Saturday, 16 January 2016

Calling Doctor Sleep; Get Up Now (Wake Up Now).


I finished reading a novel this morning that has had me gripped for weeks. That book was Doctor Sleep; the sequel to Stephen King’s never-see-topiary-the-same-way-again horror classic, The Shining. 

Until a month ago, I hadn’t read one of his books for years. I’d assumed they were just for teenagers; how wrong could I be? They're not Point Horrors by a long chalk. I resumed my love for his work with the appropriately titled ‘Revival’, which I withdrew from the library on a whim. A few weeks before this, my wife asked me if I fancied reading the follow-up to The Shining, and I said that I didn’t. I then saw it in the library when I was at a loss for book, and thought ‘Sod it’ – so sod it, I did.

Latter-day sequels are best approached with caution, particularly when the original is highly regarded; Blues Brothers 2000, The Green Green Grass and Still Open All Hours spring to mind. At least Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan nearly saw the demise of the sleazy, bad-accented Chekov, thanks to a slug in the ear canal from a big-haired Ricardo Montalban…but I digress. Doctor Sleep had none of these faults. It was the definition of a page-turner.

I put it down for the final time today (except for when I take it back to the library) to find my cat staring at me from across the room. If you’ve read it, you’ll know why this unnerved me. As long as I stay away from room 217, I should be all right.

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