Monday, October 7, 2013

#SleepAlong check-in THE FIRST!

Happy Monday, all!  Today is the first discussion day for the #SleepAlong, the Doctor Sleep read-along hosted by Cheap Thrills and Tif Talks Books.
**Just a warning: all Sleep Along posts are likely to contain spoilers for both The Shining and whatever part of Doctor Sleep we're reading up to that week!**

This week we read up to the end of Part One, around page 195.  Here's the discussion questions:

Doctor Sleep picks up not long after the closing of The Shining. For those who have recently read The Shining, do you think it proves to be helpful in diving into the sequel? If you have not recently read The Shining, do you feel you are missing out on some of the details?

I love the fact that Doctor Sleep picks up when Danny is still a boy, even if it is only for a few chapters.  I recently re-read The Shining , and this continuation really makes Doctor Sleep feel like a true sequel.  I think it would be very disorienting to go from Danny at 6 years old in The Shining, immediately to Danny as an adult in Doctor Sleep.  The introductory part of Doctor Sleep is, admittedly, a little slow-going plot-wise, but I think a necessarily element in bridging the two novels.

Plus, I love that I did a re-read so recently!!  There is an overlap in some small details that I would have never picked up if I hadn't had the first novel fresh in my mind.  (Ex. when Dan is in a job interview as an adult and thinks of his interviewer as an "officious pr*ck"...definite overlap from Jack Torrance's job interview at the Overlook.)

Danny has now become Dan. In Part One, we watch his transformations from learning to live with the horrors of The Overlook to succumbing to the drink (like his father) to his road to sobriety and earning the title of Doctor Sleep. What do you think about the journey King has taken Dan on thus far?

It was, honestly, a little hard for me to stomach all of these changes at first.  Danny changes to Dan quite rapidly between the introduction and Part One, and it's a little hard to see how he jumped from innocent pre-teen to drunken 28-year-old so quickly in the novel.  Part of me almost wishes there was a little bit more detail about his teen/early-20's years to provide better transition.  (Ex. I would love to know what a struggle he must have gone through when he first started in with alcohol, especially knowing how horrible it was for his father.)

However, with Part One ending at a time when Dan is sober (and has been for quite some time), I am very curious about how his battle with alcoholism will escalate when he encounters the True Knot...

We are also introduced to the True Knot in this first section. What do you think about this group?

Terrifying and fascinating all at once!  I didn't know what to think of them at first, but by the end of Part One, I was sufficiently freaked out by their activities and their very premise.  It's obvious how their story is going to clash with Dan and Abra, now it's just a matter of waiting for the showdown.  I also enjoy how King has chosen a seemingly innocent group of people that we've all encountered (RV-ers) and made them into eternal child-killers.  GAH.

Overall, what do you think so far? Have you completely fallen into the story? Or, has it taken a bit longer to get back into the life of little Danny Torrance?

At first, I was slow to get into the novel.  As I mentioned, the intro didn't pack a lot of punch for me, even if it did provide good background, so I wasn't feeling completely absorbed as I started Part One.  However, as I got a better sense of Abra's story and the intentions of the True Knot, I found myself getting sucked in.  Can't wait to see what else is in store.

How about you, readers?  Anyone else have thoughts on Doctor Sleep so far?


  1. It definitely took me some time to get into it but now I'm hooked!

    1. Me too! Dove into Part 2 today and looooving it.

  2. I started Part Two today and it instantly grabbed me in a way that Part One never did. I know that King takes his time setting things up, and we just have to be patient. I've enjoyed the whole book, for the most part, but now I'm actually getting excited about it.

    1. So true about SK taking a while to build things up. My mom used to always complain that he uses 50 words when 2 would be fine...haha. But I have always appreciated his ability to fully envelop you in the story.

  3. Oohhh, I didn't even think about how his alcoholism may play a part in his encounter with the True Knot. Now, you've got me wondering!!

    King is really good at creating regular things into something creepy. This time it is RV-ers, but there is also been clowns (most people are not scared of clowns until they experience IT) or even fire hoses like in The Shining. It turns the ordinary into something extraordinary (and creepy)!

    Part Two is definitely picking up for me as well. I actually thought the ending of Part One picked up a bit too because I almost immediately dove into Part Two. I did make myself stop and write up the check-in post first though, just to make sure I didn't put in any spoilers!

    1. I agree about the very end of Part 1 getting me more excited (I actually had about 10 pages left when I wrote this check in post...I should have sped it up and finished on!). Part 2 is awesome so far.

  4. I noticed that reference to Jack Torrance in the job interview too! That's so true about Stephen King taking ordinary things and making them creepy, too.


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