Doctor Sleep Read Along Discussion- Part One


I don't think I'm revealing anything that hasn't been already blurbed about but anyone wanting to know nothing about the plot shouldn't read any further.

It took me some time to get into Doctor Sleep. Prefatory Matters felt like forever. King had to give us the 411 on what happened to Danny (Dan) Torrance after leaving the Overlook to the present time. This part was like the first episode of a new season of Revenge: "Here's what happened to the characters over the last year" only it was more like 30 years. I just couldn't get into this section. Mostly Dan got drunk. It felt like we'd already been there already. Sure, Dan was smart enough to get help but I just couldn't do this all again after The Shining.

Part One is also a bit of a slog because one of the main characters isn't even born until decade before the main action occurs. I was wondering if it was just me, but apparently some others participating in the Sleepalong are feeling similarly. I continued on because Margaret Atwood raved about Doctor Sleep and I will just do as she says. If she says read it, then I will. She should just wear a t-shirt that says, "Because I'm Margaret Atwood." Who am I to argue? By the end of Part One, things pick up and now I'm finding it hard to keep away from the book.

That's not to say that there aren't highlights in Part One. The characters are so well written. Dan is flawed but unlike his Dad he is a good human being. I love him a little bit. I love Billy and his hint of shine too. Abra is one special kid but she also just an ordinary girl. Rose the Hat is frickin scary.

King's ability to terrorize me hasn't changed since The Shining. There is a scene in Part One titled The True Knot that illustrates this perfectly. It is a scene of torture that doesn't describe the torture at all, yet conveys the feeling of being tortured explicitly. It gave me chills and there is nothing graphic about that scene at all.

Now onto the Sleepalong Q&A.

Doctor Sleep picks up not long after the closing of The Shining.  For those who have recently read The Shining, do you think it proves to be helpful in diving into the sequel?  If you have not recently read The Shining, do you feel you are missing out on some of the details?

I'm very glad to have read The Shining just before Doctor Sleep. I don't think I would have known who some of the characters were and the parts they played in Danny's childhood. However, they are two very different stories and you wouldn't need to read The Shining to understand what was going on.

Danny has now become Dan.  In Part One, we watch his transformations from learning to live with the horrors of The Overlook to succumbing to the drink (like his father) to his road to sobriety and earning the title of Doctor Sleep.  What do you think about the journey King has taken Dan on thus far?

Like I said, I'm glad the drinking part is over with and I'm glad to see Dan helping the people who need it. I was disappointed that he had to take that journey but happy to see him come out the other side. I get the feeling he's going to need to use all the tools he's got to fight the True.

We are also introduced to the True Knot in this first section.  What do you think about this group?

I'm never going to look at people in Winnebagos the same way again.

Now that I'm hooked I can't wait to keep reading!


  1. Prefatory Matters did go on and on, didn't it? I was never bored, but I was expecting a prologue and instead got 50 pages! And Part One just didn't reveal anything I didn't already know going in... I mean, little details here and there, but mostly it was just laying out everything we already read in the book summary. I started Part Two today and am definitely more excited to continue than I ever was in the first third of the book.

  2. I am totally not going to look at Winnebagos again either!

    I really think that some of these boring details at the beginning are going to come into play somewhere in the book. King is really good about incorporating the mundane details and us discovering them not to be mundane at all. I just don't know exactly which parts, so I felt like I couldn't breeze past anything and for that reason, I think it even went slower. I'm now in Part Two and things are definitely picking up.

    I did not see where Margaret Atwood raved about Doctor Sleep, so I'm off to check out that link right now!!

  3. Haha! Be VERY suspicious of the Winnebagos!! I don't see how a whole slew of trailers could travel down the highway and be inconspicuous but hey, what do I know?

    I never felt as if the book was a slog. In fact, I am slowing it down even more so that I won't be done with it tomorrow. I should have been done with it last week but I only read a few pages a day now. I am down to the last 20% though and just want to end it so I can talk about it and move on.


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