Monday, 28 April 2014

Stephen King "Doctor Sleep" A return to form?

Don't you love a page-turner? This is a return to form for Stephen King, as good as his horror classics from the seventies. You don't need to have read "The Shining" to appreciate this sequel, though.
Danny Torrance, the little boy with the shining, is now in his thirties, battling alcoholism as well as his psychic powers. King's own experiences with alcoholism makes this novel stronger and more pertinent than other recent efforts. He explores near family ties, death and the plight of the elderly (obviously close to King's heart). The hospice scenes are extremely well handled. The final chapters show King in a more compassionate and contemplative vein. It was over 35 years since he wrote "The Shining".
Abra, the feisty 13 year old with mega-shining is a likeable and well drawn character. The travelling vampires (masquerading as retirees/grey nomads) who feed on children for their life force is amusing as well as terrifying.
Some of the most disturbing passages are derived from sordid real life (e.g. the soiled diaper toddler crying "Canny"). Rose, the head of the vampire clan, is a worthy adversary for Dan and Abra.
Stephen King writes: "Watch out for those Winnebagos and Bounders. You never know who might be inside. Or what."
A great curl-up-by-the-openfire book.

486 pages, hard cover, Hodder & Stoughton.

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