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Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
A Novel

75%

145 Critic Reviews

Less terrifying than its famous predecessor, perhaps because of the author’s obvious affection for even the most repellant characters, King’s latest is still a gripping, taut read that provides a satisfying conclusion to Danny Torrance’s story.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Master storyteller Stephen King’s terrifying sequel to The Shining—an instant #1 New York Times bestseller that is "[a] vivid frightscape" (The New York Times).

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, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the Stephen King canon.
 

About Stephen King

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Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. Joe Hill is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and writes an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key. He makes lots of noise on Twitter under the handle @joe_hill.
 
Published September 24, 2013 by Scribner. 545 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon1
Peak Rank on Oct 13 2013
icon15
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
3
Want to Read
1
Have Read

Summary of Doctor Sleep

Introduction
Doctor Sleep is the sequel to the famous Stephen King novel, The Shining. It is a highly anticipated King novel given the monstrous success of The Shining, released thirty-six years ago, which was also made into a feature film and which some consider the best horror movie of all time. The book follows the story of psychic Danny Torrance, his wrestling match with alcohol, and his struggle to find stability and use his power — the shining — for good purposes.

Plot Detail
Danny Torrance becomes Dan Torrance; as a young man, his traumatic past and troubled relationship with his “shining” led to a life drenched in booze and fuelled by anger. He is a man not unlike the man his father was. He drifts from place to place, unable to find anything resembling stability.

When Dan makes his way to the town of Frazier, New Hampshire, he finally finds a place where he can belong. He can stop running away and build a quiet, decent life. Dan makes friends; he finds a job at a hospice where his gifts earn him a reputation as someone who can help the old and sick pass on without fear – hence the moniker “Doctor Sleep.” He also joins Alcoholics Anonymous, and with some help from a carved-from-granite sponsor, he finally muscles his addiction into submission. All is well with the former Danny Torrance.

Enter another magic child, Abra, who’s even better at the shining stuff than Dan is. She alarmed her parents early on by predicting the 9/11 disaster while still in her crib, and has since caused dismay by sticking all the spoons to the ceiling during her birthday party.

The two shiners soon find themselves in spiritual communication, which is a lucky thing, because young Abra is going to need big help. She is the target of a rackety, entertaining bunch called the True Knot, who lust to drink her spiritual mist, or “steam.” The Knot members have been alive for a Very Long Time and disguised as vacationers roaming the countryside in RVs, they kidnap and torture their victims, then imbibe their essences. They also bottle these in case of shortages; for if they run out of steam they evaporate, leaving their clothes behind, like the Wicked Witch of the West when melted. Their longevity has allowed them to accrue vast amounts of property and cash, which they hide by means of a series of dummy ownerships and corporations, and their deliberately mundane appearance as a band of retirees driving RVs and dressing like low-end department store slumps has allowed them to travel back and forth across the country undetected, and feed and feed and feed.

They’re led by a beautiful woman named Rose the Hat, whose main lover is a gent known as Crow Daddy. Rose is a sinister Rosa Mystica, a negative version of the Virgin Mary. (For starters, she ain’t no virgin.)

As for the Overlook Hotel — on the site of which the True Knotters have pitched their main encampment and the setting for the prequel, The Shining — its name has at least three layers: the obvious one (it looks out over the landscape), the semi-obvious (the bad folks overlook something) and the deeply embedded, which may have to do with the old song about the four-leaf clover; for King’s good-and-evil arrangement is usually yin and yang, with a spot of darkness in every goodie and a tiny ray of sunshine in every baddie. Even the True Knotters are sweet with one another, though their status as human beings is dubious. As one new recruit says, “Am I still human?” And as Rose replies, “Do you care?”

We get a long look at a character named Snakebite Andi, whose father’s abuse translates to her becoming one of the True’s child-murderers; later, Dan lays out his alcoholic family history and draws a straight line from his grandfather’s brutal temper to his father’s bouts of violence to his, Danny’s, self-loathing and desperation to hide from the life he’s made.  Here we come to what may be one of the book’s most controversial aspects: there’s a startling revelation at the center of Dan’s family history that seems to retroactively contradict events of The Shining, and it’s sure to raise eyebrows of disbelief.  Much of the power of Doctor Sleep, however, comes from the weight of its convictions; this surprise revelation seems to challenge readers to be convinced than to reject out of hand.

In a climactic scene, Dan Torrance finds himself literally returning to the site of the Overlook Hotel, and forcing himself to face the ghosts he’s kept locked away for decades. One of the book’s more powerful messages is that the worst horrors of your past – the ones you’ve suffered and the ones you’ve committed – don’t define the person you are now, and that facing them can set you free.

