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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Overlook
The Shining was the most scared I have ever been reading a book. This book didn't repeat that level of terror for me. However, I was seven years old when I read the original and the magic and terror of childhood can't ever be completely recaptured. This book was as great a sequel as could ever have been expected to follow up a story that holds that important of a position...
Published 12 months ago by Mandy Payne

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No issues with delivery, but I didn't like the book
The book was sent timely and arrived in perfect conditions. However, I couldn't bring myself to like the story. It was probably a mistake to have re-read The Shining just before reading this book: I personally found none of the compelling elements that were present in the first book, and cared little for the characters portrayed. I wouldn't recommend reading this book.
Published 14 months ago by klausbrando


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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Overlook, 9 April 2014
By 
Mandy Payne "Is it just me?" (Hollywood, CA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2) (Hardcover)
The Shining was the most scared I have ever been reading a book. This book didn't repeat that level of terror for me. However, I was seven years old when I read the original and the magic and terror of childhood can't ever be completely recaptured. This book was as great a sequel as could ever have been expected to follow up a story that holds that important of a position in our collective pasts.

Don't read this book if all you want is to return to The Overlook Hotel and crazy JackTorrence. Neither are revived except as a reference and recap of Danny Torrence's history. The Overlook Hotel blew up and Jack Torrence died. There are echoes from that past, redrum and others, but this isn't as much of a sequel as it is a new story starring old characters.

King briefly updates us on what happened to little Danny and his mother Wendy, as well as the old cook who shared the shine with Danny. That update was pretty d--- scary in and of itself. I won't give it away, but some re-visitations were made.

In Danny's adulthood the story becomes less insanely crazy/scary than the first book. However, King's storytelling and ability to scare are still powerfully strong. This is a different tale completely than The Shining, with only a little overlap. Don't expect to experience that same level of terror and you won't be disappointed.

There was also a very human side of this story. Death and dying, the fight for sobriety, basically the life of an adult child of an abusive alcoholic -- who also happens to be able to read minds, see the future and communicate telepathically.

I listened to this book on Audible. The narrator did an excellent job although he was a tiny bit breathy. The reader, who in this case you must know for 18.5 hours, in an audio version is almost as important as the story. This narrator did a fairly good job of adding to the suspense of this book. The audio version won't disappoint.
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94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absolute joy for any 'constant reader', 3 Oct. 2013
By 
V. Thorington "bookworm" (wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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I don't tend to review every single book I read otherwise Amazon would probably ban me for over-use, however when I come across a really bad or a really good book, I like to have my say about it and this book most definitely falls into the latter category.

I should start by explaining that I adore The Shining, it wasn't the first King book I read as a teenager but it was the one that stuck with me, so much so, that I make it a point to re-read my battered paperback copy of it at least once a year, it's hard to pick a favourite King book but this one would be in my top three for sure. So when I heard the news that a sequel was to be written I awaited its release with much anticipation but also quite a mix of nerves too......what if it was an awful book? what if (god forbid) it completely ruined The Shining for me? So, I pre-ordered Dr Sleep with much trepidation, but I was also very excited by the thought of an update on Danny, Dick and Wendy.

And so onto the book itself, I remember reading a critics review of the book who said that it was an 'emotional roller-coaster ride' and boy they weren't wrong. The first section of the book deals with getting us back up to speed with Danny, Dick and Wendy and that part of the book was like putting on an old pair of comfy slippers for me, I loved it, one of my favourite parts of The Shining is the relationship between Danny and Dick and to revisit that was quite lovely.

Shortly after that, we start to read about Dan (as he is now known) as an adult and without spoiling it, this part was a very difficult read not because it was badly written but just because of how much I love Danny Torrance as a character, to see him go through something so difficult was hard to read. So hard I almost stopped reading the book but I pushed past my emotional connection to Danny as he was and continued.

I'm so glad I persevered because that's when the story really kicks into a higher gear, it becomes a very fast paced, exciting, tense and at times incredibly emotional to read, one section in particular had me on the verge of tears. The characters as always are beautifully written so much so that you start to feel as if they are a part of your family, I don't know how he manages it but Stephen King always seems to be able to connect you emotionally to his characters.

There are emotional highs and lows throughout the story (again, some parts make for difficult reading if you loved the characters from The Shining) and as with a lot of Stephen King's books there are some wonderful tie ins to other stories and other worlds he has created. I loved the villains of the piece, the idea of 'normal' looking people travelling around in their RV's somehow made them all the more scary because they didn't look like monsters (I'll never look at a camper van in the same way again) and I wonder if maybe Stephen King might re-visit the True Knot one day, there seems to be a whole lot more to their story.

