Audie Award Winner, Fiction, 2014
Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration - Male, 2014
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 12-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 12-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 hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
©2013 Stephen King (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
"Will Patton's delivery enhances King's prose in ways that make King's work so much more enjoyable in audio than just reading it…Patton's narrative voice captures the rhythm of King's words. His character voices, filled with a variety of regional American accents, remain consistent. Most importantly, the sinister aspects that embody characters and moments of this novel are superbly executed and will certainly leave listeners on edge." (AudioFile)
"King, not one given to sequels, throws fans a big, bloody bone with this long-drooled-for follow-up to The Shining." (Booklist)
"…a gripping, taut read that provides a satisfying conclusion to Danny Torrance's story." (Publisher’s Weekly)
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
King and Will Patton together. Am I dreaminig or is this for real? So many of King's books have been ruined by bad narration(THE CELL for starters) so i was so happy to see Will Patton as the narrator. Patton brings the characters to life just like he does in all his other narrations, mainly in James Lee Burke books, but his performance here is just as good or maybe better. Some free advice today.....If youve never read King but like Patton, I say you will be thanking me later for pushing you towards buying this audiobook. If you hate King but love Will Patton, still get it. I think Patton is sich a great reader that even when I hit the dull times he was able to keep me focused. 5 out of 5 for me all the way around
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!
No, it was like a TV series episode. Not bad, but nothing memorable either.
Yes. I prefer his less "fluffy" books. Unfortunately, I don't foresee him writing too many more of those, if any.
Probably better off borrowing this book from the library for free. Not worth the credit I spent on the book.
Narrator was great.
Story is way too out there for my taste. There wasn't any boundaries for the story the author could just over come any obstacle by giving the characters a new ability.
In a peaceful, verdant valley on the Equator, the sun always sets at 6, and a good audiobook is always the perfect evening companion
The particular genius of Stephen King at his best is an ability to concoct supernatural situations that are patently absurd, and then guide the reader down the twisting path of an inventive storyline toward unconditional credulity. By the time characters start swapping minds between their bodies or “flipping” into parallel dimensions, it has all become strangely plausible. This is one of those books.
“Doctor Sleep” provides the long-awaited sequel to “The Shining,” one of King’s earliest successes, and especially the character of little Danny, now all grown up and tormented by alcoholism and ghosts. It’s probably not necessary to know the original in order to enjoy the second, but it helps in small, significant ways.
Here is more of King’s pure invention: a band of elderly characters traveling the country in RVs, whose golf pants and liver spots mask a breed of ancient vampires called The True Knot (just “the True” to their friends). They feed—not on blood, but on the mystic essence of children who happen to possess the psychic powers of “the shining,” as Dan does. This essence is called “steam,” and its extraction is brutal, painful, and eventually fatal. For the True Knot, it's life itself. for centuries.
Downloaded in three parts, I wasn’t initially sure I’d stick with it. Not every King work is an unqualified page-turner for everyone. Before the end of the first third I was hooked. The reading by Will Patton is another tour de force, making a gripping story even more emotionally wired. He can do more with a harsh, throaty whisper than most could do with a scream, making your skin crawl. I couldn’t put it down, and I hated to see it end.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
When Dan Torrence was a five-year-old boy in The Shining (1977), his wannabe writer father succumbed to alcoholism and to the malign influence of the haunted Overlook Hotel and tried to kill him and his mother. (I still remember being terrorized by Stephen King's book when I read it back then in high school by a pool in broad daylight.) Fast forward to the present era in King's Doctor Sleep (2013), and 40-year-old Dan is still struggling to survive. For most of his life, he has been afflicted by the shining (the psychic ability to dream future events, to mentally receive and send thoughts, and to see dead people up and about, etc.), fearing that the gift was a curse that would drive him insane and believing that the only way to handle it was to drink it away: "The mind was a blackboard. Booze was the eraser." But the more he drank, the more he unleashed his inner feral dog and the more people he hurt and jobs and towns he lost. Luckily, in the opening chapters of this sequel to The Shining, Dan seems to find his home and calling in Frazier, New Hampshire, living and working at the small town's hospice, where, with a stray cat named Azzie, he helps terminally ill patients peacefully fall asleep into whatever comes next. Unluckily, the Overlook isn't finished with him.
Into Danny's life King interweaves two more story strands. The first features the True Knot, a "family" of self-proclaimed "Chosen Ones" who travel around America feeding on the "steam" emitted by the shining-gifted kids they torture to death. By feeding on steam, the True Knot members attain near immortality, not unlike vampires, though of an ironically all-American type, for, far from the usual sophisticated European aristocrat look, the True Knot adopt a "harmless RV folks" one, sporting tacky tourist t-shirts and driving gas guzzling campers and sporting conservative bumper stickers. Then there is Abra Stone, a precocious girl born just before 9/11 with a prodigious amount of the shining, much to the consternation of her parents. Despite hiding her gift to ease her parents' minds, Abra comes to the loving attention of Dan and to the scary attention of the True Knot. With exquisite suspense, King brings the three sets of characters ever closer together.
