REVIEW ´ The Shining

SUMMARY ô E-book, or Kindle E-pub ✓ Stephen King

The ShiningPlenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing But as the harsh winter weather sets in the idyllic location feels ever re. If you have not read The Shining already do not overlook the opportunity presented by the publication of Doctor Sleep the seuel to revisit one of the best ghost stories of our time The appearance of the follow up offers a perfect justification for stepping through those bat wing doors for the first time 1st Edition cover – Published January 28 1977 – 447 pps It has been a lifetime since I read The Shining for the first time over thirty years ago I enjoyed it then for its effectiveness in telling a scary no a very scary story Reading it now is colored as is all of life by our accumulation or lack of accumulation of experience We see or appreciate colors textures shapes structures and feelings with experienced educated eyes We have seen or are at least aware of real world things that are scarier than any fictional spectres So what does it look like through old cloudy lensesIt remains a very scary story The things that stand out for me now are not so much the deader rising up out of a bathtub to pursue a curious child although that is still pretty creepy or the mobile topiary which still works pretty well at making the hair on one’s neck and arms stand at attention But King was using the haunted house trope to look at personal demons And those shine through clearly now From Allyn Scura’s blogHe had some drinking issues at the time he wrote the book when he was 30 and concern about that is major here Jack Torrance is an alcoholic no uestion He also has issues with anger management not that the little shit he clocks while teaching at a New England prep school didn’t have it coming He did But one cannot do that to a student however deserving and expect to remain employed for long His little boy however most certainly did not deserve a broken arm Jack is very remorseful and wants to make things right He manages to get a gig taking care of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado over the winter It will offer him a chance to get something right after a string of getting things wrong offer a chance to save his marriage and offer an opportunity to work on his unfinished play Risky Sure But a gamble worth taking And his wife Wendy agrees despite having serious misgivings There are no attractive alternatives Of course we all know that the Overlook is not your typical residence Odd things happen sounds are heard thoughts from somewhere outside find their way into your mind Jack is targeted and boy is he vulnerableBut five year old Danny is the real key here He is the proud possessor of an unusual talent the shining of the book’s title Danny can not only do a bit of mind reading he can also see things that other people cannot And for a little guy he has a huge talent He also has an invisible friend named Tony with whom only he can communicate It is difficult to think about the book without finding our mental screens flickering with the images of Jack Nicholson in full cartoonish psycho rage the very effective sound of a Big Wheel followed by a steadicam coursing through the long halls of the hotel and the best casting decision ever in choosing Scatman Crothers to play Dick Halloran By the way the hotel is based on a real world place the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado And the Overlook’s spooky room 217 was inspired by the supposedly haunted room 217 at the Stanley This image is from the hotel’s site – they clearly embrace the spectral connectionThe room number was changed in the film to 237 at the reuest of the Timberline hotel which was used for exterior shots There is so much that differentiates Kubrick’s film from the book that they are almost entirely different entities The differences do reuire a bit of attention here First and foremost the book of The Shining is about the disintegration of a family due to alcoholism and anger issues How a child survives in a troubled family is key The film is pretty much pure spook house well done spook house but solely spook house nonetheless IMHO There is considerable back story to Jack and Wendy that gets no screen time You have to read the book to get that Jack is a victim as much as Wendy and Danny You would never get that from the slobbering Jack of the film The maze in the book was pretty cool right I liked it too but it does not exist in the book I believe it was put in to replace the talented topiary which is the definition of a bad trade There is significant violence in the book that never made its way into Kubrick’s film but which very much raises a specter of domestic violence that is terrorizing real people living in real horror stories There are a few lesser elements Jack wielded a roue mallet not an axe Danny is not interrupted in his travels through the corridors by Arbus like twin sisters And the sisters in uestion are not even twins There are plenty but you get the idea An interesting film for sure but not really the most faithful interpretation of the book King saw that a film that closely reflected what he had written reached TV screens in 1997 with a six hour mini series versionIrrelevancies of a personal natureThe opening shot was filmed on the Going–to the Sun Road in Montana’s Glacier National Park in Montana I have had the pleasure 7 times in one visit and recommend the drive wholeheartedly It is a pretty narrow road though so you will have to drive carefully Bring along the appropriate musical media for the best effect Wendy Carlos’s Rocky Mountain and dress warmly It was below freezing when I reached the top of the road in August Some exteriors for Kubrick’s film were shot at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon I visited but did not stay there back in 2008 Sadly I do not have any decent personal photos from the place I can report though on a bitThis shot was found on Wikimediaof kitsch There is a place in the hotel where an ax is lodged in a block of wood with HEEEEERE’s JOHNNY on the ax a tourist photo op And yes I did Sadly or luckily the shot did not come out well so you will be sparedBack to the book Danny’s talent is a two edged sword He is afflicted with seeing than anyone his age should have to see but on the other hand he has a tool he can use to try to save them all Whether he can or not is a core tension element here King is fond of placing his stories in literary context He peppers the text with references to various relevant books and authors I expect these are meant to let us know his influences Horace Walpole author of The Castle of Otranto a Gothic classic is mentioned as is Shirley Jackson of Hill House fame King had used a uote from this book in Salem’s Lot A family saga rich with death and destruction Cashelmara is mentioned as are some contemporary items like The Walton Family the idealized antithesis to the Torrance Family Where the Wild Things Are and novelist Frank Norris The primary literary reference here is Poe’s The Masue of the Red Death which is cited many times There had been a costume ball back in hotel’s history and it is the impending climax of that party the unmasking that looms here And toss in nods to Treasure Island and Bluebeard for good measureKing often includes writers in his work avatars for himself I write about writers because I know the territory Also you know it's a great job for a protagonist in a book Without having to hold down a steady job writers can have all sorts of adventures Also if they disappear it's a long time before they are missed Heh heh heh – from an AOL interview Jack Torrance is a writer as well as a teacher The play that Jack is writing undergoes a transformation that mirrors Jack’s own In fact there is a fair bit or mirroring going on here Jack’s affection for his father as a kid was as strong as Danny's is for him His father was an abusive alcoholic While Jack is not yet the monster his father was he is also an alcoholic with abusive tendencies I never had a father in the house My mother raised my brother and I alone I wasn’t using my own history but I did tap into some of the anger you sometimes feel to the kids where you say to yourself I have really got to hold on to this because I’m the big person here I’m the adult One reason I wanted to use booze in the book is that booze has a tendency to fray that leash you have on your temperFor a lot of kids Dad is the scary guy It’s that whole thing where your mother says ‘You just wait until your father comes home” In The Shining these people were snowbound in a hotel and Dad is always home And Dad is fighting this thing with the bottle and he’s got a short temper anyway I was kind of feeling my own way in that because I was a father of small children And one of the things that shocked me about fatherhood was it was possible to get angry at your kids from the EW interview cited in Extra StuffHe’s right I have had the pleasure and I know Wendy gets some attention as well as we learn a bit about her mother and see Wendy’s fear that she has inherited elements of her mother’s awfulness Not everything shines here There are times when five year old Danny seems much older than his tender years even given his extraordinary circumstances It struck me as surprising that there is no mention of anyone suggesting that maybe Jack might attend an AA meeting But these are like single dead pixels on a large screenIf you want to read horror tales that are straight up scare’ems there are plenty in the world But if you appreciate horror that offers underlying emotional content and I know you do my special gift tells me that The Shining is a brilliant example of how a master illuminates the darkness This review with images intact has also been posted on my blogEXTRA STUFFDefinitely check out the Wiki for this book – nifty info on the King Family’s stay at the Stanley and yes there was a Grady at the StanleyI also recommend checking out SK’s site if you want to learn about himAn interview with King in Entertainment WeeklyBTW here is a shot of the model snowmobile that Dick Halloran drives back to the Overlook A few other SK's we have reviewedUnder the DomeDuma Key Lisey's StoryDoctor SleepRevivalMr MercedesJust After Sunset

