Dr. Sleep / druk 1

Dr. Sleep / druk 1 - Stephen King Danny Torrence had a bit of a rough year living at the Overlook Hotel. Taking into account the encounters with ghosts, his father trying to kill him and his mother and finally, barely escaping before it was destroyed, one wouldn’t blame him if he had trouble dealing with things growing up. Especially, as it seems some of the ghosts have followed him home. Dan is now in his late twenties and has spent a considerable amount of his adult life drifting aimlessly and abusing some sort of substance or another. When he finds himself in a small town that “feels right” he makes a home, joins AA and begins working at a hospice. With the sobriety the “shining” is once again getting stronger, and he finds he has a special talent (with the aid of a physic cat) for helping people pass peacefully into death. Although, somehow not completely content, he has made a comfortable life for himself, until one day a mysterious message appears on his chalkboard, leading to his meeting Abra, a little girl whose “shining” is even stronger than Dan’s own. Joining their talents becomes a necessity when Abra’s life is threatened because a cult-ish group calling themselves The True Knot wants to “steal” Abra’s shining.

At the risk of having rotten cyber-fruit hurled at me I must admit that The Shining was never one of my King favorites, so I went into the reading of Dr. Sleep with a little bit of apprehension. I was pleased that Mr. King did not feel the need to rehash the whole Shining story. Working on the assumption that readers of this book will have had read The Shining we get a little recap at the beginning to set the stage and then fall right into Danny’s story. Yes, there are a few references throughout the book, but only in the context of what is currently going on. Despite the fact that there were a few hazy spots I enjoyed this book. It had the requisite supernatural/paranormal/horror factor. I liked the character of Abra and even felt as though there was enough wiggle room for her to possibly have the lead in a third installment of “The Shining”.

I don’t feel this could be called a “stand alone” book. A little bit of knowledge of what happened back in the original definitely helps. For “constant readers” like myself, this one hits the mark.