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The Shining
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Group Reads > September 2013 Group Read: The Shining

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Tiffany September's group read book is The Shining by Stephen King. We're reading it because it won the monthly poll. Its long-awaited sequel Doctor Sleep will be published September 24th!

Feel free to start the discussion in this thread!

While most of us have probably read this one before, please keep in mind that some may be reading this for the first time, so please use spoiler tags for potential spoilers.


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments I recently finished my second read of this book and I'm not quite up for a third. My TBR list would feel neglected and hate me for it.

I am however looking forward to the discussion. I could talk The Shining all day long and very well may do so.

Speaking of an in depth view of the The Shining - the film, not the book - has anyone seen the documentary "ROOM 237?"
There's some pretty weird theories in there, some of which I suspect are pure bullshit but others that are fascinating whether they are true or not. It's worth taking a look at if you're interested in Stanley Kubrick's adaptation.

I'm one of those people who enjoyed Kubrick's film as much as King's novel despite the many differences - Five star book, five star film. I'm curious as to what others think of that. I know Stephen King hated the film and I flat out disagree with him. I think it was as much of a masterpiece as the novel.


Michael Brookes (technohippy) 11811 (Eleven) wrote: "I recently finished my second read of this book and I'm not quite up for a third. My TBR list would feel neglected and hate me for it.

I am however looking forward to the discussion. I could tal..."


I'd have to agree with you, while the film is very different in the book it is an excellent film in its own right.


message 4: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 27, 2013 09:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tiffany Thanks for mentioning the documentary, Eleven. I haven't seen it, but I'm going to try to find it online. While I understand why King hated Kubrick's film, (view spoiler) I still think it's a classic and an overall fantastic film. Have you seen the three-part miniseries that King decided to make in the nineties? I think it is really interesting to compare and contrast the miniseries and Kubrick's film. I feel they were both successes.


Hudson (bostonrich) | 47 comments I watched a show last night called Ariel America and they flew over the hotel that was the inspiration for the Shining. Stephen King had stayed up there with his wife and they were the last guests before the hotel closed for the season. Said it was VERY spooky and he woke up from a nightmare where his son was running down the hall screaming. The Shining is one of the greatest horror books of all time in my opinion!


Latasha (latasha513) | 11048 comments Mod
this will be my 1st time reading it.


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments Tiffany wrote: "Thanks for mentioning the documentary, Eleven. I haven't seen it, but I'm going to try to find it online. While I understand why King hated Kubrick's film, [spoilers removed] I still think it's a c..."

I caught part of the "King" version of the shining on TV when it originally aired and happened to land on a part where Danny was the main figure and I thought the acting was terrible. I watched a little while longer and thought all the acting was terrible as well as the production. That particular director has disappointed me in all of his King adaptations.

I understand King's disappointment with the original Kubrick film but I think he misunderstands screen translations. Kubrick's version of King's novel was brilliant. King was expecting a screen replica of what he wrote, he didn't get it, and he was upset. I think some things work differently on the screen than they do in prose so I disagree with the author on the quality of the film and disagree that it should follow the novel line for line when sometimes that might not work out so well.

I generally am disappointed when a film doesn't follow the plot of the novel but Kubrick's film was an exception for me. I thought he took a great prose idea and turned it into a great film idea. The differences didn't phase me in the least. It was two opposing imaginations at their best.

I've been meaning to re-visit the King version of the film but haven't gotten around to it yet. I think the small part I saw was particularly bad (hated Danny's actor) but I'd like to give it another go.


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments Mick Garris was the director. Look him up on IMDB and see if you can find a SK film he made that was worth watching.


Char  | 14232 comments Mod
I thought the film was very good, while the book was excellent. But, I don't feel the film properly reflected the book...to me, it's like they're two different stories. I thought the mini series was ok...I liked it because it took back the ending that was in the book, but I didn't think the acting was that great.


