The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining

Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the s...

Title:The Shining
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0450040186
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:447 pages

The Shining Reviews

  • Kemper
    Sep 22, 2007

    Even though the film version of this one from Stanley Kubrick is generally considered a horror classic, Stephen King has never been shy about making his dislike of it known. He hates it so much that he was heavily involved in making a more faithful adaptation of it as TV mini-series in 1997. (This inferior version invited comparisons of Stephen Weber from

    to one of Jack Nicholson’s most iconic performances. So that worked well….)

    Considering Uncle Stevie’s longstanding grudge about it, I w

    Even though the film version of this one from Stanley Kubrick is generally considered a horror classic, Stephen King has never been shy about making his dislike of it known. He hates it so much that he was heavily involved in making a more faithful adaptation of it as TV mini-series in 1997. (This inferior version invited comparisons of Stephen Weber from

    to one of Jack Nicholson’s most iconic performances. So that worked well….)

    Considering Uncle Stevie’s longstanding grudge about it, I was more than a little shocked when he recently made a

    of

    to accept the changes that the new TV show was making. I can’t quite wrap my head around why a genius director creating something new and brilliant based on his story is bad, but anything that a fairly shitty TV show does with the source material is A-OK with King?

    Whatever….

    On to the book. As most everyone knows, this is about a family spending the winter in a haunted hotel in the Rocky Mountains called the Overlook. Jack Torrance was a teacher and promising writer, but his alcoholism and short temper wrecked his career and very nearly ended his marriage. Jack has been sober over a year, and he and Wendy have started down the path of reconciliation. However, she can never entirely forgive him for breaking the arm of their son Danny in an incident that was equal parts rage and accident. Five year old Danny has psychic mojo that includes reading thoughts and precognition courtesy of visions shown to him by his imaginary friend, Tony.

    Nearly broke, Jack takes on the job of being the winter caretaker for the Overlook. This means that the family will spend months alone in the hotel once the snow flies, and the last caretaker went axe-happy and killed his family. Unfortunately, the Overlook is like an emotional sponge that has soaked in every ugly act that ever took place within its rooms, and the presence of a high-powered psychic like Danny kicks the place into overdrive. As Jack is being driven into madness, Wendy and Danny become increasingly terrified of what he might do.

    I once read something in which King talked about denial of his own substance abuse problems in which he noted that he somehow wrote

    without ever once realizing he was describing his own alcoholism. That element of the Jack Torrence character is what makes this one of his better books. The idea of being trapped in a hotel with a bunch of ghosts is scary in a horror story kind of way. The idea of being trapped in a hotel with an ill-tempered drunk with a history of violence as he is cracking up is downright terrifying.

    Adding even more weight to that idea is that Jack Torrance isn’t a monster. He’s a troubled man who does love his wife and son, and he’s self-aware enough to realize that he’s on the brink. He’ll either turn his life around and earn his wife’s trust back, or he’ll give in to his own worst impulses. This would be hard enough under any circumstances, but under the influence of the evil spirits of the Overlook, Jack becomes a tragedy.

    Another element jumped out at me while re-reading this time. King talked in his non-fiction

    (Which I remember as being entertaining, but probably very dated by now. I would be very interested if Uncle Stevie wanted to take another look at what’s become of the horror genre since he wrote that one.) about the economic factor of

    and how a part of why the movie worked was that the family was essentially trapped by their finances.

    He uses that idea to good effect here. Most people would run screaming from the Overloook in less than a week, but we’re frequently reminded that the Torrance family was swirling the drain financially. If the perception is that Jack botched this job, his last chance to get back to a more stable lifestyle is probably shot and that goes a long way towards allowing him to convince himself and Wendy that they’re overreacting to the weird occurrences during the early stages, and by the time they’ve become snowed in, the Overlook has its hooks deep into Jack.

    It’s those more mundane things like a family struggling with money and that an evil entity turns one of them against the others by playing on his inherent weaknesses that make this one of my favorite King novels.

