Stephen King has written a sequel to his 1977 novel “The Shining.” This follow-up, which King tells USA Today is a “true history of the Torrance family,” is titled “Doctor Sleep” and it initially picks up three years after the end of the first book, with 8-year-old Danny being visited by an Overlook Hotel ghost, then jumps ahead to when Danny is Dan, an adult alcoholic working as a hospital orderly.
While King says the famous movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall is “certainly beautiful to look at,” he says that it was made with a “cold heart” and showed very little understanding of the characters from the novel.
Therefore, don’t expect “Doctor Sleep” to be a sequel to the horror film, which ended quite differently from the novel.
One of the over-arching themes of “Doctor Sleep” is whether Dan, who is facing new supernatural enemies, will be as self-destructive as his father was in the original novel.
Part of the suspense in Doctor Sleep is whether Dan, who ends up battling new supernatural forces, is doomed to be as self-destructive as his dad. King calls his characterizations in “Doctor Sleep” “sharper” than “The Shining,” saying that he’s older and has “learned a little more.”
“Doctor Sleep” hits bookstores and e-readers Tuesday, Sept. 24.