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Editor reviews

Danny Torrance may have left the Overlook Hotel behind, but its demons aren’t done with him. Set decades after the events of The Shining, Doctor Sleep follows Danny — now Dan — as he navigates the constant pull of addiction, the trauma of his father’s descent into madness and a haunting power known as the shining (psychic abilities that allow him to see beyond the veil of death). And in audio, King fans will be all the more grateful to know that this listen is narrated by fan favourite Will Patton, who has previously narrated some of the author’s hits, including The Outsider and Mr. Mercedes

Dan has made a new life for himself in a small New Hampshire town: he works in a nursing home, where he uses the shining to comfort dying patients and begins to attend AA meetings in an attempt to finally get sober. But his life is again upended when he’s telepathically contacted by Abra Stone, a young girl who shines brighter than perhaps anyone before. But Dan’s not the only one who takes notice of Abra’s gifts. The True Knot, a travelling band of near-immortal, once-human creatures who feed on the steam that escapes children with the shining as they die, are growing hungry and it’s not long before they set their sights on Abra. And Dan’s attempts to keep her safe will take him to those dark places he’s been trying desperately to avoid, resulting in a chilling climax you won’t soon forget.

Summary

An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special 12-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 tween 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....

©2013 Stephen King (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Doctor Sleep

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Doctor Sleep

If you want to listen to this book please do the shining first as this is the follow up many years after and the little boy best known as doc is all grown up. Mr King never disappoints this is a very clever story its gripping and sad ,it gave me goose bumps in places, doing both books back to back was fantastic.

13 people found this helpful

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Not What I Expected...

What made the experience of listening to Doctor Sleep the most enjoyable?

Will Patton's narration was first class. As with some of King's best novels I really enjoy his writing when he focuses on the stories/ thoughts of the characters major and minor. In fact I would go as far as to say that really the main story line doesn't ever really do it for me in King's novels- it's all about the characterisation. This book is no exception, the story line is ok but the characters, places and situations are what make this novel so rich and full of life.My favourite King novels are The Stand, Under The Dome & 11/22/63 - this didn't quite reach the heights of these books for me but almost and certainly better than some of the others I've read. I actually enjoyed it more than The Shinning which surprised me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Sleep?

The reference to Charlie Manx from Joe Hill's N0S4R2 by Halloran, I love it when books cross reference!

Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favourite?

I loved his portrayal of all of the members of the True Knot, proper hicks!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Pretty much, towards the end I started to lose a little interest as all the action was jammed into the final third.

Any additional comments?

At times I felt that the narrative was a little clichéd and rushed, I loved the first two thirds but lost a little interest towards the end.

9 people found this helpful

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Can't listen to it

narrator sounds like Donald Trump. Can't listen to it. story probably good though. I like Stephen King normally.

16 people found this helpful

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Exceeded expectations

I've never read King before but thought the film The Shining was superb, so I wanted to see what happened to that little boy. This sequel had me gripped from the first sentence. Hugely enjoyable and listening to his writing was like watching a film somehow. Great characters and an expertly crafted plot. The narrator was a perfect match for me, a great job by Patton.

10 people found this helpful

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A wonderful follow-up.

Would you listen to Doctor Sleep again? Why?

Yes, absolutely. There are so many layers to the story, and the narration was spectacular

What did you like best about this story?

I like that years had passed. I liked that Danny didn't end up just living happily ever after - that his story was more realistic to his circumstances and everything he had experienced. You don't walk away unscarred.

Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This was my first experience of him as a narrator, but not my last. Unfortunately he has set the bar high and is now the narrator everyone else has to live up to.

Any additional comments?

Sometimes sequels can be disappointing, but that wasn't the case here. There were a couple of small character niggles from things introduced here relating to the previous book that I wasn't sure we're true to character, but they didn't bother me too much, just made me think about it a little more. I listened to The Shining right before this so it was all fresh in my mind.

It does stand alone quite well, though it really is better appreciated if you've read The Shining. If you've only seen the movie, please make sure it's the TV mini-series rather than the Kubrick movie so it has better continuity when you follow on with this book.

3 people found this helpful

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King and Patton - The Dream Team

Will Patton is the supreme voice artist - and has the best material to boot.

1 person found this helpful

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Doctor Sleep the sequel I didn't know I needed.

Doctor Sleep was indeed the sequel I didn't know I wanted or needed. It grabbed me from the get go and I could not put it down until it was done. Will Patton narrated this and gave each of the characters their own unique voices that were easy to get lost in and believe were real.

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Stephen King still has it!

Any additional comments?

Did you ever wonder what happened to Danny Torrance? I Know I did. My expectations were high and King delivered, once again. Wonderful audio performance by mr Will Patton. Listened to it almost continuously. absolutely wonderful

3 people found this helpful

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Stick with The Shining

Strangely enough, unlike other reviews, I loved the narration and didn't much care for the story - I felt the narrator was monotonous in parts, but that was due to the listless insommnia of Danny at the time, so it actually added to the performance.

Overall, I think you should leave a great story as it is, like in films, remember Jaws 2 eating the electric cable? Enough said.

4 people found this helpful

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Wicked!

