on 3 October 2013
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.
on 9 April 2014
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.
on 11 July 2015
Oh Stephen, time to give it up now? This book is mediocre, the relationship between Dan and Abra unfeasible (unlike the much more convincingly crafted relationship between Dan and Dick Halloran in The Shining) not yet finished the book but I will, because I always do. Don't really care what the ending is, no empathy with the characters. And it has to be said, that although King is an American, writing for a largely American audience, he often spills over into cheesy saccharin ... I mean Teenytown..... how sickly and twee. Going to revisit some of his older works, they are so much better.
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 by 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 an 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 storyteller. 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 a matter of 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 an enjoyable scary feast.
on 13 May 2016
Doctor Sleep is a thoughtful sequel to The Shining, in which the telepathic little boy grows up to have problems of his own, of which alcoholism and ill temper are not the smallest. Dan Torrance finds a sort of peace after a troubled young manhood – he finds AA and finds a vocation as an orderly at a hospice. His power has modulated into the ability to help the dying stay calm and hopeful.
“Doctor Sleep” is Stephen King’s latest novel, and it’s a very good specimen of the quintessential King blend. According to Vladimir Nabokov, Salvador Dalí was “really Norman Rockwell’s twin brother kidnapped by gypsies in babyhood.” But actually there were triplets: the third one is Stephen King.
The Rockwell small-town rocking chair, the old-fashioned house with the welcome mat, the genial family doctor, the grandfather clock: there they are, depicted in all their lifelike, apparently cozy detail. Both Rockwell and King know such details intimately, right down to the brand names. But there’s something very, very wrong. The rocking chair is coming to get you. The family doctor is greenish in hue and has been dead for some time. The house is haunted, and the welcome mat is alive with things. And, pace Dalí, the clock is melting.
It’s a mistake to go back, but not always. Sometimes you have to go back to make amends. Early in his career, before he even began to understand the full dimensions of what he was writing, Stephen King created, in Jack Torrance of The Shining, one of the most memorable portraits of a dry drunk in popular literature – the compulsive behaviour, the terrible rages, and at the climax the moment of self-sacrificial redemption that turns the monster back into a man. Like many of the greatest characters, Jack came out of the darkest parts of his creator, years before he accepted that drink was one of his demons.
“Doctor Sleep” picks up on the story of Danny, the little boy with psycho-intuitive powers in King’s famous 1977 novel, “The Shining.” Danny survived both his evil-infested dad, Jack Torrance, and the ghouls that inhabited the grisly Overlook Hotel in Colorado, escaping by the hair of his chinny-chin-chin just before the clock struck midnight and the hotel’s infernal boiler blew up, incinerating the forces of bad and leaving readers hiding under the bed, but cross-eyed with relief.
In “Doctor Sleep” Dan has grown up, but he retains his “shining” abilities. Having wrestled the demon drink to an uneasy standstill — his father had that problem too, as we recall — he’s attending A.A. and working at a hospice facility, where, with his mind-probing talents, he helps the dying to reconcile themselves to their often misspent lives. Thus his nickname, Doctor Sleep, which echoes his childhood nickname, “doc.”
Early in his sobriety, Dan scrawls a name in his notebook, and gradually becomes aware that a little girl, Abra, whose powers hugely exceed his, is watching him from a couple of towns away. Abra in turn becomes aware of predators – undead psychic vampires who eat young children with powers – and the predators, the True Knot, become aware of Abra. And are hungry…
This is splendid melodrama, but also a deal tighter and less discursive than some of King’s later books. The devil gets some good tunes and the horrible Rose, leader of the True Knot, is a convincing predator whom we see corrupt and turn a bitter young woman with powers. Not all the True Knot started off bad to the bone – but they are now. Just as the climax of The Shining showed us redemption, so this shows us the possibility of becoming something utterly damnable.
Enter another magic child, Abra — as in “cadabra,” the text helpfully points out — who’s even better at the shining stuff than Dan is. She alarmed her parents early on by predicting the 9/11 disaster while still in her crib, and has since caused dismay by sticking all the spoons to the ceiling during her birthday party.
The two shiners soon find themselves in spiritual communication, which is a lucky thing, because young Abra is going to need big help. She is the target of a rackety, entertaining bunch called the True Knot, who lust to drink her spiritual mist, or “steam.” (This is a whole new twist on steampunk.) The Knot members have been alive for a Very Long Time — not usually a good sign, as those who know their “Dracula” and “She” can testify — and, disguised as vacationers roaming the countryside in RVs, they kidnap and torture their victims, then imbibe their essences. They also bottle these in case of shortages; for if they run out of steam they evaporate, leaving their clothes behind, like the Wicked Witch of the West when melted.
