All Sleep Along posts may contain spoilers for The Shining.
We’ve finally reached the end! I know a lot of people finished the book weeks ago, but now that we’re all on the same page – namely, the last one! – and can actually talk about it… what did everyone think?
(This discussion will contain spoilers through the end of Doctor Sleep.)
Before we started reading, we asked if you had any expectations for Doctor Sleep. Did you get what you were hoping for out of the book?
Well, I learned the fate of Wendy and Dick as I’d hoped, though not much in the way of Dan’s growing up. I would have liked to know more about his teenage years, aside from the fact that he turned to alcohol to dull his shining. Not, of course, to say that I wasn’t satisfied with the story we got.
Having finished the book, do you think having read The Shining is important for enjoying this one?
I don’t know that a recent re-read is necessary, but I think at least having read it once really is. Or at least being familiar with the differences between the book and the movie. King does a good job of letting you know the things you need to know (right off the bat, he tells us the hotel burned down, for those readers who might not realize that), but seeing Jack’s ghost at the end probably wouldn’t have anything close to the same effect if you didn’t read through his struggle.
In one word, one phrase, one sentence… describe Doctor Sleep.
I’m usually terrible at this sort of thing, but the word that immediately jumped into my mind is “powerful.” I think that really sums it up, in a lot of ways.
Anything else you feel like discussing about the end of the book? Or the book as a whole?
I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get more insight into the origins of the True Knot. Rose’s hat, for example, is hinted at the end to have been full of evil… but is that just because Rose had it for so long, or because of something else? We got these little glimpses of who she was before, and some of the other members as well, but I would have liked to see more. In fact, a novella focusing on this could probably be really great… not that I’m expecting anything.
I’m incredibly glad that the lockboxes from the beginning became important (as everyone assured me that they would). Otherwise, the opening with Danny as a slightly older child just didn’t fit, other than to say, “See, it’s a sequel to The Shining,” before moving on.
Also, I didn’t see the twist coming of Dan actually being Abra’s uncle. That really caught me off guard, despite how much sense it makes.
Overall I really enjoyed this. And I’m so glad that I had just re-read The Shining. Even so, I’m sure there’s plenty in there that I missed… not to mention references to King’s other works. Doctor Sleep is one that I’m sure I’ll be re-reading at some point.
Head over to Tif Talks Books for more discussion and to link up your own response to the book.
Thanks to everyone who took part in our Sleep Along!