Doctor Sleep Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 94 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Doctor Sleep.
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Doctor Sleep Summary & Study Guide Description

Doctor Sleep Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: King, Stephen. Doctor Sleep. Pocket Books, July 26, 2016. Kindle.

In Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the adult version of Daniel “Dan” Torrence appeared to have followed in his father’s footsteps. Haunted by the memories of the terrifying months he spent in the Overlook Hotel while his father slowly went mad, Dan drank to excess. The alcohol helped to blot out the pain as well as lessen the visions he had a result of his still active shining. Dan’s drinking, along with his anger issues, landed him in jail several times and kept him from staying at a job for long. When he reached the town of Frazier, however, Dan never guessed that he had been called there for the purpose of helping a girl with the shining overcome her demons, just like Richard “Dick” Hallorann had helped Dan at the Overlook.

Abra Stone was just a few months old when her parents began to realize that she had special abilities. On the night of September 10, 2011, Lucy and David Stone both had dreams about Abra in which she was crying. In their separate dreams, when Lucy and David found Abra, she had a number written on her chest. They were both woken from their sleep by the sound of Abra screaming. She continued to scream through the night even though doctors could find nothing physically wrong with her. On the morning of September 11, Abra stopped crying and slept right after the second plane hit the World Trade Center. The numbers on Abra’s chest in her parents’ dreams were the flight numbers of the planes used in the attack.

On Abra’s third birthday, Lucy, David, and Abra’s great-grandmother, known as Momo, requested that Abra’s pediatrician, John Dalton, attend to the party to observe Abra’s behavior. They wanted John to see for himself what Abra was able to do. During the course of the party, Abra was excited by the abilities of a magician, who hung spoons on his face. Abra claimed she could do the same thing. Lucy walked into the house to discover all of the spoons hanging from the ceiling.

Meanwhile, Dan had made friends in Frazier with Billy Freeman, a man with a bit of the shining who sensed that Dan needed help with his alcohol problem, and Casey Kingsley, the man who became Dan’s sponsor in AA. Dan met John Dalton, Abra’s pediatrician, through AA meetings. John knew a little about Dan’s abilities because Dan helped him locate a watch that he had lost. Dan had a job at the Helen Rivington House, a hospice where Dan also volunteered the special services allowed him by the shining. He helped patients who were dying face their fear of crossing over by staying with them, sharing their memories, and telling them that dying was as easy as going to sleep. It was because of this compassion for the dying that he earned the name Doctor Sleep.

Through the course of her young life, Abra contacted Dan multiple times. Once, her name popped into his mind and he wrote it down in his AA notebook. Other times, Abra sent messages to Dan by writing on an oversized chalkboard that he had in his room. Once, when Dan was angered because an orderly, Fred Carling, left bruises on a patient in the hospice, Abra calmed Dan by sending him the sense that she was holding his hand.

Abra called out to Dan for help when she happened to see in her dreams the members of a nomadic group of superhumans known as the True Knot torture and murder Bradley “Brad” Trevor, a boy with psychic abilities, like Abra and Dan, in order to be nourished by what they called his steam, or his essence. Dan realized that Abra was in real danger of being kidnapped and killed by the members of the True Knot. He came up with a plan, with the help of Billy and John, to keep Abra safe.

Even though the members of the True Knot had special powers that granted them health and longevity, the group had shrunk substantially. They were weak because they were not getting fed from the steam of psychic children as often as they needed nourishment. Making their situation more dire, members of the group had contracted measles from Brad. Rose the Hat, the leader of the group, believed that if they could kidnap Abra, that her abilities were strong enough that she could not only serve as a constant source of steam for the members of the True Knot, somewhat like a milk cow, but that she could also offer them immunity against the measles.

To Dan’s dismay, the True Knot was set up in a campground located at the place where the Overlook Hotel once stood. In order to save Abra, Dan must return to the location where the horrors of his own childhood took place in order to fight Rose. With some help from the ghost of Dan’s father, Dan, Abra, and Billy are able to best Rose the Hat and her followers, saving Abra and the rest of the children with the shining from torture and murder.

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