Matthew's Reviews > The Shining

The Shining by Stephen King
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it was amazing
bookshelves: horror, stephen-king, action-thriller, own, supernatural, 2019, audio, read-more-than-once
Read 2 times. Last read February 22, 2019 to March 4, 2019.

Another Stephen King re-read complete!

I have had this book marked at 4 stars since I added it a few years ago. It has probably been 20 years since I last read the book and, in that time, I have watched the Kubrick movie a few times. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of the Kubrick movie (and I hear King wasn’t either). I think my thoughts on the movie combined with being a couple of decades removed from reading it skewed my rating a bit low.

This time, though, with the refresher – 5 stars all the way!

Definitely classic King, and maybe one of the most perfect monster/ghost stories ever written. One very important thing I think that people forget (including me) is (view spoiler)

I listened to the book this time and the audio narration was great. I was enthralled the entire time and the narrator did a great job raising the stakes as the story progressed. If you are also considering a re-read, the audiobook is a great option.

If you are a King fan and haven’t read this, you should!

If you are looking for a place to start King, this is not a bad choice. It is a little more psychologically complex that a couple of the other titles I recommend as King starting points (The Dead Zone and Pet Sematary), but definitely would give anyone a good feel for King.

While there are some elements in the book similar to the movie, forget everything you have seen and the impressions Kubrick has given you and try the book. I think you will find it to be a vastly improved experience. Also, I hear the more recent mini-series is much more true to the book – I hope to hunt that one down, soon!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 8, 2013 – Shelved
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: horror
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: stephen-king
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: action-thriller
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: own
March 6, 2014 – Shelved as: supernatural
February 22, 2019 – Started Reading
February 22, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
February 22, 2019 – Shelved as: audio
February 22, 2019 – Shelved as: read-more-than-once
February 26, 2019 –
7.0% "REDRUM"
February 26, 2019 –
17.0% "Closing day"
February 27, 2019 –
32.0% "Wasps"
March 1, 2019 –
63.0% "Take your medicine!"
March 1, 2019 –
81.0% "You've always been the caretaker"
March 2, 2019 –
87.0% "Snowy pursuit"
March 3, 2019 –
95.0% "Brain bashing"
March 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)

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Tucker I wasn't a fan of this one. Maybe because it was spoiled but also because it was slow


Matthew Tucker wrote: "I wasn't a fan of this one. Maybe because it was spoiled but also because it was slow"

I am actually doing an audio reread of this one sometime in the next two month. I originally read it over 15 years ago, so it will be interesting to see what I think. Also, I was never a huge fan of the movie.


message 3: by Pat (new)

Pat I read this years (decades) ago, it was a good one.


Matthew Pat wrote: "I read this years (decades) ago, it was a good one."

I have just started the audio reread I mentioned to Tucker above - let's see if my star rating remains the same!


Matthew Cross movie is terrible , but thankfully king had a mini series made that stays true to the book


Matthew Matthew wrote: "movie is terrible , but thankfully king had a mini series made that stays true to the book"

I never saw that one, but I have heard it is good!


Matthew Cross so good that I brought my self a spare dvd of it !


Matthew Matthew wrote: "so good that I brought my self a spare dvd of it !"

Cool! Another one to hunt down!


message 9: by Terry (last edited Mar 04, 2019 09:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Terry I was really surprised after having seen the movie before I read this, how much (view spoiler)


Matthew Terry wrote: "I was really surprised after having seen the movie before I read this, how much [spoilers removed]"

Exactly - that is probably hard for people who are really use to Nicholson's Torrence to see him any differently!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin What Terry said!! I still love the movie but the book......


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa I love the movie and the book. Many of King's supernatural novels don't work well on film because they rely so much on the reader's imagination. I think it takes someone like a Kubrick, who has such unusual vision, to make it work. I also feel that Jack IS SK- a good man struggling with addiction and other demons - and didn't like to see the character depicted in a less sympathetic light.


Matthew Lisa wrote: "I love the movie and the book. Many of King's supernatural novels don't work well on film because they rely so much on the reader's imagination. I think it takes someone like a Kubrick, who has suc..."

Great point about Jack being Stephen King - he does that in a lot of his books!


Kat, lover of bears... It has been 15-20 years since I have read this too. It is on my read again list for sure. The Kubrick version could never stand up to the original. Jack Nicholson is chilling and perfect.


Matthew Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ wrote: "What Terry said!! I still love the movie but the book......"

I, unfortunately, have yet to find a Kubrick movie I can get into. I have tried many but usually find myself at a loss.


Matthew Kat wrote: "It has been 15-20 years since I have read this too. It is on my read again list for sure. The Kubrick version could never stand up to the original. Jack Nicholson is chilling and perfect."

The only issue with Jack is he almost seems crazy from the get go! :) :) :)


Tucker Great review! My favorite of his is probably IT


Kat, lover of bears... Matthew wrote: "Kat wrote: "It has been 15-20 years since I have read this too. It is on my read again list for sure. The Kubrick version could never stand up to the original. Jack Nicholson is chilling and perfec..."

Well.... it is Jack lol


Matthew Tucker wrote: "Great review! My favorite of his is probably IT"

Thanks, Tucker! Sorry The Shining didn't work out for you.


