Doctor Sleep?

The announcement of Doctor Sleep’s 2013 release date┬áhas got me thinking. You may remember that almost a year

Dutch Dr. Sleep cover

Courtesy of Lilja’s Library, a cover for the Dutch edition of Doctor Sleep.

ago, Kingcast 16 was the first place you got to hear an excerpt from Doctor Sleep, a sequel to 1977’s The Shining.

Here’s what I’m wondering about in my head:

  • Are there novels I wish had sequels?
  • Has SK written sequels I wish he hadn’t?
  • Can the novel Doctor Sleep survive the pop-culture impact that Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining has had? Can we read Jack Torrance without seeing Jack Nicholson?

I’m hoping to record later this week, so if you have thoughts about this, let me know.

5 Responses to “Doctor Sleep?”

  • ChrisC says:

    Oh please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this is whole “Sleep” is shaping up to be a bad idea.

    I’ve spent most of the day explaining to weird world of fandom why I think the Shining or the character of Danny Torrance doesn’t need a sequel.

    You’ve asked listeners to let you know what i think so here goes, with a few more questions worth asking.

    I think some books (Tom Sawyer, The Hobbit) have sequels built into them by the very nature of certain elements within the story (what ever happened to Huck? Who was that Gollum chap, and what about that strange ring?). The Shining never seem to have those elements built into it.

    In fact, whether you’re a fan of the Garris adapt or not, I’m convinced the miniseries Shining has the real ending to the story, I’ll explain my reasoning more only if asked.

    I’ve sort of wondered if maybe King hasn’t begun to regret opening his mouth about Sleep already, first he promises release in Jan. 2012, then he cancels, then he moves the date to 2013.

    I could be wrong, but I’m willing to be he’s by now regretted ever setting work on the thing, and is now just going through with it because he has to, one of those, grin, bear it, smile and kiss a pig deals. In other words, well, you got no one but yourself to blame and let this be a lesson smart guy. I’m wondering if he might not feel that way right now. I do know one book he’s never been satisfied with is “Insomia”, he calls it one of his “Trying to hard” novels, and also think he might feel the same about “Under the Dome”.

    There’s more, just hold on, please.


  • ChrisC says:

    Continued from last post.

    Okay, I’m back.

    In answer to you third question, I think we’re go a to see a lot of positive, mostly unreflective, anticipation slowly turn to major fan letdown after the dust has settled, I think people are going to go into this one with way too much anticipation. As for Kubrick, well, I’m not a fan of the movie, and I am one of the miniseries, go figure.

    Here are some suggestions to think about for broadcast.

    I believe there are two types of fiction viewers/readers, the casual and the constant. The casual I would list as those who read books only as diversion and not as, say, intellectual nourishment or stimulus. It’s the casuals who I’m convinced are behind a lot of the hype for “Sleep” right now.

    They neither think deep about books, nor do they care much for them. They believe in the end much more in real life. They May therefore not know art, and yet still be the smarter for it, who knows.

    The constants, and I hope I’m one, make fiction, whether book or film, their life. They live for the enjoyment and the ideas, they think about stories, and feel impoverished without them, they are nerds, geeks and bookworms. We care about people who never existed, may subscribe to the theory of literary archetypes, and hate it when they believe a book or story “is not going they way it’s supposed to go”, if you know what I mean. I’ve seen it happen before in books I’ve read.

    One more thing, and it might require one more post, sorry, just bear with me here.


  • ChrisC says:

    ChrisC here, okay final thoughts.

    King told Neil Gaiman that Doctor Sleep “Was the cheesed off thing to do.” To me this doesn’t say “I was inspired to write a book,” it says more like “I was desperate and grabbing at straws and had a moment of weakness.”

    Does this seem fair to you? Try and get back if you can, and I hope this was in some way helpful to your upcoming podcast.

    Good luck.

  • ChrisC says:

    Okay, one last post fro thought, then I’m gone.

    It’s the theory of archetypes. Basically I believe it, I think it’s what characters like Danny and Jack, settings like the Overlook, and stories like It and the Shining are. I believe King when he says stories are like fossils, that means they have a basic structure that must be adhered to, only this way do a writer do his job and tell the truth. The truth is whatever the archetypes have to say. Go against that, and your story becomes a lie. That’s what I’m convinced Doctor Sleep is.

    The following is a summation of C.G. Jung’s theory of archetypes from psychologist Frieda Fordham with a link where the text can be found. Enjoy:

    Frieda Fordham: Archetypes are unconscious, and can therefore only be postulated, but we become aware of them through certain typical images which recur in the psyche. Jung at one time spoke of these as ‘primordial images’ (an expression taken from Jacob Burckhardt), but later came to use the term archetype comprehensively to cover both the conscious and the unconscious aspects.

    We may hazard a guess that the primordial images, or archetypes, formed themselves during the thousands of years when the human brain and human consciousness were emerging from an animal state but their representations, i.e. the archetypal images, while having a primordial quality, are modified or altered according to the era in which they appear. Some, especially those indicative of an important change in psychic economy, appear in an abstract or geometric form such as a square, circle, or wheel, either by themselves or combined in a more or a less elaborate way to form a typical and particularly important symbol. This will be discussed at length in a later chapter. Others present themselves as human or semi-human forms, gods and goddesses, dwarfs and giants, or they appear as real or fantastic animals and plants of which there are countless examples in mythology.

    The archetypes are experienced as emotions as well as images and their effect is particularly noticeable in typical and significant human situations such as birth and death, triumph over natural obstacles, transitional stages of life like adolescence, extreme danger, or awe-inspiring experience. In these circumstances an archetypal image that might have been drawn in the caves of Auvergne will often appear in the dreams of the most modern of men.

    The large question of dreams and dream interpretation will be dealt with in a later chapter, so that it must suffice to say here that Jung holds dreams to be natural and spontaneous products of the psyche, worth taking seriously, and producing an effect of their own, even if this is neither realized nor understood. Dream language is symbolic and makes constant use of analogies, hence its frequently obscure or apparently meaningless character.

    The existence of the collective unconscious can be inferred in the normal man from the obvious traces of mythological images in his dreams — images of which he had no previous conscious knowledge. It is sometimes difficult to prove that no such knowledge ever existed (one can always say there was the possibility of cryptomnesia 15, but in certain kinds of mental disorder there is an astonishing development of mythological imagery which could never be accounted for by the individual’s own experience.


  • ChrisC says:

    I am so sorry. There was more to the Jung quote than there was room for in just one post, last time I swear.

    Fordham: Jung has spent much time in studying myths, for he considers them to be fundamental expressions of human nature. When a myth is formed and expressed in words, consciousness, it is true, has shaped it, but the spirit of the myth — the creative urge it represents, the feelings it expresses and evokes, and even in large part its subject-matter– come from the collective unconscious. Myths, it is true, often seem like attempts to explain natural events, such as sunrise and sunset, or the coming of spring with all its new life and fertility, but in Jung’s view they are far more than this, they are the expression of how man experiences these things.

    Because myths are a direct expression of the collective unconscious, they are found in similar forms among all peoples and in all ages, and when man loses the capacity for myth-making, he loses touch with the creative forces of his being.


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