The Shining by Stephen King

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The Shiningis the first Stephen King book I’ve read. My mother was a big fan of Stephen King and has several of his books and I’ve always wanted to read them, but… well… I’m a scaredy cat. No shame.

But I finally got enough courage (and curiosity) to actually read the book. I’ve already watched the movie starring Jack Nicholson a few years ago which is what originally perked my curiosity because, in my opinion, it was pretty damn good. So I was very surprised when my dad told me that Stephen King hated the movie rendition.

I remember staring at him blankly and asking, “But why?”

Now, after reading the book, I understand why.

If you’ve ever watched the movie, The Shining (and the one with Jack Nicholson… I know there’s another one, but I’ve never watched it), I just want to say that it follows the book pretty well… until the ending.

If you’ve never watched it, I first suggest renting it (and believe me it’s really not that scary), but if you’re too lazy to do that here’s the jist of it: Jack Torrance secures a job as the caretaker of The Overlook Hotel during the winter months when it’s closed, so him and his wife and son move in. But shortly after their move, Jack begins to act a little strange. His wife, Wendy, doesn’t notice it at first, but his son, Danny, notices even before it starts. Danny has what some people call the shine. He can read people’s thoughts and know what’s going to happen before it happens. But will his shine help save him from the Overlook taking over his father and destroying them all?

Now I don’t want to go into too much detail because I hate ruining an amazing ending, but there were elements in it that were much more chilling than the movie. I didn’t think the book was really that scary either, but it did have my heart racing even though I slightly already knew the ending.

Stephen King has an amazing writing style that draws the story forward. He goes into a lot of detail about background information so it’s never confusing about why someone is doing something. But I do admit that I thought the beginning of the book was a bit sluggish. I don’t know if it’s because I already knew what was going to happen or if it just took me a bit to get into his writing style, but it was all worth it in the end. There was never a time I wanted to give up on the book. It just took me a bit longer to read.

Grade: A

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