An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, 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 tween 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....
©2013 Stephen King (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio
Movie loving Brit living Down Under. Anything 'end of the world' themed usually gets my attention, but The Stand has yet to be beat.
I'm a big Stephen King fan and have very much enjoyed his last couple. While this wasn't classic King, it was certainly an enjoyable listen.
Finding out what happened to Danny Torrance after The Overlook burned down was the most interesting. Find out about The True Knot and, in particular, Rose the Hat, was often dull and predictable.
I have; Alas, Babylon (which was fantastic). He's pretty good here and I have no problems with his narration, though he does sometimes get a bit over-wrought.
Way more worthwhile than answering the same question you asked first off in this review. Allow me to cut and paste...'I'm a big Stephen King fan and have very much enjoyed his last couple. While this wasn't classic King, it was certainly an enjoyable listen.'There. Happy now? Good. Moving on...
Not his best but plenty good enough. The middle third especially is outstanding, but the first third is too long and windy and the climax is oddly formulaic for King, something which can arguably said for most of the story. It feels like a good idea not quite seen through, if that makes sense.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
Seriously, I liked this book but I did feel that I wish I had re-read/listened to The Shining before listening to this one.
The Narrator - Will Patton does OK. His accents are alright but I got the feeling that there was no great love of Stephen King. Maybe I am wrong but I always felt that if I were to listen to one of these stories it would be read in a New England accent. "Heya" etc. Having said that the narrator does not impose himself and lets the story tell itself. So that is good.
The Story - The story was alright. You really expect something extraordinary from Stephen King. Even though he has written nothing extraordinary for a long time, you still expect it. It's kind of like going out with a friend who you used to laugh with a lot. Then the friend got old and bitter. You still go out with them because you remember that you used to laugh a lot and there is always a chance that things have improved. This book is like that. I bought it because Mr King entertained me all those years ago. This book only just did that. It's not great but it's still better than most.
Will Patton is undoubtedly my new best friend and greatest voice actor ever. I think I still have to decide whether Doctor Sleep is vintage King, i.e. better than his later books. However what is beyond argument is that Will Patton performs this book with breathtaking skill and craftsmanship.
He creates believable good characters and voices the evil ones in a manner that gives you cold shivers.
If Mr Patton were to read War and Peace in binary code, it would still be riveting.
Will Patton turns this book into something more than special!!! I cannot describe the range and qualities he gives to King's characters. His voice brought chills at the right moments and expressed the vulnerability of Abra and all who were concerned for her.
King manages to construct such a believable history behind the man that is Dan Torrance. I couldn't help but see in my mind's eye and really be convinced of what Danny had become. Brilliant
This being my first listening of Will Patton I will certainly pick up more
I absolutely wanted to spend a full 18 hrs listening to nothing but this book. ... but y'know,...life gets in the way.
If anything, this story has reawakened the love I have of Stephen King's writing.
Only know the audio version but the narrator was outstanding. Really brought the atmosphere to the story (and delivered great character differentiation)
It was a continuously gripping story. Beautifully constructed.
No. Regrettably not.
Excellent sequel to The Shining yet could be read / listened to as a stand alone novel. Will Patton is the best male narrator I have listened to. Often it is the case that male narration of ladies makes them all sound like Mrs Doubtfire - however with Will this is not the case. His reading is subtle yet very complelling - instantly drawing you in. I will definately be seeking other books he has narrated. Perhaps another Steven King. I have read many Steven King novels but this is the first I have listened to. Very much enjoyed.
Doctor Sleep’s story follows Danny Torrance – the special boy who survived his father’s murderous possession by the Overlook Hotel twenty years ago – living a nomad’s life as he moves from place to place, wrestling with an alcohol problem that he uses to dull the effects of the Shining. His ability has become more powerful over the years and the demons from his childhood still haunt his waking hours and his nightmares.
King has managed to take the idea of the Shining and develop it in ways not before thought of. We encounter characters who have a fair bit of “shine” that manifests itself as different abilities. Some of these characters are good, some are evil. The latter includes the True Knot; semi-immortals who were once human, but are no longer. They survive by feeding off the “Steam” that children with the Shining produce when they are tortured to death. Of course, Danny inevitably crosses paths with them as he seeks to save a powerful child from their insane obsession. It’s a good story. Nothing wrong with it at all. It just doesn’t stand out from King’s earlier works.