They’re led by a beautiful woman named Rose the Hat, whose main lover is a gent known as Crow Daddy. (From “crawdaddy,” we assume. King loves wordplay and puns and mirror language: remember redrum, from “The Shining”? Who could forget?) The names of King’s characters are frequently appropriate: Daniel “Lions’ Den” Anthony (the tempted saint) Torrance (it never rains but it pours) is a case in point. Rose is a sinister Rosa Mystica, a negative version of the Virgin Mary. (For starters, she ain’t no virgin.)
As for the Overlook Hotel — on the site of which the True Knotters have pitched their main encampment — its name has at least three layers: the obvious one (it looks out over the landscape), the semi-obvious (the bad folks overlook something) and the deeply embedded, which I’m guessing has to do with the old song about the four-leaf clover and the somebody I adore; for King’s good-and-evil arrangement is usually yin and yang, with a spot of darkness in every goodie and a tiny ray of sunshine in every baddie. Even the True Knotters are sweet with one another, though their status as human beings is dubious. As one new recruit says, “Am I still human?” And as Rose replies, “Do you care?”
Wild ectoplasmic partly decayed vampire horses would not tear from me the story of what happens next, but let me assure you King is a pro: by the end of this book your fingers will be mere stubs of their former selves, and you will be looking askance at the people in the supermarket line, because if they turn around they might have metallic eyes. King’s inventiveness and skill show no signs of slacking: “Doctor Sleep” has all the virtues of his best work.
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.”
Some may look skeptically at “horror” as a subliterary genre, but in fact horror is one of the most literary of all forms. Its practitioners read widely and well — King being a pre-eminent example — since horror stories are made from other horror stories: you can’t find a real-life example of the Overlook Hotel. People do “see” some of the things King’s characters see (for a companion volume, try Oliver Sacks’s “Hallucinations”), but it is one of the functions of “horror” writing to question the reality of unreality and the unreality of reality: what exactly do we mean by “see”?
But dig down below the horror trappings, and “Doctor Sleep” is about families. The biological families of Dan and Abra, the “good” family of A.A., to which “Doctor Sleep” is a kind of love song, and the “bad” family of the True Knot. High on the list of King sins are the maltreatment of children by male relatives, and the brutalizing of women, mothers in particular. Righteous anger and destructive anger both have their focus in the family. As Doctor Sleep himself says to young Abra, “There’s nothing but family history”: often the narrative glue that sticks a King novel together. The family dimension, too, is quintessentially American-horror, all the way from “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” on up.
This is also a book about family and friendship – the elective family of friends that an AA meeting can become, and the self-formed family of helpers Dan and Abra put together, but also the family of corruption and domination that Rose rules. It is also about tricks – King outwits his reader, time after time, as telepaths and vampires play games of strategy.
As always, one of his major strengths is the specificity of everything we see. This is an America of anonymous truck-stops and trailer parks as well as small towns where everyone knows everyone else’s business. The True Knot live as itinerants, in mobile homes; this is a believable myth of what predators would be like; what exploiters, whether sexual or financial, are. They eat, drive on and never look back – whereas good people always have regrets.
What will King do next? Perhaps Abra will grow up, and become a writer, and use her “shining” talent to divine the minds and souls of others. For that, of course, is yet another interpretation of King’s eerie, luminescent metaphor.
The True Knot are an association of ghouls who travel the highways and byways of America abducting small children (who else?) and feeding on their souls (what else?). Their current inventory will take them to Colorado and the site of the Overlook Hotel (where else?). Meanwhile, Dan Torrance, a recovering alcoholic is working as a nurse in a cancer hospice in New England. I guess it's almost inevitable that there's going to be a showdown, isn't it?
While attending a book signing in 1996, someone asked Stephen King what became of Danny Torrance, the young protagonist of King's third novel "The Shining". It took him a while, but "Doctor Sleep" is the answer to that question...
"Doctor Sleep" is classic King. You got your soul-sucking vampires (check), got your tortured alcoholic hero (check), got your psychic teenager (check), your grizzled Midwesterner father figure (check), your cataclysmic, James Bond-esque denouement (check). You know where you are with The King. You get a big old book, swollen, but full of interest; replete with character development, crammed with back-story, dripping with homely sincerity and oozing apple-pie Americana. Fortunately, though, King managed to avoid chucking in a whole squadron of flying saucers this time but I was surprised not to see a visit from Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
So there you go. A worthy (if long awaited) follow-up to The Shining. Different in character but consistent in plot. More "It'' and "Insomnia" than "Dreamcatcher" or "Dome". To say much more would be superfluous. If you like King, you'll like this. If you love King, you'll read it in one long, gritty-eyed session.
