Doctor Sleep: a novel / Stephen King
PS 3561.I483 D65 2013
This outing by prolific horror author Stephen King is something of a sequel to The Shining. It follows the story of Dan Torrance, the young boy with the "shine" (psychic powers that include seeing ghosts and reading minds). As an adult, he becomes an alcoholic drifter, but finally settles down in a small town and begins his journey to sobriety via AA. He takes up a job at a nursing home and helps elderly patients by easing their journeys into death.
Over the years, Dan is repeatedly contacted by a girl with powerful psychic powers. There are a group of psychic vampires who feed on the "steam" of dying, tortured children with the shine, and they have noticed the girl's existence. The villains masquerade as every-day people who travel in caravans of RVs. They are gunning for the girl, and it's up to Dan and his friends to protect her, while Dan tries to come to terms with his past and stay on the wagon.
The details of alcoholism are a reflection of King's own struggles with the addiction.The reader learns a lot about Alcoholics Anonymous, and the terrible lifelong fight to avoid drinking. The importance of AA meetings and a strict mentor are involved.
I found this to be a middling King novel -- not a higher literary effort like "Duma Key" or a lowbrow one like "Cell". The shoutouts to "The Shining" were nice but perhaps not as neatly tied up as they could have been. I would recommend "Doctor Sleep" to diehard King fans who want a followup on Dan Torrance, or anyone interested in following the psychology of an alcoholic trying to work through the AA program and stay sober.