This sequel takes life, aging and death too seriously to be a young man’s book. The same is true of its attitude toward sobriety, which is often discussed. Mr. King’s earlier books were full of phantasms and demons, but he grows ever more adept at rooting his dark thoughts and toughest struggles in reality.
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Critic reviews for Doctor Sleep
All: 145 | Positive: 109 | Negative: 36

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jul 29 2013

Satisfying at every level. King even leaves room for a follow-up, should he choose to write one—and with luck, sooner than three decades hence.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Aug 12 2013

Less terrifying than its famous predecessor, perhaps because of the author’s obvious affection for even the most repellant characters, King’s latest is still a gripping, taut read that provides a satisfying conclusion to Danny Torrance’s story.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Margaret Atwood on Sep 19 2013

...dig down below the horror trappings, and “Doctor Sleep” is about families. The biological families of Dan and Abra, the “good” family of A.A., to which “Doctor Sleep” is a kind of love song, and the “bad” family of the True Knot.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Margaret Atwood on Sep 19 2013

“Doctor Sleep” is Stephen King’s latest novel, and it’s a very good specimen of the quintessential King blend. According to Vladimir Nabokov, Salvador Dalí was “really Norman Rockwell’s twin brother kidnapped by gypsies in babyhood.” But actually there were triplets: the third one is Stephen King.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Sep 15 2013

“Doctor Sleep” is on the long side, but it tells a very quick and nimble story. It makes up in suspense what it lacks in nuance, and its special effects are easy to visualize.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sam Leith on Sep 28 2013

Even when you slightly see the twist coming, even when the author pokes his nose in with those quotations from The Waste Land, even when the ending is a bit rushed and you wonder if he has been keeping count of those canisters, as a reader you still inhale this novel like a great glorious draught of steam.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Steven Poole on Sep 25 2013

This is also...a novel about alcoholic excess, and King's tenderly sympathetic but no-bullshit approach to the subject is in a way more authentically disturbing than any pseudo-vampire.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Aug 12 2013

...King’s latest is...a gripping, taut read that provides a satisfying conclusion to Danny Torrance’s story.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Luke Goldstein on Jan 13 2014

In the end, Doctor Sleep is indeed a sequel to The Shining, but stands on its own two feet as another in the long line of classic King night frights.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by C. Michael Bailey on Oct 29 2013

...it is both interesting and gratifying to read of familiar characters over a period of nearly 40 years to see how they turned out. The same is true for King, the author, also.

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NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Alan Cheuse on Sep 18 2013

I could hardly find the courage to turn the page. Almost 40 years later, I've changed, the world has changed, the planet has changed — and Stephen King is still scaring the hell out of me.

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Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by David Finniss on Dec 05 2013

The book has its pros and cons. It doesn't surpass its predecessor, but it's a fairly enjoyable read. I can see why King wanted to write this story and I think it works as a solid follow up to one of his classics. It had potential that wasn't quite tapped as there some good ideas here and there.

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Examiner

Below average
Reviewed by Terra King on Nov 25 2013

I found "Doctor Sleep" to be a mediocre book with little glimpses of the original story. Did we really need a sequel to one of the best Stephen King had to offer? No, I don't think so. I would rather remember Danny as the little boy who saves his mom and then goes on to have a normal life.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Travis Michael on Nov 02 2013

Doctor Sleep is as fine a read as any Stephen King has graced us with in quite some time. His writing, as always, is impeccable. The story telling is classic King yet maintains a certain freshness to it that was, in all honesty, a most welcome surprise

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Jeremie Chance on Oct 30 2013

Doctor Sleep a great novel from Stephen King and a great addition to the legacy of The Shining. King, almost 70 years of age, has not lost a step and has even added to his bag of writing tricks.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Shannon Brown on Oct 23 2013

Doctor Sleep is the ultimate scary thriller and is just as every bit as good at its counterpart. Do not miss out on the terror.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Nola Cancel on Oct 05 2013

It is a trip back and a look forward at one of the most recognized characters ever written and it is a journey well worth the trip.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by James Lovegrove on Sep 20 2013

...we have the author ousting one more demon, bringing it screaming into the daylight to burn to ashes. It’s a gripping, powerful novel, all the more so for being patently heartfelt.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Carole Barrowman on Sep 28 2013

In my reviews of King’s previous two books, I’ve criticized their length, annoyed with their narrative bulk and frustrated by their excessive back stories, but in this book the tangents are tight, the characters compelling and the suspense, well, it will take your breath away.

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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by David Ulin on Sep 19 2013

"Doctor Sleep" is not a bad book, although it doesn't live up to its predecessor. If it has a lasting message, it may be that that you can't go home again.

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Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Collison on Sep 20 2013

...let me just say this book is vintage Stephen King, though a King who is older, more mature and as interested in the problems confronting real people in the real world...

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Sep 23 2013

...Doctor Sleep just can’t muster significant tension. From the first encounter between Abra and the True Knot, King makes it clear that the latter is on the wane, and doesn’t pose a credible threat.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Matthew Trafford on Sep 20 2013

King excels at the psychological realism of his characters, and Dan’s psychic wounds, shame, and self-hatred make him the man that allows this second, newer story to happen.

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LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by David L. Ulin on Sep 19 2013

...in this interaction — or its aftermath — "Doctor Sleep" also starts to come apart: not to unravel but to grow predictable. Once the conflict between Abra and the True Knot is established, the novel becomes formulaic, and its tension dissipates.

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The Washington Post

Good
Reviewed by Keith Donohue on Sep 19 2013

Despite its many horrors, “Doctor Sleep” is more assuredly a novel of redemption, well-earned in the end. It won’t make you forget Jack Nicholson and his ax, but “Doctor Sleep” will give you a fresh case of the creeps.