Stephen King ✓ 9 REVIEW

Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start As the off season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel he'll have. This scene from Friends pretty much sums up my feelings about this book Rachel Hmm she opens the freezer Umm why do you have a copy of The Shining in your freezerJoey Oh I was reading it last night and I got scared soRachel But ah you’re safe from it if it’s in the freezerJoey Well safer Y'know I mean I never start reading The Shining without making sure we’ve got plenty of room in the freezer y'knowRachel How often do you read itJoey Haven’t you ever read the same book over and over againRachel Well umm I guess I read Little Women than once But I mean that’s a classic what’s so great about The ShiningJoey The uestion should be Rach what is not so great about The Shining Okay And the answer would be nothing All right This is like the scariest book ever I bet it’s way better than that classic of yours

FREE READ The Shining

REVIEW ´ The Shining Æ ❰Reading❯ ➷ The Shining Author Stephen King – Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start As the off season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is Moteand sinister And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance a uniuely gifted five year old. uite simply put The Shining is the best horror story I have ever read It scared the hell out of meOver a period of time I have noticed certain standard motifs in horror stories One of these I call The Lost Child Such stories will typically involve a child who can see what the silly grownups cannot see or even if they do see don't acknowledge because it goes against reason and logic and who fights however high the odds stacked against him her are Danny Torrance is such a boyDanny can read minds He can see the frightening thoughts inside his Dad's and Mom's heads DIVORCE SUICIDE but is powerless to do anything about it Danny does not know that he has a gift; he takes it as a matter of course until Dick Halloran of the Overlook Hotel tells him that he shines onJack Torrance Danny's Dad reformed alcoholic and struggling writer is trying to put his life back together after a tragedy He gets what he sees as the ideal chance when he lands the job of caretaker of the Overlook Hotel for the winter In the snowed in hotel with only his son and wife Wendy Jack assumes that he will get enough uality time to be with his family patch up old uarrels and write that breakout novelBut the Overlook has other plans The hotel which feeds on and grows in strength from the evils committed on its premises wants Danny permanently to join its crew of ghostly inhabitants And to do that it needs to get to JackThe novel slowly grows in horror starting with mild unease moving up through sweaty palms and dry mouth to pure gut wrenching terror Jack's slow slide into madness is paralleled by the growth in power of the hotel's dark miasma and Danny's extraordinary capabilities We are on a roller coaster ride into darknessThe world of grownups is often frighteningly incomprehensible to young children these fears seldom die as we grow up but remain dormant in our psyche There are very few of us who does not have a ghost in our childhood somewhere It is when the writer invokes this ghost that story gets to us King does a masterly job of awakening that child and putting him her in the midst of childhood terrors through the alter ego of Danny Torrance lost in the cavernous corridors of the OverlookThere are a lot of passages which literally creeped me out in this novel the topiary animals the fire hose in the corridor the woman in the bathroom to name a few As King has said elsewhere the monster behind the door is frightening than the monster slavering at you this book is full of such monsters More importantly you will keep on remembering your own boogeymen while you are reading; and long after you finish you will feel the urge to look behind youHorror stories are a form of catharsis As King says the writer takes you to the body covered under the sheet you feel it and are frightened At the same time you are relieved that the body is not youA true masterpiece