2013: The Shining/Doctor Sleep

I'm back! Did you miss me? I took a wee blogcation to go back to work (success!) and to take my kids to Disneyworld (double success!! The trick with little kids is not to push them too hard, so every day we Mickey'd for about five hours and played in the pool for the rest of the day.  PLUS, my folks came with us.  They were awesome - I totally recommend Mickey + grandparents, if you have active type parents).

Luckily for you, I was still reading even though I wasn't blogging.  

So, let's talk Stephen King.  I'm a fan.  Like many, I started reading Stephen King when I was in Junior High, and basically never stopped.  I wouldn't have gotten through studying for the bar without having King to re-read and clear my brain at the end of the night (though this lead, when I was living in a creepy old farmhouse in Holden, Ma, to me having to put Pet Semetary* in the freezer one late night.  Thanks for the tip, Joey Tribbiani!).  

So, when I was in the hospital last September, my darling husband went out and bought me the newest King - in Hardcover! - so I would have something to read.  But, as we've already discussed, I found that my brain was mush in the hospital, and could barely make it through Ok! magazine, let along a big old Stephen King door stopper.  So the book came home, and just sat around.  And, then I decided that since it is a sequel to The Shining, I should re-read that first, so it waited along longer.  And, then, finally, I read them both.  (Great story, love the suprise ending).  And both were awesome.

The Shining.  You've obviously read The Shining or seen the movie (which, as we all know, King himself doesn't like).  The Shining is classic early King - along with Carrie, 'Salem's Lot, and The Stand.  Man moves into a creepy classic hotel to be it's winter overseer with his family (it's his last chance, given his alcoholism has lost him his former job as a prep school teacher).  They are cut off from all civilization with the onset of snow.  Madness/evil ensues.  I was nervous that I would be too scared to re-read it, since so much of it is worrying what Jack Torrence will do to his small son Danny - who is clarvoyant (has "the shining" of the title, so called by the hotel's cook, Mr. Halloran - Danny's only ally).  This is a new thing since I've become a mom, but nope, I was ok (maybe since I've read this three times before and knew the ending).  Anyway, it was great to re-read.  Loved it.

Doctor Sleep


So, Doctor Sleep is  a sequel to The Shining, all these years later.  It's the story of Danny Torrence, all grown up, and dealing with the demons of his childhood.  You will not be surprised to see that Danny also became an alchoholic (let's see - dad was a drinker, horrible childhood trauma, and, oh yes, he sees horrible ghosts all the time and reads people's minds).  The book is about how he deals with that - how he finds some peace (among other things, it's a valentine to the power of AA), and, along the way, how he battles some horrible face sucking demons that kill and torture children who "shine" like Danny did/does. 

It was SO entertaining! You do not need to re-read The Shining first, though it makes it fun (the new book is pretty hard on poor old Jack Torrence, until SPOILER the very end when he gets a brief moment when you realize he was just trying his best).  The creepy bad guys alone are enough to carry the book - the Danny Torrence stuff is just icing, but the combo of revisiting the old character plus the new creepy makes it great King.  I mean, if you hate King you won't like this - all the King stuff is there, but if you love him (and I am not to proud to admit I do - guys, I read Tommyknockers AND I read Dreamcatcher) you will LOVE this. 

*Guys, Pet Semetary is soooo scary.  I basically do not think I could reread it, now that I have kids.  


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017