All Sleep Along posts may contain spoilers for The Shining.
Welcome to our first Sleep Along check-in! This week we’re covering through Chapter Six, or the end of Part One.
(This discussion will contain spoilers through Chapter Six of Doctor Sleep.)
Part One pretty much lays out everything we expect from reading the summary – the introduction of the True Knot and what they do, Dan’s transition from alcoholic at rock bottom to ten years sober and working at a hospice, and the impressive Abra. The following are Tif’s questions for the week:
Doctor Sleep picks up not long after the closing of The Shining. For those who have recently read The Shining, do you think it proves to be helpful in diving into the sequel? If you have not recently read The Shining, do you feel you are missing out on some of the details?
Honestly – and I’ll reserve judgment until I finish the book, but for right now – I really don’t think this section was necessary. It was kind of interesting to see as more of a direct continuation of The Shining, but I don’t think the story of Dan necessarily needed to start with a post-Overlook Danny. Though maybe once Dan develops more of a relationship with Abra, the scenes with Danny and Dick Hallorann will have more of a connection to the rest of the story.
Danny has now become Dan. In Part One, we watch his transformations from learning to live with the horrors of The Overlook to succumbing to the drink (like his father) to his road to sobriety and earning the title of Doctor Sleep. What do you think about the journey King has taken Dan on thus far?
Though I’m not fully convinced on opening with Danny still as a child, I think Dan’s story started at the perfect point. Seeing Dan come from his lowest point to the mostly satisfying life he leads at the hospice.
We are also introduced to the True Knot in this first section. What do you think about this group?
The True Knot is my least favorite part of the book so far. They play an essential role, obviously… and the part of me that wants a good story wants to learn more about them. But there’s definitely another part of me that wants nothing to do with them.
Overall, what do you think so far? Have you completely fallen into the story? Or, has it taken a bit longer to get back into the life of little Danny Torrance?
It’s definitely taking its time pulling me in. I’ve enjoyed the book so far, but I feel like I’m just waiting for things to start happening. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.
If you’re reading along with us, don’t forget to head over to Tif’s blog to link up or to join the discussion in the comments. Next week we’ll be covering through Chapter Thirteen (one chapter into Part Three). And until then, check the Twitter hashtag #sleepalong to connect with other readers throughout the week.
What are your thoughts on Doctor Sleep so far?
I finished it and I loved it. King likes to take his time to set up the action, but I’ve read books where he took much more time on that than this one. The True Knot does seem kind of random at the start.
And I have enjoyed myself during the setup, which isn’t always the case either. Cujo, for example… I found that one to be pretty dull until pretty far into it.
I haven’t read Cujo yet, but it took me two tries before I got into The Stand. Once I did, I couldn’t put it down. Which meant I spent the better part of three weeks with my nose in the book.
You bring up a good point about starting the book at Danny. I think that those mental safes are going to play a part in the story somehow. I’m not exactly sure, but I think that part will prove to be important and why King started his story so soon after the Overlook. He has used something similar to this in another story of his, so I’m thinking it is more than just a minor detail. I could be wrong though!
I’m sure it will be important. At this point, though, I’m still just feeling like it was out of place.
I see your point too, especially about the True Knot kind of just being thrown in there. The timeline is a bit wonky for me too (excellent literary phrasing there), but overall I’m enjoying it.
For me, it’s just that… Abra is growing up. Dan is “growing up” in his own sense, putting his life back together… but with the True Knot, we’ve only really scratched the surface so far.
Since I already finished the book, I feel like I *almost* can’t comment on the first question. It’s almost too spoiler-y. :) But maybe it’s because I really enjoyed the beginning “catch-up” with them after the Overlook. I’ll elaborate more in my blog post. :) Glad you’re enjoying so far though :D
*puts hands over ears* La la la la la…
Like I said in my response to Tif’s comment, I’m sure that first scene will become important before the end… at least I certainly hope so. At this point, though, it still feels out of place, like it was there just for the sake of making a stronger connection to the events of The Shining.
Interesting reactions! I felt differently about a few things (http://www.thewellreadredhead.com/2013/10/sleepalong-check-in-first.html). I am totally fascinated by the True Knot. I think they are the most Stephen-King-y thing about the novel so far, so their development is a big part of what’s pulling me in. I’m eager to see what else they can do (because I’m sure there’s more than what’s already been revealed).
They’re going to make an interesting adversary, for sure.
I felt the same way about the first section. In fact, it was kinda depressing.
Dan’s journey was a tough one, that’s for sure. But there’s no way we’d be able to understand his battle without seeing the low points. I feel like, even just in this one section, we get to know Dan better than we ever got to know Jack. I think the scene where he’s sitting in the parking lot of the bar and calls up Doctor John was one of the better scenes so far… it shows how far he’s come, and yet how easily he could throw it all away again.
I’m glad I read The Shining not too long ago–it’s nice to have all the details from that book in the forefront of my mind. Having finished Doctor Sleep, I will say that King does a good job reminding readers of the important details of The Shining, so if someone HASN’T read it recently, I think they’ll be fine with Doctor Sleep anyway.
The biggest thing people need to remember is that Doctor Sleep is a sequel to the BOOK The Shining, and not the movie. I’ve seen complaints floating around that people wanted The Overlook to be more prominent in Doctor Sleep, but…THE OVERLOOK BURNED DOWN. Duh.
I fell into the story right away. I like the progression Dan’s life has taken–it certainly feels realistic, considering his past and his genetics. I really like his role as Doctor Sleep.
The True Knot is creepy as hell. I can’t remember how much detail King has given about them at this point in the book, so I’ll be careful here, but some of the things we learn about them are…[shudders].
AND HOW ABOUT THOSE GHOSTS FROM THE OVERLOOK LEAVING PIECES OF THEMSELVES WHERE THEY SHOW UP IN DANNY’S HOUSE? Oh, ew. EW.
Oh yes, the ghosts… manifesting themselves?… I guess is what you’d call it… ugh, gross.
I am like the cult aspect of True Knot but I have an image in my mind of the woman in the hat, and it’s the chick from Under the Dome! I do not know why I see her in that role that I do and since King’s description of her is so off from my picture of her, I am having trouble drinking the water there. That is a minor, nit-picky thing. I do not like how similar they are to vamps though.
I am also having some trouble with Abra’s age and how authentic she is at that age. I am 80% in and she is 12 but she is written up to be more like a 10 year old and that bugs given she has this special talent and all. I mean, I would think that would make her wiser than her years.
But, overall, I am pleased. I said in my post that unless King blows the ending, I will be very happy with the book
I guess I’m not familiar enough with kids that age to discern the difference. I am really loving Abra though.