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Doctor Sleep (2013)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Shining (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,3743201,189 (4.03)277
Fiction. Horror. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless?? mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father' s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes " Doctor Sleep." Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan' s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra' s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.… (more)

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» See also 277 mentions

English (307)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (320)
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book and am super happy that I decided to reread The Shining before reading it. I think it hammered home the horror, tragedy, and triumph a little bit more. ( )
  cdaley | Nov 2, 2023 |
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

The book starts with Danny, aged 8, in Florida, with his mother, still dealing with the aftermath of his time at the Overlook hotel. He still gets visited by some of the dead from the hotel - his father thankfully not being one of them - and is taught by Dick Hallorann (the guy who taught him about The Shining and who ultimately helped rescue him) how to compartmentalise these visitations.
Andi Steiner - a 32 year old who spent 8 years being raped by her step father - has the ability to make people fall asleep. She uses this to survive, and is found by The True Knot, stealing from an older man in a cinema, and who then bring her into their group. They survive by torturing and killing children with the Shining, extracting the power the torture releases.
We catch up with Danny, intermittently over the next 20 or 30 years, with Danny hitting rock bottom and fearing that he's turning into his drunken, violent father, until he finds someone willing to give him a chance and be his AA Sponsor. He gets a job in a nursing home, where he becomes the handyman and an unofficial medico, and generally ends up sitting up with the old patients as they breathe their last.
Meanwhile he becomes aware of a young child called Abra, who has a stunning Shining talent from the moment she is born (she predicts 9/11 on the day she is born by screaming her lungs out).
The True Knot become aware of her too, when they become aware of her during a torture session. We are introduced to a number of the group's members and how they go around their business, some being down right creepy.
As usual with a King book, the first section of the book (it is split into 4 parts) is all about set up. The three main story lines are interwoven with each other as we see Danny, The True Knot, and Abra, first of all from the viewpoint of her family and then by herself. Small things happen, all in themselves innocuous, but you know that they will all lead to something.
The rest of the book builds up to several crises - Abra and Danny manage to get in touch, and their meetings reflect the worst people can imagine when an older man meets a younger girl, so all must be done in public. Danny pulls in some of his friends, including the doctor who treated Abra when she was born. Abra gets so far, but finally relents that her family have to be involved - she doesnt want to, as she is still a 13 year old, and her mother is having to deal with the terminal illness of her mother (Abra's grandmother)
The True Knot suffer some casualties, both on a case by case basis, and in a group effort, as a posse are sent to capture Abra, without realising she has help of the people around her. This leads to a showdown between Abra (with Danny) and Rose on the grounds of what used to be the Overlook Hotel (that Danny's father so famously burnt down after being haunted by the spirits of the place in The Shining). It is Danny's time spent with the dying which allows him to pull a trick out of the bag to allow Abra to overcome the fight between the older and stronger woman.
This is a story of the lonely and friendless coming together to become friends, in order to fight a group of people who ultimately become alone in the world. King shows his strength in the small details – Rose's hat for instance, how it sits jauntily on her head no matter what, and how its image elsewhere leaves an impression of where her spirit has been.
It has been a while since I read a King novel - I stopped reading around the time The Regulators came out first time. I found this to be a light read, and reminded me of King at his best.
( )
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
3.5 stars rounded up.
I don’t really know what I think of this book. I didn’t hate it, but nothing really happened? I dunno.
I loved Abra, she was a great character and I’m a big fan of hers. It was interesting to see what happened to Danny after the Shining, but I just didn’t see the point. It was also way too long.
Honestly, I think if I’d read this with my eyes I’d have DNFed it. But I listened to it on audio and I think that helped. Also, the authors note at the end read by King himself helped. In fact, it added the .5 stars to make it more than 3. ( )
  Danielle.Desrochers | Oct 10, 2023 |
This could have easily been a five-star book with some tweaks to the ending.
First off, I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Stephen King, having grown up with his books in the 90s. I understand that many people feel let down by his endings but this is not a complaint I usually have with them. In this case though, I feel that there isn't enough tension in the final act.
The True Knot is set up to be quite a force to be reckoned with, until their remote interactions with Abra begin. Her powers are so great that they immediately deflate any sort of danger the Knot may pose to her. I also don't understand the decision to have her be kidnapped, then saved and taken away from the action. Abra should have been right there with Dan, forcing our protagonists to scramble to change their plan to make it through. Instead, everything goes off without a hitch and even the danger of Dan being tempted by the drink and the memories of the Overlook is really downplayed.
Overall, I really liked the book. Stephen King knows how to create memorable, practically real characters and is an expert in drawing you in to the story. I just wish he'd tied Dan's personal struggles with the climax in a better way. ( )
  TheMagicRat | Aug 11, 2023 |
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King was one of my most wanted novels for the past couple of years. I ended up buying it (full price, completely shocker - I'm a bargain hunter) and having it stay on my shelf. I stared at it for years. Literal years. I wanted to read it but I was scared I was going to be disappointed. The Shining was cool but didn't hit me like It did, so I figured Doctor Sleep might be like the Shining... but it's also a sequel. Sequels don't always do well.

