SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
doctor Sleep Rose the Hat a.k.a Cokehead or once upon a time Irish Rose from Northern Ireland is the leader of the vampire gang. This disturbing, thrilling, awkward as hell group member give you enough creeps to close the book and surf around the comedy channels to recover from too much pressure and stress the book puts you in. His AA group helps him earn his second chance from the life. Indeed, in my mind, the True Knot is what lifts Doctor Sleep to the upper strata of King novels. The True Knot, though, especially Rosie the Hat and Crow Daddy, are fascinating. Despite being murderous predators, they are also compelling, and we spend enough time with them to actually start to care a bit about their plight. Hell, he’s practically a genre unto himself now, leaving behind the Horror and Fantasy schools for a stage just for him. And while his comment is here would agree that he, like Joan Jett and Ann Wilson, could put on a great show without trying very hard, I think he did put some extra effort into Doctor Sleep, his 2013 sequel to his 1980 masterpiece The Shining. There are few authors who can scare a reader so soundly and yet keep them begging for more, while also telling a multi-layered novel with a foundation so sound that it cannot collapse on itself. There were some nice Easter eggs in Doctor Sleep. Charles Manx, Castle Rock, the Dark Tower, and probably a few others I've already forgotten. When Dan got a job at TeenyTown, I had flashbacks of Joyland. Maybe Joyland started life as a fragment of Doctor Sleep that got cut out like a bad appendix. Also, I have a feeling Stephen King read a book about carnies and felt the need to work as much lingo into his work as possible. Years after the tragedy at the Overlook, Dan Torrance is making his way from childhood to alcoholic despondency to an edgy and fragile temperance. King’s powerful return to his Shining roots proves not only useful but highly worthwhile. As King denotes in his author’s note, many people have wondered whatever happened to little Danny Torrance and if there is more to The Shining than meets the eye . King layers old Shining memories with new ideas and powerful characters, while kicking the horror genre up a notch. Filled with his linguistic nuances and apt off-the-beaten-path comments, King uses this unique style to cater to his long-time fans’ interest in his style. If, on the other hand, you are looking for the next story in the life of Danny Torrance then you will probably find this much more satisfying. Being a big fan of Stephen King, especially his early work, I waited with nervous anticipation for Dr. Sleep. I reread The Shining for the first time in years, just to reacquaint myself with the world of Danny Torrance and the Overlook Hotel. It was on my kindle within minutes of it being released, and I spent the past two afternoons ignoring housework in favor of diving into one of Kings rare sequels. Horror, like science-fiction and fantasy, reaches its apex when its tropes are deployed in service of a profound idea or purpose. King, more than most authors in any genre, has done this successfully. Doctor Sleep works on two levels simultaneously. Like most recovering alcoholics, he takes his life one step at a time, and one day at a time. Using his special abilities to help dying patients in a hospice, he has come to the sobriquet of Doctor Sleep. It is here that Dan discovers a young girl who makes his shining look dim by comparison; as his is a flashlight, hers is a light house. Dan also discovers an antagonistic group who feed on human suffering, and the suffering of those with the shining is their most cherished delicacy. Stephen King is also a wily old master craftsman who knows how to grab a reader and hold him entranced for hundreds of pages. When he hits the rock bottom, we learn more about the secret he keeps eat him alive. He still has his shining but as his path crosses with the gifted girl whose life in danger by summoning from a group of dangerous psychic vampires, he is adamant to fight back. I love this is a sequel to The Shining and in the beginning of the book it goes into some things from when Danny was young. I didn't feel much for Danny when I was going through The Shining since Jack Torrance pretty much had me by the balls, but I guess - this being a Stephen King book - I can give it a try. King sets the time of the events by referring to external realities, like who the president is, calls on contemporary cultural references, such as a mention of the Sons of Anarchy and a Hank Wiliams Jr song. He also mentions a variety of other writers in his travels, some approvingly, some not so much . He also drops in an Easter egg reference to Salem’s Lot and make two references to his son, Joe’s, imagined world from Joe’s book, NOS4A2. On the one, it is an engrossing supernatural thriller, the kind of book you’d take on an airplane because it causes you to lose time. On the other, it uses the fantastical to explore notions about our lives on earth that feel very real and very true. Not quite immortal but pretty close, the True Knot roams the highways in their monstrous recreational vehicles, living off the “steam” that his exhaled when children with the shining are tortured and killed. This summary sounds equal parts brutal and silly, but it absolutely works.