In remote Newcastle hills, an ancient evil tricks locals, horror builds. Isabel talks to animals, not people. New age elements come up against old folIn remote Newcastle hills, an ancient evil tricks locals, horror builds. Isabel talks to animals, not people. New age elements come up against old folklore. Modern agrarian problems oppose customs. Medicine and technology vie with home remedies. All are entwined with age-old issues of child abuse, poverty, homosexuality, retirement, and paparazzi.
Received from Clarion Publishing as part of the Librarything's July 2013 batch, and hadn't read by February 2015, when I finally remembered to do so! So embarrassed!
This is set in 2001, a few years after a massive BSE outbreak that caused British beef to be banned from many countries across the world. Footage appeared nightly on the news bulletins, showing swathes of cattle carcasses being burnt on pyres as whole herds were destroyed. A few years later, an outbreak of Foot and Mouth would bring many of the remaining farms to their knees, but that's a while away yet. In Northumberland, near the Scottish border, 7 Year old Isabel talks to birds, but not to people. Her 4 year old brother, Davie, is always in trouble. Their unemployed father, Angus, is having strange turns, and daren’t tell his wife (Bessie) who is facing her own issues.
Strange cattle have been let loose, with their identification labels cut off, and a new case of BSE has been confirmed.
Alison Rigg, from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Farming (MAFF who are replaced by DEFRA not long after the real BSE outbreak), is sent to find out where the cattle are from. With the utmost discretion so as not to fuel BSE rumours, she has to track down any diseased cattle and have them slaughtered and safely disposed of. She comes up against Colin Fenwick, the local MAFF rep, who is stressed and weak when sober, but angry and lethal when drunk. Alison is having a long distance relationship with Stella, an actress, and both have an active belief in their own form of Paganism.
After being attacked by Colin whilst out driving one night, Alison ends up separated from her body, and spiritually inhabiting the cottage with Isabel and her family - only to witness some horrific and unexplainable events which seem to centre around the Duergar. The Duergar is an evil presence that has threatened the community for generations - Colin's father jumping off a cliff when Colin was young being one example.
There seems to be a surprisingly large number of other inhabitants of the area (not exactly a village) - though I suspect there really aren't that many. They are also feeling the effects of The Duergar, with many lethal and non-lethal injuries being incurred often graphically and painfully.
However, things dovetail into a climax that occurs both on the astral and physical plains and is as much about light and darkness. the physical and the spiritual as anything else.
Bessie is the most vile character in this, even if what she does is not necessarily of her own volition. Some of the men are weak (Angus being one), who run away to escape things, even if it leaves other characters in the firing line. Isabel is a natural in the supernatural world, listening rather than talking and learning things from the likes of Morag that help her temper her own powers as needed.
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, aOn highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
The book starts with Danny, aged 8, in Florida, with his mother, still dealing with the aftermath of his time at the Overlook hotel. He still gets visited by some of the dead from the hotel - his father thankfully not being one of them - and is taught by Dick Hallorann (the guy who taught him about The Shining and who ultimately helped rescue him) how to compartmentalise these visitations. Andi Steiner - a 32 year old who spent 8 years being raped by her step father - has the ability to make people fall asleep. She uses this to survive, and is found by The True Knot, stealing from an older man in a cinema, and who then bring her into their group. They survive by torturing and killing children with the Shining, extracting the power the torture releases. We catch up with Danny, intermittently over the next 20 or 30 years, with Danny hitting rock bottom and fearing that he's turning into his drunken, violent father, until he finds someone willing to give him a chance and be his AA Sponsor. He gets a job in a nursing home, where he becomes the handyman and an unofficial medico, and generally ends up sitting up with the old patients as they breathe their last. Meanwhile he becomes aware of a young child called Abra, who has a stunning Shining talent from the moment she is born (she predicts 9/11 on the day she is born by screaming her lungs out). The True Knot become aware of her too, when they become aware of her during a torture session. We are introduced to a number of the group's members and how they go around their business, some being down right creepy. As usual with a King book, the first section of the book (it is split into 4 parts) is all about set up. The three main story lines are interwoven with each other as we see Danny, The True Knot, and Abra, first of all from the viewpoint of her family and then by herself. Small things happen, all in themselves innocuous, but you know that they will all lead to something. The rest of the book builds up to several crises - Abra and Danny manage to get in touch, and their meetings reflect the worst people can imagine when an older man meets a younger girl, so all must be done in public. Danny pulls in some of his friends, including the doctor who treated Abra when she was born. Abra gets so far, but finally relents that her family have to be involved - she doesnt want to, as she is still a 13 year old, and her mother is having to deal with the terminal illness of her mother (Abra's grandmother) The True Knot suffer some casualties, both on a case by case basis, and in a group effort, as a posse are sent to capture Abra, without realising she has help of the people around her. This leads to a showdown between Abra (with Danny) and Rose on the grounds of what used to be the Overlook Hotel (that Danny's father so famously burnt down after being haunted by the spirits of the place in The Shining). It is Danny's time spent with the dying which allows him to pull a trick out of the bag to allow Abra to overcome the fight between the older and stronger woman. This is a story of the lonely and friendless coming together to become friends, in order to fight a group of people who ultimately become alone in the world. King shows his strength in the small details – Rose's hat for instance, how it sits jauntily on her head no matter what, and how its image elsewhere leaves an impression of where her spirit has been. It has been a while since I read a King novel - I stopped reading around the time The Regulators came out first time. I found this to be a light read, and reminded me of King at his best. ...more
First time I've come across Dancy, whilst shopping in my local comic book store and deciding to try something new.
