Dan Torrance survives the horrors of the Overlook Hotel only to succumb to his father’s legacy of alcoholism. After landing at the bottom, he finally gets some help through AA. As he struggles to stay on the wagon and make a normal life for himself, a child gifted with the shining comes to him for help. He chooses to help her against those that want her dead, and in the process may redeem his sins.
It makes so much sense that Dan would struggle with alcoholism as his father did, and that’s one of the reasons I picked up this book. Would Dan succeed against the disease where his father did not? What kind of man would Dan become?
The parallels between Dick Hallorann as Dan’s mentor, and Dan’s mentorship of Abra Stone are explored to full effect in this story, as well as that between Danny and his father. I enjoyed Abra’s character although I thought she was somewhat a one-dimensional strong-willed, over confident teenager.
Although I enjoyed encounters with the True Knot, they seemed somewhat anti-climactic to me, and not what I’d expect considering their background. There are plot-driven explanations for this, but I don’t buy them.
This was a great followup to the Shining, but it is a different kind of story. I would classify this as more of a “romp”, while the Shining is a “slog”. Doctor Sleep is the kind of book that will get your blood running with excitement, while The Shining pulls your soul down with dread.