Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep

In preparation for Stephen King's Doctor Sleep I finally read the The Shining. I'm a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick's near perfect film adaptation and never felt the need to read the book (which was a mistake). The original novel delves deeper into the the psychosis of the abusive Jack Torrance and the Overlook Hotel's history, but the real focus is little Danny Torrance and his "awakening." Kubrick's film is a true horror film, while the book is more of family drama.

The long-awaited sequel, Doctor Sleep, picks up a year after the original novel and follows Danny into middle-age where he's using the remnants of his gift at a nursing home to help comfort the dying. He meets a 12-year-old girl with the brightest shining he's ever seen and together they take on a tribe of paranormals that live off the life force of children with the shining. Thus ensues the battle good versus evil which happens to be King's strongest storytelling approach.

In an interview with the BBC (see it here), King admits to be being nervous about the comparisons between the two books. When asked whether he liked Kubrick's version of The Shinning, he bluntly says:
No. Cold. I'm not a cold guy. I think one of the things people relate to in my books is this warmth. There’s a reaching out and saying to the reader, ‘I want you to be a part of this.’ And with Kubrick’s The Shining I felt that it was very cold, very ‘We’re looking at these people, but they’re like ants in an anthill, aren’t they doing interesting things, these little insects.’  
And goes on to say, "Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she’s basically just there to scream and be stupid and that’s not the woman that I wrote about.”
Doctor Sleep is available today in hardcover, Kindle, audiobook, and Audible download. Check back for our review later this fall.