Author: Stephen King
Jack Torrance is spiraling. His alcoholism and temper have cost him his job, his marriage, and almost his son. When a former friend secures him a job as the caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado for the winter, Jack thinks it’s just what his family and his nerves need. However, as the season falls deeper into the winter it becomes apparent that something is wrong with the hotel and very wrong with Jack. So wrong that not even Danny and special talents can save them.
I have one thing to say after finishing this book.
Fuck you, Stanley Kubrick. How you managed to read this book and then film something and call it by the same name I’ll never know. Before I read this book, I actually loved the movie. Jack Nicolson, of course, plays a lovely psychopath and the interior design and sound and set are still amazing. But it’s just so far from what the actual book was. So many spectacularly creepy details were tossed to the side that the book and the movie don’t even connect.
Now back to the book. This the second King novel that I’ve read. Carrie was my first. King has a way of constructing suspense and stories that make you want to keep reading no matter what. I was kept in suspense for a while and I wasn’t even made at it. The last few chapters really tie everything together and it goes out with a bang (literally).
Jack, Danny, Wendy, and Halloran were so fleshed out and human. I felt some honest reactions to the violence happening to them. Especially Halloran! In the movie he died but, spoiler alert, he lived in the book! I’m not going to lie, I cheated and skipped to the back to see if he did. The suspense was killing me.
The horror part of this novel was so well thought out too. There were so many little clues, and bits and pieces that when you put all together it’s amazing. It was also just so original. Even in 2017, I can’t think of any horror movie or horror novel that dealt with a haunted house (hotel?) like this. Plus King fused it so well with Danny’s shining abilities.
The writing itself was simple. It’s not a bad thing at all. It was a great come down after having to struggle through The Chronicle of the Murdered House. No flowery prose, no egregious language, just plot moving the story along.
The Shining was an enjoyable, easy, and sufficiently terrifying read. I would definitely recommend!