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72 of 74 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 3 months ago by Candy Cane

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Sleep
I give this book 3.5 stars.

When I was younger I was addicted to Stephen King books, and devoured 'The Shining', loving every page of it.

Before reading 'Doctor Sleep' I decided to re-read 'The Shining'. One, to recap on what happened, and two, to make sure my memories of it were realistic (I've found over time my thoughts on books change). It was...
Published 8 months ago by Jaycey


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72 of 74 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?" (Palm Harbor, Florida) - See all my reviews
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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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81 of 89 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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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King - The Shining Revisited, 25 Sep 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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Sleep, 11 Nov 2013
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I give this book 3.5 stars.

When I was younger I was addicted to Stephen King books, and devoured 'The Shining', loving every page of it.

Before reading 'Doctor Sleep' I decided to re-read 'The Shining'. One, to recap on what happened, and two, to make sure my memories of it were realistic (I've found over time my thoughts on books change). It was still fantastic.

So, 'Doctor Sleep' had a lot to live up to. And for me it didn't quite make it.

'The Shining' is a horror story, and it was terrifying. 'Doctor Sleep' isn't scary in the slightest.

I really wanted to find out what had happened to Danny as he grew up, and this story was exactly what I wanted. Many have complained, but I thought it was a great idea to have Danny struggle with alcoholism. I very much enjoyed King's writing of Danny's story, it definitely filled the hole I had.

I also loved finding out about the other characters from 'The Shining', seeing where they are, and if they're still around. The references to Joe Hill's NOS4R2 was great too.

My problems with this story started with the True Knot. To me they were boring. I had absolutely no interest in them, and just wanted them to be destroyed. Which was a shame, I should have an interest in the bad guy. I need to hate them, want them to suffer. The description of Rose's 'true face' was more funny than scary. For some reason I had an image of Ziltoid the Omniscient in my head, with his snaggletooth. Not scary at all.

So, the whole idea of this being a horror story was lost on me.

I enjoyed Abra's story, and was very interested and invested in her. My problem was that she was just too powerful. There was no way she was going to lose. Danny was a scared, innocent child in 'The Shining'. He had no idea what to do, or how to do it. Abra just kicked ass. And she had help!

Also, what happened to Tony. He appeared at the beginning of the book, being around Abra. But, then he disappeared. Was he not needed anymore? That was a bit disappointing.

I've glad that this book exists, and I'm glad I have read it. But, it had too much to live up to, and it failed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shine on!!!, 26 Sep 2013
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Superb & worthwhile follow-up to one of his best early works 'The Shining'.

Little Danny Torrence has now grown up and is known as Dan in a story that really unfolds well (even if it doesn't quite hold the tension of its predecessor) and has a satisfactory conclusion.

The True Knot have stolen 'steam' from centuries from children but they come up against a powerful foe in Abra (and there is a twist to that particular tale that I didn't see coming).

Following the superb 11/22/63 & Joyland SK certainly seems to improve like a fine wine which is a hell of achievement when he has set such a high standard over the past four decades.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 24 Sep 2013
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Doctor Sleep is absolutely outstanding. Easily the book of the year for me. In fact, it's my book of the decade. It's a beautiful, captivating, terrifying and unforgettable read.

As a life-long Stephen King fan, I can't emphasise enough what an 'event' this novel is. It's more than a book, it's....an occasion, it's closure to something that became a big part of so many of our lives, so long ago. It's, quite simply, bloody brilliant. A book this huge doesn't come around very often, but when it does, it restores my faith in the Universe, it really does. I'm tired of seeing people getting over-excited and queuing endlessly for video games and shiny phones. I will never, ever get tired of seeing people rushing to get their hands on a book. There aren't many authors who can make that happen. Those who do, are Legends.

It's not easy to put this into words (clearly I'm no Mr King!), but because I felt I knew little Danny so well, being back with him after all this time was just an incredible experience. It was like being back with an old friend you never thought you'd see again.

Doctor Sleep kicks off not too far from the end of the action in The Shining, and if, like me, you did a re-read before starting this one you feel like you're carrying straight through, which is great as all your initial questions are answered pretty quickly. You're on familiar ground right from the start.

