I don't recommend Doctor Sleep, especially if you loved The Shining. I don't know what the fanboys down at goodreads are giving it 4.15 stars for; I found it incredibly tawdry. The description of Danny's addiction to alcohol is really good, though. If it were a book about understanding addiction, then I would recommend it, but it's not. It's supposed to be a supernatural horror, but there is no horror in it. The lead antagonist, Rose, is not scary in the slightest. This is from the pen of the guy who created Pennywise the Dancing Clown, but this woman is just plain rubbish, and her description is jarring. She has a single discoloured tusk for a tooth and wears a top-hat at a jaunty angle. All I think of is the Walrus from Disney's take on the Walrus and the Carpenter. She flaps an squawks around, constantly calling the teenage protagonist "bitchgirl" and SHOUTING A LOT LIKE THIS. Terrifying. It feels as though King is writing on autopilot, which is odd, because I thought he'd go all-out for this one. It was never going to be another claustrophobic labyrinth like the Overlook Hotel was, but jeez, he went completely the other way. The story spreads out across states, decades, and wide-open spaces. Everything feels so open and anti-The Shining. There's no tension at all. Also, the bad guys are masquerading as hicks, but really, they're just a bunch of hicks. With supernatural powers and a whole lot of clumsy. King's a man with several million words published now, so there's bound to be some retread over old ground. He uses the same way of
telepathic communication as he did in Insomnia, where characters like to
interject lines of dialogue and description
by using new lines and thoughts enclosed in brackets, so when a tense moment arrives, you know exactly how to
(i'm scared i'm scared i'm scared, daddy)
feel. It's rather effective, which is why he uses it for pretty much anything; thoughts as well as nonverbal communication. Even when Bill Denbrough beats the devil
(he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts he thrusts his fists)
in IT, and there's been a good 40 novels in between the writing of that and Doctor Sleep. Worst of all, he falls foul of the sin of writing for contemporary audiences: he mentions both 9/11 and iPads. The surest way to make your book sound dated and of a certain decade is to mention an iPad, or any technology which is current-but-not-for-too-long. I believe it's in Misery where the writer muses on being able to make mistakes when he writes as he's no longer using a typewriter but "the latest IBM-compatible personal computer with Word Processor, where you can store a world of words on one single 3.5" floppy disk." It's a good job he was listening to 10cc on his 8-track and watching The Breakfast Club on Betamax as he wrote that, otherwise we'd never know from what era that book's from.
...As such, I recommend you read The Shining and leave it at that.
Actually, seeing as I'm feeling all 80s, why not give Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, a read. I like that, even though as a futuristic dystopian sci-fi it is way too 80s for its own good.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.