Audiobook Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Posted September 26, 2013 by Felicia S in 2013 Read, 4.50 Wine Glasses, Audiobook, Reviews / 23 Comments

Audiobook Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen KingSource: Audiobook Review, Provided by Simon & Schuster

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Narrator: Will Patton

Date Read: September 2013

Genre: Horror

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

More Information:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Series: The Shining #2

Also by this author: The Stand, Under the Dome, Mr Mercedes, Revival, Sleeping Beauties

My Thoughts on


Listened for Review (Simon & Schuster Audio)
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 5.00

Audio Rating: 4.50 (Not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: Doctor Sleep made me lose some sleep!  It was sufficiently creepy!

Story Thoughts: Sorry to go vague again but I refuse to give spoilers for Doctor Sleep!  You really need to read this and watch it unfold to get really scared.  That is after all the point of reading Doctor Sleep.  If you are hoping to get out of this without losing sleep, I hate to tell you that it isn’t probably going to happen.*  However, if you are looking for something that is totally going to “creep you the heck out” then you are in luck.  King delivered!**  I think this book probably hit all the notes it was aiming too and I really had nightmares all the way through.

Character Thoughts:  I don’t really think you are supposed to like King characters.  The heroes are always borderline narcissistic or too clean.  In this case though Stephen did manage to take them into the grey zone and still keep you on their side.  Dan is one of those characters that you want to hug, slug, and knock some sense into at times.  Abra was spunky sweet and a really good opposite for Dan. Plus, I think it was good for him to remember when he was that kid and he had help.  The True Knot was a fantastically nasty group that showed as a collective there is some real evil that could be done.  I would say overall the characters really held their own which is not always true in Stephen King’s horror.

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated by Will Patton / Length 18 hrs and 35 mins

Will Patton was almost perfect for Doctor Sleep!  He had great pacing, awesome creepy voice, and could really deliver a line with precision.  I was only disappointed in his Abra voice but even then it was not distracting.  I would say listen to this book on audio, I don’t think you would regret it.  As always though please listen to a sample first because not everyone has the same likes/dislikes for a narrator.

Final Thoughts: Give Doctor Sleep a whirl even if you haven’t read The Shining!  I do not think you will be lost and you will be scared out of your wits.

I should mention that this is opposite week for me.  I enjoyed this book very much but most of the other reviews in GoodReads are “meh” to “what the hell”.  I am not sure if it is because I have not read The Shining so I had no per-conceived notions or something else.  This scared the heck out of me and that was my only expectation.  It totally delivered!

*You might not lose sleep if you are one of those people that deal with creepy and scary well.
** I am evidently in the minority on this book on thinking it was creepy.  My favorite books by King are The Stand and Under the Dome.  I am a fan of his character studies and while I wasn’t “in love” with any one character in Doctor Sleep, they all fit with the story.  Sometimes the smallest actions are the creepiest!


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23 responses to “Audiobook Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

  1. Amy

    Sounds like I might take a listen at King & maybe this year. I’ve read nothing by King, nor have I seen any of his movies. I used to give anything scarey a very wide berth. But I’m softening to its creepiliciousness. Which King should I start with if I dive in?

  2. I haven’t actually ever read a Stephen King book, but I really enjoyed your review. I like the way you layout your thoughts and you have me sufficiently intrigued 🙂 I will definitely be adding this to my TBR pile and I am hoping to try out an Audio book sometime too.

  3. I haven’t read The Shining since I was in high school. (We won’t discuss exactly how long ago that was – let’s just say, it’s been a while.) The last Stephen King book I read was 11/22/63 and I loved it. Not scary – just the concept is scary. It never occurred to me before but I think you’re right about his characters. I don’t think you’re supposed to like them. That would kinda mean that you related to them in some way and I don’t think I’d want to even come close to admitting to that. *shivers*
    I do have to admit though that this one has peaked my interest. I liked the book and I liked both of the movies (which were TOTALLY different in so many ways.) I may have to give this one a shot. 😉

    • It has been really interesting reading the reviews now that I am finished. It seems to be that if you read The Shining it is a love/hate relationship with the book. If you didn’t read it then it is a meh to homerun gammit. I need to read 11/22/63 since it is set here in Dallas. I think it would be fascinating and I have the book. I just haven’t picked it up for some reason or another *sigh*

      I will say this scared the crap out of me in a good way. Not a single character of SK’s have I ever related to and that is probably a good thing. He tends to make them very much what they need to be for the situation.

  4. I am absolutely itching to read this being a huge King fan. I can’t believe you haven’t read The Shining, oh it is definitely a must! My fav King books are IT and Wizards and Glass and Bag of Bones. I need to grab the audio and listen to it while I fly next weekend!

    • I think you will like it! The only thing I would say is listen to a snippet before purchasing. I think Will Patton hit it out of the park BUT I tend to like gravely type of voices for horror. He upped the creep factor for me 🙂

  5. Great review! I definitely want to read this one. And it will be interesting to see how views differ between readers who have read The Shining and those who haven’t.

  6. I just loaded this book on my iPhone and I’m ready to be scared out of my wits! It’s been a long time since I’ve read The Shining so it’s good to hear the book still delivers even if you haven’t read that first. I think you will love that book, btw!
    Great review- I’m more excited to listen to it now.

    • It pretty much kept me creeped out from beginning to end. Did not let me down in that aspect 🙂 Will Patton did an excellent job even though at the beginning I thought he was flat. Then I realized it was just that character.:)

  7. Great review! I still have never read any Stephen King, even though every October I think I should. Maybe I will have to read both The Shining and Doctor Sleep. Perfect for Halloween. Love the vague review. Many times I feel the same for sharing what I share and want to just post a review that says, Just Read The Book!

  8. Great review Felicia! I have been wanting to read The Shining (and now Doctor Sleep) for a while but I’ve been waiting for a snowy winter day…

    On a side note, have you read 11/22/63? That was my introduction to Stephen King. (newbie fan here) If you like King’s novels for their character studies I think you would enjoy it.

  9. The Shining was one of those books that seriously creeped the f** out of me! I don’t know if I’m brave enough to try Doctor Sleep…though I know I will eventually. Great to know that King didn’t disappoint. I was a little worried there when I heard Danny was coming back!

    • I haven’t read The Shining but I am going to now. It will be interesting to see Danny as a little boy because he was only young in this one for like a hot minute. I am going to have to work up to The Shining though because darn it I need no nightmare sleep LOL

    • I was very generic and after you read it, you will be the same way. Some things you just have to experience to truly get the whole experience out of. I really liked (wrong word) the bad guys. I thought they were great villains in a creeptastic kind of way!

  10. Lee

    I was really curious how this book was going to be. I’ve seen the film The Shining but haven’t read the book (which my husband says is very different). Must read these.