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The Independent

Above average
Reviewed by Roz Kaveney on Oct 18 2013

This is splendid melodrama, but also a deal tighter and less discursive than some of King's later books. The devil gets some good tunes and the horrible Rose, leader of the True Knot, is a convincing predator...

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The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by James Kidd on Oct 06 2013

Like its brother in bathos The Phantom Menace, Doctor Sleep could probably never match the anticipation surrounding its release. But the anti-climax is made more poignant by the novel’s opening which promises so much.

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The Telegraph

Above average
Reviewed by Jake Kerridge on Sep 20 2013

The Shining was a yell of despair from the darkest of places. Doctor Sleep is a warm, entertaining novel by a man who is no longer the prisoner of his demons, but knows where to look when he needs to call on them.

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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Sep 25 2013

“Doctor Sleep” is the work of an author who is at his best...this is classic King, filled with frights both large and small.

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Dallas News

Above average
Reviewed by Joy Tipping on Oct 05 2013

You want your visceral thrills? This book has them, to spare. It’ll also have you pondering that old favorite, the banality of evil, every time you curse a slow-moving RV in front of you.

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The Boston Globe

Below average
Reviewed by Ethan Gilsdorf on Sep 28 2013

Yet, as the plot lines predictably converge, “Doctor Sleep” devolves into a disappointing series of gunfights, car trips, and psychic showdowns.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by Lady Cordelia on Oct 31 2013

To me, I think that I have a sense of nostalgia about all of King’s early novels that will always make them seem to be the classics, but I did find this to be an enjoyable read.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Josh Trapani on Sep 25 2013

The Shining is a superior novel in almost every way...While Doctor Sleep is a fun experiment that’s entertaining at times, it just doesn’t shine.

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Tor

Above average
Reviewed by Grady Hendrix on Oct 02 2013

Doctor Sleep rocks as long as it keeps its focus on Danny Torrance and his sobriety which is so delicate, so fragile, and so clearly precious both to him and to his author that it feels worth fighting for. When it shifts to Little Miss Perfect (aka Abra) it’s still satisfying, but mostly on the level of a Clive Cussler book.

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USA Today

Good
Reviewed by Brian Truitt on Sep 23 2013

Stephen King's 1977 novel The Shining was an exercise in isolationist terror and psychotic dads. Its sequel Doctor Sleep is a tour de force about family and redemption starring two of the author's more memorable protagonists...

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Express

Excellent
Reviewed by Matt Thorne on Sep 29 2013

He is...careful to make sure the new book does not rely too much on the scares from the first one...It is as addictive as anything he has written: a triumph from the world’s finest horror novelist.

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Express

Good
Reviewed by Matt Thorne on Sep 29 2013

When King is on form, as he is in Doctor Sleep, he has no rivals for sheer page-turning suspense...It is as addictive as anything he has written: a triumph from the world’s finest horror novelist.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
Reviewed by Paul Di Filippo on Sep 25 2013

Ultimately, King's sequel not only brings out and burnishes everything implicit in The Shining, giving us a totally satisfactory extension and conclusion of the forces and personalities at work there, it also jumps up a plateau to a whole new level of empathy and philosophical questing.

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Tampa Bay Times

Above average
Reviewed by Colette Bancroft on Sep 18 2013

There are unlikely heroes and a truly surprising last-minute redemption as Dan races to find a way to save Abra and himself...

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City Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Glenn Dallas on Nov 11 2013

At five-hundred-thirty pages, it’s relatively slim for a King novel, but not a single page is wasted. If anything, I found myself wishing for a little more time with Danny and Abra (and even the members of the True Knot).

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The Columbus Dispatch

Below average
Reviewed by Alan Johnson on Sep 24 2013

Doctor Sleep unfolds as a well-crafted tale of good vs. evil, mixed with a morality play about alcohol...As good as it is, however, it isn’t worthy as a successor to The Shining.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Below average
Reviewed by Andrew Fuhrmann on Oct 13 2013

Doctor Sleep is more a massively inflated footnote than a true sequel, often nostalgic, almost parasitic, littered with fond, sometimes playful but often gratuitous back references.

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Macleans

Good
Reviewed by Lisa LaDouceur on Sep 27 2013

King excels at setting supernatural struggles in small-town America, and in Doctor Sleep he writes as much meaning into a teen boy’s baseball glove and the coffee rituals after AA meetings as the epic battles between good and evil

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We Love This Book

Above average
Reviewed by DARREN SHAN on Jun 29 2014

Regardless of its blemishes, this is a triumph. The story flows, the characters are engaging, and at times it genuinely touched my heart.

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Seattle PI

Above average
Reviewed by C. Michael Bailey on Oct 28 2013

...it is both interesting and gratifying to read of familiar characters over a period of nearly 40 years to see how they turned out. The same is true for King, the author, also.

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Independent.ie

Above average
Reviewed by Ian O'Doherty on Sep 28 2013

...aside from wanting to know more about the provenance of the bad guys, Doctor Sleep is a pleasing conclusion to a story that began all those years ago and one which, I'd guess, King felt the need to tell much more than we needed to read.

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Chron.com

Good
Reviewed by Dwight Silverman on Sep 22 2013

“Doctor Sleep” is classic Stephen King and a worthy sequel to “The Shining.” My only complaint is that the climactic fight is something of an anticlimax, but in the best of King’s massive books, it’s the dark, twisted journey that counts.

