Book Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book becoming a movie in 2019 TW: Violence, death, harm to elderly and/or children, rac...

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book becoming a movie in 2019

TW: Violence, death, harm to elderly and/or children, racial slurs, drugs, alcohlism

***There are not spoilers for Doctor Sleep, but if you don't know how the Shining ends - you may not want to read this review. ***

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Nothing convinces me to read a book like it coming out as a movie. So of course I had to finally pick up Doctor Sleep and read it. It'd been on my shelf for a couple of years, so it was about time picked it up. I had read The Shining last fall and truly loved it, and I actually didn't realize Doctor Sleep was a sequel until I started seeing the previews for the movie. I was excited to follow along with little Danny Torrance, all grown up, and while the plot originally was unexpected, I really enjoyed the book once I got into it.

Many years after the terrifying events at the Overlook Hotel, Daniel Torrance has grown into an alcoholic and a bit of a skeeze. But after moving to a small-town and starting the 12-steps, he finds his home in a local hospice home where he helps the patients "pass." There, he's known as Doctor Sleep. Miles and miles away, there's a group of travelers who call themselves the True Knot, and they feed on the steam of children who have the shining. And there's a young girl who's got the strongest shine, maybe of all time, and the Knot is coming for her.

The book starts up with follow-up from The Shining, which I really appreciated. I wanted to know more about Danny, Wendy, and Dick after that fateful winter ending. So I was able to get some closure and follow-up there. Once the book changes to the perspective of the True Knot, I was less entertained. Chapters with Dan and with Abra were the ones I looked the most forward to, but I feel this story was a nice sequel to its classic predecessor and I'm glad to have read it.

As with all the King books I've read so far, the story is a study in character development. The plot is still important and necessary, but more than anything I cared about the characters. This story is truly haunting, and gruesome at times. There were parts that are pretty terrifying, but it's also about flawed people and the mistakes they make, and more importantly, overcoming them.

There's nothing like sticking with a character from childhood and getting to revisit their story in adulthood. It's a beautiful thing. I was glad to continue with Danny Torrance's journey. I'm not sure there are any major King characters that I've read about yet that haven't stuck with me, and this was a rare chance to revisit.

"Could you actually remember pain? He didn't think so. You knew there was such a thing, and that you had suffered it, but that wasn't the same." - Doctor Sleep, Stephen King

Doctor Sleep started slow, but exciting (if you've read The Shining). Became a bit slow for me in terms of introducing this story's villains. And steadily amped up speed until it reached the climax, which was so beautifully written, it sped by so quickly. I enjoyed so much of this book and I'm thrilled to see the movie when it's released next month. Once again, King comes through with chilling writing and a gracious character-driven plot.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★★

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