By Stephen King
Scribner. September 2013
Wow Mom, look at the Summary…”Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.
On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.” Amazon.com
If you asked me what I remembered about the Shining. I would have probably said, “REDRUM.” Dan Torrance, his crazy father, the Overlook Hotel, and perhaps the topiary animals. Some of that list comes from watching the movies; the Stanley Kubrick one and then the SyFy one. This is mostly due to the fact that I read the Shining quite a few years ago and have never picked it up again. I don’t generally reread books, even if they ARE written by Stephen King. So I have been exposed to the movies much more recently. Also, I saw a Ghost Hunters special at the hotel that the Overlook Hotel was based on, so that helped too. I tell you all this dear reader, not to bore you, but to let you know that there isn’t much reason for you to go back and read the Shining before you read this book. In fact, good old Stephen King has you covered there as well. There are lots of call backs to the Shining in this book. Enough that if you only read the wiki online and had never ACTUALLY read the Shining, I think you would be good. Now that is out of the way, on to the book.
I loved this book, not because it was “classic Stephen King,” whatever the heck that means. But because it was an interesting and exciting story. The ending was very good and rather unexpected considering how the foreshadowing seemed to be heading(sneaky Mr. King, very sneaky). There are a few surprises for the Constant Readers, who have probably all ready finished this book. I wouldn’t say this is my favorite Stephen King book of all time. But I would say probably top ten. Which also means that this probably the best horror book I’ve read in around 5 years. Sorry Joe Hill, this book IS better. For a book as long as this one(544 pages), it felt rather short to me. I probably would have been good with maybe one more adventure from the True Knot crowd, to really get a feeling for who they were individually. Especially Andi’s story which seems to start and then go completely no where. I guess it could be just an example of the way the True Knot works, but still it seemed abruptly cut to me. While the main group was pretty decently fleshed out, at least by the end anyway, I guess I could have just used a little more. Like icing on the cake.
As all ways I will be watching for the next thing Stephen King does and if he decides he needs to make a book 3 with the continuing adventures of… Whoever… I would gladly read that too. Until then, stay away from RVs, rest stops, and Winnebagos you never what you might run into.