Stephen King is known around the world for his horror stories and the gruesome murders involved in them. His book ‘Doctor Sleep’ is no different. Written as the sequel to The Shining, this story takes off from where the previous left off.
Dan Torrance and his mother are still nursing the wounds from what happened to them at the Overlook hotel. Considering the fact that it was his own father who was the one responsible for hurting him and his mother, with the death of his father, Dan believes that the worst is behind him.
But there is still a problem. Dan is possessed of the thing called Shining which draws the ghosts who prey on it towards him, including the ones at the Overlook hotel. But with the help of the chef who helped him at the hotel, he learns to shut the ghosts in his mind. Wandering from place to place after his mother’s death, he becomes addicted to alcohol and drugs. He finds that this helps to diminish his Shining and he feels at ease.
Meanwhile, in the West Coast, at the site of the Overlook hotel are a group of camp-van drivers who call themselves the True Knot. They look like normal people, but are in fact on the lookout for special people-people with Shining. They capture young boys and girls who possess these gifts and then take their Shining, storing them in canisters when not in use. The Shining or the so called steam makes them powerful and at the same time, young.
Parallel to the World Trade Centre disaster is born a girl named Abra. Possessed of remarkable Shining, she makes contact with Dan when a baseball playing boy is tortured and murdered by the True Knot for his Shining. Together they form an unlikely partnership and manage to defeat the True Knot.
We all have nightmares. Every sane person does. And we all have things that scare us the most, the sludge that remains in the strainer as Stephen King likes to call it. The author has the remarkable talent to bring these horrors alive and in a manner which literally can leave you sleepless at night. The prose in the book is easy yet likeable and the author delivers the story in an effortless manner. Nowhere you feel as if it is hurried or forced. This is an excellent representation of what horror writing should be like.