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The Shining [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (427 customer reviews)
Price: £8.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

10 Nov 2011

Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny's visions grow out of control.

As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel - and that, too, is beginning to shine . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (10 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444720724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444720723
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (427 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Ghostly bursts of plaster dust. A low, rhythmic sound in the background: Red rum-RED RUM-red rum-RED RUM. A sense of something evil swirling inward on itself, like a whirlpool of black ectoplasmic energy. The experience of being inside the actual consciousness ("come out and take your medicine!") of a frightened little boy. Echoes of Shirley Jackson ("whatever walked there, walked alone"), of Poe's Masque of the Red Death and of creepy folk tales (Hansel and Gretel).

How do we love The Shining? Let us count the ways. In 1977, The Shining was the first widely read novel to confront alcoholism and child abuse in baby-boomer families--especially the way alcoholism, a will toward failure in one's work, and abusing one's kids are passed down from generation to generation. The heart of the book is not an evil hotel but a pair of father-son relationships: Jack and his father, Jack and his son. This was both daring and insightful for its time, long before "dysfunctional family" was a cliché.

The Shining was written in a frenzy. Stephen King imagined the whole novel in his head while sitting up all night in the dark, in the very Colorado hotel where the story takes place. He then transcribed it (that's how he puts it) in a burst of sustained energy. He could pull that off because, even at that early point in his career, King had figured out a successful way of structuring a popular novel. The speed of its composition gives the writing a powerful flow that sweeps you along past the awkward wording.

The Shining is one of those rare novels that can burn its images--such as Room 217--into your brain. Time alone will tell, but The Shining may well turn out to be one of the best horror novels ever written. By the way, you know that film starring Jack Nicholson? Stephen King says, "I have my days when I think I gave Kubrick a live grenade on which he heroically threw his body." --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Obviously a masterpiece, probably the best supernatural novel in a hundred years (Peter Straub)

As a storyteller, he is up there in the Dickens class (The Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously scary 1 Nov 2006
Browsing through "1001 Books you must read before you die" - it was something of a surprise to find The Shining listed, when so much of Stephen King's work is dismissed by critics. But what a revelation the book is, and I'm glad I read it. This really is superior horror material, crafted to keep the pages turning. Over-shadowed by the film (which King himself didn't like) - the novel is a deeper, scarier experience, a fine example of the skill of wonderful storytelling. In a specially written introduction for this edition of The Shining, King reveals this was the book that took him in a different direction - where the characters are all the more scary because their demons are real as well as imagined. Compelling.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - I couldn't read fast enough 29 Nov 2007
By Nicola
It all started when I saw the music video 'The Kill' by 30 Seconds To Mars (on You Tube), realised it was based on The Shining and decided I had to have a read of the book itself to see what it was all about. How's that for joined up thinking!

Apparently Stephen King thought up the storyline for The Shining when he went on an impromptu holiday with his wife to a hotel in Colorado. The hotel was closing down for the season and King and his wife were the only two people there. The eerie surroundings and long empty corridors gave King the ideas for his book.

