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October 13, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep by Stephen KingDoctor Sleep
by Stephen King
Narrated by Will Patton

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
Format: Audio, 18 hours | 35 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 5 of 5

From the Publisher:

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

My Thoughts:

Stephen King has made many of his fans happy by penning a sequel to one of his scariest horror novels. At last we get to find out what happened to Danny Torrance, the young boy so traumatized in The Shining.

Danny is now the middle-aged Dan Torrance. The year at The Overlook Hotel has scarred him for life. Unstable and drifting for decades, suffering from alcoholism and fits of violence, for years he was unable to hold a job and haunted by thoughts of being like his father. After some rough times Dan joins AA, lands a job at a nursing home and finds he has a talent for easing dying people through their final journey and becomes known as Doctor Sleep.

When Dan meets Abra Stone, a young girl with a shining brighter than his, he becomes pulled into her battle with the True Knot, an evil group of life-force-sucking vampires that hide out in plain sight by disguising themselves as harmless old folks. They live in Winnebagos and roam the highways, blending into the background. They feed off the shining, but can do so only when the person is tortured to death.

While Doctor Sleep can be read as a stand-alone – King does include just enough explanation to fill in any major questions – I urge readers to pick up The Shining first. Doctor Sleep on its own (without The Shining) feels like a more mature, less raw, gritty and in your face novel. Oh, it was scary and the True Knot were quite creepy, but they were not as psychologically disturbing as some of the other evil he has created. And while Rose was a horrible creature, I wasn’t fearing her as much as I was disgusted by her. What did up the creep factor for me were all the references to the first novel: The Overlook Hotel, the dead bodies, the hedge animals, the injuries to Wendy, Danny mother, and most of all his father, Jack.

Even in horror novels with supernatural elements swirling around us, many of King’s characters remain relatable. They like pop culture, watch TV shows we are familiar with and read novels by John Sandford, Jodi Picoult, Dean Koontz and Lisa Gardner. King lulls us in with a sense of familiarity and when we let down our guard, hits us with the macabre.

The audio performance by Will Patton was excellent. I can’t put a finger on any specific thing that stands out, it was all good. It flowed, it moved, it got me involved, and at 18 hours it went by quickly. A perfect combination of written and verbal performance. You won’t go wrong with this one if you choose the audio.

RIP VIII——————————–
Linked to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, VIII event.
Source: Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster Audio.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Vicki / Oct 13 2013 3:11 pm

    I want to read this but do want to read The Shining first. I’m torn between reading the book and listening to it on audio, but I’ll probably choose the audio after reading your review.


  2. BermudaOnion / Oct 13 2013 4:11 pm

    Yeah, this is probably too scary for me.


  3. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Oct 13 2013 6:14 pm

    I so enjoyed the audio version. Glad u liked this as well.


  4. Suko / Oct 13 2013 8:13 pm

    This sounds great, especially as an audio book, and is so perfect for R.I.P.. I need to get a copy of this to listen to.


  5. stacybuckeye / Nov 1 2013 9:44 am

    I didn’t love The Shining so I’m not sure if I’ll be reading it, especially after you mentioned vampires!


  6. Candiss / Nov 9 2013 1:26 pm

    Great review! I finished reading this in print a week or so ago, and I really enjoyed it. I really feel that King has gotten much better over the years – subtler, less heavy-handed – and that this is a better book than The Shining. It has excellent character development and emotional range and isn’t limited purely to the realm of horror/thriller, because it delves into deeper non-genre-specific themes. And it has a great young (child) female heroine as one of the main POV characters, who is strong, sensitive, savvy and smart. I found her wholly believable even though she has extraordinary abilities and experiences.

    I never would have thought to approach this one through an audio book, although admittedly I’m not much of an audio reader. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!



  1. R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, VIII | Under My Apple Tree

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