor sleep. i wanted to know if i could be scared again.
after listening to doctor sleep, i can safely say i wasn't scared again, but what i can say is that it was an entertaining story even though i never got the creeps. stephen king does a really good job portraying danny's life as an alcoholic. i found it kind of sad that he'd fallen to that level. i drank a lot in college, but i never felt like i had to drink just to make it to the next day. the theme of alcoholism plays a credible part of the story, especially when considering danny's family history. there's another compelling reason danny drinks, but i'd rather let you discover why instead of divulging it.
listening to the story, i got attached to danny. i cared about his character. i was pulling for him to overcome his temptations to drink, and i found those scenes powerful and realistic.
i really liked how stephen king integrated the character of abra into the story and how danny and abra finally come together. it's just one of those things that you keep listening for b/c you anticipate it soo much. needless to say, i had a few late nights. LOL stephen king does a good job pacing the story as danny's and abra's stories merge. i actually found myself getting kind of giddy!
so yes, i bonded with the characters in the book. i also liked a lot of the minor characters, such as danny's friends. again, stephen king doesn't rush the story. he credibly builds frienndships so when friendship is called upon, it feels real and not contrived.
as far as the villains, i didn't find them as scary as the overlook or its inhabitants, but the one creepy thing about them was their plainness- how they are able to hide in plain sight. geezzz...maybe i'm contradicting myself! but i can honestly say i'll never look at a rv the same way again! seriously! even though the villains didn't scare me, i LOATHED them. i soo wanted them to get their comeuppance! so on a level, i bonded with them.
i enjoyed will patton's narration. his voice eases you into the story, his voice matches what i believe danny's would sound like.
overall, i really enjoyed the story. if you're interested in finding out whatever happened to danny torrence, then listen to this story. it is a rewarding conclusionof his story!
p.s. after listening to this, i'm definitely tempted to listen to more of stephen king's work, especially his older work b/c he is an exceptional storyteller!
Stanley Kubric's movie adaptation of "The Shining" is one of my favorite scary movies. So many people told me that I had to read the book that I finally did a few years ago. Now, Stephen King and his avid fans think the book is better, but I prefer the movie. "Doctor Sleep" is the story of a grown-up Danny Torrance. I was skeptical of a sequel to such a well-known story, especially after such a long time. I also approach Stephen King with caution. His books tend to be hit or miss with me. I thought "Salem's Lot" and "The Stand" rambled too much. I thought "Under the Dome" was very cliched and had a dumb ending. I love "Firestarter", "Joyland", and "11/22/63". "Doctor Sleep" falls into the category of Stephen King books that I love. I loved the characters and their relationships. The scary parts were suitably scary. Danny's character development seemed very authentic. I highly recommend this book with the caveat that you need to either read "The Shining" or see the movie before tackling this.
Will Patton's narration is practically perfect. I'm not sure if I've listened to any of his narrations before, but I surely will again. When trying to decide between text and audio, a Will Patton narration will definitely swing me to the audio.