Review: The Shining by Stephen King

12977531The Shining by Stephen King
Published by: Anchor
Genres: Adult, Horror
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 659
Rating: 4
Date Read: 22/01/2015

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine.

I was actually quite disappointed with this book. I’m not saying this was a bad book, just not that scary. I was expecting more supernatural chills, and while this certainly had paranormal elements, I wouldn’t classify this as frightening. I’ve read longer books but never something that dragged so much.

The story involves Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic with plenty of demons. The Overlook hotel, is where the main story takes place, as Jack becomes the caretaker of a large hotel for the winter. The hotel is cut off by snow during the winter months and someone has to stay up there to watch it all winter. The Overlook has a sordid past where murders and notorious people used to stay.

There were several segments to the novel. The first section, where he developed the characters, was drawn out and way too long.

Also, much of the dialogue, language/word choice, and thought process from Danny was quite unrealistic coming from a 5-year-old. And it was almost halfway through the book before the family was at the hotel by themselves.

section Two. From here, the novel finally started to have some excitement breathed into it. Was the house really coming alive or was it just in everyone’s imagination? Were the hedge animals really moving or was Jack just suffering from an overactive imagination? Dead bodies? A secret history of the hotel? Auditory and visual hallucinations?

Then toward the end it accelerates quite rapidly and I was hooked. At that point it had turned from a repetitive and tired “horror” novel to an adrenaline-filled thriller. Regardless of the genre, it had a strong finish.

I have no regrets for reading this. I enjoyed The Shining, but not as a horror. I enjoyed the back stories and how well King can write characters. A decent Halloween read.

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