Josh Feinzimer's Reviews > The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King
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's review
Dec 10, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: horror
Recommended for: Thrill seekers

This was an excellent book. In Stephen King greats it ranks behind The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. In my mind, it's next to the Dead Zone among King masterpieces.

The character development was fantastic. In fact, King himself has said that the movie did not live up to the esteemed billing that the book received because in Kubrick's interpretation, you never really feel anything for the characters. No attachment, no sympathy, no nothing.

In the novel, you develop a connection with even the villainous Jack Torrence because you feel for the loving father who is trying to provide his son with a better life than his own father provided him. You sympathize with the trials and tribulations of a recovering addict and hope against hope that he will not fall into the same torment and despair of his alcoholic days.

The fascinating aspect of the book is that Torrance's downfall and tragic undoing seems plausible. He seems like another writer with a troubled past who falls victim to an unraveling mind which loses the ability to distinguish fact from fiction.

Danny, to me, is the most complex character in the story, having the ignorance and carefree nature of a young boy with the maturity to fend for himself in the face of danger and to discern between right and wrong, good and evil while his father tries to destroy his family in his psychotic craziness.

The book is filled with tragedy and heartwarming, human connections among characters that have the ability to feel deeply for one another. What Danny and Wendy end up feeling for their surprising hero, Dick, is something to behold and cherish.

The work is a study in the paradox of a talented writer and a delusional psychotic, of a young child and a decision-making adult, of a destructive villain and a good-natured and loyal friend.
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