Top positive review
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An absolute joy for any 'constant reader'
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.