Posted in Book Club, Book Reviews

Book review: The Shining- Stephen King

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I of course knew that I would love this book because Stephen King is one of my favourite authors. I can honestly say that I have liked everything that I have read by him. This is one of the more famous of his repertoire, so I was a little excited, and a bit apprehensive about reading it. Sometimes the more people that like a thing, the less likely that I am to. Which sounds strange, but I have always been a contrary sort of person. However, this one was fantastic. No matter that it has been made into a famous film that seemingly everyone in the world has seen, I loved it. (Then again, I haven’t seen the film…)

Even though I have not seen the film, I knew what was going to happen from the start. It was always obvious that things were not going to end happily for all of the characters, it just remained to be seen which ones survived to the end of the book. This didn’t make it any less tense and frightening though. Just because I knew that the hotel would get to Jack, didn’t mean that it didn’t scare me when it did. I particularly enjoyed (hated) the progress of Jack’s character throughout the novel. Especially when the hotel really starts to get its hooks into him. One part that really sent a chill down my spine was every time it mentioned Jack wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. It just seemed really sinister because we knew that the hotel was getting to him, but that he was still himself enough to return to old habits.

Apparently this is the Overlook from the film.
Apparently this is the Overlook from the film.

I also really enjoyed the way that King kept Danny quite young throughout parts of the book. He seemed so much more innocent, even having the knowledge that his ‘shining’ afforded him, when he couldn’t spell words. Not understanding what ‘redrum’ was, or that ‘sweet’ was in fact ‘suite’ was a really subtle way of keeping Danny a child. But as the novel progressed he seemed to lose some of that innocence, firstly when he learned to read and then as things took a turn for the worse in the hotel.

I think that my favourite character, or at least the one that shone the brightest for me, was Hallorann. I loved him and he was the only one that I really didn’t know what would happen to. It almost seemed as though King himself didn’t know whether Hallorann was going to die or not. I also got ‘Doctor Sleep’ for Christmas and I am looking forward to finding out what happened to Danny and the other survivors later on. I’ve got some other books to read before that though!

Question Time

What did you think of the book?

Who was your favourite character?

Was the story as predictable for you as it was for me?

 

Have a lovely day,

Alys.

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8 thoughts on “Book review: The Shining- Stephen King

  1. I have these interesting feelings about Steven King. I think he is an incredible writer. His characters are so specific, he’s brilliant, but I’m not crazy about his story lines. I’m not drawn to books that are going to scare me. I did like Shawshank Redemption, but I didn’t read The Shining. Now that I’ve read your review, I may need to give it a try. Jack’s hand to his mouth is exactly the type of subtlety that makes King…well, Steven King. Great review. I’ll let you know if I find my dark side and give it a go.

    1. I think perhaps it was predictable because I’m so used to King’s style now, I’ve sort of got to know him through reading his books, I know how he thinks. And of course, I probably picked up on some of the hints flying around about the end of the film.
      I love him though, he’s a really good one to get your teeth into when you’re feeling a lack of love for books. I know that after I’ve read the next three books from the library (all a bit dry and dusty) then I’m going to read a King book, just to cleanse my palate again. He’s great for that sort of thing because his books are sort of mindless. That sounds bad, but what I mean is that you don’t have to think too hard about them to find what you’re looking for. Which is nice sometimes. (He’s definitely no George R.R. Martin. that’s for sure!)
      I’m glad you’re thinking of reading it, it’s a good one!
      Hope you enjoy it,
      Alys.

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