Title: Doctor Sleep
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 488
I’m a little bit confused about this one, because I remember reading the book and I was pretty sure that I’d written a review to go with it. But then when I finally got round to sorting through Goodreads, I realised that I’d never posted it. And then when I looked into it, I discovered that it was missing – I forgot to do it!
Luckily, I found Doctor Sleep to be pretty memorable, and not least because I read a good chunk of it while waiting out in London all night after a radio interview. I had three hours to kill between 3 AM and the first train, so I sat on a bench in the middle of the night and read this book. And let me tell you, it was the perfect book for it.
Basically, the plot of this novel takes place after The Shining and follows the exploits of a grown-up Danny. He still has a touch of the shining about him, which comes in useful at work – he’s earned the nickname ‘Doctor Sleep’ because he helps the old folks to pass over from life into death. Unfortunately, something strange is happening, King’s equivalent of a disturbance in the force, and you’re in for a wild ride along the way.
Now, because I read it so long ago, I can’t remember all of the details. I do, however, remember that there was the equivalent of a ‘dark side‘, and that they were driving around the country in the back of a camper van. In my memory, it was one of those rare stories where you feel some sympathy for the bad guys, which is typical of King. He likes to subvert his readers’ expectations, and in this instance, he’s taken the seeds that were sown in The Shining and used them to create a work of equal artistic merit.
And that brings me on to something that’s always confused me a little. I enjoyed this book much, much more than The Shining, and I’m not really sure why. It could be that it’s simply easier to read, which made it easier for me to become addicted to it, or it could be that The Shining was the first Stephen King book that I read and so I wasn’t quite used to his style. Regardless, I still stand by my opinion, and I really do believe that this is the better of the two books.
Despite that, I’d still recommend reading The Shining first, because it’s one of the ‘big‘ books in King’s repertoire to begin with and because it will bring you into his world. But once you’ve read The Shining, you can move on to this one, and you’ll enjoy it so much more. It’s like having to eat your dinner before you start on dessert.