By Stephen King
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781476727653, September 2013, 544pp.)
The Short of It:
A solid follow-up to The Shining as far as the story goes, but I was disappointed with the execution.
The Rest of It:
Readers of this blog know that I am a King fan through and through. A Constant Reader, if you will. He writes a book, and I read it no matter what it’s about because the man can write. And yes, I did enjoy The Shining quite a bit and for those of you that aren’t in the know, Doctor Sleep is the sequel to that much-loved book. So going in, King had a lot up against him since the first book was written so many years ago and written when he was battling alcoholism. I’m sure that writing Doctor Sleep in a sober state presented its own challenges too.
But, I was not all that impressed with Doctor Sleep and it pains me a little to say it. The story is a about a young man, Dan Torrance, who finds himself battling the demons of his youth. He sees things and he has special talents that even he has yet to fully understand. He’s also an alcoholic because the drink, is just about the only thing that puts his “shining” to rest. As he moves through life, he encounters a young girl who shares his talent and the two get to know each other quite well when they are forced to fight a band of wandering life suckers called the True Knot.
Doctor Sleep is ultimately a battle between the good and the not-so-good. Some of the characters are more developed than others. I felt that King took more time with Dan and I expected that since he is one of the original characters from The Shining. But Abra, the young girl he encounters, seemed cartoonish to me. I had a problem with her age. She felt younger to me than she was. I also had a problem with the main villain, Rose. I never really saw her as a viable threat and I think that is what really disappointed me about the book. You need a really evil villain, one that you can really remember, and Rose was weak in my opinion.
The ending wrapped-up too quickly, whereas other parts of the story seemed to plod along. Was it entertaining? Yes. I’d say that most of King’s books are and there are glimmers of wonderful-ness here and there, but overall, it was a little too safe for me to love it. However, I did feel as if King did Dan justice in the story itself. It was not a bad story line at all. I just wish it had finished a little stronger than it did.
I read this as part of a read along so if you are interested in those posts, you can read them below. I never did a final wrap-up post, just this review so count this as the wrap-up!
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