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Pet Sematary Paperback – 26 Mar 2019
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|Paperback, 26 Mar 2019||
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About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, the Bill Hodges trilogy End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and now an AT&T Audience Network original television series), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63--a Hulu original television series event--was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower and It are the basis for major motion pictures. He is the recipient of the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
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As the father of a two year old, this is without doubt the hardest read of this year! Stephen King is the best writer of child characters of any author in history, and he may as well have named the character Leo (my son) rather than Gage for the way it drew me into the action!
This is known as Stephen King’s scariest novel, and to some degree I agree with that (length vs pay off/creep-out per page) to a large degree. Unnerving in large parts, and for me, this was an ending that Stephen King got right! A book worthy of the tag “horror”!
Despite these shortcomings, Torrence starts out a decent family man. That is until the Overlook Hotel takes over his weak personality and plays on his fears and demons. He has taken a job as winter caretaker in the deserted hotel - deserted as it closes for winter due to being cut off by the snow.
Jack gradually succumbs to the evil influence of the Overlook which wants him to harm his wife and son. This he sets about in no uncertain terms.
The iconic memories of The Shining come from the film and are not present in the book. King gives us a straight forward mystery. Kubrick's acclaimed cinematic version takes the bare bones of the novel and gives us a multi layered mystery.
It's no secret that King didn't like the screen adaptation of his novel - at least in the beginning although he has mellowed towards it in recent years calling it a "deeply unsettling cinematic experience in it's own right." And in his book 'Danse Macabre' he cites it as a notable contribution to the horror genre and lists it as one of his favourites!
A very good read - but although I love this book I prefer the movie.
The characterisation in “The Shining” is brilliant. We see glimpses of Jack Torrance’s past and this builds a picture of this quite normal man who is struggling with Alcoholism and the memories of his violent father. I think this makes his descent into madness at the hands of The Overlook hotel all the more chilling. At the start of the book he is desperate to make a fresh start, get his play finished and keep away from alcohol. This is a stark contrast to the Jack Torrance we meet at the end of the book.
When we first meet Wendy Torrance she comes across as a fairly weak woman who has gone from being dominated by her Mother to being dominated by her husband. She loves her son desperately but still stays with Jack after he breaks Danny’s arm in an alcohol fuelled rage. By the end of the book she is ready to fight to keep her son safe, whatever the hotel throws at them.
I found Danny Torrance to be a really interesting character; as such I’m looking forward to starting “Doctor Sleep” to find out what has happened to him since “The Shining”. He is highly psychic and it seems that the psychic phenomena that had already been going on at The Overlook is sent into overdrive by Danny’s presence. At only 6 years old in “The Shining” it will be interesting to see how these events have shaped his adult life and how he has dealt with everything that happen, if at all. There is also the spectre of alcoholism and the fact that it is often a hereditary condition. Will Danny also be struggling with alcohol dependence like his Father and Grandfather before him?
I really enjoyed “The Shining” and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes the thriller/horror genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a straight out horror, there isn’t lots in the way of blood and gore, its more the sinister build up that make the book as creepy as it is.
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