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Scotsman.com

Below average
Reviewed by Stuart Kelly on Jun 30 2014

This is indubitably a page-turner, but it might not be a re-reader. I was horrified and impelled, aghast and aching to get back to the story. That said, King is not and has never been a wordsmith – there are passages where cliché and easy simile would stand out were you ever to read it again.

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Chicago Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Robbins on Sep 22 2013

If you've grown up with Stephen King's novels, or grown too old for them, the new book is bittersweet with nostalgia, like an aging favorite band's reunion tour.

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Times Dispatch

Good
Reviewed by Doug Childers on Sep 29 2013

“Doctor Sleep” doesn’t achieve the sleep-with-the-lights-on level of terror that King accomplished in “The Shining,” but it’s terrifically entertaining, nonetheless.

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DNA

Above average
Reviewed by Andre Borges on Dec 15 2013

Bottom line, is Doctor Sleep as good as The Shining? No, it's not. But as a novel, Doctor Sleep is definitely one of the better written and engaging novels to come by in a long long while.

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The New Zealand Herald

Good
Reviewed by DAVID LARSEN on Sep 29 2013

Paging Doctor Sleep, the miracle cure for anti-King bigots. I would have devoured this book...it's so good that I wanted it to last longer.

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The Coast

Above average
on Oct 11 2013

If, as King suggests in a final note, The Shining (the novel, not the film) is the “True History of the Torrance Family”, Doctor Sleep is the thrilling record of what happened after that family broke and the sole survivor was required to choose between life and death.

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Starburst Magazine

Good
Reviewed by JOEL HARLEY on Oct 02 2013

...Doctor Sleep is the best King book since Under the Dome. He's faltered a little in recent years (even Under the Dome suffered from being far too long, with a stupid ending) but Doctor Sleep is a fantastic return to form. It's fast-paced, just the right length and – crucially – properly chilling at times.

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North Jersey

Good
Reviewed by Rob Merrill on Sep 29 2013

If you loved "The Shining," you’ll love catching up with these characters. King is in fine form, making you laugh, grossing you out and spinning a tale that keeps the pages turning.

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'Bout Books

Good
Reviewed by Ronald A. Rowe on Oct 18 2013

Doctor Sleep is not as terrifying as The Shining but it is just as well written. King creates fully fleshed-out characters on both the good and the evil side of the ledger and brings them into conflict in such a way that it keeps you turning pages rapidly from beginning to end.

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Lit Reactor

Good
Reviewed by RICHARD THOMAS on Oct 08 2013

In the end, I think this is Stephen King’s most exciting book in years. Don’t expect it to trump some of his best work, like The Shining or It or The Stand, but it’s a hypnotic read, a book I had a hard time putting down. And I think that says a lot.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Roger Luckhurst on Oct 01 2013

King’s vision of the supernatural is something that hovers numinously on the edges of the awareness, something that needs a cautious and respectful watching at all times. There will be skirmishes, minor battles, victories and losses...

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SF Crow's Nest

Below average
Reviewed by AidanFortune on Oct 14 2013

While ‘Doctor Sleep’ far from destroys the legacy of ‘The Shining’, it’s possibly a good reason why we shouldn’t revisit the past. Read it and enjoy it but don’t expect to love it.

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Esquire

Good
Reviewed by Chris Jones on Sep 18 2013

...Doctor Sleep reads more like a love story than a ghost story, as beautiful as a book that's littered with dead children can be. After reading those first three pages, I never would have guessed the adjective I'd find bobbing around in all that blood after 528 of them: tender.

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SFX

Above average
Reviewed by sfx on Sep 24 2013

Although King will probably never quite hit Bradbury’s heights of prose, there’s a similar lyricism here, and the same bittersweet melancholy about the transient nature of life that suffuses Bradbury’s work.

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Roqoo Depot

Good
Reviewed by Skuldren on Jul 04 2014

...it’s still an engrossing read with moments that are actually even more scary. In the end, I give Doctor Sleep a four out of five metal bikinis. The journey to the end is a great ride, but that last leg is a little bumpy.

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The British Fantasy Society

Good
Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt on Nov 10 2013

...it gave me an authentic and satisfying answer to what happened after the Overlook. I’m glad Stephen King took the time to write it at the right time, and that this is the next ‘The End?’ to this iconic horror story.

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Metro

Good
Reviewed by Imogen Russell Williams on Sep 26 2013

Returning to such landmark former territory is a bold decision but King doesn’t disappoint...Not as scary as The Shining, it’s still scary enough...

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Dawn.com

Above average
Reviewed by Mahvesh Murad on Nov 03 2013

Luckily, the action is so well-paced that Abra’s perfection doesn’t have a chance to be boring, and instead helps King bring Doctor Sleep to a very neat, tidy and ultimately hopeful conclusion.

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Alternative Magazine Online

Good
Reviewed by Marty Mulrooney on Oct 23 2013

A real page turner that is guaranteed to keep you up at night with its sharp writing and dark secrets, Doctor Sleep ends up feeling somewhat ironically titled.