This story is exactly what I was hoping for. I'd put this up there with Bag of Bones and The Stand, this was a very enjoyable ride. It took a while to get used to the narrator, who unfortunately gives every word a full-on performance, but the book is so good that in the end I didn't mind. It took me maybe a couple of hours to really get into it, but once it really started, I couldn't stop listening. It's not high literature, but it's pure King.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 01-12-13

King By The Numbers

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I'm a big Stephen King fan and have very much enjoyed his last couple. While this wasn't classic King, it was certainly an enjoyable listen.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Finding out what happened to Danny Torrance after The Overlook burned down was the most interesting. Find out about The True Knot and, in particular, Rose the Hat, was often dull and predictable.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Will Patton?

I have; Alas, Babylon (which was fantastic). He's pretty good here and I have no problems with his narration, though he does sometimes get a bit over-wrought.

Was Doctor Sleep worth the listening time?

Way more worthwhile than answering the same question you asked first off in this review. Allow me to cut and paste...'I'm a big Stephen King fan and have very much enjoyed his last couple. While this wasn't classic King, it was certainly an enjoyable listen.'There. Happy now? Good. Moving on...

Any additional comments?

Not his best but plenty good enough. The middle third especially is outstanding, but the first third is too long and windy and the climax is oddly formulaic for King, something which can arguably said for most of the story. It feels like a good idea not quite seen through, if that makes sense.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 02-12-13

Revisit The Shining if it's been a while

Seriously, I liked this book but I did feel that I wish I had re-read/listened to The Shining before listening to this one.

The Narrator - Will Patton does OK. His accents are alright but I got the feeling that there was no great love of Stephen King. Maybe I am wrong but I always felt that if I were to listen to one of these stories it would be read in a New England accent. "Heya" etc. Having said that the narrator does not impose himself and lets the story tell itself. So that is good.

The Story - The story was alright. You really expect something extraordinary from Stephen King. Even though he has written nothing extraordinary for a long time, you still expect it. It's kind of like going out with a friend who you used to laugh with a lot. Then the friend got old and bitter. You still go out with them because you remember that you used to laugh a lot and there is always a chance that things have improved. This book is like that. I bought it because Mr King entertained me all those years ago. This book only just did that. It's not great but it's still better than most.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Minnie
  • 25-11-13

A voice to DIE for!

Will Patton is undoubtedly my new best friend and greatest voice actor ever. I think I still have to decide whether Doctor Sleep is vintage King, i.e. better than his later books. However what is beyond argument is that Will Patton performs this book with breathtaking skill and craftsmanship.
He creates believable good characters and voices the evil ones in a manner that gives you cold shivers.
If Mr Patton were to read War and Peace in binary code, it would still be riveting.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Todd
  • 25-02-14

The Shining returns

Doctor Sleep’s story follows Danny Torrance – the special boy who survived his father’s murderous possession by the Overlook Hotel twenty years ago – living a nomad’s life as he moves from place to place, wrestling with an alcohol problem that he uses to dull the effects of the Shining. His ability has become more powerful over the years and the demons from his childhood still haunt his waking hours and his nightmares.

King has managed to take the idea of the Shining and develop it in ways not before thought of. We encounter characters who have a fair bit of “shine” that manifests itself as different abilities. Some of these characters are good, some are evil. The latter includes the True Knot; semi-immortals who were once human, but are no longer. They survive by feeding off the “Steam” that children with the Shining produce when they are tortured to death. Of course, Danny inevitably crosses paths with them as he seeks to save a powerful child from their insane obsession. It’s a good story. Nothing wrong with it at all. It just doesn’t stand out from King’s earlier works.

As to the narration, I’ve only ever seen Will Patton in movies and was a little sceptical as to his selection as the story’s narrator. I haven’t ever seen much acting range from the man. I was wrong. Patton brings each character to life in a performance that I wouldn’t have believed possible from the understated actor. He is brilliant.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-08-20

Complicated story but quite possible. I enjoyed t

Struggle to remember the names and places. The little girl developed during the story, but little info on her mother.

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  • Raymond
  • 19-06-19

A Good Sequel.

I worried at first that it was going to drag out and become boring before the crux of the story got started but I was wrong. Im glad I stuck with it and am now worried the film coming out later this year is going to leave out important stuff just so it can be connected to The Shining but that if it doesnt a lot of fans of the Kubrick film are gonna be pissed because the book continues King's vision of the story not Kubrick's.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 03-05-16

Great stand alone book and awesome sequal

As usual King is outstanding, this tells a story of a grown Danny facing real grown up problems. This book has great pacing and a gripping story line!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-15

Good story. Terrific performance!

It starts of slow, but Will Patton's narration is EPIC once he gets going. Wow!

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  • Garth W
  • 13-05-14

Gripping story. Awesome narration by Will Paton

Would you consider the audio edition of Doctor Sleep to be better than the print version?

Only know the audio version but the narrator was outstanding. Really brought the atmosphere to the story (and delivered great character differentiation)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Sleep?

It was a continuously gripping story. Beautifully constructed.

Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. Regrettably not.

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  • Denise
  • 12-05-14

Excellent!

Any additional comments?

Excellent sequel to The Shining yet could be read / listened to as a stand alone novel. Will Patton is the best male narrator I have listened to. Often it is the case that male narration of ladies makes them all sound like Mrs Doubtfire - however with Will this is not the case. His reading is subtle yet very complelling - instantly drawing you in. I will definately be seeking other books he has narrated. Perhaps another Steven King. I have read many Steven King novels but this is the first I have listened to. Very much enjoyed.