Stephen King, one of the most popular writers in the world, is making a long anticipated return to one of his best known works, “The shining,” with the release of its sequel on September 24th. Scribner has just released the cover to build up the anticipation for the novel, “Dr. Sleep.”
In “Dr. Sleep,” Danny Torrance has drifted aimlessly for years trying to escape the memory of that winter spend at the Overlook Hotel, as told in “The shining,” and has finally settled in a small New Hampshire town. He has taken a job at a nursing home and uses the remnants of his power, his “shining,” go comfort the dying. When he meets a woman, Abra Stone, who unleashes his power, he attracts the attention of a type of psychic vampire and the two must fight for survival.
This sequel has been anticipated, largely due to the popularity of the movie, and King has obliged 35 years after “The shining” was published. I am not, however, in the same mode of thinking that this is a great thing like many fans. Not every books needs a sequel, in my opinion, and “The shining” was one that was fine on its own.
While I am a fan of Stephen King and have enjoyed almost all of his books, I will forgive him for “Lisey’s story,” I worry a little about this book. King does not do sequels that often and I have felt that the sequels are not as good as his stand-alone works when he does (like “Black house” which is good but nowhere close to the equal of “The talisman”). Some writers are good at crafting series while others are better at single novels. That is not a criticism. It is just a fact.
I give King the benefit of the doubt, however, and hope that the sequel will live up to the original. I just know that is a tough task as “The shining” is one of the best haunted house stories ever. The presence of a “prescient cat” is “Dr. Sleep” does not inspire my confidence either. We can only hope that Stephen King wrote the story he wanted and not just to write a sequel for the sake of writing it.