Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: "Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King

While I don’t think it is as good as a book like 11/22/63/, Doctor Sleep, the long awaited sequel to Stephen King’s most famous novel, The Shining, is proof positive that the master has matured quite a bit after his 60th birthday. There seems be a great eloquence and vast knowledge that exist in novels like the aforementioned 11/22/63 and Under the Dome that you don’t see in his books from the 90’s. There is more at stake, lives seem to be worth more, and the idea of losing them is heartbreaking and earth shattering. And there is also a strong sense of regret in these later books, like the sadness over lost love and opportunity in 11/22/63 that really strikes a nerve. In Doctor Sleep, those things do exist, but I do not feel that when things get going, that there was a lot at stake. Danny Torrance, the young boy with the shining, is all grown up, and the demons from that fateful time at the Overlook have driven him to drink and despair. But he finds solace in a small New Hampshire town as a hospice worker, and his musings with Abra, a person who shines even more than he did. When a group calling themselves the True Knot, who feed on the torture they cause to kids who shine, set there sights on Abra, Danny finds a reason to fight. As far as villains go, the True Knot never feel like a real threat, even Rose, the leader, comes off as a joke. The real horror and intrigue of this piece come from the stories of the past, from Dick Halloran’s story about his evil grandpa, to the development of Abra’s abilities. These small moments make up for a story that really doesn’t pack much of a punch.
Rating: 4/5

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