  • Earline
    Dec 21, 2007

    This scene from Friends pretty much sums up my feelings about this book:

    This scene from Friends pretty much sums up my feelings about this book:

  • Stephen
    Aug 17, 2008

    Is Stephen King the

    of the 20th Century ?

    Who knows...I haven’t got the slightest wisp of the faintest fragment of a lingering shadow of a clue how to answer that manwich-sized question.

    , I do think that in order to have a credible debate on the subject, you would need to include the Prince of the Prolific Page Turner in the argument. That says something to me and it got me thinking that there is a lot to like (and even love) about much of King’s wo

    Is Stephen King the

    of the 20th Century ?

    Who knows...I haven’t got the slightest wisp of the faintest fragment of a lingering shadow of a clue how to answer that manwich-sized question.

    , I do think that in order to have a credible debate on the subject, you would need to include the Prince of the Prolific Page Turner in the argument. That says something to me and it got me thinking that there is a lot to like (and even love) about much of King’s work. Calm down King haters, this is not going to be a slobbering “rah rah” session, but I do think some due is due to Mr. King and his extensive literary production. But, first, a little background.

    Like many, I read a lot of King’s early novels when I was a prepubescent and post pubescent teenager and enjoyed them a lot at the time. I mean they had lots of naughty words and naughty people doing naughty things (sometimes to their naughty bits)...what’s not to love sports fans. During that period I read quite a few Kingers including:

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    (OUCH on this epic failure),

    ,

    and

    . However, after the

    (more on that series below), I drifted away from reading in general as other things began to take precedence in my advancing teen years...namely...

    This period of literary latency lasted about 15 years (though I did still read during this time, but it was very sporatic). Then about 7 years ago, I began hard core reading again like a born again bibliophile. This hot, steamy love of books soon blossomed into an uncontrollable addiction once I joined Goodreads (YES, THAT MAKES ALL OF YOU READING THIS ENABLERS!!!). Well, once I reattached myself to the reading world, my primary King-related focus was completing the Dark Tower series in all its delicious awesomeness.

    Okay, so after finishing the Dark Tower for the 2nd time (I am currently up to book 4 on my 3rd go around with the Dark Tower Group here on GR), I decided to read some of King’s later works that I missed as well as go back and revisit the stories I read as a teenager (to see how they hold up to the memory of my hormonally controlled younger self).

    Which brings us to the Shining which was first up on my re-read list and I am happy to say that I found this more enjoyable this time around. Most of this is due to subtle and nuanced psychological aspects of the novel dealing with alcohlism, obsession and madness were more understandable and relatable at 40 than they were at 15 (go figure). I also found myself thinking of this story as a pretty good microcosm of King’s work (both the good and the bad) as it contained many of King's strength and weaknesses.

    While I assume most people are familiar with the plot, for those just returning to Earth (welcome back) or just arriving for the first time (NaNu..NaNu), the plot centers around aspiring writer Jack

    Torrance who has accepted the job of winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel (aka…the most EVIL place on Earth). Now, Jackie boy is a charmer. He is a “not so recovering” alcoholic with serious "pole up the poop shoot" anger issues and a MEGATRON-sized problem with authority. Basically, he is your basic angry, violent, anti-social drunk...let's go ahead and call him DADDY.

    Accompanying Daddy to the OverSPOOK Hotel are his wife, Wendy, and their “clairvoyant” son Danny, whose unique ability is called The Shining. Now Daddy is hoping to use the quiet time at the OverKOOK to help suture his relationship with his family which, oddly enough, has been on the downslide since Daddy broke Danny’s arm during some drunken shenanigans.

    UH, I don’t think I need to tell you that things do not go well for Daddy or his family once they come under the influence of the Over"Look we just want to kill you" Hotel. I think I will exit the plot summary and leave the rest for you to find on your own.

