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The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining (original 1977; edition 2012)

by Stephen King

Series: Shining (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,160248168 (4.1)2 / 688
Title:The Shining
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Fiction: Horror, 2012 Readings, Your library
Tags:Genre: Horror, Ghosts, Colorado, Genre: Thriller, Supernatural

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The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

1970s (20)
Ghosts (14)

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English (239)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (248)
Showing 1-5 of 239 (next | show all)
I had read this book once before when I was much younger. I think I was probably around 12, so that would be about 27 years ago. I didn’t remember much about it beyond some of the more dramatic scenes and the fact that I had really enjoyed it. When I found out a sequel had been published, I started to think about re-reading this book and then reading the sequel.

In case anybody’s unfamiliar with this book, or remembers as little about it as I did, here’s some basic spoiler-free info. The story centers on a family that includes a five year old boy, Danny, and his mother and father. Danny has psychic abilities -- he’s able to read other people’s feelings and sometimes he picks up stray thoughts. With some extra effort, he can read thoughts in greater detail and sometimes he also has visions of the future. His father, Jack, is a recovering alcoholic with a bad temper. His mother, Wendy, is a stay-at-home mom with limited work experience. They’re in bad financial shape, but Jack is hired to serve as the caretaker at a hotel in the mountains of Colorado over the winter. The hotel doesn’t operate during the winter because, after the heavy snows start, the hotel is cut off from the nearest town for months. This means that Jack and his family will be living in the hotel alone, cut off from civilization for most of the winter. It’s an old hotel, and a lot of bad things have happened there in the past. Given that this is a horror story, you can probably guess the turn the story takes after the family moves in.

I really enjoyed re-reading this book, but it wasn’t as creepy as I’d remembered. It got a little intense toward the end but I never reached the point where I felt scared, or started peering suspiciously into shadows, or anything like that. I guess the creepier parts were also the parts I remembered better, so that probably reduced their impact. The story wasn’t completely without suspense for me, though. I actually couldn’t remember for sure who lived and who died by the end of the book so I was able to root for the characters all over again.

The story held my interest well. My work schedule for the past week and a half has been brutal. If the book hadn’t been interesting, I wouldn’t have gotten very far with it because most of my reading time has been limited to bedtime. When I picked the book up at the end of each day, I was certain I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open long enough to read a single page. Then, the next thing I knew, I was a few chapters further into the book and I wasn’t feeling that sleepy anymore. I usually had to force myself to put the book down so I could get a decent night’s sleep. So, if this review doesn’t make any sense, blame sleep deprivation. :)

The book had quite a bit more meat to it than I remembered, and I enjoyed the back story about the characters. I really hadn’t remembered anything about the characters beyond the fact that Danny was psychic and the father, Jack, was an alcoholic. I liked Danny, but I really didn’t like either of his parents. Although Jack was the one who caused most of the family’s problems with his alcoholism and anger issues, and I didn’t like him very much, his mother also frustrated me quite a bit. She didn’t take any initiative to improve the situation for her and her son either and she was very dependent. In her mind, her only options were to stay with her irresponsible and dangerous husband or move in with her hateful mother. Standing on her own two feet never seemed to occur to her.

In fairness, the book was written in 1977. It was probably a lot harder and less common for a mother to support herself and her children on her own in 1977 as compared to today when women have more career opportunities and are usually expected to work. Not that I think it’s easy today, but it’s surely more feasible. Her lack of independence and initiative, especially given her worry for her son, still annoyed me though. So I kept mentally arguing with the parents while I read the story! I liked the boy quite a bit better. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jul 9, 2015 |
Good old creepy King at his best. Whilst the film gets all the plaudits, the book is still a work of genius and will haunt you long after you finish it. The story of a lost father caught in the mouth of madness and his young family who must try and stay alive. His son has psychic abilities that enable him to sense the underlying evil in the hotel and it is through eyes we see much of the action unfold. Great book. ( )
  areadingmachine | Jul 6, 2015 |
I had forgotten just how creeptastically amazing this book was. And how different from the movie! I've only read it once before, years ago, and I have seen the movie probably 5 times, so the movie stuck in my mind more. It was a pleasure reading the book again.
( )
  DanielleMD | Jun 20, 2015 |
I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. The movie is so good, so I was worried I was going into it expecting too much and that I would be let down. At the same time it’s Stephen King, so of course it would be great. I just didn’t know what to think.

It was so good. It’s not one of my favorites by King, but I still really really liked it. There wasn’t anything I disliked about it so it probably deserves five stars. However, I didn’t love it for some crazy reason. So I’m giving it four stars.

I have now read four books by Stephen King. I’ve read Dreamcatcher, Pet Sematary, ‘Salem’s Lot (my review), and obviously, The Shining. What book by him should I read next?

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read The Shining and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | May 26, 2015 |
Why did it take me so long to start reading King? Great book! ( )
  GSB68 | May 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 239 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, HarroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, PaulCover artistsecondary 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.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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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)

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 claim the very souls of the Torrance family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary director Stanley 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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