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Alternative Magazine Online

Good
Reviewed by Marty Mulrooney on Oct 23 2013

Although not as terrifying as its predecessor, Doctor Sleep is ultimately a much more hopeful book...There are certainly moments of horror...but they are tempered by a beating heart and roaring soul that make this a worthwhile sequel rather than a merely satisfactory one.

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GQ magazine

Good
Reviewed by Charlie Burton on Oct 09 2013

Make no mistake, this is a sequel - but it is also about reclaiming what he perceived Kubrick to have polluted. And allowing himself to shine on.

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Fear Net

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin Quigley on Sep 25 2013

...Doctor Sleep, for its imperfections, is King’s major statement of recovery and closure, of lives touched by tragedy and terror… and made the better for it, after a while.

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Biff Bam Pop!

Excellent
Reviewed by David Sandford Ward on Nov 23 2013

There’s very little else I’ll reveal about the story, but what I will say is that this return to grab-you-by-the-balls horror from King is one of the most welcome surprises I’ve had all year. I devoured the book in days...

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Biff Bam Pop!

Good
Reviewed by David Sandford Ward on Nov 23 2013

There’s very little else I’ll reveal about the story, but what I will say is that this return to grab-you-by-the-balls horror from King is one of the most welcome surprises I’ve had all year. I devoured the book in days...

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This is Horror

Above average
on Oct 18 2013

The stuff we expect from a King novel is all present and correct in Doctor Sleep; the characters, in particular Rose and her closest members in the True Knot, are given wonderful depth so they aren’t just merciless beings who won’t stop until they have taken what they want from Abra.

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http://www.uticaod.com

Good
Reviewed by Judy Jerome on Nov 25 2013

Be prepared to allocate a long slot of reading time when you begin this 530+ paged book. You won’t be able to put it down.

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http://www.uticaod.com

Good
on Nov 25 2013

Be prepared to allocate a long slot of reading time when you begin this 530+ paged book. You won’t be able to put it down.

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National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Matthew J. Trafford on Sep 20 2013

Doctor Sleep is an incredible read that delves into the darkest depths of human evil, but lights the path back toward redemption. It is frightening and fun and expertly crafted, and will leave you screaming for more.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Rodriguez on Mar 16 2014

...Doctor Sleep is a unique, original work that is well worth the read. If you love The Shining, you'll love this one, too!

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Fantasy Book Review

Above average
Reviewed by Lee Sibbald on Oct 21 2013

the Stone family (Abra, her parents and her great-grandmother) began to irk me somewhat...something I feel King is hardly ever guilty of. But the overall impression of the book was definitely positive and I would happily recommend, but feel compelled to mention that I felt it lost a bit of its mojo towards the end.

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http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com

Good
Reviewed by kimbacaffeinate on Jun 30 2014

For fans of King and the Shining, Doctor Sleep is not to be missed. Before picking this up, clear your schedule as I can assure you, you will not be able to put it down. A thrilling page turner, King, has done it again.

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Quick Book Reviews

Above average
on Sep 28 2013

All in all, even though it isn’t exactly the scary or creepy King we are used to seeing, Doctor Sleep remains a very entertaining and fulfilling read...

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Jenn's Bookshelves

Excellent
Reviewed by Jenn on Oct 03 2013

...this is the novel I have been waiting for my entire life. It is a gift of immeasurable value and importance to me. It has forever sealed, in my mind, the proof that Stephen King is one of our country’s greatest authors of all time.

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Men Reading Books

Above average
Reviewed by East Coast Don on Jan 17 2014

Maybe as a standalone, it might be better. But if, like me, you read The Shining, I'm going to bet you'll be thinking Doctor Sleep doesn't follow the same trail as that explored in The Shining.

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Raging Biblioholism

Excellent
on Oct 16 2013

Not only is this book better than it has any right to be (I mean, come on, a sequel to The Shining should never have worked out) but it’s such a terrific distillation of everything that makes King’s work great.

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Lit Stack

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Browning on Dec 30 2013

Once I read the last page of Doctor Sleep, and closed the cover, I did what I always do after reading anything by Stephen King – I gave a quiet prayer of thanks that I live a boring, uneventful, mundane life. And now, thanks to this book, I will never, ever look at a caravan of Winnebagos the same, ever again.

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Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Felicia S on Sep 26 2013

Doctor Sleep made me lose some sleep! It was sufficiently creepy...You really need to read this and watch it unfold to get really scared. That is after all the point of reading Doctor Sleep. If you are hoping to get out of this without losing sleep, I hate to tell you that it isn’t probably going to happen.

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Pure Textuality

Good
Reviewed by Jena on Mar 04 2014

This is a whole new story. It’s a very well-written mystery with some moments that will make you cry and others that will turn your stomach. I absolutely loved every minute of this book.

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Book Chatter

Below average
Reviewed by Ti on Nov 13 2013

The ending wrapped-up too quickly, whereas other parts of the story seemed to plod along. Was it entertaining? Yes. I’d say that most of King’s books are and there are glimmers of wonderful-ness here and there, but overall, it was a little too safe for me to love it.

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Book Chatter

Above average
Reviewed by Ti on Oct 23 2013

Doctor Sleep was technically the sequel to The Shining, but I don’t think you have to read The Shining to understand what is going on. Sure, it adds to the story but King does a good job of bringing a reader up-to-speed.

