“Ever wonder what happened to Danny Torrance from The Shining?”



The True Knot are an association of ghouls who travel the highways and byways of America abducting small children (who else?) and feeding on their souls (what else?). Their current inventory will take them to Colorado and the site of the Overlook Hotel (where else?). Meanwhile, Dan Torrance, a recovering alcoholic is working as a nurse in a cancer hospice in New England.

I guess it’s almost inevitable that there’s going to be a showdown, isn’t it?

While attending a book signing in 1996, someone asked Stephen King what became of Danny Torrance, the young protagonist of King’s third novel “The Shining”. It took him a while, but “Doctor Sleep” is the answer to that question…

“Doctor Sleep” is classic King. You got your soul-sucking vampires (check), got your tortured alcoholic hero (check), got your psychic teenager (check), your grizzled Midwesterner father figure (check), your cataclysmic, James Bond-esque denouement (check). You know where you are with The King.

You get a big old book, swollen, but full of interest; replete with character development, crammed with back-story, dripping with homely sincerity and oozing apple-pie Americana. Fortunately, though, King managed to avoid chucking in a whole squadron of flying saucers this time but I was surprised not to see a visit from Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

So there you go. A worthy (if long awaited) follow-up to The Shining. Different in character but consistent in plot. More “It” and “Insomnia” than “Dreamcatcher” or “Dome”. To say much more would be superfluous. If you like King, you’ll like this. If you love King, you’ll read it in one long, gritty-eyed session.


Reviewed by:

Campbell McAulay

Added 5th May 2015

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Campbell McAulay