An avid reader who shares her love of books and their contents with others.
This inhuman place makes human monsters.
— Stephen King, The Shining
The Shining written by Stephen King, one of the best selling psychological stuff thrillers of its time, was a great read. I personally feel it’s way better than the movie but let us not get into that. The Shining has a little something for a wide range of readers. It has the paranormal, a good mystery, murder, and strong character development. It is definitely one you should read if you liked the movie or enjoy a good book that keeps you on your toes.
I will say, as with all good books, I felt there were a few times near the beginning I wasn’t all that interested. It was a tad dry, as some would say. A lot of explaining, but it did come in handy when things picked up. I mean I really didn’t care about this piece of information or that when I first read it, but found I was glad for it at the end as it made sense as to what was going on. I will go ahead now and say spoiler alert, though it’s not too much of a spoiler as I will leave details out of specifics to keep it minimal.
For example, we get a glimpse of Jacks childhood of when his dad beat his mother with a cane. Later, Jack has a mallet used to play roque, and is using it like a cane and a weapon. It really makes the ready feel like Jack was reliving that moment. However I did get ahead of myself there. To get back on track, let’s discuss the story plot and characters.
The Shining is mostly set in a wonderful old hotel call The Overlook Hotel. As with most old hotels, it is full of histories and it’s ghosts. After all have you ever heard of a hotel without having a ghost story, whether the story was true or not? Though, the Overlook Hotel takes its ghost stories to a whole new level. Within the Overlook Hotel, you will get to know Jack, Wendy, and Danny very well, as they are our main characters. Jack who has been fired from his previous teaching job is looking to get rid of his writers block to finish his play and move on to better stories and maybe a fresh start, took the job as the Overlook’s caretaker during its off season. Wendy, Jack’s wife, is there to be supportive of her husband and keep him company while also helping care for their son Danny, who Jack plans to teach to read during this job. Danny, who is daddy’s little boy, is Jacks son with the gift of future premonitions or something similar and who has just days before has been having nightmares and needs some peace in his life.
The family hopes this trip will not only help bring income into the household again but fix some issues that they have been experiencing at home. The biggest being Jack still not being over his drinking problem. I will admit, I was hoping by him taking this job it would help him get over his desire to drink, but it seems to worsen it.
As we go through the story, we learn more about the history of the family, as well as the hotel. Which both can be intriguing and terrifying. Especially since both those aspects come into play as the characters grow. Wendy becomes a little stronger in my opinion as she gets to be more forceful about Danny’s well being. Danny becomes even more insightful but also begins to understand more about the hotel and the people around him in ways a child should never have the experience of doing.
As for Jack, he just becomes insane. You can tell he is fighting whatever is going on in his head to a degree, and if I am to be honest, it is quite interesting. As there are times when you cannot tell whether or not it’s really him or something else we are watching as it’s fluid in how it’s written. Sometimes you get the feeling he is in the back seat watching it happen, while other times you can’t help but wonder if her is behind the wheel controlling the outcome of his actions. Overall, the book gave me plenty to think about, as I am sure it will do for many readers. It is not something I can see happening all the time but it is how I feel some serial killers could be. Though not in that exact way. You will understand if you read it.
I, originally, picked this book up in preparations of seeing Doctor sleep as well as reading Doctor Sleep as The Shining is one of my favorite movies. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I would definitely recommend the book if you haven’t read it. Even with the few dry moments in the beginning, you won’t regret it. Everything leaves you wanting more. It kept me turning pages and had I not had a job that kept me busy and a child who needs me I would have finished it in a single night instead of the 6 days it took. I could not put it down.
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© 2021 Chrissy
Noel Penaflor from California on September 17, 2021:
One of my favorite horror novels ever.