Latasha (latasha513) | 11048 comments Mod
I picked up a copy from my local library & will be starting ASAP.


message 11: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 27, 2013 12:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tiffany I do remember Danny's acting being terrible in the miniseries! I think I liked Jack's character in the miniseries more than the Kubrick film because he started out seeming more normal and fatherly (view spoiler). Also, I hate to say it, but I'm not a fan of Jack Nicholson's acting. (view spoiler)


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments Tiffany wrote: "I do remember Danny's acting being terrible in the miniseries! I think I liked Jack's character in the miniseries more than the Kubric film because he started out seeming more normal and fatherly."

Jack's character in the mini-series was definitely closer to the King character but I still can't dis my love for Jack Nicholson :p

Two kinds of crazy, equally fun.


Char  | 14232 comments Mod
Tiffany, I wholeheartedly agree!

(view spoiler)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Read this years ago and I'm looking forward to reading it again. But I do love the Kubrick movie. It was the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. Not my first but the first I can remember. And my mom covered my eyes during the scenes she didn't want me to see. (view spoiler) It has quite a few scary moments. But it isn't really very scary to me. I like it more than the mini-series though.


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments Charlene wrote: "Tiffany, I wholeheartedly agree!

[spoilers removed]"


Agreed on that spoiler, but with the rest of the movie I was at a culmination of terror and enjoyment.... and some confusion but it was all good.


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments Traci L. wrote: "Read this years ago and I'm looking forward to reading it again. But I do love the Kubrick movie. It was the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. Not my first but the first I can remember...."

Regarding your spoiler - For the love of god make it go away make it go away!!!!!


Hudson (bostonrich) | 47 comments Know who else liked the book better than the movie? Dick Halloran the cook!


Char  | 14232 comments Mod
ROFL Hudson! I bet he did. :)
I am wondering if he will show up in Dr. Sleep? He probably would have been too old, though, right?


11811 (Eleven) (11811) | 1561 comments Who preferred Willie from the Simpsons house of horror starring as Halloran? - "argg, I'm bad at this..."


Char  | 14232 comments Mod
LOL I love Willie!


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments Cool, the last time I read I was a teenager. I start tomorrow!


message 22: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) Count me in for discussion; I've read this book multiple times.

Not a fan of Nicholson (I would love to shave his eyebrows off and see if he can act without them).


ZoeyBB (sjnovak3) | 95 comments Yay! I'm so excited to start! I haven't read this in so long. I wonder if its changed much... ;)


message 24: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2849 comments I've brought up The Shining in discussions before so its good to see a whole topic on it. I know the book and the movie have alot of differences. The 1980 movie is Kubricks twist on it and the 1997 mini series is Stephen Kings redue of it where it is all based on the book. King hated the fact that Kubrick changed so much and I heard they got into some big arguments on set. King has this thing were if he doesnt get a big key scene how he wants the film wont be made, not sure if it started with that.
I prefer the movies interptation of the outside over the books. Also in the book I dont remember if you can pick up on themes as well as you can in the film. I've seen the movie so many times compared to reading the book so Its hard to compare and contrast when youve seen one so many times over reading the other.


Leigh Lane (leighmlane) | 74 comments The Shining is an oldie but goodie. It's actually my favorite King novel. I look forward to others' thoughts on the story.

For me, the characterization is what sticks with me the most (beyond, of course, the overall creepiness of the hotel, which one might argue is a character in itself). The dynamics between the Torrance family are sharp but believable, and the part Tony plays in it all is a chilling complement to a great cast. I also think the text is deceptively smart, with a lot of thoughtful subtext packed in between the lines.


message 26: by Greg (last edited Aug 28, 2013 07:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments This will be my first time reading The Shining. Glad to be finally taking it off my TBR. I did enjoy the film but thought it was a little too slow paced. I will have to watch the mini-series and rewatch the film after reading it. I'm about 5% in right now and really getting into it.

(view spoiler)


message 27: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments Could someone fill me in on the proper spoiler tags? Please.


Tiffany It should look like this without any spaces: < spoiler > at the beginning and < / spoiler > at the end.


message 29: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments Thank you


Hudson (bostonrich) | 47 comments Eleven/Charlene - wasn't that a great Simpson's episode?? "No TV and no beer make Homer something something."


message 31: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments Go crazy!!! Don't mind if I do. Honk honk babunabla.

