Books + Hot Chocolate

Books + Hot Chocolate

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident

Title                : The Journals of Eleanor Druse: My Investigation of the Kingdom Hospital Incident
Author             : Richard Dooling (though he uses a pen name “Eleanor Druse” to write this story)
Genre             :  Horror/ Fiction/ Mystery

Adapted from a famous TV series, Kingdom Hospital by Stephen King, Richard Dooling wrote this amazing story about the experiences of Eleanor Druse in Kingdom Hospital. Many people believe that this book was a bestseller because many readers thought that the true author was King himself. So, it is best if I could gently remind you that the actual writer is Richard Dooling, the co-writer of Kingdom Hospital TV series. Even though this book was not written by King, I personally think that this book was well written – great story plot, surprising events, full of mystery and interesting characters involved. So yes, I do like this story despite many critics said otherwise.


 Richard Dooling Biography 

Richard Patrick Dooling (born 1954) is an American novelist and screenwriter. Dooling was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and is a graduate of Saint Louis University (1976) and Saint Louis University School of Law (1987). He is best known for his novel White Man's Grave, a finalist for the 1994 National Book Award for Fiction, and for co-producing and co-writing the 2004 Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital.

Dooling's first novel, Critical Care (1992), was made into a 1997 movie of the same title, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring James Spader and Kyra Sedgwick. His next three novels—White Man's Grave (1994), Brain Storm (1998), and Bet Your Life (2002)—were all New York Times Notable Books. In conjunction with Kingdom Hospital, he also wrote The Journals of Eleanor Druse (2004), writing as Eleanor Druse, a character in the miniseries. (I will introduce this book in today's entry.)

List of Works

1.     Novels
-       Critical Care (1992)
-       White Man's Grave (1994)
-       Brain Storm (1998)
-       Bet Your Life (2002)
-       The Journals of Eleanor Druse (writing as Eleanor Druse) (2004)

2.     Nonfiction
-       Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech, and Sexual Harassment (1996)
-       Rapture for the Geeks: When AI Outsmarts IQ (2008)

 [Source: Wikipedia ]

What this story is about?

The main character, Eleanor Sarah Druse, also known as Sally Druse is a seventy – five years old woman who was born on 2 November 1928 at the old Kingdom Hospital (burned down due to fire) in the town of Lewiston, Maine. She is a trained experimental psychologist and professor emeritus of noetic sciences and esoteric psychology at Lewiston’s Faust College. By using her knowledge, she becomes a regular volunteer at Kingdom Hospital. Her son, Bobby, also works in the same hospital. 

Her life starts to change after she met with her long – lost childhood friend, Madeline Kruger who was being hospitalized in Kingdom Hospital after attempting suicide. In 1939, Sally and Madeline were patients in the old Kingdom Hospital, suffering from whooping cough just before the hospital burned to the ground. The weird part is, Madeline keeps on mentioning Sally’s name and said something about a mysterious little girl who needs help. She also left a note for Druse. Unfortunately, before they could meet, Madeline died mysteriously with an open throat and a lot of black ants crawling out from her throat. Due to shock, Druse fainted and hit her head on the floor. 

Her near – death experience after the nasty fall causes her to have visions and illusions. She keeps on hearing a little girl’s voice screaming for help but the voice is only audible for herself to listen. Moreover, she also noticed a mysterious old man who keeps on appearing in front of her (including the night where Madeline died). The mysterious note left by Madeline makes Druse wonders about her lost memory; something happened between the two of them when they were young but she couldn’t remember it. In the quest to find her lost memories, Druse undergoes a lot of mysterious events which are unexplainable by neither facts nor Science. The doctors regard her as senile and old, so instead of believing in her psychic ability, they force her to take medicine (basically, that medicine stops her ability to think or feel normally). 

After being released from that hospital, Druse continues her investigation. Truths start to unravel themselves and she finally understood Madeline’s message in the note. She finally remembers about the little girl mentioned by Madeline, the mysterious old man and the history of the old Kingdom Hospital. 

Interesting Highlight

Shocking! Shocking! Shocking! Yes, that is what this story is about. Written in the form of a journal, it is actually a sequence of chronological events which happened in Druse’s life. Full of suspense and mystery, it is a must-read for those readers who love to become detective. 

1.     Madeline’s note to Druse
“Dear Sally: The little girl who saved us is still lost. She is back among the lair of the living. The fire did not kill her. She needs our help. Come see me.”

2.     The Mysterious Old Man: Who is he?
“Glaring at me, the old man took the pills and the water and said. “You wanna know what love is?” 

“How could an old codger who was walking around wearing a hospital gown, babbling Satanic sentiments about love, and eating pills two weeks ago suddenly be walking the halls in a physician’s coast and seeing patients?”

“I swear it was the same old man!” 

3.     The Mysterious Deaths: Who kills them?

Madeline                     : “Madeline’s face was locked open in a rictus of stark terror, staring straight ahead as if into damnation’s gate…she had apparently inflicted with an ice pick…The wound she’d made in her throat gaped open like a second mouth, and boiling from that ugly gash were seething masses of black ants.”

Laurel Werling         : “Every opening and orifice on her head and face streamed an eerie mixture of blood and serous fluid. Even the mucous membranes of herswollen blue tongue and the seam where her lips met the flesh of her face oozed the same pinkish fluid, as if the foul fiend had mixed her blood with water before allowing it to gush out of her in rivulets.”             

4.     The Mysterious Little Girl 

“Then the little girl’s voice…crying out to me, trying to reach me across space and time with her pathetic, inarticulate cry…”


Eleanor Sarah Druse is a seventy-five years old woman who might suffer from loss of memory or even hallucination after hitting her head on the ground. All her unexplainable experiences might just be a mind trick of her old brain (just like what the doctors had told her). Nevertheless, all those weird occurrences might be happening for real as well. So, to know more about the story, don’t forget to find this book in your nearest library or any bookstore around you. Until next time, happy reading! 

Since this story is adapted from Stephen King's TV series, Kingdom Hospital, I would like to show the trailer of this series here so that you can get an overall picture about this story. 

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