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The Shining


As someone who has watched the movie adaption of this Stephen King novel, The Shining, well, I admit I wasn't gung-ho about reading the book. Why? Well, the movie always kind of freaked me out. I was kind of worried how much more the book would freak me out.

But for all of you who have watched the movie, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that it just didn't make any sense. At all. The end is a head scratcher that never seems to be resolved. A puzzle piece trying to be shoved into a puzzle that still has way too many pieces missing.

So - I wanted to read the book. To see if it made more sense. Maybe answer my questions. I took a deep breath and went for it.

For those of you who haven't watched the movie (you should, it's a classic), the general synopsis of the story is that Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic who has recently lost his job, is hired as the caretaker for a huge hotel up in the mountains of Colorado. The hotel has to be shut down every winter (for about 5 months or so) because it's impossible to drive up and down the roads, but someone needs to stay there to take care of the boiler and everything. His wife Wendy and his son (who has special abilities at the very young age of five) come with him and they find out that the Overlook Hotel's bad reputation might have some substance.

Now for how I felt about all 684 pages: Wow. Now, I can't put it up there with my top tier books (books I read over and over again, like, ahem, Harry Potter) but I was surprised to find Stephen King's writing style more patient and character developing than gory. Not that it isn't creepy. It's very creepy. But in a slow moving, suspenseful way. I did feel like the ending was a little rushed and I was left slightly confused. But only slightly. Nothing really worth criticizing. In fact, it just makes me want to read it again and figure it out.

And A LOT is different than the movie. I can't give anything away, but don't expect it to be the same AT ALL. I do recommend it as an expertly woven tale of horror, but more so a story of a broken family that loves each other and the bravery of a little boy.

There are a lot of "adult" scenes and some frightening, weird stuff in it nearer the end, so depending on your age, wait until you feel ready. Oh and if you do read it, and you're like me and like to read right before bed? Yeah, don't do that. I place my freaky, crazy dreams at your feet as evidence. Seriously.

All I can say is that I am interested in reading more Stephen King now. His character development and buildup is phenomenal.

And even though the movie is good (scary Jack Nicholson!), the book is better.

Comments

Dominique said…
hey! nice review :)

you've been tagged! http://the-book-vault.blogspot.com/2008/08/tagged.html
Kimberly Pauley said…
Stephen King's "On Writing" is a great book. He doesn't always get credit for it, but he does great character development. His Bachman books are good too.
MrsRonWeasley said…
I've finally got with it regarding my tagging. Sorry for the delay! :)

And I think it is a travesty that Stephen King doesn't get credit for his character development because that was the biggest thing about the novel that struck me. Wow.

Thanks to both of you for commenting! ;)

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