Doctor Sleep- a review

9 Comments

16130549

Doctor Sleep

by Stephen King

published by Scribner

2013

Summary

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. (from Goodreads)

My Review

As you know Doctor Sleep is King’s long awaited sequel to The Shining.  I was lucky enough to have read this book immediately after reading The Shining, so the story of Danny Torrance was fresh in my mind.  While The Shining scared me quite a bit, I am happy to say I was never as frightened while reading Doctor Sleep.  Other than that small difference, I enjoyed the sequel just as much as I did the first.  Doctor Sleep brings us back to Danny Torrance-now Dan- as a middle aged man who has struggled his entire life.  Just when he thinks he has hit rock bottom, literally and figuratively, he decides to make a change.  He stops drinking and drifting and settles down in a small New England town.  He works as a hospice care giver and has finally found some peace.  Then he meets a young girl, Abra Stone, who has the shining as well.  Together, they fight an evil that has set its sights on Abra.

This book was wonderful.  I love that King lets us know what happened to Dan.  It was wonderful to see him struggle through his problem and come out on the other side.  I loved the secondary characters and I thought the True Knot, the ancient beings that survive by killing youngsters with the shining, was a very bizarre twist. I especially loved the character of Rose the Hat.  When the story finally returns to the Overlook, King pulled all the loose ends together very nicely.  If you haven’t read The Shining in a very long time, it might help to do a quick reread, but I would definitely recommend Doctor Sleep.  Now I have to get myself some more King!!

Some great quotes from Doctor Sleep-

~“There came a time when you realized that moving on was pointless. That you took yourself with you wherever you went.”

~“Death was no less a miracle than birth.”

~“There’s nothing to be scared of.”
Instead of taking Charlie’s pulse – there was really no point – he took one of the old man’s hands in his. He saw Charlie’s wife pulling down a shade in the bedroom, wearing nothing but the slip of Belgian lace he’d bought her for their first anniversary; saw how the ponytail swung over one shoulder when she turned to look at him, her face lit in a smile that was all yes. He saw a Farmall tractor with a striped umbrella raised over the seat. He smelled bacon and heard Frank Sinatra singing ‘Come Fly with Me’ from a cracked Motorola radio sitting on a worktable littered with tools. He saw a hubcap full of rain reflecting a red barn. He tasted blueberries and gutted a deer and fished in some distant lake whose surface was dappled by steady autumn rain. He was sixty, dancing with his wife in the American Legion hall. He was thirty, splitting wood. He was five, wearing shorts and pulling a red wagon. Then the pictures blurred together, the way cards do when they’re shuffled in the hands of an expert, and the wind was blowing big snow down from the mountains, and in here was the silence and Azzie’s solemn watching eyes.” 
― Stephen KingDoctor Sleep

my rating

4.5 out of 5

th

The Shining- (or how I scared myself to death)

24 Comments

200px-Shiningnovel

The Shining

by Stephen King

published by

Anchor Books

1977

Summary

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine.. (from Goodreads)

My Review

I have previously admitted on this blog that I am the World’s Biggest Wimp!  I am.  This began when I was about 6-7 years old.  My two older (read evil) sisters and lots of cousins had gone to see The Amityville Horror. 165px-Amityville_poster When they came home, we had a big sleepover in the living room, where my sister -the middle, and more evil of the two- proceeded to describe the entire movie to my young self.  From that point on, I have tried to watch horror movies, but wind up scaring myself so badly that I can’t sleep.  This has continued on into adulthood, and is the reason I don’t read horror novels, and have never read Stephen King.

I have seen movies based on his books, which I honestly found creepy, but not terrifying.  I watched Carrie, Cujo (I actually felt bad for the dog), and Christine- meh.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED Misery, Stand by Me, and The Shawshank Redemption.  So I was familiar with his work-sort of.  And I will admit-I saw The Shining numerous times, always a little creeped out, but very amused with Jack Nicholson’s acting.

190px-The_shining_heres_johnny

So, after turning the corner in age, I decided to try new things, and reading a King novel was one of them.  I was going to read The Stand, since it was highly recommended to me, but when I saw the size of it, I got real nervous and put it back.  I figured I would start with The Shining, since I knew the story and might not get that scared.  WRONG.

I admit it did help a bit, but I was pretty scared.  As I have said, I wouldn’t read it when I was home alone- or late at night.  All of the sudden, I kept all the lights on, and made my chocolate lab lay in the bathroom while I showered.  Because I was scared.

But what an amazing book!

I would have put it down (wimp) if the writing wasn’t so wonderful, and the story so compelling.

And I thought I knew the story from the film. No, no, no I did not.  There was so much more background and foreshadowing.  And the end!!  I looked at my husband, very pleased with myself and said “It ends differently than the movie.”  When he asked how, I told him to read it (he has voluntarily read maybe 3 books in the 20+ years I have known him).

So, I am not going to sum up the book- most people have either read it, saw the movie, or think they know what it is about.  All I can say is it is if you haven’t read it, it is so much better than you think it is.  Go out and get it and read it!  But not alone.  Or in the dark.  If I can do it, you certainly can.

So, what King book should I read next???

Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait For!

12 Comments

ttt1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.  It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists!  Check out what others have posted by going over there! http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

 Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait to Read

1.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I just finished The Shining and I NEED more King!  Why not continue on with Danny Torrance’s story?

2.  Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Love Jake Briggance!

3.  Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is my guilty please.  Come on and marry Moretti already!

4.  Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Ok- not SO thrilled once I heard about the big shocker- spoiler alert!!  No Darcy?  But I still want to read it.

5.  Dust by Patricia Cornwell

I am a Kay Scarpetta junky- I know enough is enough, but another guilty pleasure.

6.  Inferno by Dan Brown

I know this isn’t exactly new, but I still haven’t read it.

.  **Need to read the first and the sequel**

7.  The Wolf Chronicles by Anne Rice

I used to love reading this author- her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series were so fun-and I hear her son is pretty talented too!

8. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I have heard this is really good, but have never started it- probably because my local library never has it in!

Hmmm….my whole list could be a “guilty pleasures” list.

So, what sequels are you waiting for?

Please leave a comment- I love to hear from you!!

Top Ten Books for the Fall

26 Comments

ttt1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.  It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists!  Check out what others have posted by going over there! http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

 Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List

Seeing as the weather here is 100% autumnal, this is a perfect topic-going down to 38 degrees tonight-brrrr……

1.  The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

It is one of those novels I have always wanted to read, but never have.  I am determined to do it!

29641

2.  The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

Love this author, even though he usually makes me sad 😦

17888952

3.  Seduction-A Novel of Suspense

I love suspense!

15802432

4.  Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

This book sounds great- disturbing, but great.

13477676

5.  Touchstone by Laurie R King

I read Bones of Paris, never realizing it was a sequel-so now I want to read the first!

1272835

6.  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

I had’t heard of this until the movie came out not too long ago.

80660

7.  East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Again, one of the books that has been on my TBR list for way too long- going to tackle it this fall.

4406

8.  Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

The other books are pretty serious, so I want a little comic relief!

13531447

9.  The Secret History by Donna Tart

I have been hearing that this is a book I MUST read, so I am going for it!

29044

10.  The Stand by Stephen King

Ashamed to say, this will be my first Stephen King- very excited!!

149267

That’s what I am looking forward to reading in the coming months-what about you?

Please leave a comment-I love hearing from you!!!