    I really liked the story. King does a great job of creating a superb sense of dread with sides of creepy and crawly in this very unique and layered "haunted house" story. For all of King’s less than perfect prose, his occassional LONG "off the plot" tangents and a few endings that leave something to be desired...like a good ending... for all of that SK is an extraordinary story-teller. He is among the best ever at being able to suck a reader into his story and the Shining is certainly a great example of that as I was lost in the narrative from the very beginning. There are few writers who can completing yank me into a story and have me forgeting about eating and sleeping like King did here.

    For example, I was listening to the audio version of this novel (narrated very well by actor Campbell Scott) and I have rarely had 16+ hours of an audio book sail by as fast as this one did. Now understand, I thought the story was very good but was nowhere near loving it. Yet, I found myself listening to it almost straight through, because King has some demon-spawned story-telling mojo that hypnotizes me.

    Oddly enough, an hour after I finished the story I was actually somewhat unfulfilled…it’s like the book is some form of literary Chinese food. Regardless, while I was listening I was captivated and this seems to be one of King’s gifts. The ability to create characters that engage the reader (both good and bad) and finding the right emotional buttons to press in order to make the reader CARE about what his characters are thinking and doing.

    King certainly succeeds here and is in top "page turning" form as he employs characters that are exceptionally well drawn, including the Hotel itself which is one of the best non-human characters ever. Overall, I think King has created a classic, yet unique “haunted house” story while at the same time including an engaging and evocative depiction of obsession, alcoholism and madness. A good, solid story that is worth reading. 4.0 stars.

  • Will Byrnes
    Jan 28, 2011

    If you have not read

    already do not overlook the opportunity presented by the publication of

    , the sequel, to revisit one of the best ghost stories of our time. The appearance of the follow up offers a perfect justification for stepping through those bat-wing doors for the first time.

    It has been a lifetime since I read

    for the first time, over thirty years ago. I enjoyed it then for its effectiveness in

    If you have not read

    already do not overlook the opportunity presented by the publication of

    , the sequel, to revisit one of the best ghost stories of our time. The appearance of the follow up offers a perfect justification for stepping through those bat-wing doors for the first time.

    It has been a lifetime since I read

    for the first time, over thirty years ago. I enjoyed it then for its effectiveness in telling a scary, no, a very scary story. Reading it now is colored, as is all of life, by our accumulation (or lack of accumulation) of experience. We see, or appreciate colors, textures, shapes, structures, and feelings with more experienced, educated eyes. We have seen, or are at least aware of real world things that are scarier than any fictional spectres. So, what does it look like through old, cloudy lenses?

    It remains a very scary story. The things that stand out for me now are not so much the deader rising up out of a bathtub to pursue a curious child, although that is still pretty creepy, or the mobile topiary, which still works pretty well at making the hair on one’s neck and arms stand at attention. But King was using the haunted house trope to look at more personal demons. And those shine through more clearly now.

    He had some drinking issues at the time he wrote the book, when he was 30, and concern about that is major here. Jack Torrance is an alcoholic, no question. He also has issues with anger management, not that the little shit he clocks while teaching at a New England prep school didn’t have it coming. He did. But one cannot do that to a student, however deserving, and expect to remain employed for long. His little boy, however, most certainly did not deserve a broken arm. Jack is very remorseful, and wants to make things right. He manages to get a gig taking care of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado over the winter. It will offer him a chance to get something right after a string of getting things wrong, offer a chance to save his marriage, and offer an opportunity to work on his unfinished play. Risky? Sure. But a gamble worth taking. And his wife, Wendy, agrees, despite having serious misgivings. There are no attractive alternatives.

    Of course, we all know that the Overlook is not your typical residence. Odd things happen, sounds are heard, thoughts from somewhere outside find their way into your mind. Jack is targeted, and boy is he vulnerable.

    But five-year-old Danny is the real key here. He is the proud possessor of an unusual talent, the

    of the book’s title. Danny can not only do a bit of mind-reading, he can also see things that other people cannot. And for a little guy he has a huge talent. He also has an invisible friend named Tony with whom only he can communicate.