As to the narration, I’ve only ever seen Will Patton in movies and was a little sceptical as to his selection as the story’s narrator. I haven’t ever seen much acting range from the man. I was wrong. Patton brings each character to life in a performance that I wouldn’t have believed possible from the understated actor. He is brilliant.
What an amazing talent this author has. I reread The Shining to refresh my memory and the first thing that popped into my head after I finished the book was that it held far less of the shock element than it did when I read it at 15, instead it held the wonder of a well crafter work of art.
Then I started on Dr Sleep. Not OVERLY enthusiastic since I always say…. I like and much prefer 'OLD SCHOOL SK". To my delight the book was marvelous. Truly even better, more layered and the plot and theme running like a double helix throughout the book.
So it did NOT scare me enough to fear to switch off my light at night. However, it kept me listening and listening for hours at a time sometimes going back a chapter if something distracted me. A brilliantly written thriller by a true master of the genre. I am sure SK will entice tons of new 15 years old and make them fear to turn off their light at night.
At the end of the audio production SK himself left a note that exactly says, only far better, what I came to realize while rereading The Shining. We grow up. We change. The stories that scared us might not scare us anymore.
About the narrator…Will Patton. This man is a master of his craft much as SK is. He gave a tenderness to some of the main protagonists that made my heart melt and ache for them. Others was hard edged and others still was totally disinterested. All though were unique and his pacing and dialogue was brilliant.
I listen to audiobooks on my 2 hour commute to work every day. Favourite authors include Michael Connelly, Stephen King, and D J Molle
It's a big call, I know - but I enjoyed this book more than it predecessor The Shining. Why? I think because the evil in Doctor Sleep is more tangible; Rose the Hat and her 'True Knot' have human-like characteristics and emotions, but they must do the unspeakable in order to survive.
One thing I love about Stephen King is his ability to create interesting and complex characters, and draw us close to them. His characters are often likeable despite their flaws. Sleep Doctor is no exception. Through Dan Torrance we glimpse the world through the eyes of an alcoholic with a disturbing past and an ability to 'shine'. Through Rose we see a vicious yet alluring leader struggling to keep her family, her True Knot, alive. And through Abra, we see a typical teenager, cocky and naïve, but with powerful physic abilities and a vengeful streak.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sleep Doctor and would recommend it to those who enjoy a good Stephen King thriller/horror.
Hi there All, I am a 63 going on 64 year old woman, I have just gone blind so I am so glad to know about Audible. I love it.
I am a great Stephen King fan and read everything he writes, even the shorter storys. But this is just the silliest book I have ever tried to read. I read The Shining on a fairly regular basis. So when Doctor Sleep came out I spent my credit without a qualm. After all, I can beleive in a haunted hotel with a drunk slowly going mad and as this is a follow up story about Danny, it should be good, I thought. But the idea of beings who live on the "steam" of terror, this is beyond my head to beleive in at all. I have tried to read it on several occasions, but each time I get to the "steam head" idea, my brain just yells, this is stupid. So my freinds if you can beleive in Zombies, which I am unable to do, you will probably love this book, but if you are like me, and used to Stephen Kings mind of Horror, I think like me, you should just give this one a miss.
"Stick with The Shining"
Strangely enough, unlike other reviews, I loved the narration and didn't much care for the story - I felt the narrator was monotonous in parts, but that was due to the listless insommnia of Danny at the time, so it actually added to the performance.
Overall, I think you should leave a great story as it is, like in films, remember Jaws 2 eating the electric cable? Enough said.
If you want to listen to this book please do the shining first as this is the follow up many years after and the little boy best known as doc is all grown up. Mr King never disappoints this is a very clever story its gripping and sad ,it gave me goose bumps in places, doing both books back to back was fantastic.
"Cheap and hardly scary"
No, I would not.
The story starts well. It's consuming has a thrill uncovering more and more about 'the true knot' ,but that ends quickly.
From about halfway through it becomes predictive and almost boring in consequence of events. The ancient true knot's members first depicted as horrifying become lousy and helpless in all of their actions. It's just so hard to believe that the one that ventured across earth for centuries has never had measles or never came across a sick kid with it or any other sickness. I simply don't buy it and see it as a massive flow in the plot.
The new look at 'the shinning' as a power feels like a stretch and as if it was taken from some of the recent teen's series.
And the end had no sense as well.
There're just so many things that just don't make sense. Why didn't they sense Dan if his power was so great to put up a fight with Rose the hat ?! How come a ghost was able to strangle one of the true knot if for that it needs someone with shine to feed it with power.