Red Room. Over there.


message 32: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments OOOHH..you mean the "Shining" ack no boy the "shinning" you wanna get sued!


Latasha (latasha513) | 11048 comments Mod
Danny is 5 right?im on chapter 4, I know it's not sept. yet but it will take me longer than most to get through this book. I don't get to read much through the week & I can't read at work- I'll get sleepy!(I work nights)


message 34: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt | 761 comments Wow. I have not been an HA member very long but this is what makes this group great. Here's a thread for a book we haven't even started yet and there are 30+ posts already! Looking forward to re-reading with the group.


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments Latasha wrote: "Danny is 5 right?im on chapter 4, I know it's not sept. yet but it will take me longer than most to get through this book. I don't get to read much through the week & I can't read at work- I'll get..."

Yep he's 5.


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments Ctgt wrote: "Wow. I have not been an HA member very long but this is what makes this group great. Here's a thread for a book we haven't even started yet and there are 30+ posts already! Looking forward to re-re..."

I couldn't wait!


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments I don't remember not liking Jack from the start last time around, I read this book more than 20 years ago. But this time I really don't like him, the guy's a douche (view spoiler).


ZoeyBB (sjnovak3) | 95 comments Ctgt wrote: "Wow. I have not been an HA member very long but this is what makes this group great. Here's a thread for a book we haven't even started yet and there are 30+ posts already! Looking forward to re-re..."

Ha- I was thinking the same thing!


message 39: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments Marc as a father of 3 who also has a temper I can totally understand it. I in no way condone it or have ever injured my children like that but I can completely understand how it can happen. Most parents will tell you sometimes you need to vacate a room fast and go choke the hell out of a pillow.

My only problem (early spoiler)
(view spoiler)


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments Greg, I've got two kids myself, but also have self control. Completely agree with your hidden statement though.


message 41: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments True enough Marc as do I. Just saying I could understand it is all.


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments I hear you :)


message 43: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2849 comments Did you guys know that for the film instead of Jack Nicholson they almost cast Robin Williams? How weird would that have been? I think even when you read the book you get a general sense of timidness out of the character and Robin Williams is not it!


Marc-Antoine | 2888 comments Did not know that. I like robin Williams though, he probably could have pulled it off, IMO. I thought Nicholson did a great job though.


Latasha (latasha513) | 11048 comments Mod
Marc-Antoine wrote: "Did not know that. I like robin Williams though, he probably could have pulled it off, IMO. I thought Nicholson did a great job though."

yeah, I agree.


Latasha (latasha513) | 11048 comments Mod
Marc-Antoine wrote: "Latasha wrote: "Danny is 5 right?im on chapter 4, I know it's not sept. yet but it will take me longer than most to get through this book. I don't get to read much through the week & I can't read a..."

he sure is smart for a 5 yr. old!


message 47: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 382 comments I was thinking the same thing. My son is 5 1/2 and he is not reading and comprehending on that level yet. But maybe having a English teacher father helps.


Latasha (latasha513) | 11048 comments Mod
Greg wrote: "I was thinking the same thing. My son is 5 1/2 and he is not reading and comprehending on that level yet. But maybe having a English teacher father helps."

lol maybe. i'm sure there is more there than I know about yet. this is my 1st reading of the shining although I have seen (and own) the movie and I've seen the mini series. I liked both.


message 49: by Michael (new)

Michael Hughes It's interesting to read The Shining knowing that King was dealing with very serious addiction when he was writing it. The book is many things, but it's definitely a metaphor for the nightmare of addiction.

I love the book and the film. They're very different, but Kubrick's film is iconic. The scenes from Danny's POV as he rides his Big Wheel through the Overlook's halls are brilliant and incredibly scary.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a good word to use for the movie. Iconic. It sure is. I like Nicholson. Do I think he's the perfect actor for that role? No. But he made it his own. I think Duvall was a worse choice as the wife. In my opinion another actress who balanced out Nicholson's craziness would've made a better movie. I love Kubrick's direction though. There are so many scenes that stick out.

I really don't remember the book too well. So even though I have read it, it will still be new. It was years ago.


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