For me though, the point this one really ramps up and gets its claws into you is the point at which the title is explained. From then on, I could not put this down for love nor money. I was blown away by how deftly King demonstrates what a destructive force alcohol is. It's fascinating to see how Danny's Dad's drinking had affected him, and how drinking in turn affects The Shining, and how they both pull the older 'Dan' in different directions. I want to try and keep this as low on spoilers as possible, but the 'canny' incident with little Tommy, when Dan was at his absolute lowest was completely and utterly heartbreaking. It still haunts me even now, as I believe it will every single parent who reads it.

It's interesting to see how alcoholism is woven as a theme throughout the novel. Every aspect of its portrayal is authentic and convincing. As the Danny we knew becomes the Dan we don't, there are so many changes we go through with him. I felt like family reading this. The drink, the drugs, Tommy and rock bottom, and his gradual climb up and out the other side.

His connection to Abra is heart-warming, and she's such a beautiful character to be added into the mix. Ten years old when Dan is ten years sober, they make an incredible team. Hallorann's prophecy comes true in the most poetic and co-incidental way;

"Someday, Danny, it will be your turn to be the teacher. The pupil will come."

The portrayal of animals here was interesting too. I enjoyed how dogs can see straight through the True Knot folk, whereas people were instantly taken in by them;

"They don't like dogs, and dogs don't like them. You might say dogs see through them."

If you couple this with the strange power Azzie the cat has, you see a respect here for domestic animal instinct that will delight all pet owners. Of course, the Azzie situation isn't an original idea, but the way King writes it, it feels unique, he puts his own stamp on it and it's thrilling. The added twist of what Dan can do for the patients Azzie visits makes the whole situation completely his own.

Doctor Sleep, for me, wasn't terrifying in the same way that the Shining was. It's a more intense, darker menace that causes the fear here, with the intentions of the True Knot being both so clear and so sickening. The battle of wits between them, Dan and Abra is exciting and stressful and all too much in places. And there is, of course, a nice twist at the end. I didn't see it coming, although really, I should've done, I was just too wrapped up in the overall awesomeness of everything else that was going on.

Was this a picture of a future I'd hoped for for Danny? No, not at all, a million miles from it, in fact. But it was an incredible journey, and getting to know him was something I won't forget in a hurry. It was nice to finally see him with good people. Dan deserves good people.

In short, Doctor Sleep has all the hallmarks of a King classic, multiplied tenfold for linking back to one of the greatest novels of all time. For me, this isn't one for the freezer like The Shining. In The Shining you're scared witless and all you can do is shout for help and run. Doctor Sleep is a book to keep by your bedside, because it demonstrates how to fight back, even from rock bottom.

I could not have loved it more.
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2 of 2 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Stephen King Classic, 11 Feb 2014
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The Shining was a classic, but this sequel was extremely disappointing. Danny is a recovering alcoholic and all the characters from the original book are either dead or just airbrushed from this story. I found the True Knot rather boring the characters a little wooden and the tension non existant. I have read The Shining on more than one occasion but with this book - once is enough. Readable but very much forgettable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Shining, 9 Jan 2014
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If you are a Stephen King fan you will not be disappointed. All the characters he makes, you feel you know someone similar. All things border on the edge of reality and possibility.
His words and your own imagination make this a fantastic read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Apt title, 7 Jan 2014
By 
A. Bristow (UK) - See all my reviews
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Yes, you are in familiar territory with Stephen King's Doctor Sleep - the cultural references, some lyrics, snatches of poetry augmenting the narrative - though there also appear to be a glut of product endorsements throughout and these don't add depth to the writing, in my opinion. The vocabulary is surprisingly unimaginative at times and the punctuation sloppy enough that I had to reread some lines, to be sure what they meant. It became a joke that virtually every character got the opportunity, at least once, to take 'a couple of steadying breaths' throughout the novel.

It's a mild tale, by comparison to the rest of King's novels. No real horror, punches are pulled - you hope King is teasing you and at any moment will wipe the floor with you... but it never happens. Very few characters I really cared about. Precious little happens for a good deal of the book. The disclosure in the last 100 pages seems an unnecessary detail, which adds nothing to the main story.

Stephen King's thank you note, at the end of the novel, reads like an apology. He appears to have had a lot of help pulling the project together.

I was disappointed.
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