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The Shining by Stephen King
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The Shining (original 1977; edition 2012)

by Stephen King

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13,953271148 (4.1)2 / 716
Member:JaneSteen
Title:The Shining
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

1970s (51)
Ghosts (22)
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English (261)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (270)
Showing 1-5 of 261 (next | show all)
I thought this book was supposed to be scary. I didn't finish it not because it was horrifying but because I just got bored and had no sympathy for the adult characters. Quite frankly the sooner something killed them off the better. Maybe I just didn't read far enough in the book ... ( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
This book is so much scarier than the movie! Stephen King at his best; he combines the supernatural with the real fear of what we could become under the right circumstances. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
This book is so much scarier than the movie! Stephen King at his best; he combines the supernatural with the real fear of what we could become under the right circumstances. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
The Overlook Hotel is nestled in a valley in the remote Colorado rockies. For ages, it's been the summer destination of starlets, millionaires and has-beens. In the off-season, it lies dormant, isolated, covered in snow, mostly-unoccupied, and apparently haunted. Or perhaps the better word would be possessed. It's not the individual spirits that are terrifying, but the hotel itself - something even darker than ghosts, stemming from the site itself. Like Hill House (or even, marginally, like Winward House in "The Uninvited") the possession seems to be manifesting itself in triplicate - like a hellmouth of sorts - calling out to, and trying to absorb, a certain special individual.

Stephen King's The Shining posits the hotel as a well-constructed metaphor for the father figure's alcoholism - haunted by the past, destructive, in disrepair, a ticking time bomb, etc. King, who admittedly didn't sober up until about a decade after The Shining's publication, had a mean grasp on the house that his addiction built. But the term "shining" has little to do with the father figure Jack, and everything to do with the novel's focal character - a little boy named Danny - who possesses nascent skills for telepathy and clairvoyance. Naturally the paranormal elements attempt to draw him in at the expense of everything else. The reader's awareness of Danny's abilities means a blurring of the line between reality and his internalized fears. The movement of the fire hose on the second floor, for example, could be in Danny's head, or it could be part of the hotel's manifestation - the ambiguity makes it more fearsome.

And while Danny's heightened awareness of both the hotel's metaphysical abnormalities and his parents' own delusions and thoughts is sufficiently creepy, there are elements that take this story over the edge and make it a truly excellent work of suspense and horror. Both of these elements were left out of the Kubrick film, so if you've seen it but not yet read the novel: here's what you're missing. First of all, you've got the hedge animals who shift and move on their own, changing their stances and becoming increasingly threatening. At first, you might think that it's a trick of the light, or perhaps just an effect of paranoia. But when they actually begin attacking - that's when you know there's something darker than just ghosts at work here. And if you finish this book without being forever afraid of topiaries, you must have picked up the wrong book.

But more importantly - there's that ticking time bomb of a boiler that only gets a wayward glance in the film. Old boiler rooms are creepy on their own - there's a reason the queue for Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at DHS is fashioned like one - but the root of Jack's eventual psychosis is manifesting right there in the Overlook basement. The old news clippings and photos (and probably some asbestos, who knows?) and finally that boiler that has to be depressurized every twelve hours. King deftly keeps the plot rising and dipping with this routine as tensions waver, and it becomes a countdown clock as Jack slips deeper and deeper into the grotesque masquerade. In the end all parties, save one, have forgotten to mind the building pressure. And the end result is a spectacle greater than anything the film came close to rendering (except maybe the creepy twins).

www.theliterarygothamite.com ( )
  laurscartelli | Mar 26, 2016 |
Raul Esparza
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

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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Epigraph
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.
Goya

It'll shine when it shines.
Folk saying.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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)

"YOU'RE THE CARETAKER, SIR. YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CARETAKER. I SHOULD KNOW, SIR. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE...."

-- DELBERT GRADY OF THE OVERLOOK HOTEL

THE SHINING

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)

» see all 17 descriptions

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