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
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start and not vey scary.
To be honest I was expecting more from this, I read the sequel to this book called doctor sleep and loved it so I wanted to try the original one thinking it would be better, but, I was wrong, it takes a while to get going and not much happens in the first quarter of the book, and considering that Stephen king is supposed to be one of the best writers of horror, it wasn't...
Published 1 month ago by Christopher Stokes
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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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Redrum at The Overlook Hotel,
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.
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,
This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good horror...,
I read the Shining immedietely after reading 'IT'.
The Shining is a lot shorter in comparison to 'IT' and I think I judged it unfairly because 'IT' was such a great novel.
In hindsight, The Shining is a very well written horror. It didn't grip me in the same way as 'IT' and I didn't fall in love with the characters as much, but the book still created plenty of vivid images, something Stephen King does so well.
I especially liked the way Jack Torrance is not just a one dimensional character who suddenly goes mad and tries to murder his family in the isolated hotel his family have been assigned to look after over the winter. The process into madness is gradual and you can feel him losing his grip on reality as the weeks go by and the hotel grips his mind more and more until it actually seems to come alive.
The fact that Jack is also capable of violence before the hotel 'gets him', this makes the story a lot more believable and a lot scarier.
I've seen the film version a couple of times and I'd say I like the novel more. The reason is with the novel you can delve into the minds of the characters, you get to hear their thoughts and their sides to the argument. It is quite scary the way Jack actually believes he is in the right in regards to his violence- King offers us both sides to each character and their motives, something a film version can never portray to the viwer.
There are some generally scary moments in the novel, I won't ruin them but the Room 217 parts are genuinely horrifying. Basically Danny has seen the body of a long dead women in a bathtub. Jack, still sane at this time, goes to check. It's all about Jack being an unbelieving adult- ghosts simply don't exist...
He enters the room and the shower curtain is drawn over- through the curtain he can see the shadow of what looks like a body in the bath. Could it be Danny wasn't imagining the old lady? Without looking and hardly believing his eyes, he goes to leave the room and hears clambering and what sounds like foot steps behind him- it's all about him not believing what is happening yet still running for his life, just in case he isn't hallucinating- genuinely scary and sends shivers up your back!!
One thing I felt King could have done was reveal a bit more about Danny's imaginery friend, Tony. He seems to explain who he is towards the end, but I think he could have done a bit more with this character. But we can't have everything...:)
All in all, a great book, well worth reading if you are a horror fan or just simply like a good story. Defineteley worth the 4/5 stars.
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!
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The Shining by Stephen King (Paperback - 10 Nov 2011)