Dr Sleep

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Dr Sleep – Stephen King

Published October 6, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-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 spunky twelve-year-old 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. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

What did I think?:

Okay, so I know my previous review was also a Stephen King story, but I have to defend myself! First, it’s the most anticipated sequel to King’s classic, terrifying story The Shining, which was also adapted for film by Stanley Kubrick with a memorable performance by Jack Nicholson playing doomed alcoholic Jack Torrance. Second, it’s Stephen King. Enough said. The sequel, Dr Sleep, kicks off with a grown-up Dan Torrance (Jack’s son), who unfortunately has inherited his father’s dependence on alcohol. This is mainly to block out the strange visions that he experiences as part of his “shining” gift/curse. Old ghosts from his time in the Overlook hotel return to haunt him, (cue the old lady in the bathtub…urgh), along with being able to read people’s minds and he uses the alcohol to block these things out, praying they will go away. One day after a particularly heavy night, he decides to stop in one particular New Hampshire town, and finds there friendship, support, AA, and a job in a hospice where he is given the title Dr Sleep, for his strange abilities to help those residents near to death.

Dan seems to find his purpose in life through his work in the hospice, and when he connects with a young girl called Abra, who also has “the shining.” She begs for his help concerning some terrifying incidents involving children going missing. These children are also “shiners” in their own way, and are feeding a group of hungry sub-human individuals who torture their victims to produce a sort of “steam” which they feed from, before killing the child. The problem is, they have now detected Abra, who because of the strength of her powers, seems to be the perfect victim to keep them alive indefinitely. Dan and Abra must unite together to stop these people, before they can kill more children, and before they can get to Abra.

I am starting to believe that Stephen King has special powers. He always manages to pull me into his world, terrify and delight me, and leave me slightly bereft when I finish. This is definitely another of those books that I won’t forget in a hurry. The premise is fantastic and the characters memorable and exciting. I loved the older Dan Torrance fighting the same war with alcohol that his father had, and how he overcomes his issues and embraces the gift he is given. The relationship between Dan and Abra is touching, and left me with a lump in my throat on more than one occasion. King also has a talent for writing incredibly compelling villains – Rose, the leader of the True Knot, is fantastically evil, and as with all King’s characters, I could picture her completely, his use of imagery is so intense. A few times I did wonder about Wendy Torrance, Dan’s mother, and would have liked a bit more about her and how she coped after the Overlook incidents. Perhaps Stephen King was so shocked about how Stanley Kubrick portrayed this character in the film (wet and wimpy?) that he couldn’t re-visit her? Anyway, for any King fans, I recommend this book whole-heartedly, and for anyone new to King… what are you waiting for?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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A-Z Book Survey

Published August 15, 2013 by bibliobeth

AtoZsurvey

I came across this survey from my sister’s blog and it looked like a lot of fun! You can see her answers HERE.

This survey was initially compiled by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. Thank you to her! Check out her post HERE

Author you’ve read the most books from:

No surprise here, Stephen King. For me, there is a reason why his surname is KING.

Best Sequel Ever:

This is an easy question for me, it would have to be Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons. Her first book is The Bronze Horseman and to be honest, took my breath away. The sequel definitely complemented the first book!

Currently Reading:

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Simon Mawer.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea, tea and more tea!

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both! Kindle for convenience, real book for looky, smelly, touchy. (oh dear)

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice. (SIGH) His attitude might actually have made me more interested!!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I really didn’t expect Sherlock Holmes to be this exciting!

Hidden Gem Book:

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. Ancient Rome, gladiators, a bit of gore and romance. What’s not to like? LOVED this book.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I have to say, it’s the same as my sisters. Starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve done literally speaking (haha). I read from so many different genres that I wouldn’t have touched before, I’ve had some great recommendations, and met some really nice people!

Just Finished:

I’ve just finished Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver which was excellent.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’d like to think I read quite a wide selection of things, but I don’t really enjoy anything too fluffy or chick-litty. A bit of fluff is okay (I suppose) but not if it edges into mature cheddar cheese!