Welp, it didn't hit me in the way I hoped. I really wanted to enjoy it, but some of it didn't do well for me. I loved all of Dan's parts (honestly, adult Dan's story is what I wanted to follow not the crazy chase of the Shining chasing weirdos) but didn't care for the rest. Dan felt like a real person - he had flaws, was struggling to get by after a rough childhood, and was despicable at times (enjoyable despicable though, like Loki).

Abra was the stereotypical teenager for me. It was obvious she was written by an adult male and didn't have the excitement or life in her that a normal teenager does. She was too stereotypical with cultural references and felt like an adult trying to pretend to be a teenager. Dan's relationship with her also felt weird and forced, but that's just my opinion.

The True Knot bored me to tears and just annoyed me. I couldn't care less for their side of the story. I don't know why either! The bad guys are normally the fun ones to follow but they confused, annoyed and bored me. The mixture of these guys with Abra was very boring to me. I wanted to see lots of Dan - his job, his life, his struggles, more ghosts and the likes. I didn't want to see these guys because they felt like a completely different story. The two stories did not mash together well for me.

I finished the book because I want to watch the movie. I love comparing books to their film adaptations so I stuck through it. Otherwise, I would have just skimmed through to Dan's parts, read his, and then went on about my day. This book made me so sad. I really wanted to like it! Stephen King's writing is magnificent, it's literally just the overall story plot that didn't get me. His writing kept me going.

Two out of five stars. ( )
  Briars_Reviews | Aug 4, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
What are those virtues? First, King is a well-trusted guide to the underworld. His readers will follow him through any door marked “Danger: Keep Out” (or, in more literary terms, “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”), because they know that not only will he give them a thorough tour of the inferno — no gore left unspilled, no shriek left unshrieked — he will also get them out alive. As the Sibyl of Cumae puts it to Aeneas, it’s easy to go to hell, but returning from it is the hard part. She can say that because she’s been there; and, in a manner of speaking — our intuition tells us — so has King.

Second, King is right at the center of an American literary taproot that goes all the way down: to the Puritans and their belief in witches, to Hawthorne, to Poe, to Melville, to the Henry James of “The Turn of the Screw,” and then to later exemplars like Ray Bradbury. In the future, I predict, theses will be written on such subjects as “American Puritan Neo-Surrealism in ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘The Shining,’ ” and “Melville’s Pequod and King’s Overlook Hotel as Structures That Encapsulate American History.”
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Margaret Atwood (Sep 19, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Levinsen, JakobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wells, Erin S.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
We stood at the turning point. Half-measures availed us nothing.
- The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. [It is] the dubious luxury of normal men and women.
- The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
Dedication
When I was playing my primitive band of rhythm guitar with a group called the Rock Bottom Remainders, Warren Zevon used to gig with us. Warren loved gray t-shirts and movies like Kingdom of the Spiders. He insisted I sing lead on his signature tune, "Werewolves of London", during the encore portion of our shows. I said I was not worthy. He insisted that I was. "Key of G", Warren told me, "and howl like you mean it. Most important of all, play like Keith."
I'll never be able to play like Keith Richards, but I always did my best, and with Warren beside me, matching me note for note and laughing his fool head off, I always had a blast.
Warren, this howl is for you, wherever you are. I miss you, buddy.
First words
On the second day of December in a year when a Georgia peanut farmer was doing business in the White House, one of Colorado's great resort hotels burned to the ground.
Quotations
The True's towns, with colorful names like Dry Bend, Jerusalem's Lot, Oree, and Sidewinder, were safe havens, but they never stayed in those places for long; mostly they were migratory.
"There are other worlds than these."
The one thing of which Dan was sure was that there were no coincidences.
Life was a wheel, its only job was to turn, and it always came back to where it had started.
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Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish Stephen King's novel, Doctor Sleep (2013), from Madison Smartt Bell's novel of the same title (1991).
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Fiction. Horror. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless?? mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father' s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes " Doctor Sleep." Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan' s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra' s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.

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