Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 9/4/20-9/10/20

How I Found It: Personal Recommendation

I debated with myself a lot about whether or not I should make separate posts for this book and The Shining. While the main character is the same in these two novels, the large majority of this book is its own entity, so I felt like it deserved its own review.

Following the events at the Overlook Hotel, Dan finds himself falling into his father’s footsteps, becoming a raging alcoholic in his adult years. When an event happens that Dan can’t seem to shake, he takes off, ending up in New Hampshire. Thanks to his shine, Dan finds a place to live in the small town called Fraser, where he also finds the help he needs to get off the drink. But soon Dan meets Abra, or at least her mind. See, Abra also has the shine, but hers is so much stronger than his, even when they first meet when she was 2 months old. I feel like I am describing this really badly, but I also don’t know how to describe this better.

Abra ended up having a nightmare where she saw a young boy (called the “baseball boy”) getting tortured and killed by a group of vampire-esque people. Again, hard to explain without reading the book, but these people, called the True Knot, are eternal people who survive off of people’s shine, most often children. Struggling with this information, Abra searched out Dan in her mind to figure out how to rectify this situation. They began to formulate a plan in order to both protect Abra while also finding a way to break down the True Knot so that they can no longer hurt children.

And while I have given probably a terrible synopsis of this story, I am going to leave this one here. As someone who has read both books, I can say that each book could stand on their own, meaning that even if you didn’t read The Shining, you could probably, based on the context clues given about the first book, be able to fully understand everything that is being explained in this book. I also think that The Shining is complete without needing to read Doctor Sleep. I will also say, I think The Shining is more of a horror story, while Doctor Sleep is more thriller-esque (imo), which is part of the main reason I see these books as worth separate reviews.

When it comes to forming an opinion on this book, I keep finding myself comparing to the first book. This book (and to an extent The Shining) are more within my range of books I like. I am quickly realizing that King enjoys writing about telepathy, which is something that I find intriguing, but am quickly feeling is played out. I’m not sure if I just ended up picking the lucky few of his books that feature this element, but of the 5 King books I have read in my life, 4 of them have a telepathic/telekinetic theme (The Institute, Dreamcatcher, The Shining, and Doctor Sleep all have this element, Under the Dome (404: review not found) is the only one at the time of writing this review that does not, as far as I can remember). This book, since written in a different era, also no longer has the many problematic things that I noticed within The Shining. All in all, it was a really good thriller (and book for that matter), but some of its legs to stand on are a little overplayed and outdated. Ultimately, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!