Only one part of the book made me think "oh Steve, that's a bit of a stretch!!" but I guess you will have to make up your own mind about that part, again I don't want to spoil it.

All in all, it is an extremely well written and entertaining book which I really enjoyed. I can't give it 5 stars but that's only because I consider The Shining to be a 5 out of 5 star book and this one, although a great sequel, it's not The Shining!

But it's definitely worth a read, like so much of his later work (from say 2000 onwards) this one is really well written so it's great to see that he is still writing incredible books and long may he continue. A real must for any Stephen King fan and although it doesn't matter too much if you don't do this, I would recommend that you re-read The Shining first before starting Dr Sleep, it is a stand alone book, but it makes for a much better read if you read the books together.

Happy reading!
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65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King - The Shining Revisited, 25 Sept. 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
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Can Stephen King keep up his recent run of form not least following gripping books like the excellent 11/22/63? The answer is largely affirmative although with a number of caveats. By any standards "Doctor Sleep" as the follow up to 1977's "The Shining" has got the taste buds of the reading public in a state of heightened anticipation. The book was of course a much more sinister beast than the "hamming it up" which Jack Nicholson did in Kubrick's film version and it is generally understood that King was not a fan of its portrayal. The film lacked the sheer creepiness of the novel and it is this again which is the predominant atmosphere contained in this new book. This is not horror it is just plain scary.

"Doctor Sleep" returns to characters of The Shining, and it's main protagonist the now grown up Danny Torrance, who remains deeply haunted after the terrors of the sinister wintry Overlook Hotel. "Dan" has since become someone, to use the British parlance, who more than enjoys "hitting the sauce". Equally the cat on the cover offers a number of clues harking back to earlier King writings and the feline Oscar, a therapy cat whose instincts predict the deaths of terminally ill patients in a nursing home by sitting on the beds of people who died shortly after (Note - you will be well advised to keep Kitty downstairs henceforth!). Danny works with the cat in a nursing home in a small New Hampshire town where he provides final comfort to the dying, becoming known as "Doctor Sleep.".

King also introduces a much more "strategic" plot to tantalize the reader of a another telepathic counterpart, a 13 year old girl Abra who contacts Dan in turn is being pursued by some deeply unpleasant ancient beings under the banner of "The True Knot" whose every unpleasant hobby is to torture child physics in order to devour their "shining" and thus retain their relative youth. This crowd are a deeply creepy bunch and the best part of the book is when they enter the fray. Led by a despicable character Rose the Hat they travel the highways and byways of America and the book leads to an inevitable climax of good versus evil.

In truth there are some parts of this book which don't always hold the attention in the way that the epic "The Stand" completely drew you in and owned you. That said the book does dive straight into the action and ultimately it's a largely gripping and very eerie tale. The sections in particular on the passage to death and alcoholic excess also contain some great writing. King is now 66 and has for years suffered inverted snobbery from the literati about being a mere writer of pulp fiction. "Doctor Sleep" proves again that he is in fact an excellent writer and a master story teller. While King is not quite the twisted son of Dickens he is really great value. Whether "Doctor Sleep" will be viewed as one of his "classics" is matter for the passage of time although this does not feel quite the complete work that "The Shining" was (This reviewer did miss the ghostly absence of the backdrop of the Overlook hotel). Alternatively as a work in its own right building on an excellent foundation it does succeed and while King had doubts about a follow up this is a very worthwhile sequel and a enjoyable scary feast.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No issues with delivery, but I didn't like the book, 16 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2) (Hardcover)
The book was sent timely and arrived in perfect conditions. However, I couldn't bring myself to like the story. It was probably a mistake to have re-read The Shining just before reading this book: I personally found none of the compelling elements that were present in the first book, and cared little for the characters portrayed. I wouldn't recommend reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Toothless Sequel, 6 April 2015
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I was such a fan of Stephen King's earlier books that I still find it hard to resist buying his new ones. It has been a long time though since King reached the heights of "The Shining" one of the books that made him the master of the horror genre. Many of his more recent works have not been horror novels as such, but would more appropriately be described as thrillers. "Doctor Sleep" though was written as a sequel to "The Shining" and is therefore presumably supposed to be a horror story, and as such it is a failure in every way.