Matthew Kat wrote: "Well.... it is Jack lol"

Yeah, but, Jack Torrence isn't suppose to be quite as creepy as Jack Nicholson at first! :D :D :D


message 22: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Matthew, have you seen Paths of Glory? That's my favorite Kubrick. It's incredible.


Matthew Ann wrote: "Matthew, have you seen Paths of Glory? That's my favorite Kubrick. It's incredible."

That is one I have actually never even heard of!


Ginger One of my favorite Stephen King books ever! Glad the audio is just as good. I'll have to do a reread and try that one day.
Nice review Matthew!


Matthew Ginger wrote: "One of my favorite Stephen King books ever! Glad the audio is just as good. I'll have to do a reread and try that one day.
Nice review Matthew!"


Thanks, Ginger! :)


message 26: by Selena (new) - added it

Selena Wonderful book! Glad you enjoyed it.


message 27: by ChopinFC (new)

ChopinFC Kudos on the review Matt! Love SK and read most of his stuff, but yet to read this one...loved the creepy movie though.


Matthew Selena wrote: "Wonderful book! Glad you enjoyed it."

Yes indeed, Selena! Even better the second time around!😃


Matthew ChopinFC wrote: "Kudos on the review Matt! Love SK and read most of his stuff, but yet to read this one...loved the creepy movie though."

Thank you, sir! 😁 Try this one out!


Alondra One of my favorites from him. None of the movies/tv shows, do the book justice. Might be time for my reread.


Matthew Cross Matthew wrote: "ChopinFC wrote: "Kudos on the review Matt! Love SK and read most of his stuff, but yet to read this one...loved the creepy movie though."

Thank you, sir! 😁 Try this one out!"


the mini series to the shining and the stand does


Matthew Matthew wrote: "the mini series to the shining and the stand does"

I have heard rumors of a new Stand Miniseries. I did enjoy the one from the 90s.


Matthew Cross Matthew wrote: "Matthew wrote: "the mini series to the shining and the stand does"

I have heard rumors of a new Stand Miniseries. I did enjoy the one from the 90s."

I hope its a great adaption , I really do with the amount of time they have , but I hope its say 10 or so episodes and they end it , just like they did with the 90s one ( I know 4 episodes ) I hope they don't end it on a cliff hanger and cancel it , and I really do hope they stay true to the book , like the original series but to be honest im not excited for it , like I was for IT 2017 and the new pet sematary , IT was a huge let down and I saw the trailer to the new pet sematary and these days the whole plot of the movie is in the trailer and the trailer showed way to many changes


Matthew Matthew wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Matthew wrote: "the mini series to the shining and the stand does"

I have heard rumors of a new Stand Miniseries. I did enjoy the one from the 90s."
I hope its a great adaption , I..."


I didn't see it, but I heard that the Under The Dome miniseries suffered from being stretched over multiple seasons and being left more open ended.


Stephen Kubrick's film is considered a classic. A fail for me. Nicholson huge casting error. Didn't buy Nicholson and Duvall as partners. Couldn't buy Nicholson as father to a young boy. No chemistry between any of them. Kubrick eliminated the hotel as plot line in favor of letting Jack playing yet another variation on wacko Jack. No subtlety, no mystery in Kubrick's version. The book is so much better.


Matthew Stephen wrote: "Kubrick's film is considered a classic. A fail for me. Nicholson huge casting error. Didn't buy Nicholson and Duvall as partners. Couldn't buy Nicholson as father to a young boy. No chemistry betwe..."

100% THIS! Excellent summary that help put my thoughts into words exactly. It should be about the Overlook, not Jack Torrence.


Matthew Cross well the movie had absolutely nothing to do with the book ... other than names , thats why i call it the kubrick monstrosity


Matthew Cross i dont think ive ever been let down by a,film so much until IT 2017 came out


Matthew Matthew wrote: "well the movie had absolutely nothing to do with the book ... other than names , thats why i call it the kubrick monstrosity"

Ha! I think his specialty was monstrosities! :)


Leslie Great review. I saw you had liked mine and when I went to look at it, I saw I had only rated it, not reviewed it. I’ve read it a few times but the last must have been back in 2011, before I wrote any reviews with my ratings. I don’t get why 2011 me only gave it three stars so I changed it. I always think it’s one of my favorite King books. 2011 me must have been in a bad mood. 😂


Leslie Oh and I’m in the minority of this comment thread but I loved the Kubrick version. I just pretend like it’s totally unrelated to the book though hahaha.


Matthew Leslie wrote: "Great review. I saw you had liked mine and when I went to look at it, I saw I had only rated it, not reviewed it. I’ve read it a few times but the last must have been back in 2011, before I wrote a..."

Ha! Well, as I mentioned, I went up a star rating so maybe both our moods have improved!😁


Matthew Leslie wrote: "Oh and I’m in the minority of this comment thread but I loved the Kubrick version. I just pretend like it’s totally unrelated to the book though hahaha."

And, that is a great way to approach it!


message 44: by Patti (new) - added it

Patti I’m just about to start this! Hoping it’ll be a great one.


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