Review of ‘Doctor Sleep’ by Stephen King

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 adaptation was released in 2019.

11 thoughts on “Review of ‘Doctor Sleep’ by Stephen King”

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚
      I hope you like The Shining when you get round to it. I felt it was too long (I say this about every King book) but worth reading.

  1. Love love love that picture of your cat! My Insta photos always get more likes when the dogs are in them too, haha!
    I am always a bit wary of sequels, as I’ve been disappointed so many times. I’d definitely be happy to know what happened to Danny after The Shining, but it might be best to leave it to my imagination! Great review! x

    1. Thanks! The cat is sitting on me as I type πŸ™‚ Yes, my most popular photos have cats in them too.
      I think I’d prefer not to have known what happened to Danny, it’s not really a necessary sequel. Thanks for your comment :)β™₯

  2. Great review, and I did not even know that The Shining had a sequel! What an idea! Probably Stephen King and his team know how to sell a sequel no one wants or cares about – put a lovely kitty on the front, right? πŸ™‚ I was not even a fan of original The Shining. It did not strike me as believable or convincing, but the images that the book evoked will probably stay with me forever. The film probably helped in that respect.

    1. Thanks! I didn’t realise there was a sequel until I saw the film being advertised. I think the book came about because a fan asked King what happened to Danny πŸ™‚
      The film of The Shining is quite different from the book (King famously didn’t like what Kubrick did to it).

      1. Who would like something when one’s own script got rejected? πŸ™‚ I bet King did not like the fact that he was asked to write the movie script and it was categorically rejected.

  3. I’d like to re-read The Shining along with other early Stephen King novels. I’ve been disappointed by a lot of his later works.
    That’s a terrific photo of your cat and the book πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve read no other of his later works, I’m not sure I will either. I was surprised how much I liked The Shining when I re-read it.
      Thanks! πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks! πŸ™‚ All my most liked posts include cats with books, it’s a winning combination.
      I’m sure a lot of King fans were pleased with the sequel but not classing myself as one of them, I’m more objective.

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