Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: Review

Doctor SleepDanny Torrance (The Shining) is all grown up now and really into alcohol. He does manage to get himself together and into AA. Once he does this, things in his life improve. He's got a job (where he helps old people "go into the light, Caroline!" as Doctor Sleep), friends, a grip on reality, and a secret friendship with a little girl. Whoa, it's ok! Actually, he and the girl don't meet each other in the physical world. She has more Shine than he does and reaches out to him with her mind.

Abra, the girl, has a problem. It's not about bullies or boys, but about a secret vampire cult called the True Knot. The True Knot drive around in Winnebagos sucking the life force out of 'special' children, like Abra. They've found out about her and are on their way to get her. Will Danny step up and be the saviour Dick Halloran was for him?

At first, seeing little Danny Torrance struggle and fail is depressing. Surviving the disaster of the Overlook should be a life affirming experience, but Danny has demons in the form of seeing really bad stuff about people. That's hard to live with and it doesn't make for uplifting reading. This part of the book dragged. It took me sometime to get through it.

After all the "Previously, on the Shining" we get to the main plot of the story. The leader of the True Knot want Abra. Here's where things pick up and I plowed through the remainder of the book. Danny does "shine" here. He's the man we want him to be. He is strong and ethical. He uses his power for good, no matter what the damage to himself. He's going to save this little girl, no matter what! I couldn't wait to see how he was going to accomplish this.

I'm not sure what to make of Abra. I wasn't enamoured with her. She had her feisty moments and I definitely didn't want her to die, but despite having this incredible gift, I didn't find her that interesting. She was missing a little something.

Doctor Sleep has a few twists, some surprises, old friends, and lots of new ones. There are plenty of scares with the True Knot. The end brings The Shining and Doctor Sleep together in a satisfying way. If you can hold on through the Life of Danny and get to the meat of the story, you'll have a scary good time.


  1. Abra's character was lacking in a lot of ways. Her age did not seem to fit her personality and she was borderline annoying and yes, on the boring side too.

  2. I really enjoyed Doctor Sleep, and you are right, Abra was hard to get close to, wasn't she? I had to struggle to get through the AA part too, it went on a bit long, but once we get to the town where he settles it gets good. I enjoyed the ending very much also.

  3. I am so glad that you joined in the Doctor Sleep read-along! This was a fun one to read with so many friends at the same time.

    I agree that this book started out slow, but definitely picked up and tied the two books together nicely in the end. I think it will end up being one of my favorite books of the year!


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