Simone's Reviews > The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, thriller

This was a doozy of a book. At first, when I was reading this one, I felt like I was torn between the book and the movie. Then, I took a breath and told myself to get the movie out of my head. What I got was a book bordering dark fantasy and it filled my heart with joy.

Jack Torrance is interviewing with the manager of the Overlook Hotel; a summer resort looking for a caretaker for the off-season. After being fired from his job as a professor, his good friend was able to offer this job to Jack allowing him and his family to live on the grounds of the Overlook Hotel. For Jack, this is his last chance. His wife hates him and considering divorce. He can't touch his son after accidentally breaking his arm. And all he has is his writing and the hotel. But as his family continue to stay at the hotel, strange things start to happen. Things start moving in the corner of your eye or something moves out of place. Voices start beaming into your head and a party is being thrown in the abandoned lobby. While Wendy and Danny can sense the strange happenings in the hotel, Jack can't help the influence.

I really loved the psychology of these characters. Stephen King created these monster personalities for Jack, Wendy, and Danny to give you some idea of where their minds are when they enter the hotel. For Jack, this is a last hope he'll amount to anything with his writing career. For Wendy, this is for her to decide if being with Jack is still a viable choice because she wants to look out for Danny. For Danny, this is his time to discover the connection he has with the Spirit world. And with a hotel that's looking for shining people, you can most definitely see what was coming.

I feel like the characters were so important to this book up to a point where Stephen King goes into lengthy detail about their lives. And while there were many plot-driven moments, I feel like this was such a character-driven story. There is tremendous growth with all of these characters either for good or for evil, but it's growth. For example, Danny is supposed to be five when these things are happening. That kid did not act like a 5-year-old.

The techniques in this book were kind of unique too. There were passages where lines would be in parenthesis and italicized. While I was reading, I realized that these were the inner thoughts of these characters at the moment. The fun part of these was watching how these inner thoughts changed over the course of the book.

But the big drawback of this book is Stephen King's writing. Good gouda, the man is long-winded. I've read other books by him (On Writing and Misery), but neither of those felt as long as this did. Perhaps it's because of his character-driven story that he felt the need to keep moving and molding these people. But it just kind of slowed things down for me and didn't leave me at the edge of my seat.

Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to mention (which had no bearing on my rating or review).

This book wasn't scary to me.

I don't know what I was expecting, but every time I felt the suspense getting good, it was tamped down with some extraneous writing. I was right at the edge of my seat, but then deflated when the story switched over to another character or into an extensive writing passage about all of Jack's feelings. So every opportunity there was for blood and gore and running, I felt like I was interrupted to mention something else. It kept me from getting scared.

Plus, I think I've read too many dark fantasies and other horror stories that this kind of pales in the horror department. Sorry, SK. I promise to be freaked out by the next one.
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Reading Progress

October 20, 2019 – Started Reading
October 20, 2019 – Shelved
October 20, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 22, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
October 22, 2019 – Shelved as: thriller
October 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

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