    It is difficult to think about the book without finding our mental screens flickering with the images of Jack Nicholson in full cartoonish psycho rage, the very effective sound of a Big Wheel followed by a steadicam coursing through the long halls of the hotel, and the best casting decision ever in choosing Scatman Crothers to play Dick Halloran. By the way, the hotel is based on a real-world place, the Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, Colorado. And the Overlook’s spooky room 217 was inspired by the supposedly

    at the Stanley.

    The room number was changed in the film to 237, at the request of the Timberline hotel, which was used for exterior shots. There is so much that differentiates Kubrick’s film from the book that they are almost entirely different entities. The differences do require a bit of attention here. First, and foremost, the book of

    is about the disintegration of a family due to alcoholism and anger issues. How a child survives in a troubled family is key. The film is pretty much pure spook house, well-done spook house, but solely spook house, nonetheless, IMHO. There is considerable back-story to Jack and Wendy that gets no screen time. You have to read the book to get that. Jack is a victim, as much as Wendy and Danny. You would never get that from the slobbering Jack of the film. The maze in the book was pretty cool, right? I liked it too, but it does not exist in the book. I believe it was put in to replace the talented topiary, which is the definition of a bad trade. There is significant violence in the book that never made its way into Kubrick’s film, but which very much raises a specter of domestic violence that is terrorizing real people living in real horror stories. There are a few lesser elements. Jack wielded a roque mallet, not an axe. Danny is not interrupted in his travels through the corridors by Arbus-like twin sisters. And the sisters in question are not even twins. There

    are plenty more, but you get the idea. An interesting film, for sure, but not really the most faithful interpretation of the book. King saw that a film that more closely reflected what he had written reached TV screens in 1997, with a six-hour mini-series version.

    The opening shot was filmed on the

    in Montana’s Glacier National Park in Montana. I have had the pleasure (7 times in one visit) and recommend the drive wholeheartedly. It is a pretty narrow road though, so you will have to drive carefully. Bring along the appropriate musical media for the best effect, Wendy Carlos’s

    , and dress warmly. It was below freezing when I reached the top of the road, in August. Some exteriors for Kubrick’s film were shot at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon. I visited but did not stay there back in 2008. Sadly I do not have any decent personal photos from the place. I can report, though, on a bit

    of kitsch. There is a place in the hotel where an ax is lodged in a block of wood, with HEEEEERE’s JOHNNY on the ax, a tourist photo-op. And yes, I did. Sadly, or luckily, the shot did not come out well, so you will be spared.

    Back to the book, Danny’s talent is a two-edged sword. He is afflicted with seeing more than anyone his age should have to see, but on the other hand, he has a tool he can use to try to save them all. Whether he can or not is a core tension element here.

    King is fond of placing his stories in literary context. He peppers the text with references to various relevant books and authors. I expect these are meant to let us know his influences. Horace Walpole, author of

    , a Gothic classic, is mentioned, as is Shirley Jackson, of

    fame. King had used a quote from this book in

    . A family saga rich with death and destruction,

    is mentioned as are some more contemporary items, like

    , the idealized antithesis to the Torrance Family,

    and novelist Frank Norris. The primary literary reference here is Poe’s

    , which is cited many times. There had been a costume ball back in hotel’s history and it is the impending climax of that party, the unmasking, that looms here. And toss in nods to

    and

    for good measure.

    King often includes writers in his work, avatars for himself.

    Jack Torrance is a writer as well as a teacher. The play that Jack is writing undergoes a transformation that mirrors Jack’s own. In fact, there is a fair bit or mirroring going on here. Jack’s affection for his father as a kid was as strong as Danny's is for him. His father was an abusive alcoholic. While Jack is not (yet) the monster his father was, he is also an alcoholic with abusive tendencies.

    He’s right. I have had the pleasure and I know. Wendy gets some attention as well, as we learn a bit about her mother, and see Wendy’s fear that she has inherited elements of her mother’s awfulness.

