Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

RATING: 4.5/5


Following a childhood haunted by terrifying events at the Overlook Hotel, Danny Torrance has been drifting for decades.

Finally, he settles into a job at a nursing home where he draws on his remnant ‘shining’ power to help people pass on.

Then he meets Abra Stone, a young girl with the brightest ‘shining’ ever seen. But her gift is attracting a tribe of paranormals. They may look harmless, old and devoted to their Recreational Vehicles, but The True Knot live off the ‘steam’ that children like Abra produce.

Now Dan must confront his old demons as he battles for Abra’s soul and survival…


Doctor Sleep is an example of King’s current work whereby it is heavily plot driven rather than character driven. It is more action packed as compared to The Shining. This does not mean that the characterization of the characters in Doctor Sleep is bad but I think it is not as in depth as The Shining.

Essentially, the effects of alcoholism was highlighted throughout the story in The Shining. Whereas in Doctor Sleep, King explored how an alcoholic fights alcoholism through Danny’s character. While we see a lot of psychic power battle scenes in Doctor Sleep, what excites me is Danny’s character arc. It is so well executed as we see how a person who is traumatized with past events (happened in The Shining) and resorts to alcoholic as a means to escape from his past demons. The story starts off with the following quote: –

“FEAR stands for fuck everything and run.”

As we move on, Danny decides to fight alcoholism and face his past demons. Of course, Danny is surrounded by friends and family (such as Casey Kingsley, Billy Freeman, and most importantly Abra Stone) who are willing to go through this with him. The book then ends with the following quote: –

“FEAR stands for face everything and recover”.

This perfectly sums up Danny’s character arc. Doctor Sleep still deserves a 4.5/5 star rating (I think The Shining is slightly better than Doctor Sleep) and OMG, the movie adaptation totally deserves a 5/5 star rating! Now, I’m officially a fan of Stephen King.

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