10 November 2013
Ah, yes. I was planning to read and post on the sequel to The Shining as part of the RIP VIII Challenge, but... it's taken me well over a month since my last post and that's because I am in my final days of the trimester and any day now, I will have a little bundle of joy to celebrate. I cannot wait!
It's also taken me over a month to post because I must admit, Doctor Sleep just wasn't what I wanted. It left me a little wanting of that sheer horror and thrill The Shining encompassed, and I felt the new adventures of little Danny Torrance, now all grown up and a hospice worker, were just, well, safe.
Needless to say, when I heard Doctor Sleep was coming out this fall, I fell all over myself on the release date to buy it. I was there so early after opening that the store hadn't even taken it from their boxes, and I got a fresh copy straight from an untampered box. I rushed home, and started in. And I literally just finished it today, when normally I would have consumed a book like this within a week.
Danny Torrance is now an adult and an alcoholic carrying on the nasty hereditary habits that Jack Torrance, his father, displayed so aggressively in the Overlook Hotel in Colorado almost two decades prior. The sheer nightmare of brutal attacks by Jack on his own family, combined with the deadly hauntings of the once living were absolutely disturbing. Yet it was a book you just couldn't put down.
Fighting the bottom of the barrel and past demons, Dan ends up in New Hampshire after a self-proclaimed life-defining moment in Wilmington, North Carolina. Meeting genuinely caring new friends in New Hampshire, one who has had his own battles with the bottle, helps Danny to build a new life with AA as his guardian. As a hospice worker, he has an uncanny ability to help those dying cross over to the other side. But Danny soon learns he's not the only one in town who has this special ability. When a young girl named Abra begins communicating with him, and also knows Tony, Danny's "imaginary" friend from the past, it soon because crucial for them to join together to fight a larger, more terrifying group of people who live off of other's last moments of life.
Across the country, the True Knot gathers, made up of a motley crew of nondescript and unassuming travelers who move from spot to spot in RVs and Winnebagos, frequently taking up camp in the leftovers of the Overlook Hotel, now known as the Overlook Lodge, an established RV campground. Each member of the True Knot has a unique trait, or talent, that makes them critical to the group, led by Rose. And while they may by a forgetful bunch on the super-highways of America, they are true evil, willing to kill any and all who may have a little bit of that shining. After all, this shining is what keeps the True Knot alive, and it doesn't matter who they have to kill in order to be fed.
The book held promise and even reading my own synopsis makes me rethink it all. It does sound incredible, but when I got into the meat of the book, I found that it was a little safe, going easy on the tougher moments. Danny's downward spiral at the start of the book was depressing and tough to read, but I was ready to read more of the darkness and depravity King's books always tend to have. This one, though, felt a little tamer, at least for me. I wanted more connection to The Shining, and I even wanted less of the True Knot, even though this was where the action ultimately would end up.
Have no fear, though. Doctor Sleep is a solid standalone novel, so if you haven't read The Shining, you won't be much confused at all. More than likely you've seen the film, but remember that Stephen King was not happy with Stanley Kubrick's version, which strayed from King's story quite a bit. (King even mentions it in his afterword.)
Bear in mind that this is just my opinion. Most will really like it. I firmly believe Stephen King is a brilliant storyteller and I highly recommend all of his works to varying degrees of entertainment, no matter what. His writing is constantly surprising and shakes the very ground most "literary" enthusiasts raise their noses up at. King is amazing. Read his works, give him a chance. It's worth it.
Passages of Note:
He had lived long enough to know there was a little scumbag in everyone, but it didn't help much when you had to take out the trash. (p.515)
Release Date: 9/24/13
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty novels, including The Stand, The Dark Tower series, It,The Shining, oh...what more can be written that one doesn't already know. So here you go, click here to visit this wicked cool author's official website.
