Tag: The Shining

Stephen King – Danse Macabre | Review

Title: Danse Macabre

Author: Stephen King

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 480

Rating: 4/5

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did, mainly because it’s non-fiction and obviously King has a reputation as the master of horror. Still, it’s a non-fiction book about horror with a little bit of memoir and autobiography thrown in, and that makes it a pretty fascinating book if you’re a fan of either horror or Stephen King.

At the same time, it’s definitely dated in a lot of places. For example, he mentions an exciting new punk band called The Ramones and makes a reference to a book he’s writing where a parent loses a child, and I’m pretty sure he was talking about Pet Sematary. Kind of weird really, because the Ramones later recorded a song of the same name.

He also talked about how Kubrick did a good job of the movie of The Shining, and that was weird to me because King famously doesn’t like it. Perhaps he changed his mind later on. He also talked about how there aren’t enough works about haunted cars, which he later changed with Christine (still need to read it) and From a Buick 8 (actually terrible).

The fact that it’s a non-fiction book means that by its very nature, it has something of a different tone to King’s other stuff, although you can definitely tell that he’s the one who wrote it. Perhaps it’s also that he was a little younger and therefore closer to the start of his career. Whatever the case, he comes across as almost irreverent at times, though not in a bad way.

He always treats the works that he covers with the greatest of respect even when he doesn’t necessarily enjoy the work in question. He acknowledges that something can be hugely influential and important to a specific genre of film and literature, even if he doesn’t like the work itself. It’s a bit like how you can enjoy rock music without being a fan of The Beatles.

I don’t think that this book necessarily has a widespread appeal, but if you’re either a Stephen King fan or a fan of classic horror – and let’s be honest, if you’re one then you’re probably the other – then this will be right up your street. If nothing else, you’ll find yourself walking away with a whole bunch of recommendations to check out. I know I have.

Of course, some of the stuff that he covers here is pretty niche, to the point at which you’d probably struggle to track some of it down. Other is much more well-known, from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to The Exorcist and even King’s own books. He also writes in a way that doesn’t ruin things that you haven’t yet experienced, which I was worried about. Good stuff!

Learn more about Danse Macabre.


Stephen King – Doctor Sleep | Review

Title: Doctor Sleep

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 488

Rating: 5*/5


Stephen King - Doctor Sleep

Stephen King – Doctor Sleep


I’m a little bit confused about this one, because I remember reading the book and I was pretty sure that I’d written a review to go with it. But then when I finally got round to sorting through Goodreads, I realised that I’d never posted it. And then when I looked into it, I discovered that it was missing – I forgot to do it!

Luckily, I found Doctor Sleep to be pretty memorable, and not least because I read a good chunk of it while waiting out in London all night after a radio interview. I had three hours to kill between 3 AM and the first train, so I sat on a bench in the middle of the night and read this book. And let me tell you, it was the perfect book for it.

Basically, the plot of this novel takes place after The Shining and follows the exploits of a grown-up Danny. He still has a touch of the shining about him, which comes in useful at work – he’s earned the nickname ‘Doctor Sleep’ because he helps the old folks to pass over from life into death. Unfortunately, something strange is happening, King’s equivalent of a disturbance in the force, and you’re in for a wild ride along the way.


Stephen King

Stephen King


Now, because I read it so long ago, I can’t remember all of the details. I do, however, remember that there was the equivalent of a ‘dark side‘, and that they were driving around the country in the back of a camper van. In my memory, it was one of those rare stories where you feel some sympathy for the bad guys, which is typical of King. He likes to subvert his readers’ expectations, and in this instance, he’s taken the seeds that were sown in The Shining and used them to create a work of equal artistic merit.

And that brings me on to something that’s always confused me a little. I enjoyed this book much, much more than The Shining, and I’m not really sure why. It could be that it’s simply easier to read, which made it easier for me to become addicted to it, or it could be that The Shining was the first Stephen King book that I read and so I wasn’t quite used to his style. Regardless, I still stand by my opinion, and I really do believe that this is the better of the two books.

Despite that, I’d still recommend reading The Shining first, because it’s one of the ‘bigbooks in King’s repertoire to begin with and because it will bring you into his world. But once you’ve read The Shining, you can move on to this one, and you’ll enjoy it so much more. It’s like having to eat your dinner before you start on dessert.


Stephen King Quote

Stephen King Quote


Click here to buy Doctor Sleep.