In Dr. Sleep, Stephen King returns with nothing more and nothing less than a sequel to The Shining, one of his most fondly remembered books and also one of the spookiest. In 2009 the American writer launched a survey on his official website to ask his readers what they would prefer he take on next: a new novel set in the world of the Dark Tower, or a sequel to The Shining with Danny Torrance as the protagonist. The latter won by only 49 votes.
In Doctor Sleep, we will discover that Danny Torrance was the son of the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, who lost everything, due to his own personal demons, and the malefic influence of a cursed place. He is a little over 30 years old and, despite everything that happened when he was just 8, Danny Torrance has not been able to avoid committing some of the mistakes his own father made. His arrival to the town of Frazier will provide the change that was much needed in his life and, he will then be placed back on track, back on the road he was destined to be on; he will learn how to amend his life. He works in a hospice for senior citizens, where his special talent will help the elderly residents to make the transition to the other life. He will also be in contact with a young woman of twelve years of age, someone as special as he was years ago.
Doctor Sleep has got the best of the best of Stephen King: a dramatis personae whose forays into a vivid and familiar world leaves the reader with hardly a respite, as we seem to be enjoying a very well scripted film, that’s just how good Stephen King has gotten at his craft.
Now, Rose the Hat, the leader of a group of some truly soulless beings who call themselves The True Knot, is the perfect villain: evil as can be, she is a great antagonist for our protagonist, the young Abra however is far from perfect.
We have blood, cruelty, horror; we have guilt and redemption; and we have a worthy continuation to the story of Danny Torrance that little boy we already knew from decades ago. Danny Torrance, that child who roamed in that sinister tricycle, the rooms of the Overlook Hotel, and who is now an adult with many assorted problems. He has learned to control his visions somewhat, and works in a nursing home where he helps the residents die in peace when the time comes. Which is why they call him Doctor Sleep. But his gift puts him in contact with others who share “The Shining” and in order to save the young girl, he’ll have to fight against the most repugnant and malignant beings.
A tour de force for Mr. Stephen King once again. If you’re a King fan, this book is a definite must read. If you’re not a Stephen King fan, this is still a definite must read.