01 October 2013
Well, count this one as definitely being on my top books read in 2013. Book 3 of the Song of Ice and Fire series knocks it out of the park with a combination of drama, war, dragons, and much, much more. While I did like Book 2 A Clash of Kings, but wasn't the most excited about it, this third installment brought me right back to the heady adventure of the Seven Kingdoms and the richness of each character that made me fall in love with it all when I first read A Game of Thrones.
Which is really where it's at. Martin does an incredible job fleshing out each character, no matter how small, and with each page packed with moments of twists and turns in this thrilling journey, it really is hard to put down. I was ecstatic to learn that there's a whole heck of a lot more to Jamie Lannister than I anticipated, and I mourned for the Stark family and their troubles as they epically pushed towards safety after their family was horrifically torn apart in the first book. Count me a fan of all of the major characters that get to tell their story from their own perspective, as each chapter alternated, pushing me to keep reading one more page to get back to another story, but obviously falling into the current tale even more. I was overwhelmed with reading adventure glee.
One of the best books I've read for 2013. Can't wait to get my hands on the rest. And now I can finally watch season 3 on HBO.
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Release Date: 3/4/2003
Review of Book 1: A Game of Thrones
Review of Book 2: A Clash of Kings
About the Author
George R.R. Martin is the author of eleven novels, seven novellas, two novellettes, one children's book,and a score of other writing and editing accomplishments. He was also the writer for seven episodes of the Twilight Zone and fifteen episodes of Beauty and the Beast, including three episodes of the HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones. There's so much about this author, I don't have enough space to write it all, so I'll just ask that you:
Click here to visit the author on his website.
Click here to visit the author on his blog.
FTC Disclosure: I purchased this for my Nook app and read on my iPhone.
10 September 2013
Much to my chagrin, it's been a month since my last post. As many of you know, I am in my final trimester and am taking it easy in the blogging world, so please forgive me for my lack of commenting on all of your wonderful reviews. My back pain as the baby gets bigger is not very forgiving of me spending time sitting for extended periods of time.
Needless to say, it likely would have taken even longer for me to post had it not been for Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. Carl has enticed us all yet again with the annual event celebrating things that go bump in the night. Can you believe it's the eighth year? This will be my third year participating and, as I do every year, I look forward to the cooler days and nights, and a creepy story or two.
I won't be reading as many as I usually do, but below are the books that I will try to dive into. I will strive for Peril the First (four or more books of any length) with the following:
- NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
- Joyland by Stephen King
- The Talisman by Stephen King (audio) - this is in conjunction with the readalong I'm very much behind in completing for August hosted by Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity and Cavalcade of Awesome, but I thought it would fit nicely with RIP overall.
- The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith (Um. I mean JK Rowling.) Not that this is truly "bump in the night" stuff, but I heard it was mysterious.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - a re-read (for the third time!), see below for details of the group read.
- The Collected Works of H.P. Lovecraft - I think that's the title of my copy? I do have a very cool edition of his work lying around in my house somewhere and I have yet to read it.
Knowing my ability to over-commit, I'll probably be better suited to watch films versus read books this year, but who knows? Whether it be mystery or horror, I'm not sure which ones at this time.
The RIP Overview and Goal
So here's the overall vision Carl has, which is to ultimately, have fun. A challenge it is not; an event it certainly is.
- Click here for the main information and sign-up page
- Click here for the site archiving all reviews
- The event commenced September 1, 2013 and concludes October 31, 2013
As Carl outlines, simply read, listen, or watch:
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above. That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.
And most importantly:
1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.
Don't forget the Group Read!
If you've read this blog often enough, you know that one of my favorite books is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. The ladies at The Estella Society are hosting this fall's Peril of the Group Read and they have selected The Historian!
How I love, love this dark and twisting tale. I encourage you all to read it and I will try to include it this season as it's been a few years since last I read it. I hosted a challenge in 2010 at On the Ledge Readalongs and posted several pictures of the places visited in the book; I welcome all who are participating in The Estella Society's readalong to visit On the Ledge when you have finished the book to take a peek at the sites.
Have fun! I look forward to seeing my TBR list grow exponentially as I read all of your reviews. As always, thank you, Carl!