    Not everything shines here. There are times when five-year-old Danny seems much older than his tender years, even given his extraordinary circumstances. It struck me as surprising that there is no mention of anyone suggesting that maybe Jack might attend an AA meeting. But these are like single dead pixels on a large screen.

    If you want to read horror tales that are straight up scare’ems, there are plenty in the world. But if you appreciate horror that offers underlying emotional content, and I know you do, my special gift tells me that

    is a brilliant example of how a master illuminates the darkness.

    This review, with images intact, has also been posted on

    =============================

    Definitely check out the

    for this book – nifty info on the King Family’s stay at the Stanley, and yes, there was a Grady at the Stanley.

    I also recommend checking out

    if you want to learn more about him

    An interview with King in

    BTW, here is a shot of the model snowmobile that Dick Halloran drives back to the Overlook

    A few other SK's we have reviewed

  • Lyn
    Jul 31, 2011

    About as perfect a haunted house story as can be, King was at his best here.

    It's as though he built a haunted house and then filled every nook and cranny with detail. King is also at his best in regard to characterization, all well rounded and complete, we know family relationships, group dynamics, all the old hidden buried fears.

    King touches base with psychological elements, theological, metaphysical, spiritual, and cryptic aspects of a ghost story to wrap the reader in a blanket of horror.

  • Nandakishore Varma
    Sep 13, 2011

    Quite simply put,

    is the best horror story I have ever read. It scared the hell out of me.

    Over a period of time, I have noticed certain standard "motifs" in horror stories. One of these I call "The Lost Child". Such stories will typically involve a child, who can see what the silly grownups cannot see (or, even if they do see, don't acknowledge because it goes against reason and logic): and who fights, however high the odds stacked against him/ her are. Danny Torrance is such a boy.

    D

    Quite simply put,

    is the best horror story I have ever read. It scared the hell out of me.

    Over a period of time, I have noticed certain standard "motifs" in horror stories. One of these I call "The Lost Child". Such stories will typically involve a child, who can see what the silly grownups cannot see (or, even if they do see, don't acknowledge because it goes against reason and logic): and who fights, however high the odds stacked against him/ her are. Danny Torrance is such a boy.

    Danny can read minds. He can see the frightening thoughts inside his Dad's and Mom's heads ("DIVORCE", "SUICIDE") but is powerless to do anything about it. Danny does not know that he has a gift; he takes it as a matter of course, until Dick Halloran of the Overlook Hotel tells him that he "shines on".

    Jack Torrance, Danny's Dad, reformed alcoholic and struggling writer, is trying to put his life back together after a tragedy. He gets what he sees as the ideal chance when he lands the job of caretaker of the Overlook Hotel for the winter. In the snowed-in hotel with only his son and wife Wendy, Jack assumes that he will get enough quality time to be with his family, patch up old quarrels, and write that breakout novel.

    But the Overlook has other plans. The hotel, which feeds on and grows in strength from the evils committed on its premises, wants Danny-permanently-to join its crew of ghostly inhabitants. And to do that, it needs to get to Jack...

    The novel slowly grows in horror, starting with mild unease, moving up through sweaty palms and dry mouth, to pure, gut-wrenching terror. Jack's slow slide into madness is paralleled by the growth in power of the hotel's dark miasma, and Danny's extraordinary capabilities. We are on a roller-coaster ride into darkness.

    The world of grownups is often frighteningly incomprehensible to young children: these fears seldom die as we grow up, but remain dormant in our psyche. There are very few of us who does not have a ghost in our childhood somewhere. It is when the writer invokes this ghost that story gets to us. King does a masterly job of awakening that child, and putting him/ her in the midst of childhood terrors through the alter ego of Danny Torrance, lost in the cavernous corridors of the Overlook.

    There are a lot of passages which literally creeped me out in this novel (the topiary animals, the fire hose in the corridor, the woman in the bathroom to name a few). As King has said elsewhere, the monster behind the door is more frightening than the monster slavering at you: this book is full of such monsters. More importantly, you will keep on remembering your own boogeymen while you are reading; and long after you finish, you will feel the urge to look behind you.

