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Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Stephen King is an American contemporary horror, fantasy, science fiction and suspense author. His books are sold worldwide in millions of copies and he has received multiple awards for his work such as Bram Stocker Awards, World Fantasy Awards and British Fantasy Society Awards.

Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, released in September 2013 is a sequel to his novel The Shining, written in 1977. In order to understand what Doctor Sleep is about we have to know what happens in the previous novel, The shining. It tells the story of a little boy called Danny Torrance, who has telepathic abilities. He has to move with his parents – Jack, an aspiring writer but an alcoholic and violent man and his mother Wendy – at the Overlook Hotel, after his father lost his job as a teacher after assaulting a student. After they arrive at the hotel, Danny starts to see terrible ghosts and things that happened at the hotel. Because of his father’s unstable condition, the ghosts will start to overtake him, making him even more unstable. One day, after Jack has a fight with Wendy, he sees the hotel’s bar fully stocked with alcohol despite being previously empty. Thinking that he is at the party, he is talking in fact with the ghost of a bartender called Lloyd. As he is getting drunk, the evil forces from the hotel are trying to convince him to kill his family. Even if he resist at the beginning, in the end he will try to do so. In his attempt to kill his wife with a mallet, he will not succeed, he will only injure her by breaking three ribs and one vertebra. While following Danny he becomes lucid for a moment, long enough to tell Danny to run. Jack will die trying to close the unstable boiler from the basement which explodes. Danny and Wendy are saved by Dick Hollorann, the hotel’s head chief, who has telepathic abilities just like Danny.

The sequel Doctor Sleep shows us the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and a girl, Abra Stone, whose telepathic abilities are even grater than Danny’s when he was a child. Dan remains psychologically damaged after everything that happened at the Overlook and after his father’s death and his mother, Wendy, is still recovering after the injuries that Jack caused her. The adult Danny is walking on his father’s footsteps: he will become an alcoholic and a violent man, but eventually he will look for help and he will give up drinking. He will find a job at a nursing home where his telepathic abilities provide comfort to the dying people. He will become Doctor Sleep with the help of a cat which can foresee the future. He will establish a telepathic bond with Abra who desperately contacts him when she has a vision about the ritual murder of the “Baseball Boy”. The people who sacrificed the boy, a group called “The True Knot” are almost immortal travelers and they feed on the psychic energy of the children with the same gift as her and Danny which they call “steam”. The group discovers Abra’s existence and they start to follow her. Danny and other people with the same powers as him will struggle to help Abra escape from The True Knot. A battle will start between the forces of good and evil.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King is a story about trying to overcome the past and helping people. Danny realizes that the way he became is not good for him and he tries to change and to use his gift to comfort other people and also to help Abra escape from the evil group called The True Knot. Danny sets an example of will and interior strength, a man whose gift is also his curse but who tries to use it for better purposes.

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