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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 remoteand sinister And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five year old October 2016 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 October 2015I 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 October 2016 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 October 2015I 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 This scene from Friends pretty much sums up my feelings about this bookRachel Hmm she opens the freezer Umm, why do you have a copy of The Shining in your freezer Joey Oh, I was reading it last night, and I got scared, so.Rachel But ah, you re safe from it if it s in the freezer Joey Well, safer Y know, I mean I never start reading The Shining, without making sure we ve got plenty of room in the freezer, y know.Rachel How often do you read it Joey Haven t you ever read the same bookThis scene from Friends pretty much sums up my feelings about this bookRachel Hmm she opens the freezer Umm, why do you have a copy of The Shining in your freezer Joey Oh, I was reading it last night, and I got scared, so.Rachel But ah, you re safe from it if it s in the freezer Joey Well, safer Y know, I mean I never start reading The Shining, without making sure we ve got plenty of room in the freezer, y know.Rachel How often do you read it Joey Haven t you ever read the same book over and over again Rachel Well, umm, I guess I read Little Womenthan once But I mean that s a classic, what s so great about The Shining Joey The question should be Rach, what is not so great about The Shining Okay And the answer would be nothing All right This is like the scariest book ever I bet it s way better than that classic of yours This was most excellent I can 100% see why this is many readers favorite Stephen King novel Heck, it s my favorite novel of his to date, although I have a good number of his books to catch up on I ve found myself overly critical of his work in the past, possibly due to the fact that he s so well known, but I feel it sbeen a fault on my end Previously I ve picked up one of his doorstops at a time I wasn t prepared to fully invest in the time and energy it takes to immerse oneself into h This was most excellent I can 100% see why this is many readers favorite Stephen King novel Heck, it s my favorite novel of his to date, although I have a good number of his books to catch up on I ve found myself overly critical of his work in the past, possibly due to the fact that he s so well known, but I feel it sbeen a fault on my end Previously I ve picked up one of his doorstops at a time I wasn t prepared to fully invest in the time and energy it takes to immerse oneself into his world building and lengthy details This time, I was ready Also, this was only like 600 pages which felt like a novella compared to IT I m finally able to understand why so many people hold the standard of traditional horror in comparison to this novel Sure, it has all the creepy crawlies and spooky wookies to get your heart racing, but it s so grounded in reality that I had a hard time rationalizing with myself that it s just a story The 150 page set up is well worth the reader s time, as it lays the groundwork for much of the why behind the narrative, and it also gave me a chance to bond with precious Danny before the shit hit the fan I may be the last person on the planet to have read this book, but just in case I m not, I wanted to share some of the things that really hit home with me Just like IT is, at heart, a disturbing coming of age story, The Shining was an impeccable tale of extreme cabin fever with a hefty dose of the destructive nature of alcoholism When you break it down like that, the supernatural elements actually seem to take a backseat to the very real horror of what it s like living with someone struggling through addiction I ve heard all the stories of how this book helped SK realize his own struggle with alcohol, and I m inclined to believe it s true as the writing here was heavy laden with emotion and depth I apologize for ever calling Mr King over hyped I m grateful my previous experiences with his wordier novels didn t deter me from finally choosing to read this, as it s a gem of a book and a classic in it s genre I still despise Sleeping Beauties though and refuse to change my opinion on the matter Highly recommended to any other below the rock dwellers who may not have happened across this one Now to watch the movie or not If you have not read The Shining already do not overlook the opportunity presented by the publication of Doctor Sleep, 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 1st Edition cover Published January 28, 1977 447 pps It has been a lifetime since I read The Shining for the first time, over thirty years ago I enjoyed it then for its effectiveness i If you have not read The Shining already do not overlook the opportunity presented by the publication of Doctor Sleep, 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 1st Edition cover Published January 28, 1977 447 pps It has been a lifetime since I read The Shining 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 withexperienced, 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 atpersonal demons And those shine throughclearly now From Allyn Scura s blogHe 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 shining 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 haunted room 217 at the Stanley This image is from the hotel s site they clearly embrace the spectral connectionThe 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 The Shining 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 , 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 thatclosely reflected what he had written reached TV screens in 1997, with a six hour mini series version.Irrelevancies of a personal natureThe opening shot was filmed on the Going to the Sun Road 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 Rocky Mountain, 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 bitThis shot was found on Wikimediaof 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 seeingthan 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 The Castle of Otranto, a Gothic classic, is mentioned, as is Shirley Jackson, of Hill House fame King had used a quote from this book in Salem s Lot A family saga rich with death and destruction, Cashelmara is mentioned as are somecontemporary items, like The Walton Family, the idealized antithesis to the Torrance Family, Where the Wild Things Are and novelist Frank Norris The primary literary reference here is Poe s The Masque of the Red Death, 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 Treasure Island and Bluebeard for good measure.King often includes writers in his work, avatars for himself I write about writers because I know the territory Also, you know it s a great job for a protagonist in a book Without having to hold down a steady job, writers can have all sorts of adventures Also, if they disappear, it s a long time before they are missed Heh heh heh from an AOL interview 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 I never had a father in the house My mother raised my brother and I alone I wasn t using my own history, but I did tap into some of the anger you sometimes feel to the kids, where you say to yourself I have really got to hold on to this because I m the big person here, I m the adult One reason I wanted to use booze in the book is that booze has a tendency to fray that leash you have on your temper For a lot of kids, Dad is the scary guy It s that whole thing where your mother says, You just wait until your father comes home In The Shining, these people were snowbound in a hotel and Dad is always home And Dad is fighting this thing with the bottle and he s got a short temper anyway I was kind of feeling my own way in that because I was a father of small children And one of the things that shocked me about fatherhood was it was possible to get angry at your kids from the EW interview cited in Extra Stuff 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 The Shining is a brilliant example of how a master illuminates the darkness This review, with images intact, has also been posted on my blog EXTRA STUFFDefinitely check out the Wiki 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 SK s site if you want to learnabout himAn interview with King in Entertainment WeeklyBTW, here is a shot of the model snowmobile that Dick Halloran drives back to the Overlook A few other SK s we have reviewedUnder the DomeDuma Key Lisey s StoryDoctor SleepRevivalMr MercedesJust After Sunset

  • Paperback
  • 659 pages
  • The Shining
  • Stephen King
  • English
  • 21 March 2019
  • 0450040186

About the Author: Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support After Stephen s grandparents passed away, Mrs King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966 From his sopho year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate He came to support the anti war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional He graduated in 1970, with a B.A in English and qualified to teach on the high school level A draft board examination immediately post graduation found him 4 F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students they married in January of 1971 As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men s magazines.Stephen made his first professional short story sale The Glass Floor to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967 Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men s magazines Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.


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