Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King on audio

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
Audiobook, MP3 CD, also available in hardcover, audiobook and ebook
ISBN: 9781442362536
The Shining #2

My Review:
Stephen King was probably the second adult author I read as a young teenager. My first book was It, which is now my favorite book of all-time. I then worked my way through Salem's Lot, The Stand, Pet Semetary, and of course The Shining. Through the years I have continued my love of all things Stephen King by reading most of his books. So obviously I am a huge fan and when I heard Doctor Sleep was coming out as a sequel to The Shining I was beside myself. I read every article that came out that came through my email about the book. So to say I was excited might be an understatement. So it was a very magical day when the opportunity to review the audiobook came through my email from my wonderful publicity person at Simon & Schuster audiobooks. Thank you Lauren and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to listen to and review this title! Okay now that I have blathered on about my love for all things Stephen King, let's get to my thoughts.

First The Shining is probably my 3rd favorite Stephen King so a sequel was just what I wanted. What did happen to Danny Torrance after the end of The Shining (and that would be the end of the book, not the movie). So we move to the future. Dan Torrance is now pretty much a drunk like his father. He's a man who moves from place-to-place when drinking makes him lose his job. And then he hits rock bottom and moves on and we find him in New Hampshire where a man takes him under his wing, gets him into AA and into a job for him. Quickly Dan moves on to a job that fits him better and we find him settling down and getting into the groove. Then strange things start happening and he gets insight into a young girl, his "Shining" helping him see moments in her life that she transmits to him. I like Dan, even when he hits rock bottom, you know he's going to somehow get through it even though it is a major rock bottom. I found myself cheering for him during the first part which reminds us of his past, gives some of the history in between and describes him currently. Abra is also a fascinating character. We meet her and her family at birth up to the time that her and Dan meet and things are looking bad. I love her, love the things she does as a child and her need to do good things. Casey, Billy and John are also integral characters. Casey being Dan's AA sponsor, John being Abra's pediatrician and he happens to also be an AA leader of one of the meetings Dan attends. And Billy who introduced him to Tiny Town, the train and also to Casey. Billy is a true friend through and through as are Casey and John. The final character is also introduced early on and that is the True Knot as a whole, but with a focus on Rose the Hat. Now that is one scary group of characters. In true King fashion he has created a scary paranormal force to be reckoned with that is truly evil yet somehow fairly ordinary on the outside. I disliked and feared them from the beginning so they were the perfect scary villains for this story.

Now onto the story. Wow, even the beginning which gives a history of Dan and some insight into the True Knot was fascinating. Nothing in Doctor Sleep drags to me. It was well paced and probably from the middle to the end if I had been reading the book I wouldn't have put it down. With the audio I began taking it on walks, and honestly I don't usually listen to audiobooks except in the car, I listen to music on walks, but I had to find out what would happen next so I kept finding ways to listen. On walks, while making breakfast, while making supper. Anytime I could. It was that good. And there were surprises I didn't see coming that just made me say wow. There were scary moments, touching moments and characters that inspired and haunted me. It was just an amazing story.

I love how in Doctor Sleep there seemed to be a marriage of the earlier creepy Stephen King with the current more character driven and reality-based Stephen King. It was wonderful to see an example of a man who makes it through AA. Yet having the paranormal aspect between Abra and Dan was like the old days. The True Knot was truly an evil to be reckoned with similar to the vampires in Salem's Lot. It was just a wonderful way to craft a story. Doctor Sleep is a book that will grab you, make you hang on for dear life and keep you enthralled and slightly creeped out until the end. And then you will continue to think about it and it's characters long after you finish. Kind of the way Danny Torrance may have stayed in the back of your mind from The Shining. Hearing his story was wonderful and it's a great sequel. So thank you Mr. King, you've been scaring me for the last 25 years and I hope you continue to scare and enthrall me for many more.

Audiobook review: Will Patton is the narrator and I believe he is a new one to me. I wasn't sure about him at first, but the more he read the book the more I really grew to love him. He became the characters and just from his different voices I was able to discern each character before they were identified. That means a lot to me. I would get lost in his reading and he made my drives, walks and cooking very enjoyable. The production is outstanding. Wonderful job Simon and Schuster and I now have a new narrator to look forward to enjoying in the future.

My rating: 5.0/5.0
Audiobook Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
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 hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

I have my gently used copy of the MP3 CD to giveaway to one lucky winner.  US/Canada only.  Ends 10/31 - Halloween seems very appropriate for an ending date for this one!

Note: this is an MP3 CD, I easily played it on my computer but the best thing (besides the fact that it only uses 2 discs instead of 10+) is that I saved/ripped it to my laptop and put it on my MP3 player to listen to.  So if you have something that reads MP3 CDs it's easy to listen to the book pretty much any way you want. This also tells you the discs have not been carted around, they were pretty much used once and put back in the case. 

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***I received this audiobook from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Speak Out: Domestic Violence Awareness at Booksparks + Joshua Safran's Free Spirit


Speak out against domestic violence - FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran
FreeSpiritNote from Joshua: “The award-winning documentary Crime After Crime told the story of my seven-year struggle to free Deborah Peagler, a battered woman who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 20 years. I was inspired to help her because of the years of abuse my mother and I endured at the hands of my stepfather when I was a boy. My representation of Deborah grew into a deep friendship, and she gave me the courage to finally write about those experiences in my memoir, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid. My biggest hope is that by telling my story, others will be inspired to speak up, and we can work together to end the wall of silence and finally break the cycle of violence.”
In recognition of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness month, we are proud to speak out with BookSparks, book lovers and author Joshua Safran against domestic violence.

Here’s how you can speak out, too!
  • Post it: Post the Speak Out badge on your blog on October 24th along with the book cover and info pasted above on Joshua Safran’s book FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid.  We understand you have other obligations/plans for your blog that day, however, whatever you can do on October 24th to stand up for victims of domestic violence everywhere would be much appreciated. 

  • Facebook it:  Share the badge, this campaign (, #SpeakOut #DV, and your words against domestic violence via Facebook and tag us (BookSparksPR) so we can share, too!  
  • Rate it: Head over to Goodreads and rate Joshua Safran’s FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid ( It’s a book about Joshua’s journey of the spirit; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.
  • Buy it:  If you buy Joshua Safran’s book, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid, let us know and we will match with a donation to a domestic violence awareness organization. On October 24th only, if you buy the book for you, a friend, a holiday gift or all of the above, send us your receipt(s) and we’ll be donating up to 20% of book sales that day (based on emailed receipts) to the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in support of BookSparks Speaks Out: Domestic Violence Awareness and victims everywhere.  Buy on Indie Bound; Buy on Amazon; or Buy on Barnes & Noble. Send receipts to