The Shining

☆.5 /

I figure there’s maybe forty-fifty people died in this hotel since my grandfather opened it for business in 1910.

The Shining is the third Stephen king novel I’ve read and it’s definitely not my last. Although this is my first time reading this classic, I have seen the film  adaptation and it scared the crap out of me as a kid. I plan on re-watching the film (it’s been awhile) to compare, but from what I do remember,  I’d say I enjoyed the film more (sacrilege I know).

I thought the book was great, very suspenseful, but I kept waiting to be scared and it never really happened. I wasn’t left with the creepy feeling I felt after I read Pet Sematary. The plot, the characters and their development however was great.

In The Shinning, Jack Torrance takes his wife Wendy and his five-year-old son Danny up to the secluded Overlook hotel, when he gets a job as the hotels winter caretaker. As an out of work teacher and writer dealing with alcohol issues, he sees this job as an opportunity to get back to his writing and make up for some bad behaviour. Unbeknownst to the family (except for Danny) the stay at the Overlook isn’t such a good idea, since over the years its been home to some grisly murders and unexplained deaths and lets just say when you die in the Overlook hotel you never really leave.

She didn’t like what the Overlook seemed to be doing to Jack and Danny. The most frightening thing, vaporous and unmentioned, perhaps unmentionable, was that all Jack’s  drinking symptoms had come back one by one…all but the drink itself.

For Danny the stay is particularly scarring since he has “the shine(shining),” the ability to see into people’s minds and make connections with things/spirits/entities that most can’t see.

Like I mentioned before I didn’t particularly find this book scary but the plot itself is what keeps you reading. The Jack character was one of my favourite parts of the book. Reading the thoughts that go through his mind concerning his family and his life before he goes to the Overlook isn’t a stark contrast between the man he becomes once the Overlook gets its hands on him.  I say that because before the Overlook he wan’t exactly a model human being. An an alcoholic who had even broken his sons arm once during a fit,  he wasn’t exactly an endearing character. Its like he was a ticking time bomb and the Overlook was just the thing to finally set him off.

 But we also got to see Jack through Danny’s eyes, and although he knew his dad did bad things, he still loved him and that makes you look at the character in a different light.
Come out here and take your medicine!

A pet peeve I had while reading  the book, the use of the n-word. I know that is in fact how some people talk, but it felt  like overkill after a while. But that’s writingI guess. Sometimes you create characters that get under the skin of a reader or use words that make them uncomfortable, and the reality is people like that do exist.

So if you were like me and have only seen the film, definitely read The Shining. It’s a great story, that takes you on a ride, and even though  you know it isn’t going to end well, it doesn’t stop you from wanting to read it.

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