Sara's Reviews > The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King
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's review
Oct 18, 11

bookshelves: adult-lit
Read in January, 2011

I don’t know how scared I was by this book. I mean it has all the elements. Kid with paranormal connections, Father who goes crazy, Creepy hotel full of ghosts…lots of death and murder…not to mention those moving topiaries. Yep, nothing scarier than a hedge in the shape of a bunny.

I do kid. This book really was freaky. I think I’m just more scared by things that chase you, by stuff like the apocalypse and a deadly virus taking over the world. I also think I was distracted by the bits and pieces I knew from the movie. While I’ve never seen the film through general culture I knew what Redrum meant, and knew that Jack Nicholson went crazy in a hotel during winter trying to kill everyone.

But I was also expecting those creepy twins. While in the book, they played a smaller and completely uninvolved role. They were not the ghost hiding behind 217. The biggest surprise from my read was how well written a book this was. I’m not a reader who thinks that in order for a book to be good it needs to be “well written” in an old-school literary canon kinda way. I’m just as ‘in awe’ of a writer who is a good story-teller or one who can create tension and play on my emotions. But as a former English major, and a general literary devotee I do appreciate a man who has full command of his writing skills.

King manages to combine horror, paranormal, and a bit of rawness while still showing masterful writing chops. Sometimes I found myself enjoying the read, not because I was so into the story…but because I loved the way King was playing with his words, with his use of punctuation. Very well done, and still accessible. Bravo.

I’m not going to reveal too much about the plot. It’s not my place to ruin the mystery for the next reader. I liked that the book delved into the history of the characters. Showing how the experiences that formed them was twisted and used by the hotel. And I loved Danny. I really liked the kid, and for all of his 6th sense abilities he didn’t creep me out. And finally the end was slightly happier than I expected. Don’t get me wrong…it’s all super-horrific and gory…but it ends with hope. Didn’t see that coming…

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