This sequel to The Shining was disappointing for me. As I expected, it’s not in the same league as the original. The style and content were similar but the story itself failed to grip me. The events were spread out over years, which slowed the pace and made this 500-page novel a struggle to get through.
The story follows what happens to Dan Torrance, who was a little boy last time we saw him. He grew up and turned to alcohol to cope with his traumatic past and to block out the shining. After he got sober, he used his abilities to help people. A girl called Abra, with an even stronger shining than his, reaches out to him after becoming aware of a group of vampire-like monsters who feed off the life-force of other people with the shining, particularly children.
I think that if the story had been more compact, with a shorter time span and maybe fewer characters, I would have liked it better. It did have a warm tone, with positive messages about the power of family love and the benefits of overcoming addiction. I feel as if it’s written by a more confident, happier Stephen King than in his early work The Shining. I’m not convinced that a sequel was necessary but it’s good to know what happened to Danny after the terrible events at the Overlook Hotel.
The copy I read had a picture of a cat on the front cover. I felt this was misleading as the cat in the story, Azzie, is a minor character and it would have been interesting to have his perspective too. When I put a picture of the book on Instagram, I posed it next to one of my cats (who is very similar to the cover illustration) and gained over 100 likes…
Doctor Sleep was first published in 2013. The film, which I haven’t seen yet, was released in 2019.