The book takes up the story of Daniel Torrence, the little boy from "The Shining" and the first part takes us on a rapid tour of his life history from after his experiences at the Overlook Hotel in the 1970's up to the present day. This part also introduces us to a little girl called Abra with exceptional psychic gifts, and to a group called The True Knot who are all psychic vampires of some sort. All this sets up the second part of the story quite well and I thought for the first time in ages that Stephen King had written a book that had some potential. Unfortunately though the second part of the story falls completely flat.

The trouble is Stephen King no longer seems to have the skill to write truly scary or disturbing stories as he could when he was a young man. The True Knot, while an interesting concept are far from horrifying, they seem more bumbling and incompetent for the most part. Abra's abilities likewise seem more the stuff of fantasy than horror. The characters reactions to the supernatural elements in this story are also too readily accepting and unbelievable to give the story any emotional intensity. In fact the only aspect that King writes about convincingly are the scenes involving Alcoholics Anonymous, something about which he has personal experience.

Perhaps the most telling comment is in the authors note at the back where King once again writes that he failed to see what was so scary about the movie version of the "Shining". This can only suggest that his earlier books which were such great horror stories -"Salems Lot", "It", "The Dark Half" for example, were only unintentionally horrifying, that he hit upon the right formula almost by chance. And yet, his protagonists in these stories were true monsters, unlike The True Knot, and provided the stories with the edge they need. Whatever the case it seems as if the Stephen King now entering old age is now only capable of writing overly sentimental, often self indulgent fantasy novels of the type that might appeal to the young girl Abra who stars in this story. Where once he was the master of horror, now he is more like a garrulous old man spinning tall tales by the fire. I can only advise anyone new to Stephen King to stick to his earlier works when he still had teeth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dr Sleep, 16 Aug. 2014
By 
This review is from: Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2) (Hardcover)
Before Dr Sleep I hadn't read a Stephen King novel in a fair few years. In my teenage years I read and loved (and was terrified by) Salem's Lot, IT and of course the Shining. I also loved the film, but for completely different reasons. So when a friend asked if I wanted to borrow Dr Sleep I was excited and intrigued, I asked him if he'd read the original and if this sequel was any good. He hadn't read the original and Dr Sleep was only alright, effortless reading but unremarkable. I was still hopeful though, maybe he wasn't a fan, maybe not having read the Shining coloured his judgement, maybe he was just wrong.

Damn shame is, I've just turned the last page and I think he's right. It is only quite good; King is too skilled a story teller for it to be bad, it's just that it all feels a bit underwhelming. The first few chapters, when Danny is still Danny and not yet the adult Dan, crackle with menace as we revisit the characters from the Shining we know so well, but then the book changes course and turns into more of a character study wrapped in a supernatural thriller. We catch up with Dan as he struggles to deal with the demons of his past and the alcoholism he inherits from his father. He finds Abra, a companion who shares his gift and he helps her to face demons of her own. On the whole it's a very nice book, there is a lot of focus on AA and well meaning people helping each other out and it has to be said that Dan's journey is heartfelt and gratifying for fans who love and care about the character. King clearly puts a lot of faith in Alcoholics Anonymous and quotes freely and often from the Big Book, as a recovering alcoholic you can't blame the author for this and AA obviously helps thousands of people, but as an atheist I would have to say that their instance that you hand your life over to God (as you understand him) means that the program is not for everyone. Not too much of a problem, other treatment is available. However King, like so many AA converts, offers AA as the best and only solution and then frames the program thought the eyes of a character who has absolute proof of other plains of existence, well not all of us have that luxury Stephen! Like I say, not a huge problem, it just jarred with me a little.