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Peeking Between the Pages

Good
on Oct 03 2013

Doctor Sleep is awesome! It is Stephen King at his best...It had my heart pounding and my mouth hanging open at some of the twists and turns and I loved every minute!

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Bookish Temptations

Above average
Reviewed by Gina on Nov 07 2013

Whether Stephen King’s novels appeal to you or not, there is no denying that he is a master wordsmith. This book was not the horrifying read I anticipated, and in hindsight, I realize that he was smart in not attempting to top The Shining, instead, taking it into a different direction altogether.

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Under My Apple Tree

Good
Reviewed by Leslie on Oct 13 2013

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...King lulls us in with a sense of familiarity and when we let down our guard, hits us with the macabre.

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Shelf Love

Good
Reviewed by Jenny on Dec 06 2013

This was really a most enjoyable book, an extremely solid, medium-high entry in the King oeuvre. You’ll get a lot more out of it if you’ve read The Shining, and preferably recently, but it could also stand on its own.

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Bibliophile By the Sea

Excellent
Reviewed by (Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea on Sep 25 2013

For me, this one is "classic Stephen King". When I read phrases like "eyes dripping and bloated", I smiled. This is the Stephen King, I love the best. READ IT!

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SF Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Arron Clegg on Sep 01 2013

Ok, so the story sounds ok in principle but for me it just didn’t get me hooked. There was moments where I had to groan, such as King’s insistence on talking about the past.

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Women 24

Above average
on Jul 01 2014

Stephen King knits this story, that is sometimes beautiful, sometimes repulsive, but always full of heart, with the skill and empathy he is known for.

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The Introverted Reader

Above average
Reviewed by Introverted Jen on Nov 05 2013

My one complaint is that it does feel a bit as if it's meandering at times. It took a very long time to even bring Abra into the story...I liked all the characters here or I hated them, but man, oh, man, I loved Abra...Go out and read this one. I think you'll adore her too.

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The Book Stop

Above average
Reviewed by curlygeek04 on Oct 23 2013

This was just a great read, from start to finish. Even though I had some doubts at first, I loved the story of people battling each other with the power of their minds.

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Chrisbookarama

Above average
Reviewed by Chris bookarama on Oct 29 2013

Doctor Sleep has a few twists, some surprises, old friends, and lots of new ones. There are plenty of scares with the True Knot. The end brings The Shining and Doctor Sleep together in a satisfying way. If you can hold on through the Life of Danny and get to the meat of the story, you'll have a scary good time.

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The Guilded Earlobe

Good
on Jun 30 2014

Yet, the true heart and soul of Doctor Sleep is the journey of Danny Torrance. Danny’s journey feels like his father’s journey in reverse, a man giving into his inner goodness. Doctor Sleep is full of so many touching, self revelatory moments.

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No Charge Bookbunch

Above average
on Dec 11 2013

Stephen King tells a good tale, and possibly his books are not as gory as the movie versions that concentrate on the sensational rather than the psychological sensibilities he seems to favor in his writing. Despite my trepidation, I enjoyed the book.

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Bookgasm

Above average
Reviewed by Mike Reynolds on Jul 14 2014

King remains a vivid preacher, most compelling when he traces the way horror lives inside us. DOCTOR SLEEP is a rewarding return to one of his finest, most complicated characters, and for that alone fans (old and new) should gladly line up in the pews.

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The Book Lover's Boudoir

Excellent
on Jul 01 2014

King’s writing is on top form in Doctor Sleep. I was hooked from page one. I didn’t want to stop reading. I actually had to force myself to set the novel aside in order to go to sleep. Doctor Sleep reinforced the reasons why King is one of my favourite writers.

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The Lostent Wife

Good
Reviewed by Lydia on Nov 02 2013

As much as I enjoyed The Shining, it could not boast of holding my attention as closely as Doctor Sleep did and, for this on-and-off-again reader of Stephen King I’ll just say that if he continues to put out work like this one, I’ll be checking them out as soon as they are on the shelf.

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Pages of Julia's Blog

Good
Reviewed by pagesofjulia on Oct 18 2013

Themes of family and personal struggle persist, but perhaps most enjoyable are the page-turning suspense and terror for which King is so deservedly famous.

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Blogging for a Good Book

Above average
Reviewed by Andrew on Oct 04 2013

Like the best of King’s fiction, Doctor Sleep excels at framing the relationships between imperfect people drawn together to face an impossibly evil power.

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Reader Dad

Excellent
on Jun 29 2014

...Doctor Sleep is a must-read and should prove, in particular, a comfortable re-start point for fans who may not have been keeping up with the author’s recent output. One of my books of the year, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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King of the Nerds!!!

Good
Reviewed by Mike on Apr 02 2014

Doctor Sleep feels like a welcome and natural conclusion to the Torrance family’s trials and tribulations. If you enjoyed The Shining reading Doctor Sleep is a definite must.

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Bewitched Bookworms

Above average
Reviewed by Pushy on Nov 22 2013

Not the raw, intense horror story I would have expected from him once upon a time, but Doctor Sleep by Stephen King is definitely a gripping, fascinating read!

