Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Magic


That’s exactly what it has felt like the last couple of months while reading nothing but Stephen King since. I’ve said more than once that Stephen King is my favorite author and this year I wanted to experience just his thought process through only his novels in chronological order. It was an experience I can barely explain. I don’t know of any other author whose ideas, and stories blend in the ways that his did without being a part of a series. If it wasn’t for The Dark Tower series, where Stephen King voiced that all of his novels came from the same universe, I would have never thought of taking on this project. But now, I don’t know what took me so long!                                                                                                                                                                

To put it simply the man is a genius, whose writing, by design can be slightly terrifying, somewhat gross, extremely intense, incredibly in-depth and suspenseful. This week I finished his last two novels: Joyland and Doctor Sleep. Unfortunately because I am so far behind in the King reviews I am only going to go over these last two novels. If you have any questions about any of the King novels, shoot me a message and I’ll give you a quick rundown of what I thought of that novel. I plan on reading his collection of short stories throughout the rest of this year and probably into 2014.

A broken-hearted young man, the ghost of dead girl, a young psychic and a killer that was never found. Sounds about right for a Stephen King novel. Did I mention the carnival known as Joyland? Even though this isn’t the typical back drop for a King novel, he did great job turning the carnival lifestyle into his own. This, I believe, is Kings only Hard Case crime novel and he kept the suspense going throughout. I loved that he turned it into a ghost story. The house of “fear” is haunted but what is the story of this ghost and why has the murder never been solved. If you aren’t a fan of gore, then I would definitely suggest this novel. Though suspenseful I wouldn’t label this as a horror novel.

Doctor Sleep
I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure how I felt about beginning this novel. This is the sequel to The Shining, one of the books I read in my younger days that brought on nightmares then and during my reread earlier this year. I don’t know how many have seen the movie or read The Shining but here is a quick recap. A young boy, Danny Torrance, is gifted. He has what can be known as the shining or shine. His father, Jack Torrance, is a writer and an alcoholic who has an abusive pass. Desperate for work Jack takes a job as a caretaker at The Overlook Hotel in Colorado where he and his family will stay for the winter, isolated and alone. All goes to hell, literally. The hotel possesses Jack and forces him to try and kill his wife, Wendy, and son, whose shining the spirits who dwell in the hotel desire. Jack was killed when the boiler exploded at The Overlook Hotel the night he tried to murder Wendy and Danny. Dick Hallorann, The Overlook Hotel cook recognized the shine in Danny, which began their friendship and ultimately saved Danny and his mother. 
               This book was amazing! There are no two ways about it. I was impressed with the story line he created for Danny after 35 years. I was sucked right back into Danny’s story, terrified as ever. Was it what I expected? Not at all but what are you supposed to expect from a sequel decades in the making. You never know what life can throw at you and it was heartbreaking to see that Danny was drinking like his dad. Even though he wasn’t abusive, he still made some pretty bad choices. There were things to admire about his character, but they only became obvious once Dan was sober, once he became Doctor Sleep, the orderly who would assist those passing on to do so without fear. 
             Abra, the young girl with a high amount of shine, was a wild card. You are never sure of how powerful this young girl will become. Danny is an anomaly himself: he was very strong at a young age and now has quite a bit of shine as an adult. But his power pales in comparison to Abra, who at the age of two months was able to reach out to Danny. 

            Now who are these Empty Devils? They aren’t vampires but they live a semi-immortal existence but are only able to do so because they feed on the essence or “steam” of youth who have the shining. Rose the Hat, their leader, is ruthless and ready to feed. She has never come across a child like Abra and not only is she intimidated, she sees the life that Abra can provide for her family, the True Knot. 

          I would suggest reading this novel, only after you have read (not watched the movie) The Shining. This book reminded me of why I love Stephen King and why I wanted to take on this project to begin with. He can invest you as a reader into the story and life of his main characters. With this book especially I got the right amount of everything: I was scared but I didn’t have nightmares, I was curious and had enough information to make great guesses but was still blown when I learned the truth. It kept me on my toes. I didn’t want to put it down but I was relieved when I reached the end. Another great work by Stephen.The man does what he does for no other reason than because he is great at it!