This hardback is a collection of theFirst time I've come across Dancy, whilst shopping in my local comic book store and deciding to try something new.
This hardback is a collection of the 5 story arc where Dancy is left by her Avenging Angel to face the monsters and Wolves alone (apart from the talking blackbird and the ghost of the werewolf she kills in the first story).
This is not an easy journey for Dancy, feeling alone and angry that she seems to have to do the dirty work for the angel but gets deserted at her most challenging time.
Story is good, graphics and lettering are decent and reflecting the disintegrating world that Dancy finds herself in...more
A mysterious woman consults a doctor to see whether she is going mad or not. She tells a tale of her fiancee ditching his previous beau to marry her.A mysterious woman consults a doctor to see whether she is going mad or not. She tells a tale of her fiancee ditching his previous beau to marry her. however, she has left a reputation across Europe - justified or not - that has raised more than a few objections but results in the fiancé blackmailing her into the marriage.
Four months later, the husband with £10,000 in life insurance, dies whilst on honeymoon in Venice and the .
A year later, the Venetian palace where he died has been converted into a hotel, into which the man's brother has a financial stake. A wedding in the family takes place, and the Grand Tour, combined with theatrical business required in Europe results in the various members of the family staying at the new hotel. Who ever from the family stays in the room where the death occurred is distressed, and refuses to stay another night in the room. In the mean time the widow (who is becoming more disturbed) arrives back in Venice and starts writing a novel.
Investigations take place in the hotel which answers some questions but raises more. However the younger brother is pressed with reading the widow's "play" and soon we hear an alternative answer to the death, which is only more disturbing.
There are some truly creepy points in this book - the disembodied head floating above the bed for instance. The "cast of thousands" and who was related to whom was a little confusing at first but settled down to the main characters. Certainly gives some of the more modern horror writers a run for their money!...more
During a social with his friends, Tom agrees to be hypnotised. During the following days, Tom becomes haunted by unusual things - reading the thoughtsDuring a social with his friends, Tom agrees to be hypnotised. During the following days, Tom becomes haunted by unusual things - reading the thoughts of people around him, the nightly visitations of an etherial young woman to the house, the uneasy feeling about a babysitter that resulted in the prevention of a kidnapping. It puts a strain on his marriage, especially when they both realise that he knows her mother is dead without being told, and doesnt warn her.[return][return]There are several sets of couples that Tom and his wife interact with - Elizabeth and her husband; the other couple who live next door and who own the house that the Wallaces have recently rented after the departure of the previous owner. During the next few weeks, as the realisation that he has become a "medium" - Tom picks up undercurrents of thoughts and emotions going on between his neighbours. He also tries to work out why he is being visited every night by a ghost. Who she is, and why she is there rocks their little group.[return][return]Written in the 1950s (and made into a Kevin Bacon movie in the 1990s), this does not feel dated.[return][return]Read by Scott Brick, I did struggle in the middle and had to put it asied for a bit. There was nothing wrong with the book or the reader (I actually think he was a very good reader), I just had to put it away for a week or so....more
Johnny Smith is out with his girlfriend at a fairground, and after dropping her off, gets knocked over by a car. [return][return]He spends 7 years inJohnny Smith is out with his girlfriend at a fairground, and after dropping her off, gets knocked over by a car. [return][return]He spends 7 years in a coma, and after coming around, so many things have changed. His girlfriend has married someone else and had a child. His body isnt performing like it used to, as his muscles have atrophied. His mother has gone all religious in her old age. And his latent psychic ability has come to the fore, which means he can "see" things by touching items. Most of these are useful - he finds a lost child for instance and identifies someone who has been kidnapping children.[return][return]However, he is put in a dilemma - how far would you go when you realise that one of the presidential candidates will get voted in and then "press the button", starting nuclear war. Knowing that he is dying, John makes a decision that he feels only he can make to stop things happening...more