It seems like a very deliberate choice from the author to not attempt to match the fear factor of the original book and it should be stressed that Dr Sleep is not scary in the slightest; if you're looking for that sort of thing then you will be disappointed. The little tension and suspense there is comes from the True Knot, a group who have been travelling the country for hundreds of years living of the `Steam' that kids who shine give off when they die. They've also noticed Abra and are eagerly awaiting an all you can eat buffet. They do sound promising as bad guys go but on the page they just seemed a little naff and pathetic, a sad band of vultures barely surviving. They have twee names like Rose the Hat, Barry the Chink and Snakebite Annie, they subscribe to a half baked mythology `We are the True Knot and we endure' and come nowhere close to matching the power and resonance of King's classic horror creations. They crucially never seem like a match for Dan and the prodigiously powerful Abra and moments of danger seem to come from her naivety and over confidence rather than any of the True Knot's actions. Their general rubbishness doesn't affect the pleasure of Dan's journey, however it does mean that Abra's tale is only worth telling because we care so much about the young Danny Torrance who suffered so much at the Overlook hotel. If you hadn't read the shining, and had just read Dr Sleep I think you'd consider the book to be deeply average, as my friend said, effortless reading but unremarkable. For fans of the original it has worth and they should find the closure they were looking for but I think that they would be kidding themselves if they thought that, as a novel in its own right, Dr Sleep is worthy of touching the hem of the Shining's garments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent tale from the master story-teller., 28 July 2014
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
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Doctor Sleep is the 45th full-length novel by bestselling American author, Stephen King, and is the sequel to his fourth novel, The Shining. After a short preface that details an important interaction between young Danny Torrance and an ageing Dick Hallorann, King picks up the story some 23 years after the events at the Overlook Hotel, when Dan is hitting rock-bottom as an alcoholic. Getting off a bus in the small New Hampshire town of Frazier, he takes a temporary job as a groundsman, begins the AA program and is unwittingly contacted for the first time (of many) by a newborn with an incredibly bright “shine”, Abra Stone. Their paths do not cross, however, until some twelve years later when the actions of a group called The True Knot cause Abra to seek out Dan, now working as an orderly in a hospice, in person. The True Knot are a tribe of people who travel the country in search of children who shine to feed on the “steam” they produce. As usual, King’s main characters are well-rounded out and appealing. He creates a support cast with plenty of variety to people his tale: a feisty grandmother, a resourceful groundsman, a prescient cat, an alcoholic paediatrician and a bunch of innocuous-looking travellers in RVs with unusual nicknames. He sets the era of events using popular movies, songs and cheeky descriptions of presidents. His descriptive prose is wonderfully evocative: “’I must not look at it.’ Too late. His head was turning; he could hear the tendons in his neck creaking like old doorhinges.” His plot has several twists and turns, plenty of excitement and a gripping climax (or two), all of which ensure this work is another page-turner. Reading (or rereading) The Shining before this novel is not essential, but it is certainly advisable as many references are made to the events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel some thirty-five years previous and key phrases echo throughout this novel. This is a very satisfying sequel to The Shining; it would make a great movie with the right director (thankfully not Kubrick) and cast. Another excellent tale from the master story-teller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More House of Hammer than vintage King, 23 Jun. 2014
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I broke off the book I was reading (and the one I was writing!) to read this, the keenly anticipated sequel to THE SHINING. Sorry to report that it was a bit (not too much) of a disappointment.

Mr King begins by telling us what happened to Danny Torrance and his mom immediately after they fled the Overlook Hotel. Then we jump forward a couple of decades to find that Dan is now a dropout and an alcoholic like his dad. He drifts into a small town in New England and into Rivington House, a home for the old and the demented. Dan still has the 'shining' - 'his terrible privilege", the author calls it - which means he sees flashbacks of the lives of the patients he is looking after. And he is able to help them make a calm and fearless crossing from this world to the next.

Dan's life is about to intersect - psychically rather than physically at first - with that of ten-year-old Abra, a girl with even greater powers than his. Dan is still haunted by the ghosts from The Overlook, and both he and Abra see visions that no ordinary mortal expects to see. Over the next three years their lives will intersect - psychically and physically - with the True Knot, a group of ancient marauders who scour the country in a convoy of RVs looking for kids like Abra; they rejuvenate themselves by feeding off the Shining which they call 'steam'. The process by which they extract 'steam' from children makes this a more than usually gruesome read.

DOCTOR SLEEP revisits themes from previous novels, not just THE SHINING: ghosts, vampires, telekinesis. The yuck factor occasionally overtakes the scare factor; I began to find the 'mind-games' a bit tiresome, and the ending is more House of Hammer than vintage King. But, as always in a Stephen King, every single character is vividly brought to life. He truly is another Dickens or Victor Hugo. And he can turn a wonderful phrase: watching a sunset through a gap in the mountains, "it was as if God was holding His breath."

In the Afterword he outlines his mission statement: "telling a kick-ass story." Which he what he has done in over 50 books. Almost all of them have been good; some not just great horror stories but great books. THE SHINING, of course, was one of the greatest. DOCTOR SLEEP is not such a ground-breaking contribution to the horror genre, but it's vivid, intense and fairly disturbing.

