It’s been almost two full years since horror icon Stephen King hinted that he was working on a sequel to his classic novel The Shining – and while many of us filed the news away in our brains and moved on to other things, King didn’t – instead, the scribe has spent the past two years working on the book, which is now entitled Dr. Sleep, and officially confirmed its existence during a reading at George Mason University.
The author told the audience that since he wrote The Shining back in the ‘70s, he’s always wondered what happened to Danny Torrance – the young psychic that the Overlook Hotel tried to claim for its own. And while the author doesn’t believe in writing ideas down (“it’s a good way to immortalize bullshit,” he tells the crowd), he found that this curiosity about Danny Torrance’s adult life persisted.
The more he thought about it, he concluded that there was a band of vampires traveling the country in RVs known as The Tribe. These aren’t your Salem’s Lot vampires, though – instead of feasting on blood, these ghouls instead gorge on psychic energy – the very kind of power that was so intense in Danny.
From King’s nearly ten-minute-long reading, we can surmise that The Tribe (led by a character named Rose the Hag) tends to find children the tastiest. The author makes no mention of what Danny’s doing these days, but we’re guessing he’s going to have to use his abilities to combat The Tribe. When King first started talking about the book in 2009, he hinted that Danny was emotionally scarred from his time at the Overlook, and that he now used his powers to help terminally ill patients cross over into the afterlife. How that all ties into the novel is open to speculation, but we’ll be in line on day one to see what King has concocted.
No word yet on whether or not Dr. Sleep will ever become a film – but since The Shining has been adapted twice (once by the legendary Stanley Kubrick – a version King isn’t fond of – and once as a miniseries helmed by Mick Garris) we suspect Hollywood will be interested in a sequel.
In the meantime, enjoy this clip of King reading an excerpt from the novel.