Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Shining - Stephen King Book Review

The Shining is a classic today as much as it was over 30 years ago.  Stephen King has written many books over the years and in my opinion the original ones are still the best ones.

This is the story of an unemployed writer named Jack Torrance who gets setup with a job as the caretaker of The Overlook Hotel in Colorado just outside of Estes Park to get a fresh start and a chance to write.

The Outlook hotel is an old historic hotel with quite a past and that past will come back to haunt them.

Jack, his wife Wendy and son Danny will spend the winter watching the hotel and keeping the place running if they don't go crazy.

As we find out earlier, Danny has a bit of a gift in seeing things and knowing what happens before it does, this is called The Shining, he learns about this from an old black cook, Halloran, that worked at the hotel.  He tells him if he ever has any trouble to call out to him.

Over the first couple weeks the story really ties around what Danny sees and feels and what Jack learns as he finds an old journal with the history of all that went on.

Jack was fired from his last job for attacking or putting in place a student who slashed his tires.  He also liked to drink a lot a and now had been sober for several months.

As the story goes on Danny keeps learning more through his visions and Jack from the journal.  Once the snow sets in and they are essentially trapped at the hotel until winter is over.  This is when Jack starts having hallucinations as if he's hanging in the bar drinking and Danny goes to room 217 and discovers that not everything is in his mind as the dead lady in the tub tries to strangle him.

Things intensify and Jack loses his mind and goes after his own family, essentially being sucked into the evil of the hotel.

I really enjoyed how the book messes with the minds of the characters and before you know it things are out of hand.  Kings writes this one in a way to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The funny thing for those who have only seen the movie there are many differences in the details and of course in the ending of how things go down.

If you plan to read the sequel I would suggest reading the book to better understand Danny and the history.


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