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58 of 60 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

versus
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 11 months ago by Zeudy Tigre


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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously scary, 1 Nov. 2006
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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
This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the film., 4 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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
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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!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the best, 27 Oct. 2003
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This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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.
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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
This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go into room 217!, 30 Nov. 2014
By 
Siltone (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
The story starts off with the 'Job Interview'. Here we are introduced to Jack Torrence, an aspiring author, who has applied for the position of a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. He is interviewed by the Manager, Mr Stuart Ullman, who warns Jack that a previous caretaker developed 'cabin fever' and ended up murdering his family before killing himself. However, Jack is not put off by this or the fact that he, his wife and son Danny will be living in this sprawling, empty hotel during the harsh, winter months when they will, at times, be totally cut off from civilisation. Jack is a recovering alcoholic with anger issues and feels that the solitude will give him the time to write and to re-connect with his wife and child. As with most horror stories, things don't quite go to plan......

Stephen King is a master storyteller and this book contains some real top-notch writing. It won't be everyone's cup of tea because if you are not a fan of psychological horror stories then you may not completely buy into The Shining. That said, this really is a damn good read. Mr King does occasionally over-cook his narrative and is guilty of filling the pages with more descriptive passages that some folk may find to be strictly necessary. But eh, overall, I think this is a great work of fiction and I absolutely loved the time I spent with it. Now I'm ready for Doctor Sleep!
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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!, 8 July 2014
This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remains one of King's most powerful, frightening novels, 30 Oct. 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shining (Paperback)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He is indeed the king, 11 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Shining (Kindle Edition)
I avoided Stephen King for nearly forty years because, snobbishly, I believed him to be 'just' a horror writer. Despite the exhortations of three of my well read children, I stubbornly refused to read anything he had written. I finally gave in and read '11.22.63' and the result? Totally hooked. He is a man who can bring a character alive in just a few strokes of his pen, an author who can pin you to the back of your chair until you have finished. 'The Shining' is a remarkable book, totally stunning. There's horror, yes, but real vulnerable people faced with credible horrors, some of their own making, some in the creative mind of this man of great talent - The hotel, the snow, the lift, the hedge animals, little Danny with his psychic gift... read it as soon as you can. And if you haven't read Stephen King before, throw away your prejudices before you start.
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