King writes great action set pieces that are exciting, scary, funny, unpredictable, inevitable, and inventive fusions of the physical and the paranormal. One of the reasons his work is so suspenseful and moving is that he's so good at writing three-dimensional characters we care about. Dan is fragile, brave, caring, and witty, Abra immature, sweet, vindictive, and powerful. The supporting characters are mostly convincing. And True Knott members like Rose the Hat, are scary and vulnerable, inhuman and all too human.
One of King's great insights is that perhaps the most terrifying thing of all is the possibility that our closest family members may harm us, especially when we are children. Just in the novel's "Prefatory Matters" he introduces a father who rapes his eight-year-old daughter, a grandfather who molests and torments his grandson, an uncle who beats his toddler nephew, not to mention Dan's own abusive father. King also of course taps more typical horror reflexes: our fear of pain and death and of powerful people who may do with us what they will. And he depicts the disease of alcoholism with harrowing realism (Dan's struggle against it and his AA organization feature prominently in the novel).
The novel is about families (dysfunctional and functional, biological and relational), about death (and life), about the way in which our childhoods, genes, and environments shape our adult selves, about power and responsibility, and about culture and horror. Despite depicting harrowing psychic and physical violence and potent evil, King maintains faith in some higher power balancing things out in our mysterious and mortal universe: "Life was a wheel, and it always came back around."
King is a pro with a keen ear for memorable lines, whether vivid descriptions ("His smiling, predatory face was the damp whitish-green of a spoiled avocado"), cool similes ("He felt like some breakable object that has skittered to the edge of a high shelf but hasn't quite fallen off"), quirky humor ("The hungover eye had a weird ability to find the ugliest thing in any given landscape"), frisky frissons ("At some point, as she had been concentrating, a corpse had joined her in the tool shed"), philosophical nuggets ("Death was no less a miracle than life"), and personal epiphanies ("I am not my father").
Another fun virtue of this book is King's keen eye for American culture, as in his pithy descriptions of recent presidents by their renowned identifying features, his understanding of how small towns function and feel, his depiction of highways as the arteries of the body of America, and of course his many cultural references, which range from the popular (Shrek, Twilight, Catching Fire, Facebook, etc.) to the literary (Moby-Dick, East of Eden, Ezra Pound, etc.) and cult (Pink Flamingos). The most intense action scenes occur in spots redolent of Americana: a mini-railroad picnic area, a highway, a campground.
Will Patton gives a stellar reading of Doctor Sleep. His voice is scratchy, tender, masculine, clear, and flexible. He is convincing as a child, adult, or old person of either gender in any mood. His scary characters become even scarier in proportion to his voice becoming softer. He enhances King's contextual humor and horror. The audiobook features an opening dedication and closing author's note, both read by King.
People who like The Shining should enjoy Doctor Sleep (though it's not necessary to have read the earlier book to appreciate the sequel), and anyone who likes character-driven, theme-laden, page-turning, well-written paranormal horror should like it, too.
This is very much an Alcoholics Anonymous inspired story. That isn't a secret, Stephen King, recovering alcoholic, acknowledge the book's AA roots in interviews promoting this long-awaited sequel to The Shining. In this book, he's conjured up the True Knot, a peculiar band of vampires who rather than drinking blood, inhale the "steam" coming off victims who die horribly, mostly at their hands. Cleverly disguised as retirees traveling America in motor homes, these vampires desperately seek steam the way a junkie joneses for heroin or an alcoholic craves a drink. Like other addicts, members of the True Knot do any evil things to satisfy their addiction. It is up to Dan Torrance, the boy with the shining from the 1977 novel who is now a middle aged recovering alcoholic, to stop the True Knot. He gets help from Abra, a teenage girl, who has a powerful shining but is being hunted by the vampires who want to kill her for her steam. The ending where Dan confronts the True Knot and his own secret issues from his drinking days, pretty much follows the standard for thrillers. Will Patton, the reader of the Audible version, does an excellent job with the voices, including the New England accents of some of Dan's cohorts. There also is some good AA wisdom in this book but it is hard to judge how those outside the 12-Step world will view it.
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.
I am a huge Stephen King fan and consider him to be one of the best authors around. All that being said, Dr. Sleep left me sleepy rather than sleepless. The story seemed contrived and predictable. It certainly did not meet the usual high King standards. I almost felt as if he had run out of ideas and decided to dust off an enthralling tale of the super natural, hoping to touch on the glory of The Shining. Don't get me wrong--I still couldn't stop listening to this sequel; I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters. Perhaps another and more serious problem was the narrator. Will Patton tried to inject the missing feeling into the book with an often sonorous voice that attempted to convey fear and tension. Instead, he interfered with the story, often detracting from the tale with his overly dramatic reading of simple sentences.
However, an author as prolific and talented as Stephen King is entitled to an occasional miss. I will continue to look forward to his amazing offerings with anticipation.
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