Doctor Sleep (2013) Book Review—by Stephen King

doctor sleep


Author:  Stephen King


I think I was about 15 when I first read The Shining.  I specifically remember reading part of it while flying on an airplane and being scared shitless.  It takes a pretty impressive book to create that kind of fear while you’re sitting on a plane, surrounded by a hundred other people.

I’ve read A LOT of Stephen King, and The Shining ranks in my top 5.  Like many of his books, I was sincerely sad when it was over.  But I moved on, read his other work, and forgot about young Danny Torrence, one of three survivors from The Shining.  Thankfully, there were other fans that didn’t forget about him, and many of these fans would catch up with Stephen King at book signings and say “Hey, whatever happened to the little boy from The Shining?”  This got the famous author thinking and eventually led him to write one of the most anticipated novels since I started reading him.

Doctor Sleep arrived on my door step right after it was released (thanks to a pre-ordered birthday present from my sister and bro-in-law) and I managed to read it in about 3 weeks, which is really fast for me these days.  Here’s the quick synopsis and my thoughts:

Young Danny Torrence may have survived his father’s destructive slide into insanity and escaped the fire that burned the Overlook Hotel to the ground, but he didn’t escape the ghosts that haunted both.  With some help from an old friend Danny learns to gain control of his disturbing visions, and ultimately learns to use “the shining” to help elderly patients in a hospice make their final transition into the afterlife.  Then Danny meets young Abra Stone, a little girl who possesses the same talents as Danny, only her psychic powers are much, much stronger.  Danny isn’t the only one that takes an interest in the little girl, and a group of mysterious and dangerous people literally trek across the country to feed on the “shining” that people like Abra—and Danny—possess.  Danny goes to extreme measures to protect the girl and we’re treated to a truly creepy adventure, climaxing in a supernatural showdown that rivals the original story.

This was a great book.  It was haunting, and it was scary.  Any time you can tell—as a reader—that the author had fun writing a piece of fiction it’s bound to be a good time.  When the author in question happens to be Stephen King, it’s an absolute gas!

If you’re a diehard Stephen King fan like me, and you’ve already read The Shining, you’re going love Doctor Sleep.  If by some chance you HAVE NOT read The Shining, read my next words very carefully:  READ THE SHINING FIRST.

Trust me.  Doctor Sleep will wait for you.

And so will the ghosts that live within its pages.


–Tyson  tyson headshot


What’s your favorite Stephen King novel?  Let us know below…

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6 Responses to Doctor Sleep (2013) Book Review—by Stephen King

  1. Amy Telford says:

    Your review has made me want to read this book. Tyson, you are a good writer, yourself! Best worded review I have read in a long time!

  2. Pingback:Joyland–book review (by Stephen King) | The Nerdcronomicon

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