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Novel of the week: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep offers Stephen King readers another “dark, twisted journey.”

(Scribner, $30)

Stephen King has become a bit of a softy, said Chris Jones in Esquire. Not that he’s lost his touch in the 36 years since his novel The Shining first terrified the world. But this new book about Danny Torrance, the special boy we last saw fleeing the blood-soaked Overlook Hotel, is surprisingly tender, “as beautiful as a book littered with dead children can be.” Now a recovering alcoholic and hospice worker, Dan has long worked to suppress his telepathic abilities. But once he’s contacted by a similarly gifted schoolgirl being pursued by a vampire-like race hiding among us, he’s forced to re-engage. “To be clear, The Shining was a better novel than Doctor Sleep,” said Dwight Silverman in the Houston Chronicle. Yet King is a more mature writer now, surer with such delicate matters as depicting a friendship between a man and a girl. Besides, Doctor Sleep offers readers another “dark, twisted journey.” In a Stephen King novel, that’s what really counts.

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