Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Shining by Stephen King


After enjoying 11/22/63, my first Stephen King novel, I decided to follow it up with The Shining which is one of his earlier books and always on the list of his best ones ever. This had all the elements for a suspenseful atmospheric novel. A family of three are hired as caretakers of a Colorado summer hotel from September to May during which time they are completely snowed in and cut off from the outside world. To top it off the son has psychic powers and the dad's a weirdo and a recovering alcoholic. I have to say this book just didn't do it for me. I wasn't scared or creeped out at all. I've seen the film which was excellent but this was just mweh... Stephen King does write well but I thought this book was more about the father's character trying to stay away from the bottle and slowly going insane. No...sorry. It didn't scare me at all. That said, I'm still on a Stephen King kick since I followed this up with The Dead Zone and am now reading Salem's Lot.

I'm including this review in the  Stephen King project hosted by Natalie from Coffee and a Book Chick and  Kathleen from Boarding In My Forties.


9 comments:

  1. I remember reading this book and not feeling very affected either. But horror also seems a little difficult to achieve in books - especially when compared to films. And I know King's known for horror but this didn't really work for me - this is the only one I've read of his.

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  2. Actually I can name a few books that really creeped me out - The Turn of the Screw, The Little Stranger, to name a few. Horror is difficult to achieve. I suggest you try more novels by King. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

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  3. I wasn't particularly fond of this one either. I just felt as though it dragged along, could've been cut down by a few hundred pages, and wasn't scary which I could've handled if it had done (for me) a better job of delving into the psychology of it all. This is the only Stephen King I've read, so I feel as though I should read another before completely writing him off.

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    1. I agree, it definitely dragged in parts. I think you'd like 11/22/63 so do give that a try.

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  4. I loved this in audio, scared me quite a bit! I will say that had I read this one, it would have been challenging for me to separate the movie from the book and the book is quite different. I love Stephen King's writing, so all those digressions he takes to give more backstory for a character are my favorite. Campbell Scott narrated the audio version that I have and I enjoyed it, so definitely try it in that form one day if you choose to revisit.

    But, with more than fifty or so novels from Stephen King to choose from, might as well jump to the next one!

    Thanks, as always, for participating in The Project!!

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    1. I should have just listened to the audio. I kept picturing Jack Nicholson as the main character so probably having Campbell Scott read the book would dispel that image.

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  5. Hello, Mrs B! I'm so happy that you're reading King! I had a Stephen King phase when I was in my teenage years. I think I read most of his early works. I stopped with Rose Madder though, as I felt that his later novels weren't giving me the creeps any longer.

    I do remember liking this book though. (Or maybe I read it when I was very young and quite impressionable? Hehehehehe.) My favorite is still Salem's Lot. I read it when I was 14, I think, and I had so much fun with it. I saw the TV miniseries and there's this one scene that was responsible for a few sleepless nights. A couple of years ago, I listened to the audiobook and I still found it scary.

    When I mention that I was a huge King fan before, a lot of people would ask which King novel should they start with. I usually tell them to check out the short stories. King has very noteworthy short story anthologies. I think the best of these are Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. They're bite-size horror gems.

    He also has this wonderful collection of novellas entitled Different Seasons. It has 4 well-written works, which I think would appeal to King newbies. Most of these novellas have been turned into movies: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Body, which was filmed as 'Stand By Me', and Apt Pupil.

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    1. I had no idea you were a King fan. You should definitely read 11/22/63. I'm taking some of King's short stories on an upcoming looong plane ride. I really hope it helps pass the time. Bringing some of his audio books too. Thanks for all the recommendations.

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  6. I LOVE all of King's old stuff and a few of his more recent titles but all of the books he wrote while recouping from the hit and run were very strange and not him at all.

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