    Horror stories are a form of catharsis. As King says, the writer takes you to the body covered under the sheet: you feel it, and are frightened.

    A true masterpiece.

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    Aug 16, 2012

    For a guy like myself who loves to read and write taking the job as a winter caretaker of The Overlook Hotel sounds like a dream job.

    The time requirements for the job are miniscule leaving me plenty of time every day to work on the next “great American novel”. Before leaving for this foray into isolationism I would calculate just how many books I would need to sustain me through the winter and then increase it by ⅓ or so. Jack Torrance makes the case that because he is an educated man he is better suited for the job.

    Now Jack may be an educated man but he is carrying around more baggage than any one bellhop could ever get delivered. He has a double helix of trouble an alcohol problem intertwined with a really nasty temper. He has lost jobs. He has beaten a young man senseless. He has broken his son Danny’s arm, little more than a toddler, because he messed up his papers.

    Jack is always sorry.

    When not drinking he wipes his lips so often he makes them bleed.

    His father was a violent man and King does give us some background on Jack’s childhood which may have been intended to lend some sympathy for Jack. Just because we follow the threads back to why he is the way he is doesn’t mean that he is anymore likeable or for that matter less dangerous. He may be an educated man, and he may have made the case as to why he is more qualified to be a caretaker cut off from the world, but as it turns out he wasn’t suited for the job, not suited at all.

    I was sitting in an American English class at the University of Arizona, what seems like an eon ago, when a woman, older than the rest of us by probably 15 years or so, raised her hand and asked the teacher why we weren’t reading Stephen King for this class. I remember distinctly peering at the syllabus and seeing Steinbeck, Faulkner, Hemingway and Fitzgerald among others. It was the canon of American Literature about to be explored by some of us in depth and by some of us only by way of Cliff Notes or Sparks Notes. Some in the class I could almost pick them out by their shiny perfect teeth, which I found abhorrently boring like trees planted in perfect rows, belonged to the Greek Houses and would be showing up to class only to turn in their papers carefully culled from the vast files of papers written by past Sorority Sisters or Fraternity Brothers who had received As in this class for their efforts. After all it isn’t about learning, but about passing. I’m there probably feeling slightly nauseous from the flashing brilliance of pearly whites from the orthodontically challenged when the teacher turns to me and says “Jeff why do you think we aren’t teaching King in this class?”

    Here I am thinking about this woman wanting to wedge King between my literary hero F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. I don’t think I’d even read King at this point, but I’d been working in a bookstore for many years and knew how important he was to providing me with a paycheck. He developed cross genre appeal bringing horror forward from being a subspecies of science-fiction and away from residing in a spinner rack of books at the back of the bookstore for those social abnormals dressed all in black.

    I didn’t really know how to answer the question except in the most bland way possible. I said he hasn’t stood the test of time. I could tell my answer was about as satisfying as a week old bagel to the woman, and I was hampered by the fact that I really didn’t want to insult the woman. The teacher also looked mildly disappointed. I could tell she was hoping to see blood in the water and I failed to be the shark she thought me to be.

    The woman’s question does show the issue about Stephen King that is debated in most literary circles whether they are a book club down at the local library or the academic break room at a major university. He has legions of fans. He makes millions every time he puts out a new book which feels like four times a year. The problem is he is a genius. He isn’t a genius in the way that Pynchon, Gaddis, or Wallace are geniuses. He is a genius storyteller. So if so many people are reading him he really can’t be any good...can he?

    Someone on GR made the really good point that Stephen King does not need him to buy and read his books. He has writer friends, below the radar, that need his support more. That is so true and one of the more annoying things about King followers is that a percentage of them don’t read anything else. They would come into the bookstore and hound us for the release date of the next Stephen King. I would sweep my hand grandly through the air and point out several other authors that may fill the time between King novels. They simply were not interested.

