Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review of Doctor Sleep

First of all, I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, I've read almost everything he's written over the years and I like most of it tremendously much.
He's been my favourite writer since I was 12 and they let me take Christine home with me at the local library. I wasn't supposed to, because his books were in the adult section but I persevered and never regretted it. Christine was a very well written novel and made me a fan for life.

First of all the short of it..
Mostly I copy the summary from Goodreads but I think it gives away much too much detail. In my opinion all you need to know that this is the story of Dan Torrance, the little boy from the Shining (REDRUM anyone?) and a new evil is around the corner zoning in on his special ability. For people who've never read The Shining, this story might have some 'huh? paragraphs' but you don't need the read the first to appreciate the latter.

I liked it. Maybe not as much as I liked the Shining, and I don't think that it's the highlight of his career. The shining was something else, much like Misery and Pet Sematary. Most people remember the movies, but I'm more a fan of his grand fiction, aka The Stand, The Dark Tower, It and other more unknown work like The Long Walk and Duma Key.
Doctor Sleep is like stepping into a familiar house where you haven't been a while. You know every nook and cranny, but somehow it doesn't feel as familiar as it supposed to be, and it also appeared to have shrunk. Although the shining was set in a much smaller environment, it felt much grander than his sequel. Maybe the bombastic nature came from the more explosive pen Stephen King handled back then. Doctor Sleep feels more sedate, but it crawls under your skin just as well and I stayed up well over bedtime (don't I feel old when I talk about going to bed on time) to read as far as I could. It was well worth the redrimmed eyes and mornings filled with yawns.

I liked the character of Dan Torrance, a middle aged man dealing with the phantoms of his youth, made to come to the rescue of a young girl. It's a great adventure and as it deals with supernatural powers, you don't expect someone to tuck their tail in between their legs and run, but somehow the fictional truth of everyone standing up for one person, someone not even known to them from before feels a little fictional. Especially in today's world where look but don't even consider helping is becoming a firm cornerstone.
But don't get me wrong, It doesn't make the book any less good. That's why I love to read books, because in general the people portrayed in there are of the good and responsible kind, sometimes even the heroic kind.

It's written in the style of Stephen king that I come to love and like also in other novels. Short bursts of chapters that keep you on the edge of your seat. An easy to read english, full of nowadays slang without being too confusing. And the descriptions are just enough to set the stage without unnecessary details, so you can fill in the blanks with your own imagination.

Can't wait for the next one, I just might grab one of his early ones and reread it for old times sake.

Personal rating: 4 stars