57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously scary
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...
Published on 1 Nov 2006 by Jl Adcock
3.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, easy to read with a good balance of taut plot and character development
The Shining, by Stephen King, was my first experience of this prolific author. I do not enjoy being frightened so generally avoid the horror genre in both books and films. However, when the opportunity to read and review what is regarded by some as his first tour de force, I decided that I could benefit from being able to form my own opinion about the work of a writer...
Published 1 month ago by Zeudy Tigre
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously scary,
This review is from: The Shining (King Classics) (Paperback)
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.
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - I couldn't read fast enough,
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!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the film.,
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, loved the film, love the book more!,
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This review is from: The Shining (Kindle Edition)
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!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best,
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 book...it'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 217...is the part where things really start to get scary.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remains one of King's most powerful, frightening novels,
Twenty-seven years after its publication, The Shining remains a visceral, gripping read that showcases Stephen King's unfathomable powers to hypnotize and terrify readers, a power King had in abundance in the early stages of his career. Coming on the heels of Carrie and 'Salem's Lot, The Shining truly established King as a modern master of horror and an unequalled purveyor of a literary mirror into pop culture. If you've only seen the original movie starring Jack Nicholson, you really owe it to yourself to read the novel; Stanley Kubrick made a fine and scary movie, but he did not capture the essence of King's story, and his dramatization followed a different path than what you find in the original vision brought to life through the words of King. The more recent miniseries was more faithful to the novel, but it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that a made-for-TV dramatization is limited in terms of what it can get away with in a number of important areas. Simply put, The Shining stands just behind Shirley Jackson's The House on Haunted Hill as one of the best "haunted house" novels ever written.
The plot should be quite familiar to one and all by this point. The Torrance family embarks on a months-long retreat into complete isolation when Jack Torrance signs on to be the winter custodian of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack takes some personal demons with him to a hotel chock-full of malevolent, ghostly spirits; he is a recovering alcoholic who, in the last couple of years, lost his job and broke his little boy's arm in a state of drunken fury. He thinks the months alone with his wife and son will allow him to find peace - and to finally finish the play he has been working on. His long-suffering wife has some misgivings, but the only person really clued into the dreadful possibilities is his son Danny. Danny has "the shine," a gift which allows him to see and know things he cannot possibly know; it is a powerful gift which the Overlook (which really is an entity unto itself) jealously desires for itself.
As the days pass, the Overlook exerts more and more of an influence on Jack, exploiting his weaknesses, exacerbating his paranoia and persecution complex, and basically turning him into a murderous new tool at the hotel's disposal. Danny sees what is happening, although he cannot really understand much of it given his very young age. He can certainly understand the terror of the Overlook, however, as he sees images of the hotel's murderous past and very dark near future in a number of unsettling scenes interspersed throughout the novel. This is a harrowing tale of survival against incredible odds of a supernatural nature, and King brings every nuance of the story to vivid life, capturing perfectly the internalization and externalization of fear among exceedingly real, believable characters that the reader gets to know very well indeed. As has always been the case with Stephen King, it is his incomparable powers of characterization that make the supernatural elements of his story work so amazingly well. You can't help but be emotionally committed to these characters.
The Shining really isn't one of my all-time favorite Stephen King novels, but it is exceedingly well crafted and features some of the most harrowing scenes to be found in King's immense body of work. Even though I had read the novel before and was quite familiar with the story in both its literary and cinematic manifestations, I was completely caught up in the story as I re-read it - to the point that I found myself flipping the pages faster than I normally do for a novel completely new to me. When you talk about the seminal works of modern horror, you have to talk about The Shining - it's just that good a read.
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant read,
The Shining is the fourth novel by popular American author, Stephen King. Unemployed professor of literature and recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance takes a job as winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in the mountains of Colorado. His wife, Wendy is hopeful he can conquer his demons during their half year in the mountains and get on with his writing. His five year old son, Daniel, is plagued by pre-cognitive visions that seem to be facilitated by his imaginary friend, Tony; they are often pleasant but sometimes uncomfortable and occasionally downright terrifying. When the family arrives at the Overlook, the cook, Dick Hallorann takes Daniel aside and tells him he “shines”, and gives him some welcome reassurance and advice. The Overlook hotel has links to underworld characters and has been the scene of murders, suicides and gangland-style executions. Danny senses in the Overlook a certain malevolence, a certain power, and feels the presence of past victims. After some months of almost idyllic existence, the hotel and the Torrance family are cut off from the town of Sidewinder by heavy snowfalls and impassable roads. And then the hotel begins to exert its influence on Jack and his family. Or is it just an alcoholic succumbing to cabin fever? King expertly portrays alcoholism and the descent into psychosis, and gives the reader characters of some complexity who find themselves rushing headlong into a heart-stopping climax. With Danny’s narration, King uses wordplay to highlight the ambiguity of spoken English. Readers who have seen the 1980 Kubrick movie (which departs markedly from the book and disappointed King) will picture Jack Nicholson as Torrance (despite his lack of blonde hair). King once again proves he is a master story-teller, as readers who make the effort to reread this as a prequel to Doctor Sleep will discover afresh. A bestseller that is a brilliant read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Horror Story that deals with more than just Ghosts,
By A Customer
The characters drawn in this novel are intense and deeply motivated. This is a superb book - spooky and emotional . The gradual demise of Torrance is dealt with by King in an enduring and often depressing manner. Child Abuse and alcohol abuse are addressed and as much of the horror of this book as the the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel. Only Stephen King can write such a claustrophobic book as this and one that will be read again and again -- This book is often uncomfortable but the reader will go back for more. Vintage King -- Enjoy!
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not ignore these reviews...,
"The Shining" is the most engaging, terrifying and satisfying novel ever written. King will always be known for this classic horror/thriller/psychological/drama. This novel has everything every reader seeks. Spooks, psychological warfare between the sexes and generations, historical atmosphere, madness, kindness, life and death. This book is a modern classic. I dare anyone to read it and not be affected. King brought us a new way of viewing our deepest fears, breaking from the traditional "ghost story" form and introducing the good and bad relationships between people.The horror in his works derives from our own interactions with all around us. With this novel, King turned the "Ghost story" into a "People story".. The scariest element of this novel is that we take sides with the looney, because we understand why he flips. That's why this is such a great book. The hero is the villian. (Of course, female readers may disagree with this, but, boys, you know what King is saying). A fantastic piece of literature. Well written, engaging and totally, in American parlance, un-put-downable. The Shining is an experience you will not forget. If you meet someone who has not read "The Shining", ignore them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a fan of the genre but this book has changed my mind!,
A bad temper puts Jack Torrence out of his teaching job. Lucky enough to secure the position of caretaker at the Overlook Hotel the family move there for the winter. As the snow isolates them from the rest of the world strange forces take hold.
As always, the book is better than the film. I watched the film first and whilst it was good, the book was hundreds of times better. Though not for everyone, I found the bad language in the book refreshing. It’s rare that you find something raw and visceral, since books so often dress up things in floral language.
One of the things I found most interesting was the portrayal of alcoholism. Jack thinks about alcohol all the time and it really shows how strong you have to be to resist it. The hotel preys on weakness and perhaps if it were not for this weakness the violence would not have happened. I don’t feel this important factor is shown clearly enough in the film.
I am not at all a fan of the supernatural genre. I like my realism and in terms of horror I’m not scared at all by ghost stories or things that go bump in the night. Stephen King does something remarkable, not only did I not completely hate it but it’s taught to me to be a little more open to other genres. I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.
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The Shining (King Classics) by Stephen King (Paperback - 7 Sep 2006)
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