Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review: Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

The Shining was one of the first adult horror novels I ever read – coming before it were Carrie (I chose it because it was really short), Salem’s Lot (Vampires!), and Firestarter (because how can you beat a title like that?), but the more of these books I read the more I needed to read. I read The Shining for the first time in grade eight, and I’ve got to say, the book really stuck with me.

I don’t know if it was the idea of this creepy hotel, or the claustrophobic feel the whole novel quickly began to build, but at the time it really unnerved me, especially as the lead was a five-year-old boy with some telepathic powers (called The Shining in the novel), desperate to save his family from the horrors of The Overlook Hotel.

By the way, if you’ve never read The Shining, you should definitely pick it up. Although the 1980 film has a lot in common with the original novel, the book is much, much scarier.

So decades later and in my late 30s, I pick up Stephen King’s newest book, Doctor Sleep, which follows Dan Torrence, the now grown five-year-old from the original novel, and his involvement with a deranged family that hunt for other kids with The Shining – and not to help them out.

I really don’t want to give away plot points for the book (It’s been on shelves for a few weeks at the point I’m writing this post), but it is well worth the cost and not just to see how things worked out for Dan. The new villains in the book are some of the more terrifying I’ve come across in recent fiction – except for Charlie Manx from Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 (which also has connections with this book), and it was incredibly hard for me to put down when I needed to be working or visiting with friends and family.

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