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.
on 2 March 2014
'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...
on 2 October 2013
"Doctor Sleep" is the new Stepehen King novel. In all honesty, I hadn't bought a King novel past the one after "The Shining", which was so disappointing I can't even remember its name. Usually the once-a-year-authors turn out to get very rich and be very predictable, like Coca-Cola and McDonald's. But true fear is kinda like trying to truly tickle yourself: it's hard to have true fear when inexorably prescient by formulaic writing.
But "Salem's Lot" and "The Shining", as well as the movie "Carrie" had scared the-bejesus-leave-on-the-nightlight outta me. I remember exactly where I read "The Shining" and that in two nights. Kubrick's movie, while divergent from the novel, was also that director's expansive and challenging vision. So the brand will probably get my interest. After seeing the author on the BBC, I broke down what little resolve remained. Even "the twelve steps" and full price couldn't supplant any resolve Accessibility by mailbox availability, courtesy of Amazon.uk. broke me.
I guess I have become more discerning as King is no Kubrickesque wizard with prose. I wouldn't use his sentences in creative writing class. But at the next level, he does do a John Ford type, functional narrative with very fleshed out characters. His depictions of the teetering drunk protagonist and the old fart antagonists are the obvious realistic insight of personal insight and accountability, which he has publically done with his alcoholic bouts and the less dramatic compromises of normal aging. The baddie gang is brilliant in its ironic and looming danger, whose ironic subtleties makes them ever prevalent ... in everyone's daily life. In certain ways, the true horrors in this book are, in fact, two of the realities of most everyone's daily life: aging and substance abuse.
So the prose style, which could be lumbering without personal insight and real voice ... is very authentic. And best for a fear book... unpredictable; an adventurous page turner. His observations of American culture are both vivid in details and often very funny. That King has researched his locations, characters, and their superficialities well, also gives the book an intimacy which compels the reader to check under the bed often.
In many ways, I'd give this book an excellent recommendation. I only hesitate as for his previous output of drivel. But cleansing that original sin is part of the redemption which makes King so appealing. I'd guess "appealing" wouldn't damn The Beatles. Or Monument Valley. So I'd call the book excellent.
First of all; this really wasn't what I expected from a novel advertised as the sequel to The Shining. It's not. It's the story of Danny and picks up when he's in his 30s with little explanation of where he's been in the interim period.
There are flashbacks to the Overlook Hotel, some of the characters get a passing mention and there's a ton of information about Danny's ability to 'shine' but almost none of his personal history. For that reason I found the beginning of the novel quite disjointed and difficult to hook into. However; after a short while of wandering around not knowing where King was actually taking me, he did what he does best - hit me with some of the most surreal, contemporary horror writing I've had the pleasure to read for a long time.
His character of Rose the Hat is by far one of the best fictional characters I've encountered and her evil troupe, The True Knot, are written as unbelievably vile in their selfish act of taking a life in order to extend their own. Thoroughly enjoyed King's updated take on vampyrism. It's not your blood they're after it's your 'steam' and how they get you to part with the very essence of yourself is not pleasant and hurts a great deal!!.
Unfortunately though, King isn't consistent in Doctor Sleep and frequently wanders away padding out his plot with unnecessary dialogue, scene fillers and characters he builds up as massively important only to dissolve them away with little explanation. I found myself completely lost and directionless through large chunks of this novel only to be thrown back in by a new wave of contemporary horror themes, marvelous characterisation and a game of psychic cat and mouse that had my heart pounding.
For me, and this is purely a personal opinion, Doctor Sleep doesn't really start to roll until the last third of the novel. There are some excellent bits and pieces on the journey to that point but; the plot suddenly comes to life once the energy picks up and the chase is on. I'd also have to admit that it's quite emotional, there's a lot of love and people finding one another. Don't be fooled. King has a fantastic ability to build up your expectations, draw you into a place of safety, only to rip the rug right out from under your feet. Add to that King's stunning one line observations into human nature mixed with his sardonic black humour and you're guaranteed a unique ride into this nightmare.
For me, Doctor Sleep isn't particularly scary and also not a novel I would class as 'horror' in the traditional sense. What he's done, and he's done it brilliantly, is taken the worse of human nature and distorted it into something sick and twisted. His demons are housed inside human skin and are absolutely normal on the surface until, suddenly, he peels back that skin and lets you get a look at what's really happening underneath.
I'm unsure how to rate Doctor Sleep. In parts it's just incredibly good but in other parts it drifts away and loses focus which annoyed me greatly. When King's on the ball he's 110% but during this novel he loses concentration, he's distracted and in those places he gives 80%. There were times I felt I was reading two different books. For that reason I'm going for 4* rather than 5*.