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Doctor Sleep: A Novel Hardcover – September 24, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 531 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476727651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476727653
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7,776 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2013: What ever happened to Danny Torrance? For the 36 years since The Shining was first published, the answer has been left to our imaginations. Finally we catch up with Dan as his creator envisions him: a flawed middle-aged man with a tragic past -- his special gift, "shining," dulled with age and alcohol. He's "Doctor Sleep" now, a hospice worker who eases the end of patients' lives. He also happens to be the only one who can help a little girl with her own special gift. This is not simply The Shining II. Not only does this story stand on its own, it manages to magnify the supernatural quality that first drew us to young Danny, expanding its mystery and its intensity in a way that might even reach beyond this book into the rest of the King-iverse... and beyond. (Easter egg alert: look for the nod to King's son Joe Hill's recent book N0S4A2.) --Robin A. Rothman

From Publishers Weekly

Iconic horror author King (Joyland) picks up the narrative threads of The Shining many years on. Young psychic Danny Torrance has become a middle-aged alcoholic (he now goes by Dan), bearing his powers and his guilt as equal burdens. A lucky break gets him a job in a hospice in a small New England town. Using his abilities to ease the passing of the terminally ill, he remains blissfully unaware of the actions of the True Knot, a caravan of human parasites crisscrossing the map in their RVs as they search for children with the shining (psychic abilities of the kind that Dan possesses), upon whom they feed. When a girl named Abra Stone is born with powers that dwarf Dan&'s, she attracts the attention of the True Knot&'s leader—the predatory Rose the Hat. Dan is forced to help Abra confront the Knot, and face his own lingering demons. Less terrifying than its famous predecessor, perhaps because of the author&'s obvious affection for even the most repellant characters, King&'s latest is still a gripping, taut read that provides a satisfying conclusion to Danny Torrance&'s story. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents. (Oct.)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Customer Reviews

Enjoyed the book so much I read "The Shining" .
Linda Runyon
This is the best book I have read in a very long time, a true page turner; I literally did not want to put it down!!!!
Mommy of 3
The characters were well developed and the story was very good.
D. Vega

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

300 of 345 people found the following review helpful By Ghosttypewriter on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The return-to-form King displayed with 11/22/63 and the novella JOYLAND continues for the most part with King's long-awaited 36-years-later sequel to 1977's THE SHINING.

Picking up only a few years after the conclusion of events in THE SHINING, the prologue features one of the most memorable apparitions from The Overlook making a welcome return "haunting". From there, the novel jumps ahead a couple of decades, picking up with Danny at his lowest point in his late twenties before coursing ahead several more years. The pacing is a little disjointed at times and I was disappointed that some of Dan's arguably more compelling years (his teenage years) - and characters such as Wendy and Dick Hallorann - are never really explored to the extent or depth I had hoped they would be. A little more detail and padding here would have been welcome. However, King has often been criticized for his meandering, overlong style so many readers may relish this slightly more concise style.

The constant references throughout to even minor events in THE SHINING will have most readers inevitably comparing it to the earlier book (throwbacks to "REDRUM" and many other references abound). While DOCTOR SLEEP does work as a stand-alone novel, it works best as a sequel. There are two main threads to this novel: the exploration and expansion of the character of the now adult 'Doc', as he battles with his demons (alcoholism, his past, and his shining ability); and the new story and characters such as Abra, Chetta, Lucy, Doctor John, Dave, and The True Knot. The new characters, especially Abra, are well drawn but the villains come across as a little hammy and the overall plot pales in comparison to Dan's inner ruminations.
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212 of 265 people found the following review helpful By T. Edmund on September 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Firstly - kudos to Mr King. As one of his early works The Shining has a mythical status of a classic from an era of horror that once was. Penning a sequel decades later is a challenge I don't envy.

So the inevitable comparison: Dr Sleep is much more modern than The Shining, a sort of supernatural adventure, coming of age, redemption tale mixed into one. Where The Shining was the quintessential insanity inducing haunted hotel story, Dr Sleep reads more like a superhero story rather than an out and out horror.

In common both tales are heavy on the gross style of scares (although that could be said about almost all Stephen King novels) and hinge strongly on the theme of violence caused by unnaturally induced insanity.

The beginning of Dr Sleep was by far the strongest part of the book. King initially brings us up to speed on Dan Torrance, then introduces Abra as a next generation 'Shiner.' While the first few chapters lack a sense of direction and tension, just the vivid experiences of Dan's recovery and Abra's struggling family are enough to carry the novel, and when the True Knot are introduced they are freaking creepy.

Somewhere about the middle of the book things started to stagnate, Dan's alcoholism becomes more of a token flaw as opposed to an important part of the story. Abra's difficulties with her psychic power are largely tamed, and the conclusion feels like the end of a lesser B grade action flick, it seems Mr King was too timid to hit us with a tragic or at least traumatizing finale and let things end without surprise or unfortunately any excitement.

In total Dr Sleep is a good book, but will likely be remembered as just another Stephen King book rather than an equally classic piece as its predecessor.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Allison M. Dickson on November 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
[THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS]

After reading an author for as many years as I've read King, I have become accustomed somewhat to the writer's habits and other signature moves to the point where I can almost predict them. And when those habits and signatures aren't there, when a writer you've read for years is off his or her game, it becomes as palpable on the brain as the lack of salt feels almost injurious to a gourmet's palate.

That's how I felt when I read Doctor Sleep, the sequel to King's masterpiece to The Shining. I'm almost at pains to call it a sequel, because it feels so utterly separate from the mind and world in which the first book was written that one could easily read this book without having read The Shining and not miss much of a beat, but there is some bridging there between the first two books for those who have read The Shining.

That being said, the book started off very strong. Dan Torrance, once known as Danny or "Doc," has grown up and he's wrestling with the alcohol demon, in much the same way his father did, only he has his childhood nightmare at The Overlook as well as his often torturous psychic ability still riding shotgun. He's a bit of a nomad, drifting from town to town after he's burned enough bridges (usually thanks to the antics he gets up to while on a liquor binge) but he tries to make the best of things working as an orderly at various hospice centers where he helps to usher dying patients gently into the afterlife. This whole side of Dan's life is not given a whole lot of gravity or dimension, however, and it left me wondering what exactly he does for these people that is so special. That was my first cue that King was not entirely on his game here, but I'll get to that in a minute.
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