Hatchet Jobs Doctor Sleep

Published on October 30th, 2013


James Kidd VS Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Margaret Atwood may have thought “Doctor Sleep has all the virtues of his best work” but James Kidd in the Independent was disappointed by King’s follow-up to The Shining:

“Nowhere does his usually infallible radar malfunction more grievously than in his narrative voice. At his best, King’s confidential tone, mixing bad jokes, pop-culture references and home-spun wisdom, could convince you of anything from undead pets to a girl with a temper and telekinetic abilities. But in Doctor Sleep, this “aw-shucks” persona presides to the point of tweeness. Page 121 staggers under down-home similes: the evening is colder than a “witch’s belt buckle. Or a well-digger’s tit”; a hospice patient is as “lively as a cricket”. One sexual innuendo – “The ass of a man is the piston that drives the world” – suggests that King can’t tell his ass from a phallic symbol. Worse still is Danny’s sombre conviction that “Empty Devils” is the most “terrible phrase” he has ever heard – which seems unintentionally truer than he knows.”

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