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)
After wading through "Cell" and "11/26/1963", I started wondering where the Stephen King that I enjoyed was. While not as innovative as "Carrie" or as just plain scary as "'Salem's Lot", "Doctor Sleep” stands alongside its predecessor as a good read that can provide more than just chills. It haunts you all the way through and leaves you fulfilled at the end.
Good Job all the way around.
As with every Stephen King book, the characters are so well developed you feel like you know them.
Both Dan and Abra. Very good interplay between the characters. Very believable characters.
This is an excellent Stephen King book. I've read 80% of his books, and I'd put this one in the top 30% for sure. I enjoyed the twists and turns, the plot, the characters, and the ending. Thanks Mr. King for a very thrilling and enjoyable listen. The performer was a little distracting at times, in his character voicings, but not all that bad. The rest of the performance was exceptional.
Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.
Absolutely. Especially if they like some people, felt King had lost his edge over the years. He's back!
Hard to say.
Yes, and as usual, he was spot on.
Abra. Such a wise little girl.
Amazing Character Development
I loved that this focused so much on one character. I love King's work, and character development is one of his most admirable and skillful traits (in my opinion). When all is said and done, you really feel a deep connection with Dan Torrance - especially if you have read 'The Shining'. King does an amazing job forcing you to care about him - you're right there with him during his darkest moments, and you get to relish in his redemption, too. I personally didn't think this book was scary in the slightest - which only speaks to Stephen King's skill as a writer - at least when compared to some of his earlier work (The Shining, 'Salem's Lot, Pet Semetary, etc.).
Paired with the excellent character development, Patton's voice work brings Dan to life - his voice embodies the emotions of all the characters perfectly.
As obvious as this answer is - I would have to say Dan. I felt a connection with him when I read 'The Shining', as his relationship with his father struck a chord with me. I have a young son and although I've never beaten him, I could relate to Jack's yearning to be a better husband/father and to support his family. Getting to revisit Danny as an adult was a true blessing, and there is nothing I would have changed about his character.
Not necessarily a 'fright-fest', but a good character study regarding overcoming the struggles of one's past.
"..that was then and this is now. Because the past is gone, even though it defines the present.”
Lover of sci-fi and the occasional horror story. Philosophical inclinations. English is my second language.
I recently read an interview with Joe Hill. He argued that a good idea for a story can only draw readers in; what makes them go on reading is the characters. That could be the epigraph for Doctor Sleep, and indeed for most of King's oeuvre.
Dan from The Shining grows up, inherits his father's drinking problem, get to know a girl with a big "shine" whom he takes under his wings - only to end up in a face off with a bunch of quasi-vampires, living of the shine of tortured young children.
I never was a huge fan of King, but I have read his novels as acceptable entertainment. Doctor Sleep is the quintessential King to my mind; very likeable (and very American) protagonist and some enjoyably evil antagonists, who "vibrate" with your darker nature. These characters work their way through a narrative that starts out with a good idea, but then becomes extremely predictable and much too long. In this case I would say we get the story (and what is going to happen) from about 1/3 into the book. I continued listening just because of the characters.
King himself admits to having written Doctor Sleep because he wanted to know what happened to the people from The Shining. And I kind of agree with him, characters are important and he is an expert in describing (very American) personalities. BUT I simply don't agree character development is the be all and end all of good novels. Doctor Sleep (and several of King's other novels) is missing something and I could not help noticing: it is missing idea development. Yes, people sucking life force out of phychic kids by turturing them is a good idea. But you can't write a whole novel on that theme by just filling up the rest with good characters! A short story for sure, but not 540 pages! That soup becomes too thin.
Or that is what I think and I seem to be in minority. Mind you, it is not that I hated Doctor Sleep or thought it was "King's worst novel". King's recipe for novels work up to a point, but it does not five-stars books make.
(In parenthesis, King's protagonists are all so very American. They struggle with some problem and triumph by living the American dream. Interestingly, his antagonists are usually less American and more European, often making references to "the old continent" and having traits reminiscent of the old, feudal aristocracy. Could not help noticing the quasi-vampires in Doctor Sleep had had a history as travellers in Europe, a notion problematically drawing on the imagery of European Romanies. Someone should do a study on the representation of ethnicities in King, could be revealing.)
Absolutely, but only because of Will Patton. He really delivered!
Everything - he is exceptional!
Looking behind me
I listened to this book while I was running. I recently moved to a new place and the area is quiet, wooded and peaceful. I don't think I have ever finished runs so fast. The reading and the story were intense; I could imagine myself being both the good and the bad. At times, I caught myself looking behind me to make sure I was alone. This is uncommon and still makes me laugh.
I recommend this to anyone who likes SK. Running on empty or on steam.
gluten-free and happy
Top book. so exciting and scary enough that I didn't want to stop listening, but not so scary I didn't want to start listening. Great story, interesting characters and made sense in that made up kinda way.
Under the Dome.
I loved Will Patton. He was a great storyteller.
Don't plan on Sleeping after seeing Dr. Sleep!
Fun book without resorting to clique horror.
Yes. Will Patton did an amazing job of bringing this book to life.
It was great to find out what happened to Danny after the Overlook was destroyed. It was not surprising to find that he was almost destroyed as well.
It is impossible to choose. I loved everything about this book.
Maybe I'm blind as a King fan but I don't think that any other writer could pull books with such far fetched premises and make me enjoy them this much. The writing is always so entertaining and I come get sucked in to a story that on the surface should be dismissed as ridiculous. This is a book Stephen King fans will enjoy very much. The book reintroduces Dan Torrence as a grown up struggling to get his life together. He's haunted by his past and what happened at the Overlook and how it destroyed his childhood.
It's set in a classic small town that King fans will recognize in spirit and feel. The bad guys are really bad, the good guys are kinda flawed, and the book is well worth a listen.
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