The Doctor Sleep announcement was quite shocking, wasn't it? "A sequel to The Shining??" How could there be a sequel to The Shining? I would say that the end of the book was pretty...er...final.
But no. Stephen King made it so, and so it shall be.
Doctor Sleep has to be one of the best books I have ever read, ever, in my life. Ever. Doctor Sleep has left such a huge impact on me, that The Shining just feels like a back story. A prequel to the real story, Dan Torrance's story.
If you haven't read the original story of Danny's life, and his parents' life, here's a brief, spoiler-free synopsis.
To spend more time on his writing, Jack Torrance takes a job as the Overlook Hotel's winter month caretaker. He brings his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, along with him, but Danny has special powers that soon warn him about the dark depths and secrets of the huge, haunted hotel.
In Doctor Sleep, and after the Overlook's business is...completed, Danny is an adult (who goes by "Dan" now), and he's slowly backsliding into his father's life-ruining footsteps. He soon meets a little girl, who also has the same powers that he possesses, and he takes her under his wing just the way Dick Hallorann did for him.
While reading Doctor Sleep, I was more than entertained. I was giddy, I was excited, and I was just dying to get back to Dan's story. It was incredible. Then of course, as the story progressed, I got impatient, I HAD to know what was going to happen! There were several times where I stopped reading and thought, "Wait, everything's happening now and I still have 200 pages left! What's going to happen in 200 pages?!"
Yeah, it got me that badly. I was hooked. More than hooked. I was a fish who was just hooked and caught, and I was flopping on the sun bleached deck, Mr King standing over me with a gutting knife laughing maniacally. (Pretty descriptive image, eh?)
Then...then I reached the end.
This is NOT a spoiler. I repeat: NOT A SPOILER.
I cried so hard when the book was finished, I just held it in my arms, praying that there would be more somewhere. (I have yet to read the Author's Note in the back though. Score!)
This is not a spoiler because my emotional state had nothing to do with the story (well, at least half of my tears had nothing to do with the story). I cried because I loved it so much. I loved it so much, and it was OVER. Why do authors do that to their readers? What's up with that?? Just ending a book so suddenly, it's completely and entirely unfair!
This book took me emotional hostage, and I developed Stockholm Syndrome. I was deliriously happy being held captive in Stephen King's storytelling grasp. The Shining...The Shining was a good prequel. But my book-loving friends...Doctor Sleep is where the real story is.
Doctor Sleep is where Stephen King takes a bow.