Stephen King’s Shining Sequel: Paging Dr. Danny

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Has Stephen King sold out?

Or gone soft?

Perhaps the passing years have given him a different take on what it means to connect on a psychic level with the undead.

On a recent trip to Toronto, King reportedly told a crowd who had gathered to hear him read from “Under the Dome” that he is in the midst of drafting a sequel to “The Shining,” featuring a 40-year-old Danny Torrance who is now working with terminally ill patients at an upstate New York medical facility. As reported by the Torontoist, “Danny’s real job is to visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers.”

Could this be a recipe for disaster? Perhaps. But considering King’s thoughts on a possible title – “Doctor Sleep” – I’m intrigued by the notion that he would go back to his terrifying original text in a bid to mold something far more philosophical. Just as “The Green Mile” took us on a very unusual stroll through death row, “Doctor Sleep” could be a story where King uses the supernatural to mull over the spectre of death and the afterlife. And perhaps even issues of euthanasia?

Either way, the idea of revisiting those spirits of the Overlook some 30 years later gets my imagination whirring.