Longest Book You’ve Read:

The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien at 1,216 pages, individually Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Major book hangover because of:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I loved that book so much I just wanted it to go on and on.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Uh-oh. This is where my book obsession borders into insanity. Two large ones in the sitting room jam packed to bursting. (I call it Book Corner). Two slim tall bookcases in the bedroom and er…. maybe one or two bookcases worth at my parents house?

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

It – Stephen King. Amazing and terrifying and never fails to give me chills every time I read it.

Preferred Place To Read:

I have quite a long journey to work so I love to just escape into a book on the tube. Saves me having to make eye contact with any dodgy people as well, haha.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

 
 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
―     Eleanor Roosevelt,     This is My Story    
A great motto for life as well I think!

Reading Regret:

Spending so much time reading thrillers. Not that I hate thrillers, I love them! But at one time, they were all I read, I’m so glad I now read a mixture of different genres.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I need to finish the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver. Pandemonium is coming up on my list pretty soon but I’ve just got so many books to read.

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

In no particular order..

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Green Mile – Stephen King

(Wow that was hard! I have too many all time favourites!)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Quite a few people (I promise I won’t mention King again…). I’ll say Philippa Gregory, I love almost all her novels and get very excited when one is due to be released.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Dr Sleep – Stephen King. The follow up to The Shining. Oh damn, I mentioned him again.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Being maybe a bit TOO control freakish with lending my precious books. Please don’t break their spine, I can’t take it!!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

This is based on my Kindle in alphabetical order as I’m not at home at the moment: Annexed by Sharon Dogar.

Your latest book purchase:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (spoiler alert) J K Rowling!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Amazing!
Please feel free to leave your link to your A-Z book survey and I’ll come take a look, I’d love to see some of your answers!

On my radar for 2013…

Published February 1, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Due to be published in 2013, these are a few of the books I’m awaiting with glee:

Never Saw it Coming – Linwood Barclay, 31st January 2013

One of my favourite crime/thriller writers, this new offering is about a young woman who “practices” as a psychic but is more interested in money grabbing from troubled families rather than seeing into the netherworld. However, her latest case involves a woman going missing, and after visiting the frantic husband and telling him about her “vision,” it turns out that it might actually be true (and leave her dead).

The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence, 31st January 2013

Alex Woods knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life.  He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies.  He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it. What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing . . . One of the Waterstones Eleven for this year, this author is described as one to watch.

Human Remains – Elizabeth Haynes, 14th February 2013

Highly intelligent but socially inept, Colin spends his free time collecting academic qualifications and searching for ways to meet women, until he stumbles upon a new technique that proves both potent and deadly. Police analyst Annabel is shocked when she discovers a decomposing body in the house next door and realises that no one, including herself, noticed her neighbour’s absence. At work she finds data showing that such cases are frighteningly common in her own town and sets out to investigate, convinced she is on trail of a killer. I fell in love with this author after reading her fantastic book Into The Darkest Corner.

Lost Boy – Camilla Lackberg, 14th March 2013

Nathalie jumps in her car and flees with her five year old son, her hands slippery with blood on the steering wheel. Meanwhile, Detective Hedström is investigating the murder of Mats Sverin, a financial director – also the childhood sweetheart of Nathalie. Both have recently returned to the island, and Mats visited her just before his death. The locals call the island “The Ghost Isle,” and that the dead have something to tell the living. But will anyone get close enough to uncover the dark secrets that lurk there?

I recently discovered this brilliant Swedish author after reading The Hidden Child, and am in the process of going through her back catalogue.

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult, 26th March 2013

Sage Singer befriends an old man, particularly beloved in the community. One day he asks Sage for a favour: to kill him. And then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

Six Years – Harlan Coben, 25th April 2013

Six years have passed since our main character Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, get married to another man, Todd. When Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he cannot keep away from the funeral. At the funeral however, the woman posing as Todd’s wife is not Natalie. This story involves Jake uncovering the truth in his quest to find the woman he once loved.

And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini, 21st May 2013

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

By the author of A Thousand Splendid Suns (wonderful) and The Kite Runner (I must get round to that soon!!)

Dr Sleep – Stephen King, 24th September 2013

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 twelve-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 . . .

My all-time favourite author, I cannot wait for this release!