As I write this, Stephen King is reading me an excerpt from his sequel to The Shining. It’s called Dr. Sleep (or maybe Doctor Sleep), and the bit he’s sharing with me sounds amazing.
He’ll read it to you, too – all you have to do is load up this YouTube clip from his recent appearance at George Mason University, where King gave a talk that included this lengthy reading from the upcoming book. Or better still, head over to the incredible Lilja’s Library where you can see this clip and more from the appearance, and learn about how the new Dark Tower book The Wind Through the Keyhole has been bumped up a month to March 2012, and find just about any other piece of King-related news that’s floating around out there. Really, there’s no better place to keep up with King’s doings than Lilja’s.
The clip itself is full of King’s classic observations on everyday life, the people we meet, and RVs. The sequel is reportedly about a grown-up Danny Torrance, who now uses his psychic ability as a hospice worker trying to ease the pain and suffering of his patients – work which brings him into contact with a group of psychic vampires called “The Tribe.” King’s official site confirmed today that he is currently working on the book, but no publication date is mentioned.
Although King characters have a habit of popping up in different works of his, full-out sequels are a rarity. I liked Black House quite a lot (more, even, than its predecessor The Talisman) and it seems to me that the premise of this book is a logical extension of the Danny Torrance character. The Shining is a bonafide masterpiece, and a sequel is going to have a lot to live up to, but I have a feeling that this character is someone near and dear to King’s heart, and that he’s only going to let us have the new book if he believes it’s a worthy follow-up. Just add it to the list of things to look forward to in the (hopefully) very near future.