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http://www.dawn.com

Above average
Reviewed by Mahvesh Murad on Nov 03 2013

Luckily, the action is so well-paced that Abra’s perfection doesn’t have a chance to be boring, and instead helps King bring Doctor Sleep to a very neat, tidy and ultimately hopeful conclusion.

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So many books, so little time

Good
on Sep 28 2013

There is definitely parts that keep you on the edge of your seat, I couldn't put it down as I wanted to find out what happens to all of the characters. The more they interact the more the tension builds and you cannot wait for everything to come to a head.

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Having Said That

Good
Reviewed by Lauren on Dec 31 2013

I can say in the end that I do wish that the experience of my own paranoia of there being a monster in my closet while reading The Shining had somehow been recreated, but this just isn’t the book that King is going for. And that’s OK, because in the end I am still glad to know what happened to that little boy...

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M Live

Above average
Reviewed by Yvonne Zipp on Oct 01 2013

If "Doctor Sleep" isn't quite up to the level of "The Shining," it still packs enough of a wallop to keep its readers up all night.

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Life Is Story

Good
on Feb 17 2014

This was probably my most favorite part of the book, watching Danny follow the path of his father, but with the kindness of AA community, and the tough love of his sponsor, finding his way back out of the pit. The supernatural/horror elements could have been left out of the story and it would still be a good story.

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BCF Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Oct 15 2013

From my own point of view, I didn’t find Doctor Sleep as scary – the beginning part is the closest to The Shining, and rather unsettling, but King then takes it in a different direction. To me this is a good thing, as this needed to be a sequel which can stand up on it’s own merits, rather than a rehash of The Shining.

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Buzzy Mag

Above average
Reviewed by Adam Armstrong on Jul 14 2014

Upon hearing that there was a sequel to The Shining, my first thought was: what a terrible idea. The Shining is truly scary, just as scary today as it was 36 years ago. Doctor Sleep doesn’t hold a candle to the first novel but it is a wonderful book in itself.

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Opinions of a Wolf Blog

Good
Reviewed by wolfshowl on Feb 13 2014

Recommended to fans of Stephen King and those that enjoy a fantastical thriller drenched in Americana.

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Opinions of a Wolf Blog

Good
Reviewed by wolfshowl on Nov 06 2013

Overall, this is a thrilling read that begins with a terrifying focus on overcoming flaws and bad dynamics from the family you were raised in then switches to a less frightening focus on a sinister force within a hotel. It thus ends up being a thrilling read but not a terror-inducing one.

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Nashville Book Worm

Good
on Oct 13 2013

In the end, Doctor Sleep is a worthy successor to The Shining and another triumph for Stephen King. If you haven’t read the original, I can’t recommend it enough. And then give this one a try. It’s a very different reading experience but one that is just as satisfying.

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Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Amy Lignor on Oct 01 2013

As a writer, I have no other response than to bow to the master once again. An elegant, in-depth storyteller who can scare the livin bejeezus out of me when I least expect it.

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Beattie's Book Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Steven Poole on Sep 25 2013

What the novel lacks in brute fright, though, it makes up for with more subtle pleasures. The scenes where Dan accompanies elderly hospice residents in their final moments are tonally very well judged...

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My Reading Room

Excellent
on Oct 24 2013

I love how in Doctor Sleep there seemed to be a marriage of the earlier creepy Stephen King with the current more character driven and reality-based Stephen King. It was wonderful to see an example of a man who makes it through AA. Yet having the paranormal aspect between Abra and Dan was like the old days.

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Insatiable Book Sluts

Good
Reviewed by lucysfootball on Oct 08 2013

You get a good book all the way to the very last word. No letdown of an ending. No disappointment in the last act. Go. Go lose yourself in Dan. Go meet Abra and the True Knot and take a road trip and meet some old friends.

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Vulture

Above average
Reviewed by Kathryn Schulz on Sep 15 2013

Once Doctor Sleep stops being bad, how good is it? As the dating sites say, it’s complicated...What a strange and interesting book Stephen King has given us: a work of horror that promises, of all things, a good night’s sleep.

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Weirdmage's Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Weirdmage on Mar 05 2014

This is a book that should satisfy everyone that likes a supernatural Thriller. For King fans it is of course a must, but I feel confident in saying that this is one King book that can be easily gotten into by those who have never read him before.

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The Royal Library

Good
Reviewed by Fred Phillips on Jan 08 2014

Overall, I thought it was a great read that will remind you of some of King’s best work from the past. It delivers likeable characters that you can identify with and a pretty colorful baddie for them to deal with...

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Book Banter

Good
Reviewed by Alex C. Telander on Nov 13 2013

Doctor Sleep doesn’t come near to the original horror and fear of The Shining, but it’s a different story and has its own terrifying darkness and fear all of its own that will leave the reader looking over his or her shoulder for a while.

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Bloody Disgusting

Good
Reviewed by Ryan Daley on Oct 12 2013

...Doctor Sleep lacks the haunting tone and setting of its predecessor, instead adopting the slick rhythyms of a well-tuned thriller. It’s still a fine novel, but superfans of The Shining should go into Doctor Sleep knowing they’re in for an entirely different bag of bones.

