Title: Doctor SleepAuthor: Stephen King
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reader: Will Patton (excellent)
Date Completed: Sept - 2013
Stephen King fans are in for a treat with Doctor Sleep; it's much better than I could have imagined. I anticipated for months how this sequel to The Shining might possibly play out, and my imaginings never came close to predicting how this one might shake out. Plan to read this one when you are sure to have a uninterrupted time, as you will not want to put this one down until you've finished the entire novel.
So yes, Danny Torrance, the little boy with the "the shining", is back in the sequel. He's all grown up now. He's battled alcoholism, and is winning the fight. He works at a facility for hospice patients called, the Rivington House in a small NH town. To his coworkers, he's referred to as, Doctor Sleep, as he, along with Azee the cat, have a way of helping guests there leave this world behind when the their time has come.
As Danny has aged, and since he has stopped drinking, his "shining" abilities are not as powerful as they once were. There is, however, someone who has been communicating with Danny in unusual ways, whose "shining" abilities far exceed anything Danny was ever capable of. Her name is Abra (Abby) Stone. Abra, even before she could walk and talk was trying to warn others about bad things that would and did happen. At just 11 years old, her powers are stronger than ever, and her parents and Danny fear for her safety.
Rattlesnake, Rosie the Hat, Snakebite Andi, Crow Daddy, Walnut, Mr. Business Man, Mr. Dealer Man and more, are a motley crew, part of a group called: The True Knot, the Steam Heads. The group travels cross country in RV clusters, and to the average person, their attire of cheap sun glasses, fishing hats, stretch pants and attention getting bumper stickers makes them appear like many other retirees traveling in RVs. Believing that they are regular folks would be dangerous, because they really are not interested in seeing the sites in their RV. They have a special agenda, and a special interest in talented young "shining" ones like Abra.
Although Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining, it can be read as a stand-alone novel. I was happy that there were references to the Overlook Hotel, and also to other characters from The Shining. Most were referred to briefly like: Jack and Wendy (Danny's parents), Richard (Dick) Hallorann, who saved the lives of the Torrance family when the Overlook was destroyed by fire. Also mentioned was Mrs Massey, Room 217, Horace Dorman, as well as Tony, Danny's imaginary friend. It was good to have their names reappear, even briefly in Doctor Sleep.
For me, this one is "classic Stephen King". When I read phrases like "eyes dripping and bloated", I smiled. This is the Stephen King, I love the best. READ IT!
(audio book provided to me by Simon & Schuster)