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Stephen King’s Sequel to ‘The Shining’: Heeere’s ‘Doctor Sleep’!

Remember “redrum”? Or a crazy-looking Jack Nicholson trying to axe his wife and son? Both of these morbid details are from the famous Stephen King horror novel and movie, “The Shining.” “The Shining” was published in 1977 and three years later it was adapted to the silver screen starring Jack Nicholson. This was King’s third published novel and its success launched him as a preeminent author in the horror genre.

“The Shining” is about the character of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer who moves into the Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies with his wife Wendy and telepathic son Danny. Battling alcoholism and sudden bouts of temper, he makes an attempt to reconcile his relationship with his wife and son by agreeing to become a caretaker for the hotel. However, the more time the family spends at the foreboding hotel, the stranger Jack’s temperament becomes. Danny uses his telepathic gift (the titular “shining”) to hear and see many spirits in the hotel and is frightened by them while his mother tries to protect him from Jack’s sudden changes in behavior, supposedly influenced by the spirits in the hotel. The novel intensifies toward the end with Wendy fighting to save her son and herself from Jack’s unpredictable and now violent behavior.

This novel gained a lot of exposure from the success of the movie and many readers flocked to the read the novel itself. In 2009, Stephen King asked his fans in a poll if he should work on the sequel for “The Shining” or the next Dark Tower novel. The fans voted for the sequel to “The Shining,” King subsequently began to work on this much anticipated sequel in 2009.

The sequel to “The Shining” is called “Doctor Sleep” and is set to release on September 20, 2013. This is many months away from now, but the riveting novel will keep King fans waiting in anticipation until the release date. “Doctor Sleep” focuses on now middle-aged Danny Torrance and his struggle to settle in life after the tragic year he spent at the Overlook Hotel as a child that still haunts him. Drifting for decades, he finally settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and works in a nursing home where he provides peace to the dying with his abilities that once proved to be tragic. Aided by his cat, he becomes Doctor Sleep. In a turn of events, Dan’s life changes as soon as he meets Abra Stone, a tween girl who also possesses the “shining” but more powerful than anyone else he has seen. He is amazed at her spectacular gifts and it is her who reignites Dan’s own demons and instigates him to save Abra’s life from The True Knot, a quasi-immortal traveling tribe that lives off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death. When Dan is forced to save Abra’s soul, a war of good and evil ignites with a thrilling story that will excite the millions of devoted fans of “The Shining.”


Illustration by Danielle Burch