[Reviewer is the author of THE BEXHILL MISSILE CRISIS]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel with only one flaw, you'll read it too quickly, 2 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2) (Hardcover)
'Doctor Sleep' is Stephen King's long-awaited sequel to one of his most popular horror thriller titles.

Good news for all his fans is that this book was really worth the wait because it is an excellent title that is read without stopping until the last page, well-written novel that captures the attention and terrifies reader making its reading an unforgettable experience. As for many fans Stephen King's 'The Shining' is probably the best novel that was written by the author, it was interesting to see how its sequel will look because the world, but the author himself, a lot has changed in the 35 years that have passed since the writing of the original.

The story of 'Doctor Sleep' begins shortly after the events described in 'The Shining' which seems like a good decision because the reader does not feel reading a new novel, but a new chapter of the original. It is important to note that it is recommended to read the original novel on which this novel continues, due to some changes that Kubrick made in his screen adaptation, on which author, despite the many years that have passed since, still cannot reconcile.

The main character is Danny, and instead of a small boy we left on the last pages of 'The Shining', in this novel we will be able to see his future. Perhaps the future will be not like a reader wished or hoped for, but the author made his story in a convincing way. Like his father, Danny will grow up to be a drunk with a heavy character, and he uses his addiction to alcohol to block his supernatural abilities while wandering from town to town, working physical jobs. The first part of the novel is the story of his falling to the bottom, after which the main character will try to get well and get out with the help of the Association of Anonymous Alcoholics.

He will find job in a medical institution where he will earn the nickname Doctor Sleep on the basis of his ability to provide a peaceful death for patients. Danny will eventually meet a girl named Abra, who has a similar shining ability as himself, and therefore she will be noticed by strange creatures similar to vampires. These unusual creatures roam the country posing as tourists in camper vans feeding with the energy collected from the torture of children who have the shining abilities. Abra will become their target, and Danny will try to do everything to save this child wanting to do at least one good thing in his useless life...

It must be admitted that 'Doctor Sleep' is not as creepy as the original, but its story provokes fear in a different way, with a threat that constantly hangs over the main characters. And although it is probably too early, in the opinion of many, 'Doctor Sleep' will be one of King's best novels of all time, and that is why this new book made by favorite writer of supernatural and horror stories can fully be recommended.

Though it has one major flaw, you'll read it too quickly...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not convinced, 13 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2) (Hardcover)
There are so many ways this story could have been carried after all these years and it seems unfortunate Stephen King chose this one.
The prologue was a promising opening which had me engrossed since we are all curious to see what happened to Danny and his mother not long after the Overlook burning down, but it seemed as though it had been written not long after the original release of The Shining then he got bored with the idea and shelved it until recently when he decided to finally make a sequel because after the first ten pages when he is older and we are introduced to new characters- it seemed like a completely different story entirely and with an older, more mature Dan Torrance.
I felt as though Stephen had taken his classic horror story and turned it more into a sci-fi chiller rather than what it used to be with the creepiness and suspense, this one seemed to be more and more predictable as the chapters went by and I was starting to care less and less for the characters.
There were so many names mentioned but added so little to the story it made me wonder why they were included at all since they just seemed to be there to get killed off after say about ten out of the twenty in the True Knot's having a main part and the plot twist was seriously nothing special.
But once again, Stephen has managed to make his heroes likable as he says that's what he likes to do to engross his readers into enjoying his books and I guess that's why I kept on reading this book because I went days without reading it because some of it just wasn't interesting and it was hard to keep track of who was who because the main characters had such boring names as well 'Dave', 'John', 'Lucy' even the bad guys were called 'Rose' or 'Annie'.

I just wasn't convinced about Dan's relationship with Abra, a girl who shares his gift of the Shining whom he meets through messages on the blackboard. In the end I wasn't really too sad to say good bye because I could be sure it could have ended within 350 pages and when it was coming to a close it just dragged on.
There wasn't really that many references to the Overlook other than him mentioning it a few times despairingly like a troubled teenager and I felt there was no conclusion to his relationship with his mother or Dick Hollarman, like they'd just been scrapped from Dan's life after a 'falling out' and it let a sort of anti-climax.
(Maybe he serious didn't like Shelly Douval's performance he just gave up- I thought she did really well)

It was a shame Doctor Sleep was such a let down because The Shining was good, I decided after watching the loathsome Stanley Kubrick's adaptation because once again it went at a nice pace with good build up, but I just didn't get much out of it in the end.
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Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2)
Doctor Sleep (Shining Book 2) by Stephen King (Hardcover - 24 Sept. 2013)
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