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The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining (1977)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Shining (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,541345182 (4.11)2 / 830
1970s (24)
Ghosts (9)

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English (332)  Italian (3)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (345)
Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
Well, that was longer than I remember! Not one of my favourite novels, thanks to Jack Nicholson's one-note performance in the film, I avoided reading The Shining for the longest time, and only an interest in Doctor Sleep - write a sequel for Ellie Creed too, Mr King! - made me return to the Overlook.

Everyone knows the story, I think. But I forgot just how awful the characters are, apart from Danny - and even his portrayal is spotty (is he five or forty-five?) - and Dick Hallorann. I'm not sure if King wants his Constant Reader to sympathise with Jack Torrance, but I can't stand the pathetic little man. Self-centred manchild. And the book should be subtitled 'You Should Have Left Him When You Had The Chance, Wendy'. As the dumb wife herself thinks at one point, 'She was aware now that she had made one bad decision when she had gone against her feelings (and Danny’s) and allowed the snow to close them in … for Jack’s sake. Another bad decision when she had shelved the idea of divorce'. No shit! Still, she has more wit and strength than Shelley Duvall's screaming victim in the film.

The best character in the book is not actually a person, but a building. I love the Overlook, and the creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere King creates! I also love Stuart Ullman, the hotel's manager, despite King's slightly homophobic description of him. William Daniels would have been a great casting choice for the character I imagined while reading. Anyway, the Overlook is the Evil Force in the story, filled with ghosts from its shady past - though the building is only seventy years old - including a rotting corpse in room 217 - but the real terror of course comes from being holed up with a man who blames his failures in life on other people. This inhuman place makes human monsters.

Onto Doctor Sleep to find out how Danny survived such a trauma so early in life! ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Apr 18, 2019 |
This book is so much better as a adult than it was at 14. Don't get me wrong, it was good then. It was scary and exciting. However, at 44 I'm better able to appreciate the reality of every character in this book. One of my favorite things about King is how fully nuanced his characters are. The Shining exemplifies this. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Mar 24, 2019 |
‚Shining‘ ist für mich einer der ultimativen Horrorromane überhaupt. Von Anfang bis Ende hatte ich Gänsehaut. Nicht nur, weil das Hotel an sich total gruselig ist, sondern die ganze Atmosphäre in dem Buch düster und bedrückend war. Die Figuren tun dabei natürlich ihr übriges. Während ich Wendy am liebsten die ganze Zeit schütteln würde, dass Jack sich doch nie ändern würde und sie ihn verlassen soll, verstehe ich auch, dass sie gefangen in ihrer Rolle als Hausfrau und Mutter ohne jegliches soziales Netz nicht einfach so ihre Sachen packen und gehen kann. Trotzdem hätte ich ihr gern mehr als einmal gesagt, dass alles gut wird. Jack hingegen…oh Du meine Güte….selbst bevor die Familie Torrance überhaupt im Overlook ankommt, war er mir schon hochgradig unsympathisch. Ein Säuferarschloch vor dem Herrn, für den ich keinerlei Mitleid empfinden konnte. Außerdem empfand er selbst genügend Mitleid für sich. Immer waren andere Schuld. Selbst für seine Fehler zu seinen schwersten Alkoholproblemzeiten – immer waren es andere. Damit kann ich, je älter ich werde, immer weniger anfangen. Menschen, die nicht in der Lage sind, ihren eigenen Fehlern und Fehltritten in die Augen zu schauen sondern immer Ausreden suchen. Für Jack Torrance empfand ich keinerlei Sympathie. Nicht das kleinste Quäntchen.

Die Art, wie er mit seiner Familie umspringt, wie er über seine Frau denkt und oftmals auch direkt mit ihr so redet, das ist einfach absolut erschreckend. Für mich lag hier drin der wahre Horror. Diese Respektlosigkeit. Das hat mich sehr mitgenommen. Ich war die ganze Zeit zwischen Wut und Angst hin- und hergerissen. Dass die Geister des Overlook Hotels in Jack ein schwaches, williges Opfer gefunden haben, war dabei nicht mehr überraschend. Trotzdem empfand ich Jacks Raserei und Hass als äußerst abstoßend. Am liebsten wäre ich selbst davor davongelaufen.