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K'Brocking

Good
Reviewed by Kev Brock on Oct 11 2013

The pacing was good. King keeps you hooked through the story like he usually does. He has this way of keeping you reading and you can’t stop.

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Bloody Disgusting

Good
Reviewed by MrDisgusting on Sep 27 2013

“Doctor Sleep” goes beyond fantastic. While evil was incarnated by ghosts in “The Shining”, it is instead personified by the True Knot, who are some sort of vampires, nourishing themselves off “The Shining” gift of (un)lucky individuals.

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Anita Books

Good
on Mar 29 2014

...while Doctor Sleep is in one sense a “sequel” to The Shining, I’m told by my favorite Stephen King fan that it is also much more. It does, for example, resolve many questions which were left unanswered at the end of The Shining, but I’m told that revealing their answers here would be unforgiveable...

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Tread Softly

Good
Reviewed by Angela on Nov 04 2013

King can tell a story, and Doctor Sleep is quite the story. For fans of The Shining, Doctor Sleep is also a gift: the chance to see how time has changed an integral character in King’s repertoire — and how it hasn’t. Readers won’t be disappointed.

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Spooky Reads

Good
Reviewed by Will on Oct 17 2013

it is a book of falling and rising, of old evil and youthful promise, and numerous shades of grey in-between. It’s an interesting read that wears its horror-fiction garment at times close to its frame, but also loosely at others, allowing a more human element to emerge.

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Anna's Book Blog

Excellent
on Oct 02 2013

I loved this one! Danny's story and struggle with alcoholism was heartbreaking and amazing. I loved the character Abra. Gifted just like Danny. She was so fun to read about.

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More 2 Read

Below average
Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on Sep 23 2013

The experience more cerebral rather than visceral. The cast is there but the way he told it didn’t win for me and that’s a first for such a great writer as Stephen King.

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Bay State Reader's Advisory

Below average
Reviewed by LAURIE CAVANAUGH on Nov 13 2013

...I don’t think I’d recommend it if you’re not already a fan...The pace seemed slow to some reviewers who wanted less character development and fewer sidelines, but the novel is more of a psychological thriller than a gory bloodbath. The author is probing the nature of what it is to be human

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DWD's Reviews

Good
Reviewed by DWD on Nov 03 2013

What Stephen King does best is create characters. Dan Torrance is described in such approachable detail that the reader (listener, in my case) feels like he is real.

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Life Is Too Short To Read Bad Books

Below average
Reviewed by Kris on Oct 11 2013

The acceptance of weird shit is a big part of how Dan and Abra can succeed...they do balance under the surface and they pull it off. I do think that Abra is a touch too crafty and worldly-wise, however.

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Fanboy Comics

Below average
Reviewed by Simply Jack on Dec 04 2013

I’ll end with this: Mr. King, I am a giant fan of yours. I’ve loved your work since I was a teenager living on Lake Winnipesauke in NH...Please don’t take away the blood and pain that make your characters stronger and better, just ‘cause you love ‘em. Sometimes, killing the things you love is the very highest compliment.

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Wag the Fox

Good
on Dec 03 2013

I may not have been on the edge of my seat, but I was definitely captivated. And I think it would have been foolhardy to expect this novel to be The Shining Part Two. It's a different beast, much like its author.

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SciFiMovieHype

Above average
Reviewed by James O'Ehley on Sep 30 2013

Not as good as The Shining of course...Horror and long-time King fans should still check it out though.

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The JK Review

Excellent
on Jul 14 2014

If you loved The Shining (and who doesn’t?), you can rest assured that he appropriately alludes to the novel while still telling a fully new and complete story. And if you haven’t read the previous novel you will still be able to enjoy Doctor Sleep on its own. If only all sequels could be as great as this one.

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One Writer's Blotter

Above average
Reviewed by theresaglover on Jan 19 2014

It was a pretty quick read for me, partly because the story is King’s typical ramp from the mundane into a crescendoing race for your life, and partly because I was invested in knowing what happened to Danny and how it all worked out in the end. I liked the book, but I didn’t love it and for a devout King fan-girl like me, that’s saying something.

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Young Adult Books

Good
Reviewed by Pamela Thompson on Nov 14 2013

Doctor Sleep is King at his masterful best; no one can build suspenseful excitement and fearful anticipation like King. He even takes a playful jab at fellow horror genre writer Dean Koontz--just for grins.

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Abhinav Agarwal

Above average
on Oct 21 2013

One of the most anticipated sequels in recent times, Stephen King's "Doctor Sleep", a sequel to "The Shining" thirty years in the making, is one good yarn - better if read on its own merits. If compared with the iconic "The Shining", it will fall short.

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Roux Morgue

Good
Reviewed by CLAIRE M. JOHNSON on Oct 16 2013

Some critiques I've read said that they thought the last third of the book was too soft. I can see that. A younger King would have killed off a couple of people we would have mourned. This older King doesn't feel the need to do that...None of these quibbles mattered. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

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Steven Belanger Writing It Down

Below average
Reviewed by Steven E. Belanger on Oct 01 2013

And are they really solid antagonists? You'll have to be the judge, but I vote Nay. They went not with a bang, but with a whimper. And with relative ease. So...that's it. Huge disappointment. Just.....eh.

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Reader Rating for Doctor Sleep
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11755 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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