Attention all Stephen King fans, and anyone in search of a good read!
If you’ve never read The Shining (1977) but only saw the (admittedly) scary film that came out in 1980, that was NOT Stephen King’s story.
No, it’s not anywhere near as balls-to-the-wall scary as the first book. King is a different writer now—he’s older, and his work is a bit more autumnal compared to the white-hot summer brass of his early books. But he still knows how to tell a damn fine story, and makes you give a shit what happens to his characters.
Doctor Sleep revisits Danny—now Dan—Torrance, son of the Overlook’s favorite puppet Jack Torrance, now a grown man. An alcoholic like his daddy, Dan works in a hospice in New Hampshire as an orderly who helps his charges “go to sleep.” He soon becomes entangled with a preteen named Abra, who has a shine to rival even his, and a terrifying group of psychic vampires called the True Knot, who want Abra. Bad enough to do anything.
King doesn’t general do sequels to his stand-alone novels—the only other one is Black House (2001) with Peter Straub, a follow-up to The Talisman (1984). And yes, it’s not that scary compared to the first book, but the suspense and the dread as the participants in this unholy chase near the climax forced me to blow off everything today so I could finish it. I’ll clean the house tomorrow, I promise.
Photograph by Elizabeth West
Go to the library RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Check out The Shining and read it. Then read Doctor Sleep. You won’t be sorry. Although you may not sleep the next time you find yourself in any large hotel, and you will never look at RV people the same way again.