Reviews The Shining and Dr. Sleep by Stephen King

What was on my Christmas list this year? Dr. Sleep. And what did Dennis get me?

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A hardback volume of three Stephen King Novels and a hardback of Dr. Sleep. I love reading a beautifully bound book with big letters. I’m old fashioned that way I guess. And yes, I do plan on re-reading the other two novels in the volume which if you can’t tell from the photo are Carrie and Salem’s Lot.

Great Christmas Gifts!

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Also in book related Christmas Gifts, my parents bought us bookends. We needed bookends, we love that they are little mice sitting on cheese reading books.

But on to the reviews…

My Review of The Shining
Even if you haven’t read the book, most people know the premise.  Jack Torrance, the struggling author and recovering alcoholic, gets a job as the Winter Caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. He and his wife and son go stay there. His son Danny has the shining and the Overlook wants him. The Hotel weaves its way into Jack’s subconscious and he goes crazy.

What I didn’t remember from the first book is what a great job King does a great job letting the reader know that there isn’t something right, but it is eerie and easily explained away. There is another reason that this book works. The Torrences have had some setbacks due to Jack’s temper and drinking, but are looking for away to make it work.

There is time for them to escape before the hotel is strong enough to hurt them, but Wendy and Danny are financially bound to Jack or they must live with Wendy’s emotionally abusive mother. Jack hates his physically abusive drunk father and tells himself that is not how he is. He is not abusive.

Now on to my review of Dr. Sleep.

Okay so now Danny is all a grown up. He is Dan now.

First of all, I really enjoyed the antagonists, because people who follow my reviews (and my writing) know, I love a “justified” villains. (Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying anything they do is good, because these people are evil, I’m saying they have their own moral code and follow it) The True Knot live on the essence of kids with the Shine. They torture and kill kids to get it, they drink it in order to survive. However in the book, they believe they are the humans, all of us are just rubes, kids with the Shine are food.

Secondly, as with the first book, there was so much “real life” horror mixed in with the “supernatural” horror.

Thirdly, while seeing Dan Torrance grown up and how he moves through his life was interesting and Abra Stone was a great counter point. In my opinion, one of the most interesting aspects, since I just read The Shining is also interesting to think about how much the world changed between when Dan was a child and today when Abra Stone is growing up.

Yes Danny Torrence’s family was extremely poor due to his dad’s drinking, while the Stones are upper middle class, but it is more than that.  The world has changed. Child raising has changed. The toys kids play with have changed. King refers to plenty of technology that is here right now since the book is set in the present day. Google Earth for example.

King repeated enough of the story from the first book, that if you haven’t read The Shining, you will understand both characters. However I suggest read (or reread) The Shining. Due to it’s constant feeling of rising dread, I felt it is the better of the two. Maybe I’m a bit jaded, but with so many modern convinces and wealthier parents and just more people rooting for Abra, while she was in greater danger, yes, but she never seemed as she was in much danger.

I am not saying they are both not five-star books, because they are, but they are five-star books in different ways.

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