The book is really well written. I love the way a character will say something and then King writes what they are really/subconsicously thinking in italics underneath. It gives you a lot more insight into what's happening. The characters are instantly believable and you can really feel for them - to me that's always the sign of a good book. You get so engrossed in the story, you forget everything else while you're reading. I'd thoroughly recommend this book. Enjoy!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the film. 4 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is easily one of the greatest horror movies of the 20th century. I love that film with a passion but the book is something all together different. Much of the story was not used for the film so a lot will come as a suprise. For those of you who don't know the plot Jack Torrence gets himself a caretaker job in the Overlook Hotel. He takes his wife Wendy and son Danny to stay up there throughout the harsh winter. Over the course of their stay they are terrorised by the ghosts of former residents at the Overlook caused by the special gift Danny has. He shines, which basically means he is psychic, can tell whats going to happen before it happens and can see things others cannot. This book is absolutely brilliant. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of horror because it won't ever get this good again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, loved the film, love the book more! 19 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of the film for many years now and it was only very recently that I read the book. It's brilliant! I loved getting the back story of the characters, finding out how it is that Jack goes crazy and also the original ending. I've got to say I was never much of a fan of Danny in the film, but the book character you really find yourself sympathising with, you also find out the full extent of his "shine". The film glossed over a lot of key points, which I felt the book really filled out and explained. So if you've seen the film read it! And if you've never seen the film, start with this first!
Great book all round!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best 27 Oct 2003
In all the books I've read in my time, 'The Shining' has to be rated as the best. The combination of Stephen King's literary superiority and horrifying imagination produce a scarily good result.
In The Shining we follow Jack Torrance who takes over as caretaker of the Overlook hotel for the winter, where only he and his family will stay as blizzards enclose the hotel. But his son, Danny is having strange visions, and the hotel itself is eerily odd.
From the story we learn about Danny, and his nightmarish visions, but the novel begins to get really scary when his father Jack, who doesn't have any psychic ability, starts seeing things too. I used to read this book at night before going to sleep, and after I'd put down the book and turned out the light, my heart would continue to pound in my chest...such is the quality of the suspense and horror.
But don't be fooled by the movie version with Jack Nicholson. Despite Nicholson's fantastic performance as Torrance, the movie is a gross miscarriage of the book, and omits 70% of the book's story. The famous 'Here's Johnny' line isn't even in the's just in the film.
Above all else, you must read this book, even if you've seen the film. But be warned...once you have reached the part where Torrance enters room the part where things really start to get scary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Redrum at The Overlook Hotel 11 April 2006
By Chris C
Over a year ago on TV, I managed to stumble upon The Shining. The genre of horror has never been one of my particular favourites, but that film to me was not delibrately scary like most other horrors. What it did possess in my mind was a certain chill factor and a gripping story that made it an epic horror film.
As far as books are concerned, The Shining seemed like a good place to start as far as fiction. My sister has always been a fan of Stephen King, so I was intrigued to see what King was like as a storyteller.
Precisely it probably took me about a month to read, about a chapter every night or around that mark. The reason being is I did not want to lose my place as to where the story was going. Well, earlier tonight, I had finally finished reading it.
In my opinion, this is the best book I have read so far. The story was well layed out in 58 chapters in 5 seperate sections and thus is quite easy to follow. The words were quite difficult to understand, but they have hold the reader back from the concept of the tale.
In modest terms, I can not say whether I like the book or the film more as they both have their own appeal. Certainly the novel is much more scarier, with scenes that delve deeper into the supernatural and certainly some differences that Stanley Kubrick probably could not afford to film.
I felt the ending in the book was a lot more uplifting than the one on the film. I also found the violence was a lot more gruesome and King can certainly create vivid images that stick in your head.
Whether it is the best horror novel is up to you, but this certainly one of the best ones to have been written. Now we know the scariest thing is not a flesh eating monster.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the movie!
Second time I've read the book 10 years apart. I loved it just as much the second time around. Much better than the movie!
Published 7 days ago by LKG
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read
The Shining - Stephen King's novel gives us more background and detail into the character of Jack Torrence than does the film. Read more
Published 11 days ago by marjorie narey
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic King
I'm a fan of Stephen King and this book didn't let me down. It's probably advantageous that I've never seen the film. I am now scared of hedge animals!
Published 11 days ago by Neostarr
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
Needed to read it again as I had been given the follow up for my birthday
Published 12 days ago by patricia hirst
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
After finally getting round to reading The Shining, I can’t believe it has taken me so long! A lot has been made about this being one of the scariest books ever, I remember the... Read more
Published 12 days ago by hero_of_canton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the film, love the book
Published 13 days ago by Malcolm G.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shining
My second Stephen King book after Misery.
When I started this book I didn't like it. It was dragging on and I wanted to read something else. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Billy
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, most well-written books that I have ever read
One of the best, most well-written books that I have ever read. Really enjoyed it, worth reading even if you've seen the film, there are quite a lot of differences!
Published 17 days ago by LA
4.0 out of 5 stars It's pretty good but I've read better
The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining is Stephen King's third book, published in 1977 and it is about a family that move into a hotel for the winter, only to find out... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Asim Ghaffar
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Loved this book, gripping from the first page to the last. A must read this is Stephen King at his best
Published 18 days ago by bernard sheenan
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