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The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining (original 1977; edition 2012)

by Stephen King

Series: Shining (1)

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12,635225188 (4.1)646
Title:The Shining
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Reviewed, Read but unowned

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The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

1970s (24)

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English (216)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  French (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
I committed the cardinal sin of watching the Shining film several times without actually reading the book. I am a great fan of the Stanley Kubrick's film the Shining, and also a fan of Jack Nicholson.
But as an author myself and a fan of many of Stephen King's stories, I eventually came to reading the Shining book rather a long time after it was written.

The book has certainly lost none of its appeal. It presents the Overlook Hotel, not just as a collection of walls and rooms but as a living entity. The rich history of the hotel provides a fantastic setting for the main characters to unfold.

The original story is quite different from the the films that followed, perhaps explaining Stephen's apparent dislike of them. Although the setting is the same, the films have ignored large sections of the book and added many sections that aren't present in the book. This is probably an ongoing friction between authors and screen-writers. The latter is 'based on' the former but veers off where it pleases.

But the book is a highly entertaining read, frightening in places and very good at leaving the reader in a sort of tense apprehensive state, wondering what will happen next. The characters were good and the story was strong. The setting adds great atmosphere and the book shows the early talent of King as it was just being unfolded many years ago. Since then he has learnt many new tricks and produced story after story becoming one of the most prolific story writers of out time.

I'm not sure what Stephen thinks when he looks back at his early work, no doubt there will be bits here and there he wouldn't do the same way with hindsight, but this book still stands out as a great story even many years after it was first written. No doubt it'll be here for many years to come also.

At the start of the book there is a new introduction where Stephen describes how the book came about and what it meant to him at the time. It was a turning point in his career where he could have played safe but went the extra mile to take risks and produce a story that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I highly recommend this book to any reader, not just horror fans.

Shine on ( )
  peterjameswest | Nov 21, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book quite more than I expected to. I read it because I knew Stephen King hated the Stanley Kubrick movie version (which I am neither here nor there on. . .). I completely understand why he would hate it. I think they are both good in their own right, but would be frustrated by the fact that more people have probably seen the movie than read the (somewhat) better book. I read it rather quickly, and was only marginally frightened! ( )
  KatieEmilySmith | Sep 23, 2014 |
King's terrifying novel turned pop culture movie. It was stunning. The graphic scenes still kind of scare me. The haunting characters are well developed and it's a great piece of fun lit. Worth the read. Oh, and it's about this thing called the shining. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
Stephen King’s The Shining

I thought I was familiar with this story when I watched the Jack Nicholson film many years ago, but I was totally wrong!

The book is about Danny, which the Kubrick film (although well-made) completely misses. Danny is the most powerful psychic in these parts and the kid broadcasts out like crazy. He can read minds but still has a little kid’s attitude and does not have the maturity to handle such a gift (or curse?).

Jack was a teacher but also loved binge drinking with his buddy Al. One day they ran into a bike on the road. No person on it, just a bike. They both have an epiphany that they need to go cold turkey. How the bike arrived there is not explained, but is probably something Danny put there?

Fascinating workings of Jack’s mind throughout – his alcoholism, his fits of violence, and a few pages devoted to his father who, like Jack, did some pretty damaging things to his family.

The Overlook is a summer resort hotel with a mysterious past. Jack gets a job there as a caretaker and finds that the previous one killed his family and then himself. Not gonna happen to him though. OK!

And Wendy, which character seems very weak-willed and only turns on the guns when her motherly instincts turn on. The story is grerat when I have to yell at the book for Wendy to not go into the hall! And how can she carry a knife and not use it while Jacks beats on her?

History and Hysteria

Loved the Overlook’s mysterious parts – the woman in the bathtub, the 70 years of haunts floating through the halls, the mysterious barkeep who fuels up Jack into fits of rage and to prove Jack is in fact managerial material.

Finally King’s black cook, Dick Hallorann, a man who shines but not nearly as much as Danny. Disappointing as I was hoping for a white horse riding in and saving the day. They were lucky to get away with their lives.

Bottom Line:

Horror, when done right, is fast-paced and takes your breath away. King does this in spades.

Can’t wait for Doctor Sleep!

( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
I picked this book up because I first read it when I was about 12 years old and I just got a copy of "Doctor Sleep" and thought I probably would be completely lost if I didn't re-read it.
I do not remember being so creeped out the first go round. Maybe my younger self just did not realize how easily I could picture Jack's character. Jack could be your friend, your co-worker or even you.
Stephen King to me has a way of looking at his characters and seeing flaws and good. He makes them come alive and I love him for it. He weaves a spell around me and I'm there with the characters spying as their story unwinds. Scared crap less most times but there all the same.
This books build up is what is so dang good. It builds slowly and you will end up more than likely putting the dang book in the freezer for awhile just so you can have a break from it. The ending was a bit rushed but you know what? Couldn't care less. Still loved it.
I never liked this movie too much but Jack Nicholson did nail Jack Torrence's character on the head.
( )
  bookqueenshelby | Sep 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, HarroAutorsecondary 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.)
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.

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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:11 -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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