Kira’s #CBR5 “Review” #47: Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

dr-sleep-coverReleasing a fiction sequel more than thirty years after its predecessor is the kind of gambit only Stephen King can pull off (though credit is due to The Shining movie he’s so consistently talked down) and King, fortunately, seems to recognize the absurdity of trying to pick up where we left off in the 70s. Doctor Sleep, The Shining’s 2013 sequel, is cast forward — through Danny Torrance’s troubled teenage years and his struggle to forget the Overlook (uh, YEAH), and into the present, where Obama is president, the Internet exists, and an adolescent boy band called ‘Round Here is at peak popularity. Even Twitter gets a mention.

In the present, Dan has learned – mostly through drinking – to temper his visions, and wanders from town to town doing odd jobs until some drunken episode forces him to pack up and move on. It’s only after settling down and getting sober that he is forced to face his shining head-on, and in so doing stumbles across a young girl in need of his help.

Dan is 100 percent an Official Stephen King Male Protagonist: scrappy guy with a dubious past, a heart of gold and maybe a substance-abuse problem (see: Eddie fromThe Dark Tower series, Stu in The Stand, Dale from Under the Dome, etc.) But Danny is, of course, no stranger – we’ve already seen him defeat evil shrubbery and a bathtub-hoarding lady corpse – and so I was from the very first page rooting for him, and against whatever wicked shit I assumed King had cooked up.

[FULL REVIEW]

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Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 49: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

doctor_sleep_coverWhen I was at summer camp between 7th and 8th grade, a friend told me that she was reading The Shining, a book I had never heard of, by some guy from Maine named Stephen King (please note, I am super old, so this was when King was sort-of-famous, but not yet a global literary force to be reckoned with). I loved Maine and I loved to read, so I immediately got on board and read this book in about 2 days and very, very long nights. And I was hooked. That same summer, I read The Stand, Salem’s Lot, Pet Semetary, and Carrie. And I was hooked. I’ve read pretty much everything he’s written ever since.

Last year, I had the chance to go see King speak nearby. He talked about the changing publishing industry and he talked a lot about himself and how his writing had changed over the years, and how he was trying to get back to basics. And then he gave a reading from his upcoming sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep.  Wouldn’t it be cool, he said, if we had a chance to peek in on Danny Torrence’s life right now, and see what became of him? Find out what kind of man he was?

And the answer is yes. It was pretty cool.

Whatever was “wrong” with King’s writing in the early 2000s has clearly been fixed. Remember Duma Key, Lisey’s Story, Dreamcatcher, Cell, and the horrible, awful Song of Susannah? The stories were pretty good, but the endings. My god, the endings. Terrible. Under the Dome? WORST OFFENDER OF THEM ALL. He simply could not end a story.

And then, he went and published some more short stories (always his forte), a short Dark Tower novella, Joyland, and 11/22/63. And he really nailed the ending with those last two, and all was right in the world again.

And luckily, I think Doctor Sleep continues on that path. The story was good — yes, thanks, Stephen, it was interesting to see what kind of man Danny had become — and the ending worked. Of course, I did have a few “meh” moments. TEENY TINY SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. For one, I thought it was too long (a familiar complaint with King, I’m sure). And secondly, I admit, I think King was a bit soft when it came down to the “big battle” section of the story. Old Stephen, like Joss Whedon, would have killed off a few of the supporting good guys (our favorites, of course), and thought nothing of it. But this time, everyone I pegged as a potential sacrifice for the greater good made it out alive. I definitely thought Doctor Dave and old Billy would be casualties of the fight with the True Knot, and was seriously surprised to find them more or less alive and well at the end.

I know not everyone here in Cannonball land agrees with me — looks like reviews of this have been fairly divided. But I really enjoyed it, and devoured it over the course of a weekend. Which, when you have three little kids, birthday parties, homework, sports, etc to manage, is actually quite a feat.

You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #161: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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“That’s a good book, by the way,” a coworker told me as he passed by and saw me holding Doctor Sleep. In response, I gave him what I can only think to describe as a sort of grunt. By then, I’d read enough to learn otherwise. When my Google search for reviews turned up this, one which has the audacity to put Doctor Sleep and his death-sniffing pussy, Azzie, on a pedestal above The Shining, well I…

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Popcultureboy’s #CBR5 review #88: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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Long awaited, hugely anticipated and freaking brilliant. King writes his first ever sequel to a previous standalone with wonderful results. This is the second review of Doctor Sleep on CBR5, after Lady Cordelia’s, but I doubt it will be the last. The full review can be found on my blog here.