Sunday, March 16, 2014

Doctor Sleep

I believe I've fallen into the Facebook trap.  I do a lot of chit chat over there, so I blog a bit less.  So you don't hear about playing Euphoria, and Alhambra, and Crusoe, and King of Tokyo (and I should blog about King of Tokyo, so I can forever commemorate beating Logan twice and taking out everyone but Adam in one swoop, including myself, another time.  That's a good game), or Ming's 20th anniversary in the US present (still 6-8 weeks, although I'm finalizing very soon if I don't hear any input from Kyle).

The last week I've been reading Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.  I have to say, I liked The Shining better.  And when I say I liked The Shining better, I mean I liked the Room 237 version better - e.g. the Stanley Kubrick film version which deviates significantly from the book, right down to the ending.   Stephen King is one of those writers I feel can be improved by a movie adaptation.  There are certainly many bad adaptations of his movies, but the best of them are better than the books.

To sum up Doctor Sleep, I once read a don't-send-us-a-story-like-this tired writing plot/trope list - I thought it was the one at Strange Horizons, but that doesn't look correct, maybe it was an io9 list - and high on the list was never to tell a story where a seeming innocent turns the tables on a more powerful enemy.  E.g. your vampire's victim turns out to be an eater of vampires.  Your molester finds out the little girl he's stalking is in fact a vampire (I have that one floating around here somewhere from back around 1987).  The furry you're going to bash turns out to be a disguised serial killer or a real animal, and a mean one with sharp teeth.  That sort of thing.  Stephen King threw that list out the window and wrote 500+ pages around the theme.  The last rule is always that if you're someone well known, you can break the rules (I think Scalzi says that in one of his essays).

It didn't feel like a continuation of the 1977 book and even less like a continuation of the Kubrick film.  As a standalone, it was ok - middle of the road ok.  If you're going to devote a bit of time to a horror novel, his son's book, Horns, was much more interesting.

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