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Bookworm: 'Doctor Sleep' is grisly, exciting 'Shining' sequel

By Kathleen Duncan
Oct. 9, 2013 at 5:09 a.m.
Updated Oct. 11, 2013 at 5:11 a.m.


Dan Torrance escaped the Overlook hotel with his mother when he was a child, but he could not escape the shining.

Dan eventually learns to lock away the rotting corpses that haunt him, but as he grows up, he cannot lock away his need to drink. For years, he follows in his father's footsteps, trying to black out the shining with liquor. He tries to bury the horrors and despair in bottles and pitchers.

You'd think this is when they would take him, when he is weak. When he is at his bottom.

But it is years later, when Dan is sober and working at a hospice as "Doctor Sleep," using his shining to help people die in peace, that evil finds him again.

The True Knot travels across America's highways in RVs and Winnebagos with cheery bumper stickers, canes and polyester suits. Looking like typical retirees roaming through truck stops and tourist traps, they scour the country for special children. Children who shine.

They torture; they maim. They slowly devour the children with shining and eat the "steam" which comes out of them when they are dying.

The steam helps the True Knot stay alive as they keep roaming and killing. They are almost immortal, until they meet Abra Stone.

Abra has a shining so great that she reaches out to Dan when she is only a couple months old. She shines right into his mind while he is sitting at an AA meeting, beginning a relationship that slowly develops as she grows older.

Though Abra makes spoons stick to the ceiling and music play in the air, her shining isn't something to be dealt with until she witnesses a boy's murder at the hands of the True Knot. As she watches them lick his blood off their hands, they sense her.

And once they know Abra exists, a little girl with a shining so bright they can feel it across the country, they have to have her. To eat her.

This long-awaited sequel to "The Shining" is a gruesome and exciting thriller that any reader who feared the woman in Room 217 will enjoy. Anyone who wishes for a little more REDRUM. Anyone who still dreams about the hedges moving when they are alone in bed at night.

"Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King is about what happens after the nightmare is over. Or when you think it's over because it doesn't really end.

It follows you home.

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