And 'the gas bomb' that killed them all, that was just lame.
Also, reference to 'the game of thrones' ?! That's some really bad parenting if 12 year old is allowed to watch it, or worse read the book. It might be another way of invasive advertising like with adding names of hotel chains or car rentals. I don't see what purpose it could serve to the story and see it as a very low blow that made me cringe.
Apart of those, when it finished I had only one feeling in my head that brought a single phrase out: 'a cheap story'.
So, no I would not recommend it.
King needs to start writing something newer and fresher than rehashing ideas of vampires mixed with paranormal activities for me to get started with another of his books.
Maybe one of the old once, though.
The narration was ok. I simply didn't like a voice of the narrator.
Not really. I sort of feel betrayed and disappointed.
I was expecting an exciting continuation of a thriller and got this mediocre story that may thrill girls between 12-16 years of age that may identify with a character in the story.
Don't rise your expectations, otherwise you're up for a disappointment.
"A worthy follow up"
The narrator distinguishes each character to make them easily recognisable when they appear.
At the beginning, we hear about Mr Manx and Christmasland, borrowed from Stephen's son's book, NOS4R2, which I thoroughly enjoyed last summer. It brought a smile to my face!
Easy to listen voice, a good voice, never boring.
I'm glad to have returned to Mr King's stories, now I'm looking for to Mr Mercedes.
"Not What I Expected..."
Will Patton's narration was first class. As with some of King's best novels I really enjoy his writing when he focuses on the stories/ thoughts of the characters major and minor. In fact I would go as far as to say that really the main story line doesn't ever really do it for me in King's novels- it's all about the characterisation. This book is no exception, the story line is ok but the characters, places and situations are what make this novel so rich and full of life.My favourite King novels are The Stand, Under The Dome & 11/22/63 - this didn't quite reach the heights of these books for me but almost and certainly better than some of the others I've read. I actually enjoyed it more than The Shinning which surprised me.
The reference to Charlie Manx from Joe Hill's N0S4R2 by Halloran, I love it when books cross reference!
I loved his portrayal of all of the members of the True Knot, proper hicks!
Pretty much, towards the end I started to lose a little interest as all the action was jammed into the final third.
At times I felt that the narrative was a little clichéd and rushed, I loved the first two thirds but lost a little interest towards the end.
I've never read King before but thought the film The Shining was superb, so I wanted to see what happened to that little boy. This sequel had me gripped from the first sentence. Hugely enjoyable and listening to his writing was like watching a film somehow. Great characters and an expertly crafted plot. The narrator was a perfect match for me, a great job by Patton.
"Stephen King still has it!"
Did you ever wonder what happened to Danny Torrance? I Know I did. My expectations were high and King delivered, once again. Wonderful audio performance by mr Will Patton. Listened to it almost continuously. absolutely wonderful
"Great book destroyed by a monotone reader"
another great book from the king sadly ruined by a very Americanised accent with the tone of a very bored and elderly history teacher emphasising at all the wrong moments.
Buy the book but avoid the audio book version.
"Best listen in a long time !"
I am a huge fan of Stephen King and was skeptical about how The Shining could be followed, but this was a great listen and it brought a couple of old characters back to life. I could not wait to carry on listening to this book.
The reader had a gruff voice that took a little while to adjust to but as the story went on it actually suited the tone of the story.
Read so many that it is impossible to rate a single novel above others. However Doctor Sleep is up there with some of the best.
Dan, Abbra and Billy. They carry the story between them.
His characterisations were incredible as soon as he talked you knew exactly which character he was.
I have read some lukewarm comments about Doctor Sleep. I disagree completely. Having been a fan of Stephen King since his first novel 'Carrie'. I even followed him through his slightly odd years. But his last few books have been incredible. He is back at the top of his undoubted powers of storytelling. Some people have complained that it is slow. Well shame on them. Stephen King's writing style has always been to take time to draw you in to the tale and he does it with expertise. As far as I am concerned there isn't a single wasted sentence throughout the book. I also enjoyed the allusions to some of his earlier books. I kind of think that those who prefer The Shining are actually referring to the film version, which quite frankly I thought was rubbish and did the book no service whatsoever. 'Doc' Torrance deserved a second outing and Mr King gave it to us.
My only regret was that Dick Halloran had passed.
Doctor Sleep is a tour de force.
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