King beweist in diesem Roman sein brilliantes Talent, echte Menschen zu beschreiben. Danny Torrance war dabei derjenige, der mir einfach nur leid tat. Er liebte seine Eltern und deren ständige Streitereien und die immer vorhandene, heimliche Hoffnung, dass sich doch alles zum Guten wenden wird, das war einfach nur so traurig.

Ich fand es schön, dass Dick Hallorann hier ein guter Freund war und für Danny eine Anlaufstelle, was die Hellsichtigkeit angeht. King schaffte es hier besonders gut, Dannys Angst vor seinen eigenen Fähigkeiten zu beschreiben. Und seine Zerrissenheit, weil er wusste, dass diese Hellsichtigkeit nicht jeder Mensch besitzt.

„Shining“ ist ein geniales Buch. Nicht nur wegen des Horrors des Übernatürlichen sondern besonders durch den Horror, den echte Menschen auslösen können. Menschen, die unberechenbar sind und um die man wie auf zerbrechlichem Eis herumtanzen muss, weil man nie weiß, wann sie das nächste mal ausrasten. ( )
  Powerschnute | Mar 21, 2019 |
Reading this again after so many years, I have to resist subtracting stars from every one of my other review/ratings of Stephen King. This is his best work. 'The Shining' succeeds on every level. It is not only a haunted house story and psychological thriller, it explores the deep bond between children and their parents. Also, his sex writing doesn't have the dirty old man vibes I've come to expect.

I'm not a completest by any means, but I've read a lot of King since middle school and, while I've enjoyed the novels and stories that have been released in my lifetime, there is - with the possible exception of 'Bag of Bones' - a lapse in quality control and ill-conceived attempts to be contemporary. I'm reading 'Doctor Sleep' now so I'll have the opportunity to go into that aspect more in-depth later, so I will just dispense this advice: don't follow trends, stay classic, and you'll never be outdated.

'The Shining' is from a Golden Age. Much like the phantoms of The Overlook's ballroom celebrating the same night for eternity, I view King as the perfect storyteller he can be no matter how many results prove the contrary. Danny Torrance is a five-year-old, precocious, but given his talents, believably so. Wendy and Jack are trying their best to do right by him, struggling with their own hang-ups and setbacks. For a moment it looks as if the isolation of The Overlook is just what they need to get a fresh start with each other, but something has other plans.

There is just enough background on the characters to understand them, the history of The Overlook infiltrates the story naturally and avoids info-dumps. The foreboding of the early parts of the novel gently creeps up (she creeps(!)) until, by the time the snow comes, your face is pressed closer and closer to pages, looking for a way out. I love this book.

Next (Regrettably): 'Doctor Sleep' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
King is a master of psychological horror. I am and will forever be an admiror of the way in which he writes his characters. Every single one of them is filled with individuality and are really captivating. The best chapter in this book is by far the one in which Jack kills the wasps in their nest. Just a masterpiece.
I am looking forward to read the sequel. ( )
  melosomelo | Feb 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 332 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, HarroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dell'Orto, AdrianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isomursu, PenttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was in this apartment, also, that there stood against the western wall, a gigantic clock of ebony.  Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that,
at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to harken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused revery or meditation.  But when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly; the musicians looked at each other and smiled as if at their own nervousness and folly, and made whispering vows, each to the other, that the next chiming of the clock should produce in them no similar emotion; and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes, (which embrace three thousand and six hundred seconds of the Time that flies,) there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before.
But, in spite of these things, it was a gay and magnificent revel.
E. A. Poe
'The Masque of the Red Death'

The sleep of reason breeds monsters.

It'll shine when it shines.
Folk saying.
This is for Joe Hill King, who shines on.
My editor on this book, as on the previous two, was M. William G. Thompson, a man of wit and good sense. His contribution to this book has been large, and for it, my thanks.
First words
Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.
Hallorann’s testicles turned into two small wrinkled sacs filled with shaved ice.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with "the shining" do battle with the darkest evils. Stephen King's classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743437497, Paperback)




First published in 1977, The Shining quickly became a benchmark in the literary career of Stephen King. This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel's past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to laim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendaryStanley Kubrick -- featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson --The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Danny is only five years old but in the words of old Mr Hallorann, he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, his visions grow frighteningly out of control. As winter closes in, the hotel develops a life of it's own. Somewhere, somehow there is an evil force, and that too is beginning to shine.… (more)

» see all 19 descriptions

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