    The thing of it is I used to love being one of those scruffy minded individuals that are always trying to find the next great writer before anyone else. There was no reason to read King because there were no points to be scored with my group of pseudo-intellectual friends by saying something so insipid as “is anyone else reading the new King?”

    When I worked at Green Apple Books in San Francisco, which by the way that city is one of the best reading publics in the United States, we catered to University professors, want-to-be writers, actors, and a slew of other professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and bankers. It was a well educated lot to say the least. I thought my days of selling King were over....

    . Customers with wire rimmed glasses and elbow patches on their tweed jackets would bring up these academic books so obscure that I had no idea we even had them in the store, and invariably in the pile somewhere would be a Stephen King novel. I was still too caught up in my self-image as a reader to really think about taking a walk with the “normals” and start reading King, but I was starting to think to myself... hmmm I wonder what’s going on in them thar books?

    Danny, Jack’s five year old son, has what one character referred to as “a shine”. If people are thinking about something intently, Danny can read their thoughts. He also has an invisible friend named Tony who can take him places, a bit more elaborate than my invisible friend Beauregard. What a dud he turned out to be.

    Danny loves his father, actually more than his mother Wendy, which is such a painful realization for her. She has stood in the breach. She

    break his arm. She protects him from everything including his

    . As the malevolent force at the hotel begins to exert more and more influence on Jack and Danny she is relatively unaffected by hallucinatory thoughts. The interesting subtext of this novel is that Jack thinks the hotel is after him. As Danny explains:

    A precocious five year old with a brain of such singular existence that the evil entity of The Overlook Hotel must have him. Another interesting aspect of the book is the fact that most people will not be affected by the ghostly influences of the hotel unless they have an imaginative brain to start with. They must have a mind open enough to hear the voices and realize the possibility that they may be real.

    Did I mention that I’m not really interested in that job anymore?

    I know this story. I haven’t watched the movie or read the book previously and yet I’m very familiar with the plot.

    It didn’t matter.

    While reading this book I was on the edge of my seat. My pulse rate elevated. My mind buzzing with lizard brain flight or fight responses. This guy King knows how to tell a story. There is this scene on the stairs between Jack and Wendy that is probably one of the most intense fight scenes I’ve ever read in literature. I was right there with the characters feeling the thud of the roque mallet and the grind of my broken ribs.

    Stephen King is a cultural geek of the first order. He enjoys reading and promoting writers. He is a self-made man. A man blessed and haunted by a vivid imagination. He gets big points from me for mentioning

    and also

    two books that are members of my favorite obscure literature list. I like it when a writer tells us what his characters are reading. He mentions television shows such as

    , which I loved discovering recently that Honor Blackman (Pussygalore) preceded Diana Rigg on that show, and King also mentions

    starring Peter McGoohan. For the last two years I’ve been sifting through old television shows, thank you NETFLIX, and finding shows that I really like. Besides the two shows King mentioned I’ve also enjoyed watching

    starring Steve Forrest and Sue Lloyd and the short episodes of

    starring the ocelot Bruce. I also have

    queued up starring Roger Moore. I have fond memories of watching that show as a child late at night in the summer time.

    There has been a hue and cry from his fan base for Stephen King's work to be looked on as literary classics. They feel he is not given the respect he deserves for being a great writer. He is accessible to the average reader, and yet; somehow, puts the right hooks in his writing to please the elevated reader. We do him a disservice, I feel, to try to make him into something he is not. That said, probably the best of King will be read 100 years from now. He is the consummate storyteller still enamored with the unknown and the unknowable. He has a childlike wonder for the world and I for one will make a bigger effort to see the world more often through his eyes.

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  • Raeleen Lemay
    Nov 24, 2015

    *2.5/5*

    Soooo I wasn't a huge fan of this. There were a few things about it that I enjoyed, but overall I found it to be boring and overly drawn out. Also not scary AT ALL which was my biggest disappointment.

    I'll probably pick this up again someday, but I'm really not in the mood for this right now. Reading Harry Potter alongside this kind of ruined it for me.... Oops.


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