Stephen King has revealed a plot synopsis and release date for his upcoming sequel to The Shining.
The Shining, first printed 35 years ago, is one of Stephen King's most acclaimed novels, and perhaps the only one that made a classic film - even if King himself didn't like it - thanks in part to the talent of Jack Nicholson, who created through that film some of the most often quoted and iconic moments in cinema history.
For years, talk of a sequel has been off and on, but never taken too seriously, as King is not an author who frequently returns to his own stories, preferring to move on to something new. We only recently learned that not only is a sequel to The Shining in the works, it's almost finished.
It's not as close as we previously thought, apparently, however, because the release has been set for next fall. This is a big change from the previous estimate of January 2013.
The bigger news however is this synopsis, presented here with a bit of the marketing language removed:
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, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween 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.
It's worth noting that it seems like about as much time has passed in the story-world as has passed in the real world since the release of the first novel, likely not a coincidence. It'll be interesting to see how the lore of The Shining develops further in this story, if you can get past King's pulpy, gratuitously gory style.
If not, don't worry. I'm sure that studios are already calling King for the film rights, so you can just wait to see it on the silver screen.
Dr. Sleep hits book shelves on September 24th, 2013.