Dr. Sleep by Stephen King

Danny Torrance from The Shining is now a grown man, an alcoholic that the demons inside him are no match for the demons driving the highways of America, looking for psychic kids so that they can torture them and steal their essence, and a young girl with whom he has a mysterious connection is their next target.

Of course I always read a Stephen King novel the minute it comes out, but I harbored trepidation about Dr. Sleep. In the afterword, King astutely acknowledges all the reasons why he resisted revisiting Danny Torrance, fearing that he would let his readers down. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Danny and wondering what he was like as an adult.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the book. For me, I felt like The Shining was a complete story. I never once wondered what became of Danny (or Wendy). And having finished the book, I’m a little depressed because I wasn’t wowed by any of it. It just didn’t do it for me, on just about every level. The scares weren’t scary enough, and the plot resolved likethat with a really frustrating deus ex machina. There was no real risk anywhere in the story. And worst of all (and most surprising for a King book), the characters were so flat I had trouble telling them apart and keeping them straight! Usually he’s great with backstory and memorable details, but there was really only one character story in the whole thing, and it was in the opening chapter. And it wasn’t that original.

I hate to be down on a book, but there you have it. I always tell emerging authors that if I don’t like their book, I just won’t review it, because I only publish negative reviews for authors who can handle it. Like Stephen King.

But of course, I can’t wait for the next one.

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