Book Review 214 // The Shining by Stephen King


Having a bit of a love-hate relationship with Stephen King, I go from enjoying a title to hating it within chapters to loving it once more. So I was intrigued to try out one of his more popular titles. I first grabbed IT, but then I saw the page count and ultimately shied away from it. Then I found the Shining and like most people, I have fond memories of the film so why not try it?

Title: The Shining

Author: Stephen King

Blurb: 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 family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Review

Right let us be clear, nothing I write will be groundbreaking. This book has been reviewed so many times that there is no clear way to review it. But here are my thoughts.

I love a haunted house story. Raised on Scooby Doo I just can't help but enjoy a story about a house or in this case a hotel that is possibly full of the ghosts of past guests that have died there. The hotel itself was the true highlight of the book as its cyclopean aspect suddenly becomes stifling and oppressive. Leading Jack down the path of madness. This feeling of confinement really hit me harder than I expected and took me by surprise.

Then the characters themselves in the written version are so much more in-depth, they are so much more interesting in the novel than in the film. You can't help but find yourself caring for each character fearing the worst for them and knowing full well what is going to happen does not make it any easier. The family dynamic was on point and their past drama only helps to build the tension as the snow sets in.

Then finally the simple horror of it all. There is no over-arcing boogie man to overcome, too grave to purify or even a doll to burn. This is just straight-up madness grabbing a loved one and turning them into a monster. No jump scares just complete mind fucks. The idea that a family member could just turn on you like Jack does truly terrifies me and I am a lot more concerned for my upcoming trip away at a Vermont Hotel now!

But it was in no way a perfect book, I found myself bored by some chapters. There were what felt like filler pieces that I found dull and wanted to skip. This once more led me to my Love-Hate of King novels as I found myself halfway through becoming bored, and struggling to pick up the book, then it all kicked off again and I was straight back loving it.

Damn it Stephen King, I can't workout if I love you or hate you!

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